Wedded to War Historic Sites of New York City-- a guest post by JOCELYN GREEN Monday, April 22, 1861 New York City
Wedded to War on one of the most famous and historic avenues in the world. In fact, many scenes in Wedded to War are set in locations you can still visit today. If you love history, this blog post highlighting some of them is for you. (Future blog posts will feature historic sites in Washington and Virginia, the other two “stages” for the dramas in Wedded to War.)
Since the book begins on Broadway, let’s start there on our virtual tour, too.
see map of area here The street names have changed in the last 150 years, and there is no discernible sign of the former poverty that marked this area. I don’t really recommend making a special trip to see it. The illustration at right was made in the 1850s, and the one below, which was in Frank Leslie’s Illustrate Newspaper, was published after the Civil War. Both are very similar to what the characters in Wedded to War saw and experienced.
If Broadway was Manhattan’s artery, Five Points was its abscess: swollen with people, infected with pestilence, inflamed with vice and crime. Groggeries, brothels, and dance halls put private sin on public display. Although the neighborhood seemed fairly self-contained, more fortunate New Yorkers were terrified of Five Points erupting, spreading its contagion to the rest of them.
This was where the Waverly sisters got off.
~Wedded to War
Check out the history of St Patrick's Old Cathedral. Find directions to Old St. Patrick’s.
After Ruby’s visit to the cathedral, she returns to her tenement in the 14th Ward. If you’re interested in tenement living, do check out the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. It chronicles the lives of residents over several generations, beginning in 1863, and looks fascinating! If I get back to the city, I will definitely go there myself! Find directions to the Tenement Museum.
Now here’s a photo, below, from inside that glass structure.
this blog post, from a New York movie location scout. He also tells us that inside the main entrance there is a neat exhibit on the hospital, which dates back to the 1700s, and a pamphlet you can take with you. (If you go, will you grab an extra one and mail it to me? Please?) Find maps, parking info and directions here.
4) Cooper Union
Charlotte sat on the edge of her chair at the association’s Cooper Union headquarters, spine straight and feet flat on the floor, as if perfect posture even now might have a favorable bearing on her fate.
~Wedded to War
Cooper Union was the headquarters of the Women’s Central Association of Relief, which grew into the U.S. Sanitary Commission, so this is where we find Charlotte Waverly in the excerpt above, waiting her turn to be examined by the medical committee about her suitability to become a nurse. Cooper Union, the tall building on the left in the illustration below, is an extremely historic building. To read more about its significance, visit this web page.
Cooper Union above
The illustration below depicts the first meeting of the Women’s Central Association of Relief inside Cooper Union. More than 4000 of New York City’s women gathered here to organize volunteer efforts to aid the Union army. Out of this meeting, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell gained support for her idea to train women nurses–a revolutionary idea at the time. What an incredible moment in history! I would have loved to have been there.
New York Downtown Hospital. Not really worth a sightseeing visit, but if you’re interested in the history, check out this bio on Dr. Blackwell. who plays a major role in my novel. Here’s the timeline of the hospital.
But back to Cooper Union. Below you’ll see it as it stands today. Find a map of building here
This is the Central Park scene Charlotte Waverly much preferred over a Broadway promenade.
The image below shows Central Park today. Visit the Web site of Central Park, which has maps, events, and other information. They also have a page to show you the Site of Seneca Village.
Click here for an overview and book trailer.
Jocelyn has graciously agreed to a terrific giveaway to one lucky winner:
-signed copy of Wedded to War, plus:
To enter, please leave a comment for Jocelyn about either her book or anything New York City related, with your email addy. For extra entries, you may follow this blog, tweet this post, share on facebook, or follow Jocelyn's blog at http://www.jocelyngreen.com/
Winner selected Dec 21 7 PM Eastern