Irish Immigration (04:41)
Seven million Irish immigrants came to America during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Initially, they came from Ulster in search of land on the colonial frontier.
The Wearing of the Green (09:53)
Brothers John and Walter Devereux were descendants of Irish Catholics whose land was confiscated by the English. John immigrated to America in 1796, hoping to be a dancing instructor. Walter left Ireland after participating in the failed Irish Rebellion of 1798.
The Hunger (09:46)
A potato famine led to the deaths of more than a million citizens between 1845 and 1851. The eviction of over 500,000 Irish from their homes by British landlords exacerbated the problem.
Work Work Away (05:42)
Some Irish immigrants imagined the streets of America were paved with gold. They went to every region in search of work, often settling for menial labor. In many instances, they were treated little better than slaves.
That Better Land Beyond (06:43)
Fallout from the Great Famine forced William Murphy and his family to leave Rory’s Glen. Murphy immigrated to America in 1862 where he enlisted in the United States Navy. He later moved about the country working as a laborer.
No Irish Need Apply (03:12)
The Irish were often depicted in the American press as violent and less than human. They faced widespread job discrimination and were demonized by the anti-immigrant Know Nothing party.
Effervescing of the Vat (09:09)
Richard O’Gorman fled Dublin following the failed Young Ireland rebellion of 1848. He became a rising star in the corrupt world of New York politics. By 1870, one in five voters in the city had been born in Ireland.
Money From America (02:10)
Irish immigrants sent more than $260 million to relatives in their home country during the latter half of the 19th century. The overwhelming majority of the money was used to finance more immigration.
Miraculous Energy (04:32)
The first boatload of immigrants arrived at Ellis Island on New Year’s Day 1892. The first person down the gangplank was an Austrian man, but he politely stepped aside in deference to a 15-year-old Irish girl named Annie Moore.
Love and Liberty (10:14)
Mary Ann Rowe left her idyllic life in Dunnamaggin for America in 1888. Of all the immigrant groups that flooded into the country in the late 1800s, the Irish were the only ones in which women outnumbered men.
Wind That Shook the Barley (12:03)
Tom Brick was like many inhabitants of western Ireland at the turn of the 20th century. He received an “American wake” before he left Gortadoo for the United States in 1902.
The arrival of the Irish in the 19th century transformed the Catholic church in America. For many immigrants, it was a cultural center and a bulwark against the animosity of native-born Americans.
A New Ireland (05:24)
Timothy Cashman left Killeagh for the United States in 1892. He started a family in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood. Irish-American political leader Eamon de Valera raised more than $10 million and rallied support for Irish independence.
Sweet Mama (06:33)
James Quinn ran away from Belfast and changed his name to Tim O’Brien after arriving in New York. He chronicled his exploits in a series of postcards to his mom. He was arrested for burglary after displaying a collection of shrunken heads and soon disappeared.
A Typical Tipperary (04:56)
Irish immigrants were stereotyped as working-class buffoons in the early 20th century, but they had arrived economically by the 1920s. Several social escalators had lifted them into economic security, including the Democratic Party, labor unions, and the Catholic church.
Erin Once More (09:49)
The 200 year history of Irish-Catholic immigration to America has been dominated by the image of the immigrant as exile. Cashman returned to Ireland in 1925 only to realize there was nothing left for him in his homeland.
Credits: Out of Ireland (01:43)
Credits: Out of Ireland
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