Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. W. Harrison Daniel


Richmond's foreign-born inhabitants in 1860 represented about twenty percent of the white population. The Irish and German communities were particularly influential. This thesis examines whether immigration resumed after the Civil War, where immigrants came from, and what role they played in the community. Research included examination of naturalization and census records, church records, newspapers of the period, records of German organizations, and the records of the Virginia legislature. The conclusions are: Immigration resumed on a very small scale. Government efforts to attract more immigrants were unsuccessful. The majority of newcomers were Germans; others came from Scotland, Italy, Ireland, England, and France; and a few from other European countries. Some were influential religious figures while others were ancestors of families who are prominent today. German and Irish immigrants had their own churches and numerous clubs. The Scots formed a Caledonia Club. The Germans were particularly well organized and also maintained German-language newspapers.

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