Jacob Riis

Jacob Riis was a Danish immigrant from Denmark, he traveled to America in the late 1880’s. Once he arrived here, in New York , he explored the five point slums and experienced the harsh and bitter living conditions of the immigrants that had already been living there. At first he tried writing newspaper articles, that tried to explain the harsh and bitter living conditions of the five point slums. He even added illustrations to try and show the people of New York what the living conditions were like, but the illustrations were too dark.  Then one day he discovered a certain camera power, that allowed him to take pictures of the five point slums at anytime of day, even in the pitch black nights. Then he published a book called How the Other Half Lives, which was very much a success. His book explained to the people of New York and everyone other than the immigrants, the harsh and bitter connditions they lived in and the photos that he took, made the people of America realize that they aren’t the only ones living on earth and that the immigrants deserved better living conditions than what they already had. The President, Theodore Roosevelt was touched by the book the most, and agreed to help the immigrants right away. Jacob Riis is known as a hero to those of the immigrants and if not for his dedication and hard work, the immigrants might have never progressed.


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