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Irish Immigration

In the 1800's the Irish in America were not treated well. They were discriminated against due to their Catholic beliefs. There were attacks toward them where their churches were burnt down. Although all of these happenings, the Irish stayed true to their culture. They remained Catholic and even had their own seperate parochial schools for their children.

“At this time they mainly lived in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio and New Jersey. The Irish Emigrant Society tried to persuade immigrants to move to the interior but the vast majority were poverty-stricken and had no money for transport or to buy land. They therefore tended to settle close to the port where they disembarked.” (Spartacus Schoolnet)

Overtime opportunities began to appear for the Irish. “Thousands of Irish labourers worked on building the railroads in the United States. Some were able to save enough money to buy land and establish themselves as farmers along the routes they had helped to develop.” (Spartacus Schoolnet)

“No group was considered lower than an Irishman in America during the 1850s. Free land did not lure them. They rejected the land for the land had rejected them; yet even so they always spoke reverently of the old sod in Ireland. All major cities had their "Irish Town" or "Shanty Town" where the Irish clung together. Our immigrant ancestors were not wanted in America. Ads for employment often were followed by "NO IRISH NEED APPLY." They were forced to live in cellars and shanties, partly because of poverty but also because they were considered bad for the neighborhood...they were unfamiliar with plumbing and running water. These living conditions bred sickness and early death. It was estimated that 80% of all infants born to Irish immigrants in New York City died. Their brogue and dress provoked ridicule; their poverty and illiteracy provoked scorn.” (

"In 1847 40,000 (or twenty percent) of the Irish immigrants perished while still at sea on there way to America. It was reported that sharks would follow the ships because of dead bodies beingthrown overboard frequently." ( Immigration 1821-1860)

"No Irish Need Apply" song written during the 1800's about immigration


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  • No-Irish-Need-Apply(2)