A fragment from James’ life came to me. A series of images and more vague impressions of New York in the 1850s. Not much I could look into except one thing.
There was a street going off at an angle from the docks. You could see an official-looking building with a clock tower at the end of it.
I found a street that might be it on an old map but I can’t quite make out the name. It looks like Rosevelt (yes, that’s one ‘o’). I’m going to have to do more research.
Sadly it looks like the building and street I recall may be long gone. It’s in an area disrupted by major development, among other things by a little thing called the Brooklyn Bridge that was built a few years after my memories and changed the layout of the waterfront dramatically. But the history of the city seems very well documented so I may be able to confirm this memory.