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Davy Crockett Tours Five Points

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 frontiersman, visited the Five Points and wrote these observations in 1835.

The buildings are very little, old, frame houses, and look like some little country village.... It appeared as if the cellars were jam full of people; and such fiddling and dancing nobody ever saw before in this world.

Black and white, white and black, all hug-em-snug together, happy as lords and ladies, sitting round in a ring, with a jug of liquor between them, and I do think I saw more drunk folks, men and women, that day, than I ever saw before... I thought I would rather risk myself in an Indian fight than venture among these creatures after night. I said to [my friend]...these are worse than savages; they are too mean to swab hell's kitchen. 

Source | Davy Crockett, A Narrative of the Life of Davy Crockett, Written by Himself (self-published, 1834).
Creator | Davy Crockett
Item Type | Biography/Autobiography
Cite This document | Davy Crockett, “Davy Crockett Tours Five Points,” HERB: Resources for Teachers, accessed May 26, 2019, https://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/1792.

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