[Paleopsych] Richard J. Jensen: "No Irish Need Apply": A Myth of Victimization

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Richard J. Jensen - "No Irish Need Apply": A Myth of Victimization -
Journal of Social History 36.2 (2002) 405-429

       Professor of History Emeritus, University of Illinois, Chicago

    write the author at [2]RJensen at uic.edu
    slightly revised version 12-22-2004


    Irish Catholics in America have a vibrant memory of humiliating job
    discrimination, which featured omnipresent signs proclaiming "Help
    Wanted--No Irish Need Apply!" No one has ever seen one of these NINA
    signs because they were extremely rare or nonexistent. The market for
    female household workers occasionally specified religion or
    nationality. Newspaper ads for women sometimes did include NINA, but
    Irish women nevertheless dominated the market for domestics because
    they provided a reliable supply of an essential service. Newspaper ads
    for men with NINA were exceedingly rare. The slogan was commonplace in
    upper class London by 1820; in 1862 in London there was a song, "No
    Irish Need Apply," purportedly by a maid looking for work. The song
    reached America and was modified to depict a man recently arrived in
    America who sees a NINA ad and confronts and beats up the culprit. The
    song was an immediate hit, and is the source of the myth. Evidence
    from the job market shows no significant discrimination against the
    Irish--on the contrary, employers eagerly sought them out. Some
    Americans feared the Irish because of their religion, their use of
    violence, and their threat to democratic elections. By the Civil War
    these fears had subsided and there were no efforts to exclude Irish
    immigrants. The Irish worked in gangs in job sites they could control
    by force. The NINA slogan told them they had to stick together against
    the Protestant Enemy, in terms of jobs and politics. The NINA myth
    justified physical assaults, and persisted because it aided ethnic
    solidarity. After 1940 the solidarity faded away, yet NINA remained as
    a powerful memory.


    The Irish American community harbors a deeply held belief that it was
    the victim of systematic job discrimination in America, and that the
    discrimination was done publicly in highly humiliating fashion through
    signs that announced "Help Wanted: No Irish Need Apply." This "NINA"
    slogan could have been a metaphor for their troubles--akin to tales
    that America was a "golden mountain" or had "streets paved with gold."
    But the Irish insist that the signs really existed and prove the
    existence of widespread discrimination and prejudice. ^[3]1

    The fact that Irish vividly "remember" NINA signs is a curious
    historical puzzle. There are no contemporary or retrospective accounts
    of a specific sign at a specific location. No particular business
    enterprise is named as a culprit. No historian, ^[4]2 archivist, or
    museum curator has ever located one ^[5]3 ; no photograph or drawing
    exists. ^[6]4 No other ethnic group complained about being singled out
    by comparable signs. Only Irish Catholics have reported seeing the
    sign in America--no Protestant, no Jew, no non-Irish Catholic has
    reported seeing one. This is especially strange since signs were
    primarily directed toward these others: the signs said that employment
    was available here and invited Yankees, French-Canadians, Italians and
    any other non-Irish to come inside and apply. The business literature,
    both published and unpublished, never mentions NINA or any policy
    remotely like it. The newspapers and magazines are silent. The courts
    are silent. There is no record of an angry youth tossing a brick
    through the window that held such a sign. Have we not discovered all
    of the signs of an urban legend?

    The NINA slogan seems to have originated in England, probably after
    the 1798 Irish rebellion. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries it
    was used by English to indicate their distrust of the Irish, both
    Catholic and Protestant. For example the Anglican bishop of London
    used the phrase to say he did not want any Irish Anglican ministers
    iin his diocese. By the 1820s it was a cliché in upper and upper
    middle class London that some fussy housewives refused to hire Irish
    and had even posted NINA signs in their windows. It is possible that
    handwritten NINA signs regarding maids did appear in a few American
    windows, though no one ever reported one. We DO have actual newspaper
    want ads for women workers that specifies Irish are not wanted; they
    will be discussed below. In the entire file of the New York Times from
    1851 to 1923, there are two NINA ads for men, one of which is for a
    teenager. Computer searches of classified help wanted ads in the daily
    editions of other online newspapers before 1923 such as the Booklyn
    Eagle, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune show that NINA ads
    for men were extremely rare--fewer than two per decade. The complete
    absence of evidence suggests that probably zero such signs were seen
    at commercial establishments, shops, factories, stores, hotels,
    railroads, union halls, hiring halls, personnel offices, labor
    recruiters etc. anywhere in America, at any time. NINA signs and
    newspaper ads for apartments to let did exist in England and Northern
    Ireland, but historians have not discovered reports of any in the
    United States, Canada or Australia. The myth focuses on public NINA
    signs which deliberately marginalized and humiliated Irish male job
    applicants. The overwhelming evidence is that such signs never

