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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   

9. Social

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Activities: Author Activities

Abraham Cahan - Selected Archive Items

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[3046] Lewis Hine, Old Jewish Couple, Lower East Side (1910),
courtesy of the George Eastman House.
Upon arrival in the United States, Eastern European Jewish immigrants were faced with difficult questions: which aspects of their ethnic identity should they preserve, which reshape? Abraham Cahan addressed these and other topics in his Bintle Briv column.

[5023] Detroit Publishing Company, Mulberry Street, New York City (c. 1900),
courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [LC-USZC4-1584].
New York City received huge numbers of immigrants at the turn of the twentieth century. In the bustling streets of the Lower East Side, Old World met New in a population that ranged from Eastern European and Russian Jews to Irish Catholics.
[5124] T. De Thulstrup, Home of the Poor (1883),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-75197].
This illustration shows an interior view of a crowded New York City tenement. The living conditions of the city's poor at the turn of the twentieth century eventually sparked a wave of social reform.

[7034] Anonymous, Peddlers--New York's "Little Jerusalem" (between 1908 and 1916),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-95683].
New York's densely populated Lower East Side was home to innumerable vendors, as well as great poverty. Its largest ethnic community was Jews from Eastern Europe.

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