Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 86
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 86
 
profits of the landlord as in the welfare of the workers.
  That we may get it fairly, suppose we take a stroll through a tenement-house neighborhood and see for ourselves. We were in Stanton Street. Let us start there, then, going east. Towering barracks on either side, five, six stories high. Towering crowds. Push-cart men “moved on” by the policeman, who seems to exist only for the purpose. Forsyth Street: there is a church on the corner, Polish and Catholic, a combination that strikes one as queer here on the East Side, where Polish has come to be synonymous with Jewish. I have cause to remember that corner. A man killed his wife in this house, and was hanged for it. Just across the street, on the stoop of that brown-stone tenement, the tragedy was reenacted the next year; only the murderer saved the country trouble and expense by taking himself off also. That other stoop in the same row witnessed a suicide.
  Why do I tell you these things? Because they are true. The policeman here will bear me out. They belong to the ordinary setting of life in a crowd such as this. It is never so little worth living, and therefore held so cheap along with the fierce, unceasing battle that goes on to save it. You will go no further unless I leave it out? Very well; I shall leave out the murder after we have

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