    Irish Americans all have heard about them--and remember elderly
    relatives insisting they existed. The myth had "legs": people still
    believe it, even scholars. The late Tip O'Neill remembered the signs
    from his youth in Boston in 1920s; Senator Ted Kennedy reported the
    most recent sighting, telling the Senate during a civil rights debate
    that he saw them when growing up ^[7]5 Historically, [End Page 405]
    physical NINA signs could have flourished only in intensely
    anti-Catholic or anti-Irish eras, especially the 1830--1870 period.
    Thus reports of sightings in the 1920s or 1930s suggest the myth had
    become so deeply rooted in Irish-American folk mythology that it was
    impervious to evidence. Perhaps the Irish had constructed an Evil
    Other out of stereotypes of outsiders--a demon that could frighten
    children like the young Ted Kennedy and adults as well. The challenge
    for the historian is to explain the origins and especially the
    durability of the myth. Did the demon exist outside the Irish
    imagination--and if not how did it get there? This paper will explain
    how the myth originated and will explore its long-lasting value to the
    Irish community as a protective device. It was an enhancement of
    political solidarity against a hostile Other; and a way to insulate a
    preindustrial non-individualistic group-oriented work culture from the
    individualism rampant in American culture.

    We must first ask if the 19th century American environment contained
    enough fear or hatred of the Irish community to support the existence
    of the NINA sentiment? Did the Irish-American community constitute an
    "Other" that was reviled and discriminated against? Did more modern
    Americans recoil in disgust at the premodern Irish immigrants? The
    evidence suggests that all the criticism of the Irish was connected to
    one of three factors, their "premodern" behavior, their Catholicism,
    and their political relationship to the ideals of republicanism. If
    the Irish had enemies they never tried to restrict the flow of Irish
    immigration. ^[8]6 Much louder was the complaint that the Irish were
    responsible for public disorder and poverty, and above all the fears
    that the Irish were undermining republicanism. These fears indeed
    stimulated efforts to insert long delays into the citizenship process,
    as attempted by the Federalists in 1798 and the Know Nothings in the
    1850s. Those efforts failed. As proof of their citizenship the Irish
    largely supported the Civil War in its critical first year. ^[9]7
    Furthermore they took the lead in the 1860s in bringing into
    citizenship thousands of new immigrants even before the technicalities
    of residence requirements had been met. ^[10]8 The Irish claimed to be
    better republicans than the Yankees because they had fled into exile
    from aristocratic oppression and because they hated the British so
    much. ^[11]9

    The use of systematic violence to achieve Irish communal goals might
    be considered a "premodern" trait; it angered many people and three
    bloody episodes proved it would not work in conflict with American
    republicanism. In 1863 the Irish rioted against the draft in New York
    City; Lincoln moved in combat troops who used cannon to regain control
    of the streets and resume the draft. In 1871 the Irish Catholics
    demanded the Protestant Irish not be allowed an Orange parade in New
    York City, but the Democratic governor sent five armed regiments of
    state militia to support the 700 city police protecting the one
    hundred marchers. The Catholics attacked anyway, and were shot down by
    the hundreds. In the 1860s and 1870s the Molly Maguires used midnight
    assassination squads to terrorize the anthracite mining camps in
    Pennsylvania. The railroad brought in Pinkertons to infiltrate the
    Mollys, twenty of whom were hung. In every instance Irish Catholics
    law enforcement officials played a major role in upholding the modern
    forms of republicanism that emphasized constitutional political
    processes rather than clandestine courts or mob action. In each
    instance the Irish leaders of the Catholic Church supported modern
    republicanism. ^[12]10 After the [End Page 406] 1870s the Irish
    achieved a modern voice through legitimate means, especially through
    politics and law enforcement. Further enhancing their status as full
    citizens making a valuable contribution to the community, the
    Catholics built monumental churches (which were immediately and widely
    praised), as well as a massive network of schools, colleges,
    hospitals, orphanages and other charitable institutions. ^[13]11

