Angels of Mercy: White Women and the History of New York's Colored Orphan Asylum

By Katz, William Loren | Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, January 2013 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Angels of Mercy: White Women and the History of New York's Colored Orphan Asylum


Katz, William Loren, Afro-Americans in New York Life and History


William Seraile, Angels of Mercy: While Women and the History of New York's Colored Orphan Asylum. Fordham University Press, New York, 201 1 , $27.95, 287 pages, illustrated

Not until Professor William Seraile's Angels of Mercy: White Women and the History of the Colored Orphan Asylum has anyone researched and written a complete history of New York City's "Colored Orphan Asylum" on Fifth Avenue from its humble beginning in 1836 to 1946 when it turned to foster care. There are of course some who heard in their history classes how in 1863 during the Civil War its children fled the fire and smoke when rampaging racist mobs invaded and burned their home to the ground. |But this grim part of the Civil War is rarely taught until college courses.|

Seraile who recently retired after 36 years at Lehman College, vividly details that sad and painful day, and goes on to tell about the children who attended, white Quakers who founded and ran it, and how its reach into the present made it a window on and important part of our city.

Angels of Mercy tells a tale of children and adults who had to weather many storms. From the beginning it suffered from underfunding and the casual paternalism of its Quaker women founders and others who were products of the city's traditional white elite families bearing names such as Murray, Astor, Roosevelt, Jay, Mott, Varick, Sutton, and Lenox. In clear, attractive prose he captures how over different decades a multicultural city uneasily grappled with the pressing problems of race, liberty, childhood and humanity. He lays out the courage of the Quaker women who created and maintained an orphanage in a city seething with racial animosity, and explores their sad inability to see their best allies were nearby, not white, and so much wanted to participate.

It was many years before the sponsors were able to acknowledge the need for and fully accept participation from New York's African Americans. But from the outset African American New Yorkers tried to pour in both important goods and services and financial aid.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Angels of Mercy: White Women and the History of New York's Colored Orphan Asylum
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.