Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lost Village Of Central Park

video
A real smorgasbord of a post here. The pictures are a combination of the current Seneca Site
located between 82nd and 89th Streets and Seventh and Eighth Avenues (closest cross street now being Central Park West) and images from an historical fiction story about the village called, "The Lost Village Of Central Park." The current images show scientists and their students doing a Geoarchaeological study

One of the main questions we have asked about Seneca Village is whether or not archaeological traces of it survived the creation of the romantic landscape of Central Park and still exist in the park today. As archaeologists we know that we could find out a lot about the lifeways of the people who lived in Seneca Village by studying the artifacts they left behind. But the workers who made the park in the 1850s and 1860s moved a lot of dirt. In some cases they made the ground higher by bringing in landfill; in others they made the ground lower by grading soil away; and in others still they left the soil relatively intact. If they graded soil away, they destroyed any archaeological site that might have been there. But if they brought in landfill and deposited it on top of the natural soil, or if they left the natural soil undisturbed, then the Seneca Village archaeological site could still exist. So we needed to find out about the soils in the village area to find out if the site was still there.

The music is Steal Away from the Fisk Jubilee Singers
CHORUS:
Steal away, steal away, steal away to Jesus!
Steal away, steal away home, I hain’t got long to stay here.
My Lord calls me, he calls me by the thunder;
The trumpet sounds it in my soul,
I hain’t got long to stay here.
CHORUS
Green trees are bending, poor sinners stand trembling;
The trumpet sounds it in my soul,
I hain’t got long to stay here.
CHORUS
My Lord calls me, he calls me by the lightning;
The trumpet sounds it in my soul,
I hain’t got long to stay here.
CHORUS
Tombstones are bursting, poor sinners stand trembling;
The trumpet sounds it in my soul.
I hain’t got long to stay here

About the book from an amazon reviewer
Grade 3-5-A gripping story with historical background seamlessly integrated throughout. The title refers to Seneca Village, the African-American and immigrant settlement that once existed in what is now New York City's Central Park. Unique in its place in American history, this racially mixed community was characterized by harmony from its beginnings in the 19th century. Sooncy Taylor is an African-American girl who lives with her parents on land they own in Seneca Village. Her family befriends recent Irish immigrants, the McBeans, who have a daughter, Kayla, about her age. Sooncy attends Colored School #3 while Kayla is a servant in a neighboring wealthy community and can only attend church school on Sundays. Returning home one evening after running errands together, the girls encounter two slave catchers who are pursuing escaped slaves that they believe are hidden in the village. Kayla comes to realize that the residents shelter fugitives and that she wants to help, while Sooncy becomes aware that she is vulnerable to slave catchers even though she has always been free. In the end, the villagers band together to run the slave catchers out of town and successfully pass the fugitives on to the next station. Killcoyne creates a dynamic world in which readers can experience the characters' growth as their interests expand beyond their immediate environment. Unfortunately, the illustrations detract from the overall attractiveness of the novel; they are awkwardly conceived and confusing.

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