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"Guttersnipe": A Social History of the American Street Child

  • Hudson Area Library 400 State Street Hudson, NY 12534 (map)


Street children in New York City ca. 1800s
Social history of the American street child

How did street children in the 1800s – newsboys, bootblacks, child minstrels and apple girls – live and survive on the streets of cities like New York? Covering a broad scope of U.S. history, Kristi Gibson will discuss and answer questions from the audience about how images, stories and social policies toward street children shaped our understanding of these kids, shedding light on both the lives of poor children and a rapidly changing society. There will also be time for discussion about how Dr. Gibson’s work about the history of street children might apply to Hudson and other small cities with ‘homeless’ youth today.

Dr. Kristina Gibson holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  She is the author of Street Kids: Homeless Youth, Outreach and Policing New York’s Streets (2011, NYU Press) and is currently researching a second book on the social history of the American street child. She is the owner of Magpie Bookshop in Catskill, NY.

Street vendor, New York City ca. 1800s