For more than 300 years, the most compelling reason that caused Irish people of all origins and religions to come in large numbers to the American colonies and the United States was economic opportunity. More simply: jobs. While the Irish are usually labeled as canal builders and domestic servants, a more accurate reading is that they were Jacks and Jills of all trades. In a young nation that was expanding geographically and economically, there was a constant need for workers. The Irish were able and willing. This issue of The Shanachie demonstrates the kind of fascinating information that is available about Irish immigrants and their jobs in 19th century Connecticut. It would make a great field to pursue further.
Contents: Irish laborers were the answer for mining peat in Connecticut -- Names, hours and wages of Irish working on Fairfield County railroad / by Paul Keroack -- In 1880, many Irish found maritime work on Connecticut shore -- New London ship crew rosters contain names of numerous Irish natives -- In 1870, Irish women and men by the hundreds wove carpets in Enfield
Connecticut Irish-American Historical Society, "The Shanachie, Volume 26, Number 4" (2014). The Shanachie (CTIAHS). 46.
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