Gems from the Memorial Museum

Stationery and Envelope from the Committee on Tenement House Work

From The Silver Cross, August 1892 –

Jacob Riis tells of suggesting a flower mission be started so that bouquets be sent to the “mites of humanity huddled together in filthy rooms.”  Money, clothing, flowers and toys came pouring into his office, and with no time or facilities to distribute them, The King’s Daughters stepped in to help. To show how desperate the conditions were in tenements, Mr. Riis shared these figures:

  • 38,000 tenement houses in New York City inhabited by 1,250,000 people
  • 160,000 of those were babies and children under the age of five
  • 40,000 prisoners are sent from these districts every year
  • One-tenth of the entire number of persons who died in NY were buried in the Potter’s Field

“The effort of The King’s Daughters to relieve some of this misery in New York is always in need of encouragement and aid.”  In 1892, Mrs. Ruggles, one of the Original Ten, was President of the Committee on Tenement House Work, and Mr. Jacob Riis was First Vice President.


Sue Buck
Order Historian










(And Midnight)