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History as Destiny: The Case of New York City
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant interactive tools:
New York Enchants John Reed
New York Enchants John Reed

Urban Crisis: Disease, Crime, and Space
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant texts:
New York City versus London
Background to the Riots

Relevant transcripts:
Poverty's Fault

The Crisis of Victorianism
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
Jane Addams: Domesticating the Public World

City Problems: Poverty and Slums
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
Exploring the cholera epidemic in mid-nineteenth century New York City, this selection of primary sources provides a case-study of immigration, urbanization (e.g., slums such as the Five Points), and social and moral reform that can be applied to the study of any city in the industrialized world.

Report of the Magdalen Society
Resource Type: Primary Source
Led by John Robert McDowell, a Princeton divinity student, the Magdalen Society was founded in 1831 to help reform prostitutes living in the Five Points slum.

Petition to Have the Five Points Opened
Resource Type: Primary Source
Merchants owning property along the periphery of Five Points petitioned the municipal government in 1829 to demolish the heart of the slum by widening and extending Anthony and Cross Streets.

Daily Tally of Cholera Victims
Resource Type: Primary Source
Due to overcrowding and poor sanitation, the Five Points slum suffered numerous casualties during outbreaks of disease, as this daily report taken during the 1832 cholera epidemic makes clear.

Cholera Outbreak
Resource Type: Primary Source
This article, written during the cholera epidemic of 1832, conveyed the opinion that only certain social types contracted the deadly disease.

The Cholera Epidemic
Resource Type: Primary Source
Many of New York's Protestant leaders interpreted the 1832 cholera epidemic as proof of God's displeasure with contemporary morality.

Annual Report of the Interments
Resource Type: Primary Source
Dr. John Hoskins Griscom (1809–74), a Quaker physician, founded the New York Academy of Medicine and pioneered the field of public health. His advocacy for sanitation, medical care, and adequate housing led to the great reforms of the Progressive Era after the Civil War.

Charles Dickens on the Five Points
Resource Type: Primary Source
The famed British writer Charles Dickens published his account of his 1842 visit to America, where he found evidence of England's superior class system in the squalor of New York's Five Points slum.

Sunshine and Shadow in New York
Resource Type: Primary Source
Sunshine and Shadow in New York, a mid-nineteenth-century publication, depicts New York City as two polar societies, one affluent and vibrant, and one poor and diseased.

How the Other Half Lives
Resource Type: Primary Source
Newspaper reporters, such as Jacob Riis (1849–1914), played an instrumental role in exposing the destitution and misery of New York's immigrant and working-class neighborhoods.

Tenement Slum
Resource Type: Primary Source
Jacob Riis, a reporter for the New York Sun newspaper, helped raise awareness about the conditions of the urban poor with his 1890 publication, How the Other Half Lives: Studies among the Tenements of New York. This book would later influence Theodore Roosevelt.

Striking Shirtwaist-Makers Selling Socialist Newspaper
Resource Type: Primary Source
Many Jewish women were very involved in labor and socialist movements, as seen in this 1910 photograph of striking shirtwaist-makers selling copies of The Call, the New York socialist daily.

Mrs. Marion Crocker on the Conservation Imperative
Resource Type: Primary Source
Mrs. Marion Crocker of the General Federation of Women's Clubs wholeheartedly endorsed the conservation movement, and the scientific basis on which it stood, in this 1912 speech to the Fourth Annual Conservation Congress.

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