A Smuggler's Ghost and Tunnels in Astoria, NY (Haunted Astoria)

A Smuggler's Ghost and Tunnels in Astoria, NY (Haunted Astoria)

A smuggler’s ghost in Astoria, NY, stories about tunnels in Astoria, NY, as well as more of the neighborhood’s grim history.

Note: There’s mention of chattel slavery around the 15 min mark, and more details after the 18 minute mark.

Highlights include:
• A haunted cave that’s disappeared
• Horrific deeds done by a famous Astorian
• Some awful deaths in a tunnel under the river
• A manmade island
• The spooky Hell Gate

Episode Script for A Smuggler’s Ghost and Tunnels in Astoria, NY

DISCLAIMER: I’m providing this version of the script for accessibility purposes. It hasn’t been proofread, so please excuse typos. There are also some things that may differ between the final episode and this draft script. Please treat the episode audio as the final product. 

Smugglers at Halletts Cove:

  • Hallets Cove is right next to the Socrates Sculpture Park, which I talked about n a hidden cemetery episode. It’s the park that has a wall made of tombstones.
  • I found some interesting stuff in the book History of Long Island City, New York. by J. S Kelsey, which was published in 1896 about a possible smuggler’s cave and who supposedly haunts Hallet’s Point. For reference, Hallet’s Point today hosts the Astoria Houses, a NYCHA building.
  • This is from the book Old roads from the heart of New York : journeys today by ways of yesterday, within thirty miles around the Battery by Sarah Comstock, and it’s talking about Jones Wood at first, which is now part of the Upper East Side of Manhattan, across the river from Astoria:
    • “Two remarkable cousins, Samuel and David Provoost, have passed into history. The former was the first bishop of New York, and the president of Columbia College. But David was famed in a widely different way. He was one of the most dare-devil smugglers known, and a rocky hole once existing on the shore of this wood was known as “The Smuggler’s Cave.” Here, and in another cave across the river at Hallett’s Point, he hid his treasure, and the boys of the early eighteen-hundreds used to shiver and tell delicious, creepy stories of the old rascal whose ghost haunted these two black caverns. Not until he was ninety years old did David yield up his law-defying, rollicking, money-scattering career.
  • I’m having trouble confirming whether there was any kind of smuggler’s tunnel or cave there for real, and haven’t found other mentions of ghost stories in that area. Though I know that when the Hallets Point reef was blown up in 1869, tunnels were dug there, radiating underneath the reef and the river, and then blown up. This was to make the area more navigable for ships, since as I’ve talked about before, the Hell Gate was extremely treacherous.
    •  I don’t know of anyone who died during that excavation, but I do think it counts as trauma to the surrounding area which is something I look at when it comes to hauntings and the paranormal:
      • History of Queens County, New York, with illustrations, portraits, & sketches of prominent families and individuals (1882):
      • https://archive.org/details/historyofqueensc00newy/page/274/mode/2up?q=belmont+tunnel
      • Hallett’s Point Reef was a particularly dangerous obstruction in the east channel, as it did not leave sufficient seaway for vessels floating down with the ebb and steer- ing clear of Flood Rock. It also created dangerous eddies at either tide. The reef was of semi-circular form, 720 feet across and extending 300 feet into the channel. Since surface blasting had proved of so little avail it was determined to sink a shaft down into the rock and cut diverging lateral tunnels that should pene- trate the rock in all directions, something like the work- ings in a coal mine. The walls of the tunnels were then to be charged with explosives, these to be connected with an electric battery, the water admitted, and the charges fired.
  • I have been able to find more information about David Provoost, however.
    • “Merchant and smuggler David ‘Money Ready’ Provoost (1691–1781). The 90 acre site, Louvre Farm, on the eastern side of Manhattan, was owned by the Provoost family and had a cave where David hid his money.[18][19][20] It was later said that David’s ghost haunted the woods.”
  • I fond a bit more in a book called A Loiterer In New York by Helen Weston Henderson, 1917:
    • “The bishop had a cousin, David Provoost, a Revolutionary solider with a rare talent for smuggling which won him the nickname of “Ready Money Provoost.” He used to hide his booty in “Smugglers’ Cave” on the shore of the bishop’s farm, or in a cave at Hallett’s Point, Astoria.”
  • Apparently the Provoots had a cemetery in Jones’ Wood, and  The book Old New York, from the Battery to Bloomingdale. by Eliza Greatorex (1875?), which is sort of a nostalgic look at disappearing landmarks in NYC, has a description of the area. It sounds like the Riker and Lawerence families had properties there in Manhattan, in addition to their Queens homesteads, which makes sense. But then it mentions the smuggler as well:

