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Month: May 2022

Five Points

Five Points

Five Points streets intersection painted by George Catlin in 1827 (Gabriele’s journal – January 21, 1991) (Nick’s narrative – May 5, 2022) When I found the story of the ragman hermit, I xeroxed the page from the reference book, another talisman to be added to my medicine bag. The city had been recently clearing homeless encampments, but I knew now the Hill was beyond its jurisdiction, belonging to a greater domain. The spirit of the ragman and hermit was its…

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Tong Wars

Tong Wars

New York Tongs under arrest ca. 1904 (Gabriele’s journal – June 18, 1991) (Nick’s narrative – May 12, 2022) By 1900, 7,000 Chinese had immigrated to the neighborhood, and Five Points was referred to as Chinatown. The Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 had halted legal immigration from outside of America. It was a reaction to anti-Chinese sentiment, stemming from resentment about the willingness of the Chinese to work for far less money under far worse conditions than white laborers. The…

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