Sophia’s War, just published, is a tale about the American Revolution. It takes places in New York City.
As readers of the book will learn, the British occupied New York for most of the war. I tried to describe the city as best as I could, based on rather extensive research. One of the key sites in the book is a building known as The Sugarhouse. This building was originally a place where Jamaican sugar was boiled down to become molasses. Since fire was involved, the building was made of stone. During the war the British converted it into a prison, and it became notorious for its squalor, deprivations, and cruelty—a place where many, many Americans died.
I recently went to New York City and wandered about the area where the story takes place. Needless to say, though many of the narrow streets have their old names, almost nothing that existed then, exists today. Except one thing. When the old Sugarhouse was torn down, someone saved one of the barred windows. It was eventually installed in a wall near what is called Police Plaza. It took some searching and lots of asking, but I found it, a truly poignant memorial. And here it is.