None of this was on Elizabeth Jennings’s mind as she climbed the platform onto the Chatham Street horsecar. But her destination and that of the country took a sudden turn when the conductor told her to wait for the next car because it had “her people” in it. When she refused to step off the bus, she was assaulted by the conductor who was aided by a NY police officer. On February 22, 1855, Elizabeth Jennings v. Third Avenue Rail Road case was settled. Seeking $500 in damages, the jury stunned the courtroom with a $250 verdict in Lizzie’s favor. Future US president Chester A. Arthur was Jennings attorney and their lives would be forever onward intertwined.
This is the story of what happened that day. It’s also the story of Jennings and Arthur’s families, the struggle for equality, and race relations. It’s the history of America at its most despicable and most exhilarating. Yet few historians know of Elizabeth Jennings or the impact she had on desegregating public transit.
|Publisher:||Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
A member of SCBWI and BIO (Biographers International Organization), his history profiles are included in the 2010 Encyclopedia of New York City and on the Gotham Center’s History Blog. In 2015, the popular American Heroes Channel (AHC) program, What History Forgot interviewed the author for a segment about Elizabeth Jennings. He lives in Northport, NY.
Table of Contents
Preface: Unheralded Labors ix
Chapter I Good Old New York Stock 1
Chapter II The Wizard of Whipple City 21
Chapter III Slavery in the Empire City 35
Chapter IV Bold Men of Color 55
Chapter V Sisters in Struggle 73
Chapter VI Zack Comes to Town 87
Chapter VII City of Omnibuses 101
Chapter VIII Late for Church 111
Chapter IX The Trial 121
Chapter X The Legal Rights Association 133
Chapter XI The Great School Wars 141
Chapter XII The Civil War Comes to New York 155
Chapter XIII Nell's Window 175
Chapter XIV To Exercise Their Senses 193
Chapter XV Shadows of Tall Buildings 207
Bibliography and Sources 223