See the real New York City beyond the usual tourist sites with We Can Tour That

First time visitors to New York City generally head straight for Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. While these are all must see attractions, they are just the tip of the iceberg of all that the city has to offer. To really get to know the city, you need to venture outside the well trafficked tourist districts and head for the neighborhoods where New Yorkers live. In other words, you have to go off the beaten path and explore. Our goal at We Can Tour That is to assist you in seeing all that New… Read More

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George Petrie, YMCA founder in NYC

George Petrie (1828 – 1902), a young New York City businessman, was instrumental in the founding of the YMCA in New York City after being inspired by his visits to the London YMCA while visiting the Great Exhibition of 1850. Petrie brought back literature on the London facilities and organized a committee around the ideas of the London YMCA. With the help of Mercer Street Presbyterian’s Rev. Isaac Ferris, Petrie set up a temporary facility in rooms on the third floor of the old New York City Lyceum at 659 Broadway. Many men new to the city, flocked to the… Read More

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William C. Kingsley, Brooklyn Bridge contractor

William C. Kingsley (1833–1885) was a construction contractor as one of the main figures involved in the creation of the Brooklyn Bridge. Kingsley settled in Brooklyn in 1856 and worked as a contractor for the Brooklyn water works. His construction firm, Kingsley and Keeney, was given large contracts to build Prospect Park and the Hempstead Reservoir. The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the largest and most important projects he worked on. He became the driving force behind the Bridge project, hiring Colonel Julius Walker Adams, a civil engineer who had worked with him on the Brooklyn sewers, to come up with a design and to prepare cost… Read More

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Henry Chadwick, sportswriter, historian

Henry Chadwick (1824 – April 20, 1908) was a sportswriter, baseball statistician and historian, often called the “Father of Baseball” for his early reporting on and contributions to the development of the game. He edited the first baseball guide that was sold to the public. He was born in England and moved to Brooklyn with his family at the age of 12. He began to write music and to teach piano and guitar, somewhat against the education he received in commerce and finance. As an adult he played cricket and rounders for amusement and began writing about the games for local newspapers.  He came across organized baseball… Read More

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Stephen Pearl Andrews, anarchist, linguist, abolitionist

Stephen Pearl Andrews (1812 – May 21, 1886) was an anarchist, linguist, political philosopher, outspoken abolitionist, and author of several books on the labor movement and Individualist anarchism. He grew up in Massachusetts, moved to Louisiana at 19 to practice law, gave lectures on abolition in Texas and received death threats for him and his family because of them. He studied languages, claiming to speak no less than 35 and became an expert in shorthand. By the time he moved to New York City in the 1840s, his focus was on Utopian Societies. He became a devout individualist anarchist, became an Associate Fellow of the American Academy… Read More

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John Brown Russwurm, abolitionist, publisher

John Brown Russwurm (1799–1851) was an abolitionist, newspaper publisher, and colonizer of Liberia where he moved from the United States.  He moved from Maine to New York City, where he was a founder with Samuel Cornish of the abolitionist newspaper, Freedom’s Journal, the first paper owned and operated by African Americans. Mr. Russwurm was born in Jamaica to an English Merchant and an enslaved woman. He was sent to Quebec when he was young for his education. He reunited with his father in 1812 and moved to Maine with his father and stepmother. The stepmother kept him with the family after the death of his father in 1815. He… Read More

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Victoria Woodhull, first female stockbroker

Victoria Woodhull (1838 – 1927), was an American leader of the women’s suffrage movement. In 1872, she ran for President of the United States as the candidate from the Equal Rights Party, supporting women’s suffrage and equal rights; her running mate was black abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass. She was an  activist for women’s rights and labor reforms, Woodhull was also an advocate of “free love”, by which she meant the freedom to marry, divorce and bear children without social restriction or government interference. With her sister, Tennessee Claflin, she was the first woman to operate a brokerage firm on Wall Street making a fortune. The firm ran with the assistance of  Cornelius Vanderbilt, an… Read More

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Reverend Howard Moody, Advocate for many

The Rev. Howard R. Moody (1921 – 2012)  the longtime minister of the historic Judson Memorial Church, hurled himself and his Greenwich Village congregation into roiling social issues. He began preaching at the age of 5 on a milk crate in TX and continued his ministry until his retirement from Judson Church in Greenwich Village in 1992. He moved to NYC in 1957 as a senior pastor at Judson Church. He assisted all types of people with their needs. He helped women get safe abortions before they were legal. He worked with prostitutes, giving them advice, council and cookies. He… Read More

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