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THE FIVE POINTS

The Buffalo Republic, November 11, 1847

We have recently had our attention called to this section of the city. Those who have daily occasion to pass through this "infected district," assert, that never before since Buffalo has been dignified with the name of city, has vice in all its forms been permitted to have full sway and to go on entirely unrestrained by our city authorities. During the whole summer, and up to the present time, the very worst class ofpeople inhabiting this portion of the first ward, have been permitted to gather there in unusual numbers, publicly enacting the most disgusting scenes, rioting by day and reveling by night with perfect impunity in every species of offense, and originating crimes of the worst and deepest dye. This language may be thought by some, to be too strong and unwarranted.


This text is Copyright 2001 all rights reserved by Stephen Powell and buffalonian.com. This electronic text may not be dupicated or used in any manner without written consent of Stephen R. Powell or buffalonian.com

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Those who think it really so, should put on their hats and leave their quiet places of business, and spend an hour in this location, and then tell us if one half has yet been said that is called for, from those whose duty it is to chronicle the evil as well as the good to be found in our city. It is surprising that men clothed with authority, and whose duty it is to guard the public welfare, should have so long neglected to exercise their official strength in this quarter. To whatever cause we may feel disposed to attribute this neglect of duty, we shall not state at this time. Our aim is to draw the attention of the city authorities and the public to this crying evil, this stain upon the moral reputation of our city and its public dignitaries.
If the canal could speak, and its waters cast up the hidden bodies of those who have doubtless come to an untimely end, its tale of horror would startle the public mind, and those whose duty it is to look after the public peace of our city, might feel and realize how great this has been their omission of duty.

This article and many others like it are featured in the book by Michael N. Vogel, Ed Patton, and Paul Redding titled: America's Crossroads, Buffalo's Canal Street / Dante Place the Making of a City. New York: Western New York Heritage Institute, Canisius College, 1993 which paints an exceptionally vivid picture of Buffalo's old waterfront district...spacer

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This text is Copyright 2001 all rights reserved by Stephen Powell and buffalonian.com. This electronic text may not be dupicated or used in any manner without written consent of Stephen R. Powell or buffalonian.com