Little Italy

Puck Magazine Cartoons – Joseph Keppler

Puck Magazine & Jospeh Keppler: Kings of Satire 
Named for the mischievous fairy in Shakespeare’s“Mid-Summer Night’s Dream,” Puck Magazine was the brainchild of German political cartoonist, Joseph Keppler.  He founded it in 1876 to poke fun at the political classes.


For the first year, it was only published in German, which gives you an idea of how many Germans lived in New York City.  Out of a total population of 1.5 million in 1890,  more than 400,000 people were either born in Germany or came from at least one German parent.

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St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral & Irish New York

St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral
Completed in 1815, St. Patrick’s was the first Catholic church in New York.  It was designed by Joseph Francois Mangin, who began life as a slave in Haiti and escaped to France during the Slave Rebellion of 1791.  In Paris, he was trained as an architect, and then fled to New York when the French Revolution turned bloody.


Mangin was quite successful here and designed a number of important buildings, including City Hall.  As a member of the congregation, Mangin was a natural choice to design the Cathedral.

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Pierre Toussaint: Refugee, Hairdresser and Saint

Our tour of Little Italy will bring you by St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, where you’ll find the grave of Pierre Toussaint.


Toussaint led an extraordinary, rags-to-riches life.  He was born a slave in Haiti.  In 1791, when the famous Slave Rebellion broke out, he was brought here by his owners – the Bernard family.  With the clothes on their backs, they all fled in a small boat, arriving in New York a few weeks later.  Monsieur Bernard died from wounds suffered in the Rebellion, leaving his family penniless and stranded in a foreign land.

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