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Community Forums › All Things Italian › Books and Movies › Castle Garden in Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Monthly

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Castle Garden in Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Monthly


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DaveFerro
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:42 am    Post subject: Castle Garden in Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Monthly Reply with quote

Many old books in our library, but being culled if they are not taken out - popularity trumps value. This one is entitled Adventures in America 1857- 1900; a pictorial record from Harper's Weekly and cannot be found there now, and it is no longer in the catalog. They either threw it away or put it in the pile with the ones for sale. I'll have to check there next visit.

That book had many engravings of the paper's take on contemporary life in the U.S., a number by Winslow Homer and Frederick Church, with commentary by their reporters and famous people. The Civil War is covered, and that is what I had been reading about lately.

In a later section, there is a large engraving of Castle Garden when it was the immigration station - in spite of the great space, you can tell there was a good deal of confusion. Luckily, the city of New York tried to accommodate the large numbers and keep swindlers away from the new arrivals. It had been built as a fort during the War of 1812, and out 100 yards from the shore. Later the area was filled in to make a park, and the fort was converted for entertainment, with circuses and events, including concerts by Jenny Lind.

So, found another book concerned with the year 1876, the centennial of the country and it is amazing just how much happened in just one year. First, the Centennial Celebration in Philadelphia with President Grant and Don Pedro, Emperor of Brazil together started the great Corliss Steam engine. Then Custer's fate at Little Big Horn; there is a connection locally with one of the soldiers, buried in Fort Hill Cemetery. Part of Henry James' novel Democracy, describing the corruption in the government, other commetary by Mark Twain (The Gilded Age) among others. The election of Rutherford B. Hayes over Samuel Tilden, even though the latter had won the popular vote, but then telegrams sent by the Republicans to turn several southern states to Hayes. Then a commission in Congress decided the matter, not without controversy. Even Lew Wallace, a Republican who went to Florida to observe, was shocked at the fraud he saw everywhere. Sounds familiar.

But the most relevant are the stories of the immigrants, describing and illustrating just what it was like on a journey by Giles and his family from England to America. This was from Scribner's Monthly, published anonymously in 1877, titled An Immigrant's Progress, with the same engraving as in Harper's, and also one of a river boat arriving next to the station, and a bird's eye view of the area, Bedloe's Island in the distance. My mother's paternal grandparents and two aunts arrived there, my guess around 1880 - still searching that. We do have passports stamped Ellis Island 1896, when they returned from a visit to Ripabottoni in Compobasso, Molise with her father, who was born in NYC in 1891.

Unfortunately, the prejudice against other passengers is very visible, especially the Italians, who, the others complained, were dirty and had other bad habits. At one point, the Italians were forced onto the deck and washed with hoses. It was much easier for an Englishman to navigate the journey, since there was no language barrier. Also, the crew did not allow the different groups to bed in the same areas, instead putting an Italian next to an English person, and so on. I think there would have been fewer problems if they had not done that.

Other sections cover the poor, and the rich, labor relations, the financial panic of 1873 that continued, then P.T. Barnum, ending with Tom Sawyer.

So, if you are interested in some history, and in particular, an inside look at immigration during that time, try to find this book, or perhaps the engravings and stories on the Internet.


One more beautiful book: Burton Holmes Early Travel Photographs: the greatest traveler of his time - large format, many hand tinted, photographs from late 1800s to 1940s, scenes that no longer exist. My favorites of Japan, China, Thailand, Russia, San Francisco (recognized the sites!), yes of Italy: Rome, Florence, the 1906 eruption of Vesuvius...streets with paths cut through the ash in the area around Naples. Try to find it at your library.

Dave

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DaveFerro
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:05 am    Post subject: Re: Castle Garden in Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Monthly Reply with quote

Wanted to add some things - in the Burton Holmes book there are two photos of Venice opposite each other. On the left from an upstairs window we see a canal with boats tied up, people and children walking on the other side. A campanile is visible in the distance. The closer side has wooden buckets at the edge, and near chairs set on the sidewalk, a rod from the doorway or window holding clothes to dry. They must have washed their clothes in the buckets filled from the canal. Some children are looking up at the photographer.

