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A Member of the Ladies' Home Missionary Society Visits a Five Points Family

The Five Points Mission grew out of several Protestant missionary organizations that aimed to improve conditions in the Five Points. At first they attempted to convert residents from Catholicism; later the Mission obtained pledges from Five Pointers [...]

A Five Points "Orphan" Is Taken In by Reverend Pease and the Five Points House of Industry

The Five Points House of Industry was organized by the Methodist minister Lewis M. Pease and headquartered in a notorious former slum building known as the Old Brewery. It was the first missionary effort in the neighborhood to offer vocational [...]

"The Voting-Place"

During the 1840s and 1850s, anti-immigrant feelings grew among many native-born whites. Nativists argued that immigrants caused many of the nation’s ills by rejecting “American” work habits, culture, and religion. Nativists and and their [...]

Five Points: New York's Irish Working Class in the 1850s Viewer's Guide

This booklet is curriculum support for the American Social History Project's 30-minute documentary Five Points: New York's Irish Working Class in the 1850s. The viewer's guide contains background information on issues raised by the documentary as [...]

Telling the Whole Story: Irish Americans in Five Points

In this activity students gather and analyze data from the 1855 census of the Five Points neighborhood. Students compare stereotypes of Irish immigrants with evidence from the census. Then students compare their census research with other primary [...]

Reformers versus Residents in Five Points: A Role Play

In this activity students learn about the religious, class, and ethnic tensions between reformers and residents in the working-class Irish immigrant neighborhood of Five Points. Students research roles of a Protestant reformer and two Irish women [...]

Statistics about Life in Five Points

Five Pointers were destitute when they arrived and settled in New York’s poorest and most run-down neighborhood. On top of this, Irish Five Pointers worked for some of the lowest wages in the most dangerous and unstable jobs in the city. [...]

"Two Views of a Dead Rabbit"

This essay examines two images of members of an Irish street gang in the mid-nineteenth century that address issues of immigrant stereotyping, urban immigration, poverty, and reform in the wake of large-scale Irish immigration. The link includes the [...]

Five Points in 1859

This print showing a view of one of New York City's more notorious poor neighborhoods offers a variety of picturesque and sensational incidents, including an assault in broad daylight. It also indicates that African Americans worked and resided in a [...]

Neighborhood or Slum? Snapshots of Five Points, 1827-1867

In this activity, students look at census records from antebellum Five Points and compare them to depictions of the neighborhood and its residents. Students will evaluate whether observers described Five Points as a neighborhood or slum. The [...]


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