Another Note from New York Foundling

November 28th, 2016 Posted in Uncategorized

Quick backstory: The New-York Historical Society has a collection of records from the New York Foundling Hospital. Among the collection are five scrapbook of notes from parents and others about children who were left at the Hospital. I posted previously about copying some that I wanted to research.

This is one I plan to research. Margaret Sheridan was murdered by her husband Thomas on February 16, 1870. Margaret and her husband hadn’t lived together for years, and the issue was the baby mentioned in this note, who was called William Sheridan.

Sheridan said the baby couldn’t possibly be his, and that the real father was Michael Power, which was likely true. She and Power had been living together. Thomas Sheridan didn’t want their eleven-year-old daughter Mary raised with this baby and demanded that she send it out to nurse. Margaret did not comply and so he came over one night and shot her to death.

Sheridan was originally given the death sentence, and was scheduled to hang on August 19, but the governor commuted his sentence to life and he was sent to Sing Sing. The jury had also recommended mercy, so it seems everyone was on the murderer’s side!

My plan was to try to find out what happened to the baby. Did Michael Power come and get his son? But now that I know a little more I also wonder what happened to eleven-year-old Mary. Her mother was dead and her father was in Sing Sing. Where did she go?

Note left at New York Foundling

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  1. 5 Responses to “Another Note from New York Foundling”

  2. By Rebecca on Nov 28, 2016

    Yes, this is a mystery worth researching! I want to know about the two childrens’ future also. Eleven is so young to lose both parents and she felt lost no doubt. Mary may have witnessed the murder too. There was probably a lot of shouting. Hoping the baby wasn’t injured. Best of luck looking into this. Where is Sing Sing anyway? I used to hear of people being sent to Sing Sing….

  3. By Julia on Nov 28, 2016

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sing_Sing
    “Sing Sing Correctional Facility is a maximum security prison operated by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision in the village of Ossining, in the U.S. state of New York. It is located about 30 miles (50 km) north of New York City on the east bank of the Hudson River.”

    I also wonder what happens to the people left behind. And to the real murderers when someone is found innocent after years behind bars for a murder they didn’t commit.

  4. By Stacy Horn on Nov 28, 2016

    Oh God, the news isn’t good. I wrote a book about this. I did the math on how often that murderer is found, and I forget now what it was but the odds were infinitesimally small that the murderer would ever be caught. There are a lot of murderers walking around free. A LOT. From my book:

    Since 1985, in New York alone, the killers of 8,894 people remain free. That’s 8,894 murderers among us. Even if you want to say some of these murders were committed by the same people, as if attributing the crimes to serial killers were a better way of looking at this, that’s still a lot of murderers walking around who get to go see the new Steven Spielberg movie, eat their favorite dinner, and have sex.

  5. By Julia on Nov 29, 2016

    Is that “The Restless Sleep”? It must be. So while I have casually wondered about this subject, you went out and wrote a whole book about it! Hard to believe that people really do get away with murder, and because they were never caught in the first place.

  6. By Stacy Horn on Dec 5, 2016

    It’s terrifying how relatively easy it is to get away with murder.

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