Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 214
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 214
seems like turning back the finger of time, and snags of various kinds beset their way.
  I remember the President of the Board coming into my office one day with despair written all over him: of a hundred families, carefully picked to go into the country where homes and work awaited them, when it came to the actual departure only seven wanted to go. It was the old story of objection to “the society of the stump.” The wanted the crowds, the bands, the kosher butcher shops, the fake auction stores, and the synagogues they were used to. They have learned a lesson from that in the Jersey colonies, and are building entertainment halls for the social life that is to keep them together. Only a year or so ago an attempt at home-building, much nearer New York, at New Orange, just over the hills in Jersey, came to an abrupt end. It left out the farming end, aiming merely at the removal of needle workers from the city with their factory. A building was put up for a large New York tailoring firm, and it moved over bodily with its men—that is, with such as were willing to go. Work was plentiful in the city, and they were not all ready to surrender the tenement for the sake of a home upon the land, though a very attractive little cottage awaited them on singularly easy terms. However that was almost got over when the firm suddenly threw up the contract. It



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