The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn: An Untold Story of the American Revolution
By Robert P. Watson
288 pp. Da Capo Press
By Jerry Mikorenda
In New York City, you’re always digging up someone or something that wasn’t supposed to be there. It comes with the territory.
Build a Federal Court complex at Foley Square and discover the African Burial Ground. Start digging for a parking garage at the National 9/11 Memorial site and find a 18th century Hudson River sloop double-parked. This year, a vacant lot slated for a preschool in Gowanus, Brooklyn, is said to be the final resting place of the “Maryland 400”— a battalion of Minutemen who held the line against the British as Washington’s troops barely escaped capture (if the “400” failed, the American rebellion would have ended there).
By Benjamin Feldman
One afternoon this past winter, I and my new friend Bill drove over from his Jersey home to the northeast corner of Inwood, looking for something very special. We parked on 9th Avenue just north of 207th Street, next to the municipal bus garage. To the north, a fence blocked our way to the river bank, where Captain Moffat’s yard once stood. There’s no public access now to the rotting ghost-piles. But Bill and I peered through the chain link at the grimy water and the remnants of a pier under which he swam as a child as he reminisced about the water quality, even worse fifty years ago than today.
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