New York City's Hart Island: A Cemetery of Strangers

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Just off the coast of the Bronx in Long Island Sound sits Hart Island, where more than one million bodies are buried in unmarked graves. Beginning as a Civil War prison and training site and later a psychiatric hospital, the location became the repository for New York City’s unclaimed dead. The island’s mass graves are a microcosm of New York history, from the 1822 burial crisis to casualties of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire and victims of the AIDS epidemic. Important artists who died in poverty have been discovered, including Disney star Bobby Driscoll and playwright Leo Birinski. Author Michael T. Keene reveals the history of New York’s potter’s field and the stories of some of its lost souls.
ISBN: 9781467144049
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: New York
Series: Landmarks
Images: 56
Pages: 192
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Michael T. Keene is the author of eight books about unusual but true stories. Michael is also the producer of the documentary video Visions: True Stories of Spiritualism, Secret Societies, and Murder, as well as eight audio books. Although employed for more than twenty-five years as a financial advisor, Michael has combined his interest in local history, writing, music and filmmaking to explore unique and fascinating chapters of nineteenth-century New York folklore and stranger-than-life legends. The events that bubbled out of this period included the Anti-Masonic movement, the origins of the modern Spiritualist and paranormal movements and the women’s rights and antislavery movements, as well as the founding of seven new religions and utopian communes. His “Talking Hart Island” podcast delves deeper into the book’s content and can be found at and major podcast platforms.
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