No one today thinks of Brooklyn, New York, as an agricultural center. Yet Kings County enjoyed over two centuries of farming prosperity. Even as late as 1880 it was one of the nation's leading vegetable producers, second only to neighboring Queens County. In Of Cabbages and Kings County, Marc Linder and Lawrence Zacharias reconstruct the history of a lost agricultural community. Their study focuses on rural Kings County, the site of Brooklyn's tremendous expansion during the latter part of the nineteenth century. In particular, they question whether sprawl was a necessary condition of American industrialization: could the agricultural base that preceded and surrounded the city have survived the onrush of residential real estate speculation with a bit of foresight and public policies that the politically outnumbered farmers could not have secured on their own? The first part of the book reviews the county's Dutch American agricultural tradition, in particular its conversion after 1850 from extensive farming (e.g., wheat, corn) to intensive farming of market garden crops. The authors examine the growing competition between local farmers and their southern counterparts for a share of the huge New York City market, comparing farming conditions and factors such as labor and transportation. In the second part of the book, the authors turn their attention to the forces that eventually destroyed Kings County's farming--ranging from the political and ideological pressures to modernize the city's rural surroundings to unplanned, market-driven attempts to facilitate transportation for more affluent city dwellers to recreational outlets on Coney Island and, once transportation was at hand, to replace farms with residential housing for the city's congested population. Drawing on a vast range of archival sources, the authors refocus the history of Brooklyn to uncover what was lost with the expansion of the city. For today, as urban planners, ecologists, and agricultural developers reevaluate urban sprawl and the need for greenbelts or agricultural-urban balance, the lost opportunities of the past loom larger.
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Spanning three centuries of Brooklyn history from the colonial period to the present, A Covenant with Color exposes the intricate relations of dominance and subordination that have long characterized the relative social positions of white and black Brooklynites. Craig Steven Wilder -- examining both quantitative and qualitative evidence and utilizing cutting-edge literature on race theory -- demonstrates how ideas of race were born, how they evolved, and how they were carried forth into contemporary society. In charting the social history of one of the nation's oldest urban locales, Wilder contends that power relations -- in all their complexity -- are the starting point for understanding Brooklyn's turbulent racial dynamics. He spells out the workings of power -- its manipulation of resources, whether in the form of unfree labor, privileges of citizenship, better jobs, housing, government aid, or access to skilled trades. Wilder deploys an extraordinary spectrum of evidence to illustrate the mechanics of power that have kept African American Brooklynites in subordinate positions: from letters and diaries to family papers of Kings County's slaveholders, from tax records to the public archives of the Home Owners Loan Corporation. Wilder illustrates his points through a variety of cases, including banking interests, the rise of Kings County's colonial elite, industrialization and slavery, race-based distribution of federal money in jobs, and mortgage loans during and after the Depression. He delves into the evolution of the Brooklyn ghetto, tracing how housing segregation corralled African Americans in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The book explores colonial enslavement, the rise of Jim Crow, labor discrimination and union exclusion, and educational inequality. Throughout, Wilder uses Brooklyn as a lens through which to view larger issues of race and power on a national level. One of the few recent attempts to provide a comprehensive history of race relations in an American city, A Covenant with Color is a major contribution to urban history and the history of race and class in America.
Genealogists and other historical researchers have valued the first two editions of this work, often referred to as the genealogist's bible."" The new edition continues that tradition. Intended as a handbook and a guide to selecting, locating, and using appropriate primary and secondary resources, The Source also functions as an instructional tool for novice genealogists and a refresher course for experienced researchers. More than 30 experts in this field--genealogists, historians, librarians, and archivists--prepared the 20 signed chapters, which are well written, easy to read, and include many helpful hints for getting the most out of whatever information is acquired. Each chapter ends with an extensive bibliography and is further enriched by tables, black-and-white illustrations, and examples of documents. Eight appendixes include the expected contact information for groups and institutions that persons studying genealogy and history need to find. ""
The author presents the case of surgeon Dr. Mary Dixon-Jones, who in 1889 Boston was the subject in two court cases -- one for manslaughter and the other for libel -- which became a 19th century sensation.