Friday, October 09, 2015

The Water Street Mission, Revisited

This little "Manual of the Water Street Mission" in New York City was published in 1880, and seems to have served both as an introduction for prospective clients and as the mission's annual report. The founder of the mission, a onetime "river rat" and reformed alcoholic named Jerry McAuley, was still alive at the time. Following his death in 1884 a number of subsequent publications would keep track of the mission's activities, including the Rev. R. M. Offord's Jerry McAuley: His Life and Work (1885), Samuel H. Hadley's Down in Water Street (1902), and Mrs. S. May Washburn's "But, Until Seventy Times Seven": The Story of the McAuley Water Street Mission (1936).

The image at the top of this post shows the pamphlet's very nice engraved frontispiece; the cover, which sports another engraving, is shown below. Neither image is credited.

Laid inside my copy, but definitely later in date, I found the gatefold photograph below, which bears the caption "This photograph was taken by Mr. Thomas Savage Clay, and shows the class of men from which we get our converts." A cropped version of the same image is reproduced in "But, Until Seventy Times Seven."

Previous Water Street Mission posts:

The Madonna of Cherry Hill
Death of a Salesman
A Manhattan Mission
Cassie Burns

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