The right side photo is closer: women are sitting on chairs in front of a doorway. Some children around. The women are looking at some cloth items in their laps. A young girl on the right has a different dress, with beautiful designs. All are barefoot. Grandma is in the doorway, smiling broadly. I think of one of my grandmothers, who was thin like her.

Of the other book, I was thinking of the story in Scribner's Monthly. Why were the Italians leaving from Liverpool? Perhaps there were no ships leaving from southern ports? This could explain why Emmy's ancestors ended up in Scotland.

And so to the part in the book about the conditions in the tenements - even during the mid and late 1800s before the influx of Italians, things were bad - much worse than I thought.

A report said "For the 3 months ending March 31, 1877, in NY 1218 children were born to Irish families. but in the same time there were 1,013 deaths, or 83 percent of the births...As long as 50 percent of the Irish are poorly paid and ill-fed drudges, so long they be intemperate, for intemperance is often an effect of poverty as well as a cause."

In the eleventh ward, a large German population lived, near East Houston (this is near where I stayed), "there are 196,510 [people] to the square mile, so each person has sixteen and one-tenth square yards for his...space for living..."

They estimated there were over 500,000 people living in poverty in the city.

The New York Times reported on December 3, 1876 that "...every summer-children dying every July and August at the rate of 1,000 per week....From the nearly 20,000 tenement houses come 93 percent of the the deaths and 90 percent of the crime of our population."

With these conditions, it is amazing that the city and people survived. From the help of the reformers (Riis, Hine), the well-off finally were alarmed enough to do something, though not ever enough.

And now we still have millions of children going without meals in our country.

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nuccia
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:35 am    Post subject: Re: Castle Garden in Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Monthly Reply with quote

So sad to read this Dave - but so true. In this day and age we would think that no child should need to go hungry and yet they do. Something to really think about, isn't it?

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DaveFerro
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:28 am    Post subject: Re: Castle Garden in Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Monthly Reply with quote

With all the food that is thrown out, there should be some way to get it to the needy instead.

Every time I see farmers dumping milk into the street to protest low prices, I say "Why not donate it to the kids - it would still be off the market, but at least it would not be wasted."

There are a lot of dairy farms around here, and their prices have been low - but it turns out that every time the state raises the price, it doesn't get to the farmers, but is absorbed by the middlemen, the wholesalers, etc. And it turns out that big companies from out of state have been buying up all the local companies, causing a monopoly. They should go back to the dairy cooperatives.

We had one called Dairylea (for Dairymen's League) and they had a place nearby where the local farmers could bring their raw milk to be processed and bottle the milk. The company sponsored the Hopalong Cassidy TV show and he was there with his horse once. I ran over to see, and ran right back. For an eight or so year old, that was the biggest thing I had seen. He looked down at me and I didn't know what else to do.

Though there was a big barn down the street where people had horses and walked them around a track down below. we never got close enough.

One Hine photo from 1911 of the Ayers Mill in Lawrence, Mass. is of a group of 12 boys. Many Italian names in the caption:
Sam Gangi, Sebastino Genovese, Leopoldo Andreodi, Uroli Farealla, Salvatore Finechelli, Joseph D'Angelo, Pasula Dearndo.

Lewis Hine may have made some spelling errors - some names are not familiar. The author of the book wonders what happened to these boys but cannot find out. Perhaps someone from that area on the forum recognizes their family names.

I know you are interesting in the situation in NYC during that time, Nuccia.

