“Fourth Piece to the Puzzle”

By Jeremy Lundquist


Above is a link to a Library of Congress digital copy photograph depicting a New York City civil disturbance in July of 1857. The riot, which pitted two infamous Five Point Gangs against one another, was caused by the sheer lack of police authority, coupled by the conflicting criminality of the two gangs.

However, this image out of context is difficult to make out. The image is in black and white, and the sense of chaos is very apparent. There are no clear indicators of time or space, which increases confusion. The nature of the event is unknown, but the gist almost seems Boston Massacre-esque or from the French Revolution upon a quick glance. This image would be useful for my project because of its obscurity when trying to place it into the context of popular American History. Using this image to educate about the Five Points District in New York, and the unrest which inhabited the streets of the district, I can bring a relatively unknown conflict to light.

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