“The what walks and nutting expeditions the children remember into Jones’ Woods, whose long avenue opened to the south, and where they could visit the old tomb of the smuggler in the rocky and shady ground near the wood! But the city has destroyed the beauty of all that region; the Riker HOuse and Lawrence homestead and the lively Arch Brook are hardly to be discerened, and have all long ago passed from the possession of the families who made them such charming homes for long happy years.”

  • Then the book describes the life of David Provost, and closes with his death and what happened to his supposed tomb:

“He died in 1781, at the age of ninety years, and his name was inscribed on the tomb where Johannah, his most loving wife, had long reposed. Three-quarters of a century after his death, the tomb was opened and in it were found three or four coffins. The lid of one of these measured over seven feet, and a few vertebrae, of a size which would correspond to a frame of such magnitude, were near. A woman’s skeleton and a child’s were also discovered. Since then the tomb, or rather the place of the tomb, has been left open, empty and ruinous; but when we last saw it (October, 1875) the hill remained, and the doorway and enough of the original structure to identify it.”

  • Belmont tunnel (steinway, worker deaths, etc): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_Thant_Island
  • https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/u-thant-island
    • Basically, in the 1890s, William Steinway, of Steinway piano fame, whose company town was located in Astoria, wanted to build a tunnel under the east river for trolleys (the 7 train uses the tunnel now.)
    • According to an article called “Four Lose Their Lives in Tunnel Disaster” in the Los Angeles Herald, Volume 33, Number 108, 17 January 1906, there were some deaths during the construction of a tunnel under the East River.
      •  Two workers died of suffocation and caisson disease, or the bends, two drowned, and two were badly injured.
      • It sounds like all four of those workers were Black. A white foreman and assistant were also injured.
      • The accident was caused by a compressed air pipe which burst in the tunnel under the east River, beneath Man O’War Reef, which was even with 42nd Street in Manhattan. At the time that the article was written, the day after the accident, the two drowned men were still stuck underwater in the tunnel.
    • The landfill from the tunnel’s construction became a tiny island in the East River called U Thant Island, which at 100×200 feet is the smallest island in Manhattan. It has a cool little metal structure on it, and it’s closed to the public and acts as a bird sanctuary. A colony of cormorants lives there.
  • About a month ago, I was at Astoria Park, and I overheard a group of men in their 50s talking about how supposedly we were right near an area with tunnels that had been used by famous Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman. I haven’t been able to confirm that, but my ears perked up because we were less than a 10 minute walk away from Halletts Cove, where I had heard about smugglers tunnels.
    • Henry Louis Gates, Jr., wrote an article that was posted on PBS and The Root debunking some myths about the Underground Railroad, and he said that there weren’t as many tunnels used as people seem to think there were:
      • “Those tunnels or secret rooms in attics, garrets, cellars or basements? Not many, I’m afraid. Most fugitive slaves spirited themselves out of towns under the cover of darkness, not through tunnels, the construction of which would have been huge undertakings and quite costly. And few homes in the North had secret passageways or hidden rooms in which slaves could be concealed.”
    • However, that being said, if there was an existing smuggler’s tunnel, it makes me wonder if it may have been used? They also could have existed but then been blown up when the Army Corps of Engineers tunneled under the East River and detonated bombs to clear out the most tretcherous parts of the Hell Gate.
      • Though sidenote, I will say that the Hell Gate is still awfully weird. The other night, my friend and I went to Astoria Park and hung out watching the Hell Gate for a while. We saw tons of whirlpools, some small, some at least several feet wide.
  • But to get back to smugglers tunnels, as I was working on this, I remembered that I read an article about the Riker-Lent-Smith homestead, which mentioned possible smugglers tunnels there.
    • After some digging through my extremely disorganized mess of sources that I used for my episode on the cemetery at the old Riker homestead, I found what I was looking for: A March 17, 1968 article in the Long Island Press called “This House May Be Haunted.” So to read from that article:
