From the Editor

We are pleased to share with you Volume 25-2, the tenth issue of the online Long Island History Journal.

Our masthead reveals an addition to our editorial staff. Richard Tomczak, who was very much involved in the preparation of our previous special issue on whaling on Long Island, formally joins us as Editorial Assistant. Rick is a PhD student in History at Stony Brook University where his dissertation examines the relationship between law and labor in eighteenth century Quebec. He was also a Gardiner Graduate Fellow at Stony Brook and holds undergraduate and Master’s degrees in History from SUNY College at Brockport. He has worked at the Fort Ticonderoga historic site as a researcher and tradesman interpreter. We are delighted to have Rick assisting in publishing the Long Island History Journal.

This edition features four articles, two book reviews, and a photo essay based upon a recent exhibition at the Long Island Museum.

Nancy Robin Jaicks examines the lives of African American families who remained on Shelter Island as the island underwent a significant economic transition following the end of slavery. Natalie Naylor adds to our understanding of the importance of the Long Island in the modern environmental movement by looking at the role played by women naturalists and conservationists in that effort. Derek Stadler places the Long Island Rail Road in railroad history by looking at the role and effectiveness of public funding in transportation. Durahn Taylor’s article in this issue argues that Long Island played an important role in the national battle against polio with efforts on the publicity front as well as embracing trials of the Salk vaccine.

Our book reviews include Wilbur Miller’s review of Robert F. Murphy’s recent book, The Three Graces of Raymond Street: Murder, Madness, Sex and Politics in 1870’s Brooklyn, a work centering of developments in the definition of legal insanity. Neil Buffett shares his review of Paul M. Arfin’s Unfinished Business: Social Action in Suburbia, an examination of the evolution of social movements and social welfare institutions, and the role of civil rights organizations on Long Island.

A recent exhibition called “Long Island in the Sixties” at The Long Island Museum dovetails with Arfin’s book since a section of the exhibition was devoted to movements of political and social change on Long Island in that turbulent decade. Some of the powerful photographs on this topic, along with other items from the exhibition, can be seen in Joshua Ruff’s visual essay in this volume of the LIHJ.

Those seeking to submit an article are asked to click on the “Authors” tab on the homepage and view the drop-down “Guidelines for Authors.” LIHJ readers are encouraged to visit the “subscribe” link on our home page to enter a free subscription to our publication. And as always, we welcome your feedback.

Charles Backfish,
Editor in Chief