The Encyclopedia of New York City

New York State

NY State — General Interest

Colonial Days in Old New York, by Alice Morse Earle, 1899. Alice Morse Earle was a Massachusetts native and historian who later lived in Brooklyn (Brooklyn Heights) and wrote extensively upon topics related to early colonial life. This book focuses upon early Dutch settlers in Albany, New Amsterdam and what is now Brooklyn — covers culture and customs from birth through death. Interesting and easy read providing some insight into Dutch influence still in evidence today. Many words from the Dutch language are especially interesting.


History of the Town of Flatbush, in Kings County, Long-Island. By Thomas M. Strong, D.D., Pastor of the Reformed Dutch Church of Flatbush, 1908 [1842]. Old and very general history of the early settling of Flatbush through the American Revolution with some obvious emphasis on the Battle of Brooklyn. Many recognizable names. Some history of Erasmus Hall and ecclesiastical history. Currently indexed by personal names only. Images and full text transcription of this 188 page book.


New York and Its Institutions, by Rev. J. F. [John Francis] Richmond. Published in 1871, this 600-page books offers first a brief history of Manhattan; then moves on to profile the many institutions in the New York City area at that time. Includes, orphanages, medical institutions, charities, vocational, homes for the aged and many more. Nicely illustrated.

Heroes Who Fight Fire, by Jacob A. Riis. Originally published in 1898, this article focuses upon the bravery of New York City Firefighters. Many descriptions of dangerous fires and incidents of lives saved due to the efforts of firefighters.

Ten Days With the Deaf and Dumb, by Mary Barrett. Originally published in 1873. A visitor at the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb observes effective teaching methods of the time.

Little Laborers of New York City, by C. L. Brace, 1873.
Article discussing early child labor laws and lack of, jobs performed by young children, wages and reform including early laws implemented to protect the working child. The Work of the Children's Aid Society is mentioned.

Superstitions of a Cosmopolitan City, by Robert Shakleton, 1905
Odd four-page treatise on some superstitions observed in New York City, most culturally related. Somewhat over-simplifed.

Life on Broadway, by William H. Rideing, 1878.
Ode to "the more things change, the more they stay the same" — vintage description of the varied sights and scenes of Broadway, Manhattan in 1878. Descriptions of people on the street, vendors, shops, restaurants and some of the sights.

Romance of the Hudson, Part I and Part II, by Benson J. Lossing, 1876.
A brief history of the Hudson River in the greater NY metro area. Some wonderful descriptions of legends, lore, battles and facts by noted historian Benson John Lossing. Some interesting explanations regarding certain place names in the area, and much more.

The Metropolitan Newspaper, by William H. Rideing, 1877.
Interesting article about early newspapers — how reporters worked, role of the city editor, Associated Press and more. Nice illustrations of some of the old newpaper buildings and editors of the time.

Normal College of New York City, by William H. Rideing, 1878.
Detailed discussion of the Normal College, its history, teacher curriculum, rules and requirements. Some interesting observations on the daily proceedings within the school. Nice article on early higher education for women.

Modern Dwelling, Part I and Part II, by H. Hudson Holly, 1876.
Design of various American "cottages" circa 1876. Some discussion of architectural styles, adaptation in America, choosing a site, floorplans, and much more. Written by H. Holly Hudson, an influential architect of his time.

Books & articles appearing here are modified adaptations
from a private collection of vintage books & magazines.
Reproduction of these pages is prohibited
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© Laurel O'Donnell, 1996-2006.