Falling Down The Rabbit Hole

The blog on 18th century New York & other historical facts that distract me.

Writing the 18th Century

If the smell of fresh pencils makes your heart quiver, that’s one more thing you have in common with Jane Austen…Maybe. I actually have no idea. But it could be true.

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Slips on the East River

During the early days of New Amsterdam, when a ship arrived, it anchored off the East River. Small boats which could handle the shallow river’s muddy edge conveyed the cargo and passengers to shore.

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Colonial Theatres

As soon as professional actors came to the colonies, the first playhouses were built. Which NYC theatre did George Washington visit? Hint: It wasn’t on Broadway.

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Tea Water Pumps

Manhattan’s drinking water has always been famous. However, in the 18th century, you were lucky if it made decent tea.

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Underground Waterways: NYC

The ultimate rabbit hole brings Hallie beneath Manhattan to study the underground waterways and the possibility of fishing in basements!

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Bowry Lane

Before Chinatown and Five Points, before the street became known as “The Bowery,” it was Bowery Lane, a prior footpath shaped by the Lenape.

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Purim in the Dutch Colonies

In 18th century Suriname and Curacao, Jews, along with Christian and Afro-Caribbean communities, both free and enslaved, celebrated Purim together for a week of debauchery, Carnival style.

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Jewish Women in Colonial America

Colonial American Jewish women shared many commonalities with their Christian neighbors, but certain important features of Jewish law and culture set them apart.

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Magic Lanterns & Peep Shows

Tracing the origins of optical entertainment through the 18th century. Those crazy kids loved to scare each other with phantasmagoria illusions and devilry.

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