That's what the New York Times of 1903 wrote of the prison kept by the occupying British armed forces nearby what today would be the east-side of City Hall Park. A British Major Cunningham, fond of various interrogation methods. tortured Ethan Allen, that source reports. Next to it were the British Army barracks, impacted today by the so-called "Tweed Courthouse" the headquarters after restoration and repairs for today's NYC Dept. of Education, its construction begun by Mayor Fernando Wood before the Civil War. It was, before 9/11, to be a "Museum of the City of New York" and that catastrophe shut access to the park and the Horace Greeley, Joseph Pulitzer, American Engineering, etc., monuments, "Newspaper Row" had been across the street once. Under these "great men" are the remains of the "First Almshouse" cemetery I worked for a number of archeology consultants and years trying to locate as the park was improved, and then finally in 1999, when the security upgrades and fences and paving stone from Binghamton, NY were placed, darker stone outlining some of the areas described above. The first "City Hall" was located further downtown. Most of the burials found were treated where they were found, quite shallow. But from here perhaps comes our experience, the need for "habeas corpus" from the early trials and tortures in the nascent republic, inspiration no doubt to further acts of "patriotism". Often held against President Abraham Lincoln, over a score of native Americans were hung without trial, and who knows whom else, is it wise to suspend it again?
"...blacker than any Black Hole of Calcutta"