The Gabriel Furman papers

The SAFA fellows based their scholarly and creative projects on in-depth research in the Gabriel Furman papers (ARC.190). Gabriel Furman (1800-1854) was a lawyer, politician, and historian of early Brooklyn. He was also a prolific – even obsessive – journal writer.

Photo by Clifford Petit

This archival collection includes thirteen of Furman’s journals dating from 1815 to 1854 and totaling almost 5,000 pages. Furman documented his personal observations about Brooklyn and New York and recorded historical items relevant to his writing and lectures. Among the wide diversity of topics found in the journals are epidemics of cholera and yellow fever, financial crises, daily weather conditions, theatre and the arts, politics, and religion.

When the SAFA fellows analyzed dozens of subjects chronicled by Gabriel Furman, they conducted truly original research and produced new, exciting work. We hope that other researchers will continue to make discoveries in the Furman papers.

Researchers may make an appointment to use the Gabriel Furman papers at Brooklyn Historical Society’s Othmer Library on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 1:00 – 5:00 pm. The finding aid and indexes for this collection are available online. For more information on using the library, please see this page.