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The student understands how antebellum immigration changed American society


Colonial City: Revolutionary Battleground
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant transcripts:
Early Nineteeth-Century New York

The Five Points Slum
Resource Type: Primary Source
Five Points, the great slum of antebellum New York, was located at the convergence of Worth, Baxter, and Park Streets in present-day lower Manhattan. Its residents suffered terribly during the cholera epidemic of 1832.

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.

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.

Urban Society: Central Park and Social Reform
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
This microhistory of Central Park in New York City provides students with a laboratory for learning how social reformers attempted to clean the city of its slums and promote the well-being of its residents. These tools can be applied to the study of any large city.

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