The Immigrant Church - Irish
The selections below illustrate the lives of Irish Catholic Immigrants in the U.S.:
-Pittsburgh report of the Alleghany Arsenal explosion, 1862. This specific report provides background information, specifically that Irish Catholic Immigrants, in general, had to take dangerous jobs. Full Exhibit on the Alleghany Arsenal explosion.
-Letters written to Rev. John Hughes by Kirwan (pseudonym for Protestant admirer Nicolas Murray), ca. 1847, New York City. Pages45-46 speak about the Irish as a mass of the poor and suggests involvement by the Catholic Church in keeping them superstitious. However, most of the letters praise the Archbishop’s defense of the faith and work in his community.
-Rev. John Hughes sermon about the Irish Potato Famine and the need for U.S. sympathy and aid, 1847.
These sources provide information about the Irish Catholic involvement in the U.S. military:
-Reports by the leader of the 69th regiment in the Civil War, the Irish brigade, at different battles. The reports illustrate the motivations of some Irish immigrants during the Civil War.
For a broader contextual view of the 69th regiment, visit: http://www.sixtyninth.net/civilwar.html
- From a biography of Major General Zachary Taylor, 1847: This transcribed letter, undated, is reportedly from the Mexican general trying to sway ethnic soldiers to join the Mexican army, namely those of Catholic descent.
- Another page from a history of the U.S.-Mexican War, 1851. Of particular note is page 13 which mentions the deserters of St. Patrick’s Battalion commanding artillery.
These are sources on the draft riots in NYC, 1863:
-"The Great Riot," Continental Monthly, 1863. A newspaper account of the draft riots which shows suspicion of Catholics at the time and describes the role of religion (The article is the eleventh one on the page).
-William Vodrey provides a contextual, secondary source on the subject of the riots.