Son John, who’d run away from the family home at 14 Hamilton, is picked up for vagrancy and sent to House of Refuge reformatoryParents surrender sons William, Henry, Robert, Francis, Joseph and Seth to The Nursery almshouse school on Randall’s Island, keeping baby Mary Selina at home Item in New York Times: Yesterday afternoon a laboring man named Michael Sullivan, who was looking for employment on the corner of Broadway and Liberty Street, was overpowered by the sun and melting 96-degree heat and fell among a pile of bricks. Policeman Logan, of the Second Ward, conveyed the sufferer to the City Hospital, where everything was done to save his life, but he expired in the course of half an hour. From a long page 1 story in New York Times: HOUSE OF REFUGE AT RANDALL’S ISLAND LAYING OF CORNER-STONE
c>The Society for Reformation of Juvenile Delinquency laid the corner-stone of their new House of Refuge on Randall’s Island yesterday … The boys from Randall’s Island School [The Nursery], 400 in number, marched down, to the music of fife and drum, and took up a position on the platform. [Note: All six of the younger Wortman boys undoubtedly were among the marchers. Older brother John Henry was at this date at the existing House of Refuge in Manhattan, at the foot of 23rd Street on the East River.]Son John released from House of Refuge indentured to John Ely, a farmer in Harlingen,
1854 Historical NoteHealth officials report that 650 people died of cholera in Brooklyn during month of July
Item (paraphrased) in New York Times “City News” column: The boys, some 150-strong, making up the Class of Honor at the House of Refuge on Randall’s Island were allowed the liberty of the island yesterday and took advantage of the free time to visit their young “country cousins” at The Nursery just up the road. After exchanging some whoops and hollers and a few speeches, The Nursery boys escorted their guests back home.
Five Points Erupts
In early 1857 state legislators, with disastrous results, enact two laws aimed at restoring law and order in New York City. The first disbanded the corrupt NYPD and replaced it with a new unit, the Metropolitan Police, under direct control of the State Assembly. Even more upsetting to the working poor was a second law that reduced the number of licensed saloons, limited the amount a person could drink, and closed all saloons on Sundays. When police try to enforce the new liquor law on the 4th of July, Five Points erupts in riots that leave 12 dead and scores injured. From a longer story in New York Times: When the order was promulgated [to halt Sunday liquor sales] the patrolmen proceeded to the various saloons and requested that they might be closed. The order was very generally and promptly complied with. When the police went to the Volks Garden, in The Bowery, they found about 4,000 persons present, of both sexes. “I am willing to shut up the place,” said proprietor Charles Eustachi, “but how can I get these people out? If you can get them to leave you may.” After thinking things over, it was the police who left. New York City branch of Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company goes bankrupt, precipitating the nationwide Panic of 1857, which will see 4,932 firms fail, leaving millions jobless and homeless from coast to coast.
15,000 unemployed men gather at Tompkins Square, in Midtown Manhattan, and march downtown to Wall Street in protest of their plight
FIGHT IN A FIVE POINT GROGGERY. – At a late hour on Tuesday evening a fight occurred in the low groggery of Murty Sullivan, corner of Mott street and Mission place, during which John Conner, a laboring man, was nearly killed by being beaten on the head with bottles. Sullivan and Jerry Shay, his bartender, were arrested and committed to answer the assault. The injured man was taken to City Hospital.
September – Son William, dies at age 17 or 18, presumably on Randall’s Island and reputedly from infected snake or insect bite; he probably was buried there if that’s where he died
CHILDREN EMIGRATING WEST – Yesterday another large party of children left this City, in care of Mr. C.C. Tracy, Agent for the Children’s Aid Society, to settle in Western homes. A gentleman who was accidentally present informed us that some touching incidents occurred. It is only to be expected that when parents part with children such should be the case, but it is infinitely better to part thus, than “lose traces” of a daughter (as so many parents do to their sorrow) or to part with a son at the prison door.
New York Children’s Aid Society issues an 1858 Christmas message saying that since its inception five years ago the organization has provided homes for 3,576 boys and girls
Son John completes indenture, but keeps working at John Ely farm in central New Jersey. The Nursery transfers Frank and Seth Wortman to Children’s Aid Society-- Orphan Train with 27 children, including the Wortman boys, heads for Indiana
Item in New York Times:
A COLONY OF CHILDREN FOR THE WEST – A very interesting party of about 30 children left the office of the Children’s Aid Society yesterday afternoon, under charge of Mr. H. [for Henry] Friedgen, one of the visitors of that Society, who will place them in good homes in the West. – Item in New York Times:
EXTREME DESTITUTION. – About 9 o’clock on Wednesday evening, Capt. Coulter, of the 22nd Ward Police, was informed that a family living on 44th Street near 10th Avenue were almost dead from want of food. He at once called at the place designated and found a woman named Elizabeth Dopp, with her four children, in a most pitiable condition. The little ones had no other garments than their shirts, and not a particle of bedding was to be found on the premises. All of them presented an appearance of extreme squalor, filth and misery. Justice Kelly sent the woman to the Almshouse and the children to the Home of the Friendless.7 Aug – Orphan train arrives in Noblesville, IN. Children’s Aid Society journal entries show Francis (Frank) and Seth Wortman both placed initially on Daniel Purcell farm in Washington Twp., Marion County. Within a few months Seth is reassigned to farm of Ebenezer Applegate, about eight miles to the north, in Delaware Twp., Hamilton County.
6 April – Son John buys a general store and nearby 27.5 -acre tract in Newfoundland, Wayne County, PA, for $2,000
7 April – From a long article in The New York Times on the Children’s Aid Society:
Draft Riot of 1863---
On Sunday, 12 June,
New York explodes in one of the worst riots in U.S. history. In protest of the
Civil War draft, an estimated 50,000 people take to the streets, terrorizing
East Side neighborhoods for three days, looting scores of stores, and lynching
and beating large numbers of blacks. A black church and orphanage are burned to
the ground. It is estimated that more than 1,000 died and $1,500,000 in damage
was incurred before troops from the federal Army of the Potomac, under orders
from President Lincoln, restore peace. Son Henry mustered out at Philadelphia– Son Robert enlists in Co. C, 102nd New York Home Guard
Infantry, and 100 days later, at end of his commitment, is mustered out at
Elmira, NY– Son Henry re-enlists in Co. L, 1st NY Engineering Regiment
Draft Riot of 1863--- On Sunday, 12 June, New York explodes in one of the worst riots in U.S. history. In protest of the Civil War draft, an estimated 50,000 people take to the streets, terrorizing East Side neighborhoods for three days, looting scores of stores, and lynching and beating large numbers of blacks. A black church and orphanage are burned to the ground. It is estimated that more than 1,000 died and $1,500,000 in damage was incurred before troops from the federal Army of the Potomac, under orders from President Lincoln, restore peace. Son Henry mustered out at Philadelphia– Son Robert enlists in Co. C, 102nd New York Home Guard Infantry, and 100 days later, at end of his commitment, is mustered out at Elmira, NY– Son Henry re-enlists in Co. L, 1st NY Engineering Regiment in NYC– Son John mustered out at Charleston, SC, and son Henry mustered out at Richmond, VA, after brief stint with engineering regiment