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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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Artifacts from Irish Tenements and Saloon in Five Points

The archeological excavation of the Foley Square Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street, located near the former intersection that once comprised the Five Points neighborhood, yielded over 850,000 artifacts, some of which are depicted below. The artifacts [...]

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 [...]

Visitors Describe the Five Points Neighborhood

Many visitors—journalists, reformers, middle-class tourists hoping to brush up against the masses—traveled through the Five Points neighborhood in Manhattan in the nineteenth century. They left these observations.

Item Type: Book (excerpt)
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 [...]

Telling the Whole Story Worksheets

These worksheets help students gather evidence from the Five Points census database. Students then compare their data with prevailing 19th century stereotypes of Irish immigrants and conclude whether or not they were accurate. These worksheets are [...]

Item Type: Worksheet
Explanation of 1855 Census Categories

This worksheet explains the different categories and terminology that census recorders used in the 1855 census of the Five Points neighborhood. This worksheet may help students in the activity Understanding the 1855 Census Database and Telling [...]

Item Type: Worksheet
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 [...]