Last night I completed what are for now the final edits on the manuscript for the book project whose working title is “Incorporating New York: Gotham’s Civil War Generation and the Creation of the Modern City.” I say “for now” because if and when it gets picked up by a publisher it will need a reading from a professional proofreader in addition to a final review by myself to spot any errors that certainly are there in the weeds. Two readers have read and commented earlier in the spring and I have spent much of the summer making their suggested revisions and corrections. Last night I also spent a considerable chunk of time (while listening to the Astros game and watching the rain) adding the references into Zotero. That is where the citations stand as of now. I have not incorporated them into the text because I do not know what format a prospective publisher might want and so am not going to create potential double work for myself.

Albert Smith Bickmore as depicted in the 1969 American edition of Travels in the East Indian Archipelago

I thought I would share the above image that comes from the 1869 American edition of Albert Smith Bickmore’s Travels in the East Indian Archipelago. The book was originally published in London the year before. As a student at Harvard just prior to the war Bickmore worked in Louis Agassiz’s Zoological Museum before joining the Forty-Fourth Massachusetts Volunteers after Fort Sumter. When the regiment was discharged in 1863 he studied in Europe, and after Appomattox returned to the United States briefly before taking this scientific voyage. When he returned from that, he came to Manhattan and spoke to people like William E. Dodge Jr. and Theodore Roosevelt Sr. about creating a natural history museum for New York City. By April 1869 it was done, with the charter ratified in the Roosevelt home on East 20th Street.