Kennedy American Pageant 12e -
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The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Twelfth Edition
David M. Kennedy, Stanford University
Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University
Thomas A. Bailey
Examining the Evidence Activites
Chapter 25: America Moves to the City, 1865-1900

Examining Related Evidence: Manuscript Census Data, 1900
This internet activity is based on the Examining the Evidence feature found on page 563 of The American Pageant, Twelfth Edition. Or you can view the feature here.

Census data can be very interesting and valuable, but statistical information can be difficult to humanize—to relate to the actual people. To help you visualize the people described in this data, go to the Museum of the City of New York website to view photographs taken by Jacob Riis of the Lower East Side. Riis was a contemporary of Lewis Hine and the other great American reform photographer at the turn of the century.

First read the introduction to Jacob Riis.

  1. Why did Riis begin taking photographs?
  2. How did he use these images?

    Now look at both sets of images (Jacob A. Riis Collection and A Century Apart) and find the three photographs that seem to connect best to the 1900 Census Data. Identify and describe each photograph you select and explain how the image relates to the 1900 Census Data. Number your answers (3–5).