City of the Marginalized Dead. @NinaBernstein1, NYT.

May 21, 2016, 04:32 AM

05-20-2016 (Photo: “At the western end of the Long Island Sound you will encounter Hart Island. Though it is small, approximately a mile long by a quarter mile wide, it has quite a story. #HartIsland is the location of a 101-acre potter’s field (that is city burial ground) for New York City. It is the largest tax-funded cemetery in the United States, with burials dating back to the American Civil War. The Island is controlled and maintained by the NY Department of Corrections and Rikers Island inmates preform the burials. Deceased individuals who are either unidentified or unclaimed are sent to Hart Island. The Island is not accessible to the public and there are those who have been working to make available the information of those buried on the island to enable family members to find their loved ones or visit them. Joining the Indy Team today is #MeldinaHunt and she will tell us how this has been accomplished with the #HartIslandProject.” Twitter: @BatchelorShow City of the Marginalized Dead. Nina Bernstein, NYT. “…The term “#potter’sfield” is biblical, referring to a clay-heavy piece of land near Jerusalem bought with the 30 pieces of silver returned by a remorseful Judas to the chief priests. Worthless for farming, the land would be used to bury strangers. The “strangers” in New York City after the Civil War were poor immigrants, #African-Americans and casualties of the teeming, crime-infested slums.

“The city bought Hart Island in 1868. It had been the site of a prison for #Confederate soldiers, and for more than a century, the dead shared the island with living inmates of one kind or another, people who were likely to end up in its mass graves themselves. “The island is now haunted by the crumbling remnants of defunct institutions, among them a lunatic asylum, a tuberculosis hospital and a boys’ reformatory. In the bulldozed barrens between these ruins, inmates outfitted, chain-gang-style, in red stripes and Day-Glo orange caps stack the dead three deep….”