Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 72
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 72
 
“Now you go,” he said, “to your quiet home in a decent street where no harm comes to you or your wife or children in the night, for it is their home. And we—we go with our high resolves, the noble ambitions you have stirred, to our tenements where evil lurks in the darkness at every step, where innocence is murdered in babyhood, where mothers bemoan the birth of a daughter as the last misfortune, where virtue is sold into a worse slavery than ever our fathers knew, and our sisters betrayed by paid panders; where the name of home is as a bitter mockery, for alas! we have none. These are the standards to which we go from here.” And then followed the whole amazing story of damning conspiracy between power and vice in those tenements before which a whole city stood aghast.
  A meeting was called the following day by Dr. Adler, of men and women who had the welfare of their city at heart, and when they had heard the story, they resolved that they would not rest till those things were no longer true. One of their number was the Rev. Robert Paddock, the priest in charge of Bishop Potter’s Pro-Cathedral, right in the heart of it all in Stanton Street. He set about gathering evidence that would warrant the arraignment of the evil-doers in his district; but when he brought it to the police he was treated with scorn and called liar.

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