    Regardless of their growing status, something intensely real was
    stimulating the Irish Catholics and only them. The NINA myth fostered
    among the Irish a misperception or gross exaggeration that other
    Americans were prejudiced against them, and were deliberately holding
    back their economic progress. Hence the "chip on the shoulder"
    mentality that many observers and historians have noted. ^[14]12 As
    for the question of anti-Irish prejudice: it existed but it was
    basically anti-Catholic or anti-anti-republican. There have been no
    documented instances of job discrimination against Irish men. ^[15]13
    Was there any systematic job discrimination against the Catholic Irish
    in the US: possibly, but direct evidence is very hard to come by. On
    the other hand Protestant businessmen vigorously raised money for
    mills, factories and construction projects they knew would mostly
    employ Irishmen, ^[16]14 while the great majority of middle class
    Protestant households in the major cities employed Irish maids. The
    earliest unquestioned usage found comes from the English novelist
    William Makepeace Thackeray, using the phrase in Pendennis, a novel of
    growing up in London in the 1820s. The context suggests that the NINA
    slogan was a slightly ridiculous and old-fashioned bit of prejudice
    ^[17]15 Other ethnic groups also had a strong recollection of
    discrimination but never reported such signs. The Protestant (Orange)
    Irish do not recall "NINA signs. ^[18]16 Were the signs used only
    against Irish targets?

    An electronic search of all the text of the several hundred thousand
    pages of magazines and books online at Library of Congress, Cornell
    University Library and the University of Michigan Library, and
    complete runs of The New York Times and The Nation, turned up about a
    dozen uses of NINA. ^[19]17 The complete text of New York Times is
    searchable from 1851 through 1923. Although the optical character
    recognition is not perfect (some microfilmed pages are blurry), it
    captures most of the text. A search of seventy years of the daily
    paper revealed only two classified ads with NINA--one posted by a
    Brooklyn harness shop that wanted a boy who could write, and a request
    for a couple to take charge of a cottage upstate. ^[20]18 Unlike the
    employment market for men, the market for female servants included a
    small submarket in which religion or ethnicity was specified. Thus
    newspaper ads for nannies, cooks, maids, nurses and companions
    sometimes specified "Protestant Only." "I can't imagine, Carrie, why
    you object so strongly to a Roman Catholic," protests the husband in
    an 1854 short story. "Why, Edward, they are so ignorant, filthy, and
    superstitious. It would never do to trust the children alone with one,
    for there is no telling what they might learn." ^[21]19 Intimate
    household relationships were delicate matters for some families, but
    the great majority of maids in large cities were Irish women, so the
    submarket that refused to hire them could not have been more than ten
    percent. ^[22]20

    The first American usage was a printed song-sheet, dated Philadelphia,
    1862. It is a reprint of a British song sheet. The narrator is a maid
    looking for a job in London who reads an ad in London Times and sings
    about Irish pride. The last verse was clearly added in America.
    ^[23]21 [End Page 407]

                             NO IRISH NEED APPLY.
                   Written and sung by Miss KATHLEEN O'NEIL.

      WANTED.--A smart active girl to do the general housework of a large
      family, one who can cook, clean plates, and get up fine linen,
      preferred. N. B.--No Irish need apply

                                      --London Times Newspaper, Feb. 1862.

