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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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This essay introduces Manhattan's Five Points neighborhood and the people who lived there.

In 1841, English author Charles Dickens toured the United States. Dickens was known for his sympathetic depictions of the poor and working-class residents of English cities. However, American Notes, which he wrote about his time in the U.S. attacked…

This worksheet helps students analyze the 1827 print depicting New York City's Five Points neighborhood.

This worksheet helps students analyze Charles Dickens' observations about the Five Points neighborhood during his 1841 visit to the United States.

This worksheet helps students analyze Davy Crockett's 1834 recollections of a visit to Five Points in New York City.

By the 1830s, Five Points was infamous for its poverty, as well as for reports of corruption and immorality. Out-of-town tourists would make a special point to visit Five Points while they were in New York City. Davy Crockett, a famous American…

In 1841, English author Charles Dickens toured the United States. Dickens was known for his sympathetic depictions of the poor and working-class residents of English cities. However, American Notes, which he wrote about his time in the U.S., attacked…

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 activity…

FivePoints.png
This print, by an unknown illustrator, is based on an earlier oil painting by the artist George Catlin (who later become famous for his portraits of Native Americans in the West). Like the original, the print depicts a street view of “Paradise…

five-points-1859.png
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…
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