Figure: Home Locations of Merchants and Laborers in 1827 and 1849.
These maps show the residential locations of merchants and laborers in 1827 and 1849. In 1827, the majority of merchants lived in lower parts of the city and the laborers lived in the northern parts. Then, after the introduction of horse-drawn street cars in the 1830s, the merchants “jumped” over the working class districts to live in the northern suburban parts of Manhattan. This was perhaps the first example of suburbanization in the United States. This northward movement of the upper classes would eventually contribute to the rise of midtown. The areas occupied by the laborers would remain working-class districts, and would attract the thousands of European immigrants pouring into New York starting in the mid-1840s. Source: Longworth’s American Almanac, New-York Register (1827) and Doggett’s New York City Directory (1849).