By Bonnie S. Anderson
By the 1850s, Ernestine Rose (1810-92) was one of the most famous women in the United States, known as an outstanding orator for women’s rights, anti-slavery, and free thought. This achievement is all the more remarkable because she was an immigrant, an atheist, and a Jew, which made her unique in the early women’s movement and extremely unusual among abolitionists. Born the only child of a Polish rabbi, she lost her faith young. Her father tried to get her to marry a religious man of his choosing; instead, she sued for her dowry in a Polish court, won, and then left Poland, her family, and Judaism forever. She lived in Berlin, Paris, and London, where she became a socialist, free-thinking follower of Robert Owen, the industrialist turned radical. This background made her an outlier to most of American society, which always called her a “foreigner.” But she felt at home in New York City, where an Owenite group flourished and an 1836 guidebook proclaimed:
Rose fit right in and made New York the base for her many political activities throughout her time here. She lived in this city for thirty-three years, longer than any other place in her life.
By Jason M. Barr and Gerard Koeppel
The Manhattan street grid plan of 1811 -- both figuratively and literally -- defines the city. It has created its identity while prompting continuing debate about whether it’s the “greatest grid” or “one of the worst city plans.” Despite the endless fascination after 200 years and counting, the grid’s history and its effect on Gotham are still not fully understood. We aim to correct the record. Here, we introduce some key misconceptions and their corrections; in eight monthly installments, we will discuss each one in more detail.
By Stephen Petrus
New York City is again confronting a surge in heroin use and opioid addiction in general. According to the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, fatal drug overdoses increased in New York by 66% from 2010 to 2015. In 2015, 556 New Yorkers unintentionally overdosed on heroin. The Bronx and Staten Island were the hardest hit boroughs. Heroin use, once largely associated with African Americans and Latinos, affects white New Yorkers more than any other group. They had the highest death rate from heroin overdoses in New York in 2015.
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