Blackwell Island was named for Robert Blackwell, like Dad and renamed Welfare Island, then Roosevelt Island and its history is something I want to study, now that there's more available to peruse. It seems the name was a coinkidink, but the place, having had a mental ward, prison and hospital would be haunted as hell!
(if you believe in that sort of thing.. *cough*)
The actual historic bits in the game refer to a writer from the Bohemian era.
re: Joe Gould's Secret