Disaster and Rebirth, 1855–63

William Seraile

in Angels of Mercy

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780823234196
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240838 | DOI:

Series: Empire State Editions

Disaster and Rebirth, 1855–63

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The 1853 passing of longtime Colored Orphan Asylum (COA) supporter Anson G. Phelps was an instance for lamentation. Phelps was president of the New-York State Colonization Society for twelve years and a prominent merchant. A timely thousand dollars was bequeathed to the COA. Another setback for the institution was the resignation of Mary Murray, co-founder of the organization in 1837. The COA suffered a major blow when tragedy struck many New Yorkers, some of whom were friends of the asylum. The passenger ship Arctic collided with the British steamer Cleopatra in severe fog. The Arctic tragedy foreshadowed the year 1855 as one of highs and lows for the managers. In January, a badly needed legacy of five hundred dollars (a day laborer's salary for two years) was granted to the asylum from the estate of Susan B. Morrison.

Keywords: Colored Orphan Asylum; Anson G. Phelps; Mary Murray; Arctic; Cleopatra; Susan B. Morrison; tragedy

Chapter.  8273 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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