He was born on July 12, 1829, the youngest son of William Backhouse Astor, Sr.. His brother was John Jacob Astor III.
William Backhouse Astor, Jr., graduated from Columbia College in 1849. In 1853 he married the socially ambitious Caroline Webster Schermerhorn, who reigned over New York and Newport society as simply “the Mrs. Astor.” Continue reading
Posted in Harlem, Real Estate
Tagged abolition of slavery, Astor Row, Caroline Webster Schermerhorn, Charles Buek, Ferncliff, John Jacob Astor, Jr., the Mrs. Astor, Trinity Cemetery, William Backhouse Astor
Acclaimed writer J.D. Salinger passed away this week and many of the papers have been writing about his relationship to New York City but most of them only give a nod to his original childhood nabe: Harlem. We mentioned J.D. Salinger’s works a couple of times last year since many did not know that one of America’s most famous writers was born in Harlem. The year was 1919 and the Salinger family lived right across from Trinity Cemetery in West Harlem. The young family would represent what was then a majority ethnic white Harlem which was mainly Jewish and Irish in some parts.
Until about 1928, the Salingers would move (this year would correspond with when the great migration of African-Americans would start to shift Harlem’s demographics) down to the Upper West Side and this area would then be the focus of much of his writing. More recently, the famous Glass family from his novels showed up in the film called the Royal Tanenbaums which coincidentally was filmed in Harlem. Continue reading