      • “There are chains in the basement that supposedly were used to imprison slaves,” said Mrs. Rica Smith with a shudder. And there’s also a rmor that a hidden passage, once used for smuggling, runs from the ancient basement to the bay.”
    • I remember at the time that I did that episode, a few months ago, I was wondering why there were a few offhanded mentions of slavery, but not details about it. To be honest, I’d read this article near the end of preparing my notes for the Riker-Lent-Smith Cemetery episode, and hadn’t had time to follow up. But last week I started to remedy that, and today I want to continue.
    • While I haven’t been able to find more information about the smuggler’s tunnels, I have found some really dark stuff about the Riker family.
  • So content warning on this, I’ll be talking about some disturbing stuff RE: chattel slavery, including stories about free black people in NYC being kidnapped and forced into slavery.
  • I was doing some more reading on John Jay College’s website about slavery in NYC, and learned something that I had no idea about regarding one of the Rikers of Newtown, Queens.
    • I wonder if this is something that people raised in New York, who I assume learn New York history in school, learned about? I can’t say since I grew up in Texas and had two years of Texas history.
    • But I was reading about the timeline of when chattel slavery ended in New York, and there was a 1799 Gradual Emancipation Law, which basically meant that current enslaved people had to remain enslaved, but the children of enslaved mothers born after the law was passed would be freed. Then in 1817, there was another emancipation law that applied to people who were still enslaved, which took effect in 1827, though apparently as late as 1830, there were still 75 enslaved people recorded in the census.
    • So while slavery in NY supposedly ended in 1827, there were still loopholes.
      • First, even after 1827, if an enslaver was visiting NY for nine months or fewer, they could bring enslaved people into NY and that was legally fine.
      • Second, slave ships were allowed to anchor and restock in NY, as long as they weren’t planning to sell any enslaved people within NY. There was even a court case in 1838 about it, which confirmed that a ship was allowed to do this in NY Harbor.
      • Third, if you’re American, I’m sure you’re somewhat familiar with the fugitive slave laws, which were really screwed up. And basically what could happen was agents representing southern slave-owning plantation owners could come to states like NY, where slavery wasn’t legal, and, to read directly from the website kidnap “black persons resembling fugitives.” While I obviously think it’s screwed up that enslaved people couldn’t come to states where slavery was illegal for safe asylum, but also, enslavers from the south could come up to the north and just kidnap random Black people, claim that they resembled a fugitive enslaved person and then bring them down south and enslave them. If they didn’t want to just spirit them away, though, they could also bring their victims to the Court of Special Sessions, which, to read again from the website, was “presided over by former slave holder Richard Riker and his associates known as the ‘Kidnapping Club.'”
        • So of course I read that and was like, yep, there’s no way that’s not one of the Newtown Rikers, and I went to wikipedia and of course saw that that was correct. He was the son of Samuel Riker, a congressman, and Anna Lawrence Riker, of the Lawrence family.
        • Richard Riker was a lawyer who had attended the College of New Jersey, now known as Princeton University, then was a NY assemblymember and district attorney. Also, and I’m reading from Wikipedia now:
          • “He served three non-consecutive terms as the Recorder of New York City between 1815 and 1838. In this position, Riker abused the Fugitive Slave Act to send free blacks to the South to be sold into slavery. By the 1830s, abolitionists considered Riker a member of the “Kidnapping Club”,[3] along with Daniel D. Nash and Tobias Boudinot, who “boasted that he could ‘arrest and send any black to the South.'””
        • I found a really good, but extremely upsetting, article in the Smithsonian Magazine, called “The So-Called ‘Kidnapping Club’ Featured Cops Selling Free Black New Yorkers Into Slavery” about the kidnapping club, that I wanted to read from:
          • “The Constitution’s Fugitive Slave Clause required northern free cities like New York to return the self-emancipated to their southern enslavers, and the NYPD and officers like Rynders were only too willing to comply, conveniently folding their hatred of black people into their reverence for the nation’s founding document. Armed with the founders’ compromise over slavery, Rynders and his fellow officers, men like Tobias Boudinot and Daniel D. Nash, terrorized New York’s black community from the 1830s up through the Civil War.
