Series: Historic Mysteries in New York City

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Taught by Ben Feldman

Benjamin Feldman has lived and worked in New York City for the past forty-four years. His essays and book reviews about New York City and American history and about Yiddish culture have appeared on-line and in print in CUNY’s Gotham History BlotterThe New Partisan ReviewDucts literary magazine, and in his blog, The New York Wanderer, which appears at Ben’s first book, Butchery on Bond Street – Sexual Politics and the Burdell-Cunningham Case in Ante-bellum New York, appeared in May, 2007, about an infamous unsolved murder case from the 19th century, which, in the words of The New Yorker, is told by the author "like a gaslight-era episode of "Law & Order."

His second book, Call Me Daddy - Babes and Bathos in Edward West Browning’s Jazz-Age New York, appeared in June, 2009. The retelling of a notorious tabloid scandal "captures in delicious fashion the philandering real estate magnate in all his buffoonery" according to Sam Roberts in The New York Times.
Feldman’s ongoing projects involve a biographical work about Henry Knight Dyer, the first non-family member to be president of the Dennison Manufacturing Company, a biography in the works about William Niblo, the pre-eminent theater promoter of mid-19th century New York, and an investigation into the life of an early 20th century New York City Jewish saloon-keeper named Sol Goldberg, whose efforts to forestall economic ruin at the advent of Prohibition ended up as a Broadway show.

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We're hosting more lectures at the Brooklyn Historical Society. You can take one or all three for maximum geekery, but you have to head over to their site to register. Just click the headings, we promise it's easy. 

Sauce for the Goose

Wednesday, August 3, 7pm, $10/$8 BHS Members, includes a beer!

James Gordon Bennett's New York Herald was but a few weeks old when a strange breach of promise case burst onto its front pages in mid-1835.  Join historian Benjamin Feldman as he tells of the crowds gathered at the City Hall courthouse to witness the trial of George Barnard vs. Mary Power. The impoverished Hudson, NY painter of architectural interiors sued a wealthy steamboat captain's daughter for having jilted him for a wealthier man. Based upon several year's worth of correspondence, Barnard's unusual claim was heard in a sweltering summer, while Editor Bennett excoriated the young fellow for ungentlemanly conduct, and opened the gates of popular support for a sea-change in sexual mores.

Butchery on Bond Street

Wednesday, August 10, 7pm, $10/$8 BHS Members, includes a beer!

Join Ben Feldman as he recounts the gruesome 1857 death of Dr. Harvey Burdell in his dental operatory on Manhattan's Bond Street in this OJ Simpson case of mid-nineteenth century New York. With gender roles reversed, the Burdell scandal absolutely dominated newspapers in New York for most of the year, as the arrest of his ex-lover, Vinegar Hill born and bred Emma Hempstead Cunningham and her indictment and trial for his murder fascinated the town. Emma's rags-to-almost-riches tale and her sorry end with a widow's mite will sicken and enthrall you.  Doctor Burdell so richly deserved to die...



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