The Irish Migration to America

The Irish Migration to America
June 18, 2010
Jennifer Melvin

The Irish Migration
      As a young Irish female, after the great potato rot in 1840 we had no choice but to leave Ireland and migrate elsewhere to avoid starvation.   Along with many of my countrymen, my family and I fled to the city of Boston in the United States (The Irish in America). Once arriving in the United States the majority of us remained in the port cities where we had landed. However, many of us were sick and weak from lack of food and the rigors of the journey. With very little money my family and I had no other option but to remain in the seaports. Although we were saved from the great famine of Ireland many of us washed up on the shores of Boston with few skills besides cooking, cleaning or just enough to work in factories (The Irish in America). With so many newly arriving Irishmen there were limited job opportunities and terrible living conditions. Therefore, when looking for labor many of us resorted to servitude and eventually became viewed as a servant race to Bostonians, but my family and I remained hopeful.
In addition to being treated as servants we had to face bigotry and stereotypes everyday as well. We were even ostracized for being Catholic. Many Protestants and "native" America was distrustful of a religion that was, as they viewed it, highly irregular with its beads, meditative prayers to Jesus' mother, oils, saints and statues. We were also categorized as angry, alcoholic beings that drank all the time in saloons and had regular bar brawls and parties (Immigration and Discrimination). The Bostonians and most of "native" America portrayed us as illiterate, greedy and nothing more than a stupid servant race. We were even ridiculed over the size of our families. For example, some would say that an Irish family looked more like a clan than a family and that we multiplied like rabbits (Immigration and Discrimination). To prevent from being ridiculed many of us...