          • And, even worse, it often mattered little whether a black person was born free in New York or had in fact escaped bondage; the police, reinforced by judges like the notorious city recorder Richard Riker, sent the accused to southern plantations with little concern and often even less evidence.
          • Thanks to Rynders, Boudinot, and Nash, the New York police department had become an extension of the powerful reach of southern slavery, and each month—and often each week in the summer months—brought news of another kidnapping or capture of a supposed runaway. Black New Yorker John Thomas, for example, was claimed by an enslaver from Louisville, Kentucky. Thomas purportedly fled slavery along the Ohio River, then travelled through Canada, and ultimately found a job as a porter in a Manhattan hotel. In late 1860, Thomas was arrested as a fugitive by the Manhattan police. While in prison, Thomas hastily drafted a note, dropped it out his cell window, and asked a passing boy to give the note to his employer, who submitted a writ of habeas corpus.
          • Unfortunately, the marshal on duty was none other than Rynders, who produced a different black man in response to the writ, and the judge declared the writ satisfied. In the meantime, Thomas’ employer and friends learned, too late, that one of Rynders’ deputies had taken the real John Thomas to Richmond, where he would be transported to Kentucky, lost in the darkness of American slavery, like untold numbers of other kidnapping victims.”
  • The article also talks about about what happened after the Civil War:
    • “Boudinot became a captain in one of the city’s main wards and Rynders became a Democratic elder statesman during and after the war. In fact, New York City, always ready to defend the cotton trade with the South, voted against Lincoln in 1860 and harbored racial conservatives like Wood during the war and after. Embodied by newspapers like The New York Weekly Caucasian, one of the nation’s most prominent promulgators of white supremacist ideology, the city remained an unfriendly place for African Americans.”
  • There’s a book that came out last year called The Kidnapping Club: Wall Street, Slavery, and Resistance on the Eve of the Civil War by Jonathan Daniel Wells, which I’m reading right now. But I wanted to read an excerpt of it that was published on crimereads.com, which relates to Riker, and some of the people he harmed, or tried to harm.
    • On a Saturday in March 1834, seven-year-old Henry Scott sat at his desk in the African Free School on Duane Street in Manhattan, practicing his letters as his teacher Mrs. Miller watched. African Free School Number 5 had just opened in 1832 under the direction of African American teacher Jane Parker, and like the other Black schools Number 5 had been absorbed into the public school system. Abruptly the classroom door opened and in walked two men Henry had never seen before. One was a well-dressed southerner, the other a New York sheriff, and they had come for Henry.
    • Richmond industrialist Richard Haxall had built a fortune in the 1820s and 1830s by serving as the president of railroads and other businesses, including running his family-owned flour and milling operation, and like other southern businessmen he traveled frequently to New York. Haxall’s daughter would marry the youngest son of Robert E. Lee, connecting one of the region’s most prominent merchant families to one of its leading military families. But the blood and business ties between Wall Street and slavery were too intertwined to untangle. In fact, Haxall’s brother made the city his home, and on this March morning he had come to the school for Black children on family business: he claimed that Henry was Haxall family property, and he intended to take Henry back to slavery.
    • Announcing to the teacher and school superintendent that Haxall and the New York sheriff would be arresting Henry as a runaway, the school immediately erupted in chaos. Henry screamed and cried, while his young classmates shouted, “Kidnappers!” and “Let him alone!” and tripped over each other to run out of the school. Some children ran to their parents, while others chased Haxall and his police escort as they left the school with Henry. Pandemonium and disbelief at the brazen arrest of a schoolchild created enough chaos that Haxall could make off with his prey.
    • The Black and white abolitionist community in New York sounded the alarm bells and mobilized for the legal battle that everyone knew would now ensue. Haxall and the sheriff dragged Henry before New York City recorder Richard Riker, who sat on the bench in City Hall just blocks from the Duane Street school where Henry had been studying. Black activists like David Ruggles came into all-too-frequent contact with Riker because, as the city recorder, Riker also served as the main judge in the Court of Common Pleas.
