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An Irish Emigrant to New York Writes Home

This letter home from 23-year-old Irish emigrant Margaret McCarthy captures both the opportunity and adversity awaiting arrivals to a new land. McCarthy sailed from Liverpool on the Columbus on September 7, 1849, and arrived in New York on October [...]

A Nativist New Yorker Disparages Irish Arrivals

The following are excerpts from the diaries of George Templeton Strong (1820-1875), a prominent New York lawyer. Written between 1838 and 1857, the entries reveal Strong's undisguised contempt for the Irish immigrants who were then flooding the [...]

New York State Census Page of Five Points, 1855

This page from the 1855 census for New York City's Sixth Ward, the home of the Five Points neighborhood, includes residents of two buildings. The notorious Five Points, formed by the intersections of Mulberry, Orange, Anthony, Cross, and Little [...]

Table of Emigrant Savings Bank Account Records

This sample of account records from Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank provides evidence about the lives of immigrants living in New York City during the mid-nineteenth century. All account holders included in this sample lived in the Five Points [...]

Table of Marriage Records from the Church of the Transfiguration in New York City, 1855

A selection of marriage records transcribed from the original marriage certificates of the Church of the Transfiguration located in Lower Manhattan in present-day Chinatown.

A Newspaperman Reports on Election Day in the "Bloody Sixth"

This 1855 newspaper account of election day in lower Manhattan is filled with the reporter's assumptions about the Five Points immigrant neighborhood and its residents. Irish immigrants had by this time garnered a reputation for disorderliness and [...]

A Letter to the Editor Attempts to Explain Crime in Five Points

This letter to the New-York Daily Times, published on June 14, 1854, attempts to explain the high rate of criminality among Irish immigrants in terms of environment rather than temperment. The Irish-surnamed writer argues that the Irish are not [...]

A Protestant Missionary Describes Sabbath in Five Points

Troubled by evidence of extreme poverty in the nation's industrializing cities, many Protestant reformers set up mission houses in poor, immigrant neighborhoods to minister to the needs of the largely Catholic residents. But a cultural abyss divided [...]

Uncovering Five Points: Evidence from a NYC Immigrant Neighborhood

This database allows users to explore Five Points using data compiled from the 1855 New York State Census. Search census records from 1,333 individuals in the database to learn about the residents of New York City's legendary immigrant neighborhood.

Staffordshire Teawares from Five Points Neighborhood

This tea set, manufactured in England, was uncovered during an archaeological dig of the former Five Points neighborhood, at the site of a former tenement building at 472 Pearl Street. While the neighborhood was known for its poverty and vice, this [...]

Item Type: Artifact