Isaac Hopper, abolitionist, prison reformer

Isaac Tatem Hopper (1771 – 1852) was an abolitionist who was active in Philadelphia in the anti-slavery movement and protecting fugitive slaves and free blacks from slave kidnappers. He moved to New York City in 1829 to run a Quaker bookstore. From 1841-1845 he served as treasurer and book agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society. In 1845 he became active in prison reform and devoted the rest of his life to the Prison Association of New York. He influenced his daughter, who started the Women’s Prison Association to work for prison reform as well. His work was known by legislatures in Albany and the governor trusted his opinion on the pardoning… Read More

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Felix Adler, founder NY Society for Ethical Culture

Felix Adler (1851 – 1933) was a professor of political and social ethics, rationalist, influential lecturer on euthanasia, religious leader and social reformer who founded the Ethical Culture movement. Born in Germany, his family immigrated to the United States when he was 6 years old. He studied at Columbia University and continued his education at Heidelberg University in Germany. There he was strongly influenced by neo-Kantianism, especially the notions that one cannot prove or disprove the existence of a deity or immortality, and that morality can be established independently of theology. After realizing being a rabbi was not for him, he entered academia, teaching at Cornell University. In 1876 , he gave a lecture on doing away… Read More

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Isaac Leopold Rice, founder Forum Publishing and Battery Company

Isaac Leopold Rice (1850 – 1915) was a  businessman, investor, musicologist, author, and noted chess patron. He was born in Bavaria and emigrated to the United States with his mother in 1856. They initially lived in Philadelphia where he attended school, but upon graduation he went to Paris to study music for 3 years. He returned and worked at a newspaper then moved to England  in 1868 to be a music and language teacher. A year later he moved to New York City and practiced music before going back to school to become a lawyer. After graduating from Columbia College of Law in 1880 he practiced law for… Read More

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St. Clair Pollock, the amiable child memorial

St. Clair Pollock was a young boy living in the wild areas of Manhattan back in the late 1700s. He is the person buried at the Amiable Child Monument.  The monument is located in New York City’s Riverside Park. It stands west of the southbound lanes of Riverside Drive north of 122nd Street across from Grant’s Tomb. One side of the monument reads: “Erected to the Memory of an Amiable Child, St. Claire Pollock, Died 15 July 1797 in the Fifth Year of His Age.” The monument is a granite urn on a  pedestal inside a wrought iron fence. The monument, originally erected by George Pollock, who… Read More

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Augustus Ludlow, War of 1812

Augustus C. Ludlow (1 January 1792 – 13 June 1813) was an officer in the United States Navy during the War of 1812. He was born in Newburgh, New York and was appointed midshipman when he was 12. He received a commission to be a lieutenant at age 18. Ludlow was second in command to Captain James Lawrence on the USS Chesapeake during the ship’s engagement with HMS Shannon on June 1, 1813. It was to Ludlow that Lawrence said “Don’t give up the ship.” Both Ludlow and Lawrence were mortally wounded in that battle, and Ludlow died in Halifax, Nova Scotia on June 13, 1813. Lieutenant Ludlow was buried together with Captain James Lawrence and Lawrence’s widow, in the… Read More

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Harmon Hendricks, copper merchant

Harmon Hendricks (1846–1928) was a prominent member of the Sephardic Jewish community in New York and a pioneer in the American copper industry. He served as  the president of the Hendricks Brothers copper trading company. He was vice chairman of the board of trustees for the Museum of the American Indian. Mr. Hendricks and his brother-in-law Simon Isaacs, were the NYC representatives of Paul Revere’s copper and metal company in Boston. Around 1812, Isaac & Hendricks set up their own copper rolling factory in Bellville, NJ, where they supplied copper boilers for a number of ships and for the Savannah, the first steamship ever to cross the… Read More

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Thomas Healy, nightclub proprietor

Thomas Healy owned Healy’s near current Columbus Circle in the early 1900s. Healy’s was one of the busiest clubs in the area with a spacious dining and dance floor. It featured an indoor ice-skating rink and enormous ballroom and more. It was one of New York’s most trendy dining palaces in 1913. At 1 a.m. on August 13, 1913,  the police burst into Healy’s and violently threw out all the patrons. The problem began days earlier when Mayor Gaynor initiated the Cafe Curfew for the wild lobster palaces and nightclubs that he felt were turning Midtown into an all-night party.  Establishments holding proper liquor licenses… Read More

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