    • Just blocks removed from Ruggles’s home on Lispenard Street in the middle of Lower Manhattan, but a world away in terms of wealth and privilege, Riker presided over criminal cases in a stately judicial building. The son of a US congressman and the descendant of a prominent Dutch family, Riker had been a district attorney, a second in a number of duels, a member of the New York State Assembly, and a prominent Democratic lawyer in a long and distinguished career. Bald except for a fringe of hair around his ears, with a pointed nose and small chin, “Dickey” Riker as he was known looked more like a clerk or bookkeeper than a distinguished politician. In his early days, he had fought a duel on the shores of Weehawken, just months before Alexander Hamilton would be killed in a duel with Aaron Burr on the same spot. Shot in the leg during the duel, Riker was taken to his home on Wall Street where a surgeon gave him only a one-in-ten chance of saving the leg. “I accept the chance cheerfully . . . do what you can, and by the aid of the Almighty and a fine constitution I may yet save both limb and life.” Though he walked with a limp for the rest of his life, Riker went on to serve the city and the state in a number of important political and legal roles, from a committee on the completion of the Erie Canal to the position of recorder.
    • By the time Henry Scott appeared before him, Riker had already been serving as the city’s recorder for more than five years. Unfortunately for the city’s Black residents, one of the chief responsibilities of the recorder’s office was to hear cases of people accused of being runaways from southern slavery. Dragged before Riker at all hours of the day and night, accused runaways found themselves before a judge known to sympathize with the South and slaveholders. In fact, Ruggles had publicly named Riker as a key cog in what Ruggles had branded the New York Kidnapping Club in a newspaper editorial. With little more than the word of a white person, and with little concern as to whether the accused was actually a runaway or had been born free, New York’s Black men, women, and children fell prey to kidnapping.
    • Riker served his southern masters well, always eager to promote the Union by reaffirming New York’s willing participation in the return of suspected runaways. He was well aware that the Fugitive Slave Clause of the Constitution required so-called fugitives from service (which could only mean escaped slaves) to be handed over to their owners. Many northern states and cities acquiesced reluctantly to the constitutional compromise over slavery, returning runaways only after every attempt to keep them free had been exhausted. Not so in New York City. Although a dedicated band of Black and white activists, lawyers, and politicians stood ready to join the fight to keep an accused fugitive from being returned, the city’s legal and political system was rigged against them.
    • Riker made his pro-South stance clear toward the end of one cold November day in 1836 when an alleged runaway was brought before him. An agent representing a southern slave owner had claimed a fugitive and appeared before Riker to make his case. The recorder had a message for the southern agent: “Tell your southern citizens that we Northern Judges damn the Abolitionists—we are sworn to abide by the Constitution. Tell your Southern citizens that the great body of the northern people are all right.” As Riker knew, the city teamed with pro-South and even proslavery Democrats, many of them Wall Street merchants, Irish laborers, members of Tammany Hall, and others who actively sought ways to entrap Black residents in the web of the kidnapping club. Riker unabashedly positioned himself near the center of the web. . . .
    • As a sobbing and terrified Henry sat before Riker at the start of the hearing, it became quite clear that Riker intended to live up to his reputation as the friend of southern masters. Richard Haxall claimed that Henry actually belonged to his mother, Clara Haxall, and that he had entered the courtroom to claim Henry on her behalf. New York law required that agents acting on behalf of owners had to present proof that they were an official and documented representative of the slave owner, but Haxall had no such proof. Riker could have released Henry then and there, but instead, unsure about what course to take since he was convinced that Henry was in fact a fugitive, he ordered the young child to jail while Haxall was given time to produce his father’s will. In the meantime, Henry’s classmates had begun raising money for his legal defense. By gathering pennies from parents and the Black community, the children in the city’s public schools helped to release Henry from the clutches of the New York Kidnapping Club, one of the few to escape from the long and powerful reach of Boudinot, Nash, and Riker.

