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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Antebellum America (1816-1860) (x)
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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 [...]

Graph of Mid-19th Century Emigration from Ireland to New York

This graph shows the number of arrivals in New York City ports from Britain and Ireland from 1841-1855. Before 1847, records did not usually distinguish between immigrants from the two countries (Ireland remained a part of the United Kingdom until [...]

Bar Graph of the Population of Ireland, Mid-Nineteenth Century

This graph shows the depopulation of Ireland that occurred in the mid-nineteenth century, as a direct result of the Great Famine, which began in 1845. Approximately one million people died during the Famine, while another million are thought to have [...]

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.

Table of Naming Practices among the Bennehan-Cameron Plantation Slaves, Orange County, North Carolina, 1778–1842

This table records the names of enslaved children and their parents on a North Carolina plantation over 65 years. Enslaved Africans and African-American slaves on this plantation purposefully established naming practices to link slave families and [...]

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. [...]

Graphs Showing Miners' Wages and Value of Gold Production, 1848-1860

In the early days of the Gold Rush, a miner could earn a typical year’s wages in a few days. With so much cash on hand, stores and boarding houses charged unheard-of prices for food, shelter and supplies. Increased competition, due to a [...]