Dave

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gillaf1
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:05 am    Post subject: Re: Castle Garden in Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Monthly Reply with quote

I drank Dairylea milk when I visited my grandparents in the 50s + 60s in NYC.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Castle Garden in Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Monthly Reply with quote

Wow, does that bring back memories. I remember Dairylea milk, too. We lived right next to the bronx. I also remember when I got married (1964) that we had our milk delivered (not dairylea, but imperial). I believe we still had milk deliveries when I had my second child and for a few years after (early 70s).
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DaveFerro
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:11 am    Post subject: Re: Castle Garden in Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Monthly Reply with quote

Do either of you remember having Hopalong visit your local plant? I found some articles on Tom Tryniski's Fulton History site (searchable over 10 million local - NY State mostly - newspapers) that listed the cities where William Boyd (Hoppy) and the horse would visit and where only the horse would be. Auburn was on the duo list.

Our DairyLea was on the top of a hill on Clark Street next to a fire house, overlooking the Alco factory (closed now) and all those buildings torn down for an arterial that cuts through the city.

We had small white delivery trucks up to the 60s maybe - Many homes still have the small rectangular door on the side of the house to leave the bottles, another door on the inside. We had ours left outside the door at the first house, as it was made of stone and brick. Wine cellar of course and grapevines out back, old smelly barrels in a lower cobwebbed room under the old barn. My mother remembers when agents came and broke wine barrels during Prohibition, the wine running down the hill.

You can tell where the many corner stores used to be: attached to homes and extended to the sidewalk, large windows and a wider door.

Somehow, Cayuga County is producing more milk with fewer cows.

Another business we had was a Grand Union market. I was surprised to see one in Greenwich Village in the 80s. Thought they were all gone.

Happy New Year....

Dave

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:22 am    Post subject: Re: Castle Garden in Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Monthly Reply with quote

I never went to one of their plants. It was a long time ago and maybe I drank Dairylea milk at my paternal grandparent's place in "da' Bronx" and not at my maternal grandparent's in Jackson Heights!
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DaveFerro
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:53 am    Post subject: Re: Castle Garden in Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Monthly Reply with quote

It's interesting that Dairylea was in one borough and not another - unless your other grandparents just did not prefer Dairylea. I think it was based in Syracuse, with bottling plants scattered around the state, especially where dairy farms abounded.

Nearing the end of the Marina Nemat book - she is describing some of the protests in the 1980s where some of her friends were killed. It brought back memories of the latest protests and the murder of the young woman, all caught on video. So the suppression continues and probably the torture.

One thing, though: years of indoctrination in the schools did not prevent the youth from discovering what was going on in the world and the people still wanted more freedoms.

My heart goes out to all those people who have suffered. We must give them hope and help.

Dave

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:12 am    Post subject: Re: Castle Garden in Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Monthly Reply with quote

During the 1st Big War my mother's family couldn't get cheese from Italy and bought a farm and a creamery in North Blenheim, NY. They later had a creamery that was eventually sold to Tuscon Dairy or Dairies. T

See link for story about gas explosion that took out proerty of some members still owned in the area;

www.dailygazette.com/p...explosion/

After 1929 they went back to NYC and ran a small market in Harlem.
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DaveFerro
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:07 am    Post subject: Re: Castle Garden in Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Monthly Reply with quote

Had to check my maps to find out where North Blenheim is. So many towns in New York, some with amazing names and histories. That was a terrible accident there. Did your family regret selling the creamery? Where was their grocery store? In East Harlem around 116th Street? That is where Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church is.

Found a site with the Scribner's An Immigrant's Progress:

http://www.maggieblanck.com/Scribner1877/S.html

Keep in mind while reading the year and bias at the time against immigrants from 'other' areas. The descriptions of the conditions are what I was interested in.

Dave

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:21 am    Post subject: Re: Castle Garden in Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Monthly Reply with quote

I really don't know if they regretted it. The only reason that they got into the dairy business is that they couldn't get cheese from Italy because of WWI. I remember my mother and grandmother always talking about 110th street. I don't remember them talking about Our Lady of Mount Carmel, but it is a small World as I think that was the name of the church that my father and his family went to on Crotona Ave in da' Bronx. I'll have to read the article when I'm more awake.
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