Sources consulted RE: Smuggler’s Ghost and Tunnels in Astoria, NY

Books RE: 

Articles RE: Smuggler’s Ghost Astoria

  • Brooklyn Times Union Sat Sep 4 1869
  • Another Haunted House in Astoria. Evening Post (published as The Evening Post.) (New York, New York)November 23, 1858
  • The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Sun Jul 18 1886
  • The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Wed Dec 27 1893
  • Brooklyn Times Union Sat Mar 7 1925
  • Brooklyn Times Union Thu Nov 22 1934
  • The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Sun Jul 11 1937
  • The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Thu Nov 22 1934
  • The Courier Fri Feb 2 1900
  • Image 18 of The sun (New York [N.Y.]), January 14, 1900
    Evening Post published as The Evening Post. November 23 1858
  • New York Tribune published as New-York Tribune. November 23 1858
  • Brooklyn Times Union Mon Oct 25 1909
  • The New York herald (New York, N.Y.), February 13, 1921, (SECTION 6)
  • Brooklyn Times Union Thu Jun 28 1888
  • GOLD GHOST WALKS IN ASTORIA HOUSE: Psychic Expert, Called to Old … New York Times (1923-Current file); Nov 21, 1934; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times with Index pg. 2 
  • POLICEMEN’S QUEST FOR GHOSTS FUTILE: Three Carloads Go to Astoria’s … New York Times (1923-Current file); Nov 22, 1934; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times with Index pg. 1
  • The evening world (New York, N.Y.), December 30, 1889, (EXTRA 2 O’CLOCK)
  • The Appeal Sat Feb 24 1900
  • The Inter Ocean Sun Jan 21 1900
  • The Evening World Wed Nov 29 1893
  • The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Thu Apr 19 1928
  • The Tonganoxie Mirror Thu Jul 19 1883
  • Reading Times Mon Jan 20 1896 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Sun Nov 8 1885 (1)
  • The evening world (New York, N.Y.), December 30, 1889, (EXTRA 2 O’CLOCK) https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn83030193/1889-12-30/ed-1/?sp=3&q=astoria+ghost&r=-0.026,0.482,0.453,0.19,0
  • The times (Washington [D.C.]), December 19, 1897: https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn85054468/1897-12-19/ed-1/?sp=8&q=astoria+ghost&r=0.109,0.598,0.884,0.371,0
  • Image 18 of The sun (New York [N.Y.]), January 14, 1900: https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn83030272/1900-01-14/ed-1/?sp=18&q=astoria+ghost&r=0.489,0.945,0.683,0.365,0
  • Image 8 of New-York tribune (New York [N.Y.]), January 7, 1919: https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn83030214/1919-01-07/ed-1/?sp=8&q=astoria+sanatorium&r=0.385,0.216,0.487,0.205,0
  • Image 7 of The sun (New York [N.Y.]), February 17, 1919: https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn83030431/1919-02-17/ed-1/?sp=7&q=astoria+sanatorium&r=0.569,0.553,0.276,0.116,0
  • Image 10 of New-York tribune (New York [N.Y.]), February 10, 1906: https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn83030214/1906-02-10/ed-1/?sp=10&q=astoria+sanatorium&r=0.719,0.853,0.417,0.223,0
  • Image 4 of New-York tribune (New York [N.Y.]), September 30, 1905
  • Image 21 of The New York herald (New York, N.Y.), May 27, 1921: https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn83045774/1921-05-27/ed-1/?sp=21&q=astoria+sanatorium&r=0.342,0.678,0.311,0.166,0
  • Image 16 of New-York tribune (New York [N.Y.]), October 5, 1904: https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn83030214/1904-10-05/ed-1/?sp=16&q=astoria+sanatorium&r=0.323,1.204,0.323,0.173,0
  • Brooklyn Times Union (Brooklyn, New York) · Thu, Nov 22, 1934 · Page 8: https://bplonsite.newspapers.com/image/576215460
  • The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) · Sun, Jul 11, 1937 · Page 8: https://bplonsite.newspapers.com/image/52695146
  • The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) · Thu, Nov 22, 1934 · Page 24: https://bplonsite.newspapers.com/image/59991092
  • https://www.qgazette.com/articles/pages-from-the-long-island-star-journal-9/
  • Image 18 of The sun (New York [N.Y.]), January 14, 1900: https://www.loc.gov/resource/sn83030272/1900-01-14/ed-1/?sp=18&q=astoria+ghost&r=0.555,0.033,0.321,0.148,0
  • Buffalo Morning Express and Illustrated Buffalo Express Tue Nov 13 1894


