Helen Campbell's "Prisoners of Poverty: Women Wage-Workers, Their Trades and Their Lives"

Helen Campbell's "Prisoners of Poverty: Women Wage-Workers, Their Trades and Their Lives"

Author: 
Helen Campbell

A collection of scenes and anecdotes about New York's poor women, some concentrating on an industry like fur-sewers and others on individuals.

The stories in this book originally appeared in the New York Tribune's Sunday edition from October, 1886 to March, 1887.

Book Excerpt: 
"Sketchy as the record may seem at points, it is a photograph from life; and the various characters, whether employers or employed, were all registered in case corroboration was needed. . . . " ". . .Often in passing from one trade to another, chance brings about much the same result for each class, and no energy or patience of effort is sufficient to check the inevitable descent into the valley of the shadow, where despair walks forever hand in hand with endeavor. "This time had by no means come for Rose, with just enough of her happy-go-lucky father's nature to make her essentially optimistic. Born in a Cherry Street tenement-house, she had refused to be killed by semi-starvation or foul smells, or dirt of any nature whatsoever. Dennis Haggerty, longshoreman professionally, and doer of all odd jobs in the intervals of his discharges and re-engagements, explained the situation to his own satisfaction, if not to that of Rose and the five other small Haggertys remaining from the brood of twelve. "If a man wants his drink that bad that no matter what he's said overnight he'd sell his soul by the time mornin' comes for even a thimbleful, he's got jist to go to destruction, an' there's no stoppin' him. An' I 've small call to be blamin' Norah whin she comforts herself a bit in the same manner of way, nor will I so long's me name's Dennis Haggerty. But you, Rose, you look out an' get any money you'll find in me pockets, an' keep the children straight, an' all the saints 'll see you through the job."
Year of Publication: 
Sat, 1887-01-01
Rights Information: 
public domain
City of Publication: 
Boston
Book Publisher: 
Roberts Brothers