- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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Full resolution (TIFF) - On this page / på denna sida - New York, September 4

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just begun in the Five Points, and already several
signs betoken victory.

The Five Points is one of the oldest portions
of New York, and received its name from five
streets which open here into a large square. These
streets, and especially the square, are the haunts
of the extremest misery of that great city. Lower
than to the Five Points it is not possible for fallen
human nature to sink. Here are public dens of
prostitution, where miserable women keep so-called
“fancy-men,” and “fancy-women.” Quarrels
and blows, theft and even murder, belong to the
order of day and night. There is in the square,
in particular, one large yellow-colored, dilapidated
old house, called “the Old Brewery,” because
formerly it was employed as such. This house is
properly the headquarters of vice and misery.
And the old brewer of all the world’s misery, the
Evil One himself, has dominion there at this day.

We went alone through this house, where we
visited many hidden dens and conversed with their
inhabitants. We considered it better and safer to
go about here alone than in company with a
gentleman. Neither did we meet any instance of
rudeness or even incivility. We saw young lads sitting
at the gaming-table with old ruffians; unfortunate
women suffering from horrible diseases; sickly
children; giddy young girls; ill-tempered women

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