Websites consulted RE: Smuggler’s Ghost Astoria

  • “The So-Called ‘Kidnapping Club’ Featured Cops Selling Free Black New Yorkers Into Slavery,” Smithsonian Magazine: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/so-called-kidnapping-club-featured-new-york-cops-selling-free-blacks-slavery-180976055/
  • https://crimereads.com/the-kidnapping-club-that-terrorized-african-americans-in-19th-century-new-york/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Riker
  • https://nyslavery.commons.gc.cuny.edu/dating-the-start-and-end-of-slavery-in-new-york/
  • https://www.rikerhome.com/press/li-press-1968_large.htm
  • https://www.geni.com/people/David-Provoost-II/6000000002766404071
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Provost
  • https://nycemetery.wordpress.com/2021/01/02/jones-woods-cemeteries/
  • https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-0c20-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
  • Los Angeles Herald, Volume 33, Number 108, 17 January 1906 https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=LAH19060117.2.18&e=——-en–20–1–txt-txIN——–1
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_Thant_Island
  • https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/u-thant-island
  • Records of enslaved people in Newtown, Queens: https://nyslavery.commons.gc.cuny.edu/search/?appSession=5MCUK448ECO579156B8UL5N69FD4FP9HR01OXX509Z67L48DL4CAXL8EEI52U669I1O38XF12FE61JXWM4Y10N2Z9JAN9LHJU8BN2285018P4549838QC2RQ2L4EH2QX
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_A._Garfield#Assassination
  • http://collections.mnhs.org/MNHistoryMagazine/articles/33/v33i01p029-034.pdf
  • https://kellykazek.com/2018/06/25/bet-you-didnt-know-about-this-haunted-american-castle/
  • https://time.com/96533/thieves-break-into-james-a-garfields-tomb/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emanuel_Swedenborg
  • https://newtownpentacle.com/2009/06/13/a-big-dig-in-queens/
  • https://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/who-really-ran-the-underground-railroad/
  • https://www.6sqft.com/15-underground-railroad-stops-in-new-york-city/
  • https://nyslavery.commons.gc.cuny.edu/
  • https://nyslavery.commons.gc.cuny.edu/search/?appSession=1WXJ2370QHI6H9C815459UHS4F9AVG7ZNZ5RH7T39B21KWP081R95709VQVLNQPWX8M9A7IO8M3W22FY550M360BW077FZ21H52A90IQ93SZZS0A870A6XT8EJ4V78I8
  • https://www.6sqft.com/search-over-35000-records-of-slavery-in-new-york/
  • https://www.6sqft.com/before-nycs-slave-market-freedmen-from-africa-were-allowed-to-own-farmland/
  • https://www.6sqft.com/in-the-1700s-there-was-an-official-location-for-buying-selling-and-renting-slaves-on-wall-street/
  • https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5e/1873_Beers_Map_of_Astoria,_Queens,_New_York_City_-_Geographicus_-_Astoria-beers-1873.jpg
  • https://oana-ny.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/old_astoria_map_1873_bg-1024×666.jpg
  • https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1873_Beers_Map_of_Astoria,_Queens,_New_York_City_-_Geographicus_-_Astoria-beers-1873.jpg
  • https://shop.old-maps.com/new-york/towns/kings-queens-cos-ny-1859-town/astoria-new-york-1859-old-town-map-custom-print-queens-co/
  • https://cdn2.bigcommerce.com/n-zfvgw8/wkatj7/products/109812/images/126869/LongIslandCity_Astoria_MiddleVillage_1873_web__84173.1548088614.1280.1280.jpg?c=2
  • https://www.mapsofantiquity.com/store/Antique_Maps_-_United_States/Northeast/New_York/Long_Island/Astoria,_New_York,_verso_Woodside,_Maspeth,_East_Williamsburg,_Newtown/inventory.pl?id=NYO016
  • https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/medny/astoria.jpg
  • https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/medny/halsall7.asp
  • https://forgotten-ny.com/2002/02/astoria-necrology/
  • https://forgotten-ny.com/2002/02/astoria-necology-continued/
  • https://cdn6.picryl.com/photo/1903/12/31/queens-vol-2-double-page-plate-no-30-part-of-ward-two-newtown-trains-meadow-6c7e10-1600.jpg
  • https://www.qchron.com/qboro/stories/you-ain-t-afraid-of-no-ghost-we-ll-see-about-that/article_010ee09d-001f-5505-a643-147da790ecbf.html

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