19th Precinct, 1st Ward
- Alternate Title:
- Nineteenth Precinct, First Ward, Chicago
- 19th Precinct, 1st Ward
- Persuasive Maps: PJ Mode Collection
- Stead, W. T. (William Thomas), 1849-1912
- Posted Date:
- ID Number:
- File Name:
- 1870 - 1899
Politics & Government
- 18.5 x 26.5 (centimeters, height x width)
- This polemic map uses overwhelming tones of red, black and grey to convey a reformer's view of "vice and inequity in Chicago." Edney 2007, 126. See also Vaughan 2018, 175-77.
W. T. Stead was a crusading social reformer and journalist, a pioneer of the British "New Journalism" tabloid press of the 1880s and 1890s. He made his name with sensational articles and campaigns against poverty in London and child prostitution. He attended the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, and stayed on to write "If Christ Came to Chicago", half religious exhortation, half political expose. "The book used all Stead's ploys of sensational interviews and lurid descriptions of the disreputables, the degenerates, the 'Boodlers' and also exposed mass corruption in the running of the city." Wood-Lamont 1987.
Stead devotes an entire chapter to the Nineteenth Precinct of the First Ward of Chicago, "not because it is an average precinct, but because it presents in an aggravated form most of the evils which are palpably not in accord with the mind of Christ. If Christ came to Chicago it is one of the last precincts into which we should care to take him." (Stead, 111). He tallies the precinct's 46 saloons, 37 "houses of ill-fame," and 11 pawnbrokers, "the moral sore spots of the body politic." And he allows that the map of the precinct "does not overestimate, but rather gives an unduly favourable impression as to the influences in the midst of which the inhabitants of the precinct grow up." (Ibid. 117). The area shown by the Hull House Maps, ID # 1120, is immediately below the area mapped by Stead.
Stead concludes with an exhortation: "If any man or woman in Chicago to whom Providence and society have given wealth and leisure, without at the same time destroying their generous aspirations after the improvement of the conditions of their fellow-creatures, the nineteenth precinct of the First Ward, and many another precinct in the city may be commended to them as affording an admirable field in which they can turn their benevolent desires to good result." (Ibid. 120).
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- Stead, William T. 1894. If Christ came to Chicago! A Plea for the Union of All Who Love in the Service of All Who Suffer. London: The Review of Reviews.
- Private Collection of PJ Mode
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