The Gilded Age

 Chaos

In general people speak of The Gilded Age as the period between the Civil War and the turn of the 20th century, an era that was marked by industrial and technological advancement, massive immigration, political, social and economic tumult and a growing gulf between the wealthy and the poor.… Read more.

Charles Loring Brace

Brace was the founder of the Orphan Train movement, which grew out of his many years of working to improve the lives of homeless and destitute children. He plays only an indirect role in The Gilded Hour and Where the Light Enters.Read more.

Malthusianism

A social theory discussed in the novel in connection with the purpose of the [[orphan trains]]. Text from Wikipedia, citations and some links intact.

 

Malthusianism is a school of ideas derived from the political/economic thought of the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus, as laid out in his 1798 writings, An Essay on the Principle of Population, which describes how unchecked population growth is exponential while the growth of the food supply was expected to be arithmetical.… Read more.

Vanderbilt Family Residences

William Henry “Billy” Vanderbilt (1821-1885) was an American businessman, the eldest son and heir of Cornelius Vanderbilt. When W. H.  Vanderbilt died in 1885, his will provided some insight into the confusion of mansions along Fifth Avenue. His  “heirs-at-law and next of kin” were

  • Marie Louise Vanderbilt, the widow, living at
  • No.
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The Foundling

*The Foundling plays a part in The Gilded Hour.

There were dozens of orphanages (orphan  asylums)  in New York in the last quarter of the 19th century, and almost all of them were run by religious groups. The Roman Catholic church was especially vigilant in setting up and administering orphan asylums, but the Protestant churches and the Jewish community also founded orphanages for their own children in need.[1.

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Sisters of Charity of New York

The Sisters of Charity of New York is a religious congregation of women in the Catholic Church whose primary missions are education and nursing and who are dedicated in particular to the service of the poor.

The founder of the order, Elizabeth Ann Seton, was canonized as the first American-born saint. 

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Grand Duke’s Theater

The Grand Duke’s Theater was located at 21 Baxter Street. On this map you’ll find it almost at the bottom, just right of center.

atlas-1885-plate-4-opiumIt  was attached to a stale beer joint, one of most disreputable kind of saloons, where the dregs from beer barrels were sold.… Read more.