Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. W. Harrison Daniel


The purpose of this paper was to investigate the Irish immigrants experienc e in antebellum Richmond, Virginia. Their journey to America and the various reasons for migrating south were also included in the study. The neighborhoods and occupations of the Irish were described as well as the immigrant's role in Richmond's antebellum society. The Catholic church, benevolent groups and militias were reviewed in order to understand how Irish helped fellow immigrants adjust and prosper in their new home.

The paper was based on information from the census records of 1850/1860, and from various city directories. Personal property and death records were also used in obtaining information on the Irishman's life in Richmond. Lastly, Richmond's industrial structure and the demand for unskilled labor was researched. Many Irish were found working for the iron industry. Other Irish owned small businesses and stores and managed to acquire wealth and prestige in Richmond, but the majority were unskilled laborers.

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