After taking-on several miscellaneous assignments, Charley Donnelly volunteered to follow William Steinway’s involvement with the creation of the New York Rapid Transit Commission (RTC) to design and implement a subway system for Manhattan and the Bronx.? Donnelly is chronicling the commission’s progress from 1890 until William’s death in 1896.
Through his research, Donnelly has found a dynamic history of the development of public transportation in late-19th-century New York City—a history that has been recorded only sporadically. Because of his background as a labor lawyer, Donnelly also wrote accounts of the Great Horse-Car Tie-Up of 1889 in New York, the Chicago Pullman Strike of 1893, and the Brooklyn trolley-car strike of 1895. Most recently, Donnelly has assumed assignment coordination for the researchers involved in the “Steinway & Sons Businesses” subcategory.
Donnelly grew up and went to high school in Corpus Christi, Texas. He graduated from Sewanee, the University of the South, in 1964. After college he attended The University of Texas School of Law, receiving a JD degree in 1967. His 36-year professional career was confined to service at the National Labor Relations Board. During his time at the agency, his principal attention was given over to litigation in the US Courts of Appeals, the fora that review and enforce “unfair labor practice” decisions made by the National Labor Relations Board. In his last several years at the agency, Donnelly managed teams of as much as 20 appellate litigators. In addition to his involvement with the Steinway Diary Project, Donnelly has taught for a number of years in the Christian Education Program at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Capitol Hill, and served as its junior warden. He and his wife Martha have two daughters, Meg and Ellen, who live in Baltimore and New York City, respectively.