Friday, December 21, 2007

Real Escapes from Roosevelt (then Blackwell’s) Island

I must admit I was delighted when my Second Dock post of two days (Dec 19) ago was picked up and featured under the Daily “Blog Talk” post by the New York Times City Room Blog. I was more amused by their summarization of the piece as “Escape from Roosevelt island” focusing in on my concerns of needed transportation alternatives if the Tram, subway and Bridge were all out at the same time.

I believe many of the added visitors I received that day were looking for prison escape stories. I figured I should oblige as Roosevelt Island was once the home of New York City’s Penitentiary, the famed “Big House” that criminals were sent up the river to, before it moved to Riker’s Island. So courtesy of the NYT here are partial accounts of two such escape attempts (from 1875 and 1894) and the headline referring to the transfer of inmates to Rikers in 1903

nyt - 1875 april 12 - prison break attempt SELECTIONS at 68p

nyt - 1894 aug 7 - prison break v_partial at 68p

nyt - 1903 june 21 - blackwell prison at 79p

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