Henry Savard***

Readers first meet Henry Savard as a young boy, at his home in New Orleans where his father, Dr. , founded a . His mother is Julia Valentine Livingston Savard, originally of a Quaker family in Manhattan. Her first marriage ended when her husband died in a shipwreck; her second marriage to Paul Savard came about when they met at her father’s where he was an attending physician.

African Free School***

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem. Nulla consequat massa quis enim.… Read more.

Rutger’s Female College

Rutgers University — the main campus located in New Jersey — opened a college for women on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in 1867.  The college moved to  a new building at 54-58 West  55th Street in 1882 and closed in 1895.… Read more.


Information provided here comes from medicalantiques.com, Science magazine, and a number of academic studies including

Rothstein, William G. 1972.  American Physicians in the Nineteenth Century. From Sects to Science.  Johns Hopkins University Press.

Training doctors

Before about 1750 most men aspiring to become a doctor generally did so by apprenticing themselves to an already established physician.… Read more.


 Excerpted from Eugenics and Public Health in American History
 Martin S. Pernick, PhD
American Journal of Public Health 
Nov 1997 87:11
… Many eugenicists regarded disease as nature’s way of weeding out the unfit[1. Today, terms such as unfit or defective are pejorative and offensive.
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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.

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.

Read more.

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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Cooper Union

The Cooper Union is a college in Manhattan, established in 1859 for education in engineering, the arts and architecture for any candidate, regardless of race, religion, sex, wealth or social status. Pretty forward thinking for 1859, of course. And even more impressive: from the day it first opened until 2013 everybody admitted got a full scholarship.… Read more.

Vanderbilt Costume Ball

On Monday, March 26, 1883 the Ball of the Decade took place at the home of William K. and Alva Vanderbilt, in celebration of their newly finished mansion at 660 Fifth Avenue (referred to as the ). The announcement of the Vanderbilt ball went out about a week before the beginning of Lent and was then was the only topic of discussion among the city’s elite and wealthy … Invitations (about 1,200 were issued) were in great demand, even by such personages as Mrs.… Read more.