      I'm a simple Irish girl, and I'm looking for a place, I've felt the
      grip of poverty, but sure that's no disgrace, 'Twill be long before
      I get one, tho' indeed it's hard I try, For I read in each
      advertisement, "No Irish need apply."
      Alas! for my poor country, which I never will deny, How they insult
      us when they write, "No Irish need apply." Now I wonder what's the
      reason that the fortune-favored few, Should throw on us that dirty
      slur, and treat us as they do, Sure they all know Paddy's heart is
      warm, and willing is his hand, They rule us, yet we may not earn a
      living in their land,
      . . . .
      Ah! but now I'm in the land of the "Glorious and Free," And proud I
      am to own it, a country dear to me, I can see by your kind faces,
      that you will not deny, A place in your hearts for Kathleen, where
      "All Irish may apply." Then long may the Union flourish, and ever
      may it be, A pattern to the world, and the "Home of Liberty!"

    In 1862 or 1863 at the latest John Poole wrote the basic NINA song
    that became immensely popular within a matter of months. ^[24]22

                             NO IRISH NEED APPLY.
       Written by JOHN F. POOLE, and sung, with immense success, by the
                 great Comic-Vocalist of the age, TONY PASTOR.

      I'm a dacint boy, just landed from the town of Ballyfad;
      I want a situation: yis, I want it mighty bad.
      I saw a place advartised. It's the thing for me, says I;
      But the dirty spalpeen ended with: No Irish need apply.
      Whoo! says I; but that's an insult--though to get the place I'll
      So, I wint to see the blaggar with: No Irish need apply.
      I started off to find the house, I got it mighty soon;
      There I found the ould chap saited: he was reading the TRIBUNE.
      I tould him what I came for, whin he in a rage did fly:
      No! says he, you are a Paddy, and no Irish need apply!
      Thin I felt my dandher rising, and I'd like to black his eye--
      To tell an Irish Gintleman: No Irish need apply!
      I couldn't stand it longer: so, a hoult of him I took,
      And I gave him such a welting as he'd get at Donnybrook.
      He hollered: Millia murther! and to get away did try,
      And swore he'd never write again: No Irish need apply.
      He made a big apology; I bid him thin good-bye,
      Saying: Whin next you want a bating, add: No Irish need apply! [End
      Page 408]
      Sure, I've heard that in America it always is the plan
      That an Irishman is just as good as any other man;
      A home and hospitality they never will deny
      The stranger here, or ever say: No Irish need apply.
      But some black sheep are in the flock: a dirty lot, say I;
      A dacint man will never write: No Irish need apply!
      Sure, Paddy's heart is in his hand, as all the world does know,
      His praties and his whiskey he will share with friend or foe;
      His door is always open to the stranger passing by;
      He never thinks of saying: None but Irish may apply.
      And, in Columbia's history, his name is ranking high;
      Thin, the Divil take the knaves that write: No Irish need apply!
      Ould Ireland on the battle-field a lasting fame has made;
      We all have heard of Meagher's men, and Corcoran's brigade. ^[25]23
      Though fools may flout and bigots rave, and fanatics may cry,
      Yet when they want good fighting-men, the Irish may apply,
      And when for freedom and the right they raise the battle-cry,
      Then the Rebel ranks begin to think: No Irish need apply

    After a few rounds of singing and drinking, you could easily read the
    sign. Note that in the New York City version, Poole changed the London
    maid to a newly arrived country boy; the maid lamented, but the lad
    fights back vigorously. This is a song to encourage bullies. The lad
    starts his job search by scanning the want ads in the city's leading
    Republican newspaper, the New York Tribune, which seems an unlikely
    resource for a new arrival from a remote village. In the draft riots
    of 1863 the Tribune was a special target of Irish mobs. ^[26]24

    Did the Irish feel discriminated against before the NINA slogan became
    current? First note the last stanza of the 1862 London song shown
    above. If the NINA slogan had been current in America surely the
    songwriter would not have included the line "you will not deny, A
    place in your hearts for Kathleen, where 'All Irish may apply."' The
    second evidence comes from the Confederacy in 1863. The Rebels hailed
    and incited Irish unrest in the North. A major editorial in the
    Richmond Enquirer May 29, 1863 enumerated multiple reasons for the
    Irish to hate the Yankees, such as convent attacks and church
    burnings. The catalog of grievances focused on anti-Catholicism and
    did not mention job discrimination or NINA--probably because the Poole
    song had not yet reached Richmond. ^[27]25

    We can now summarize our explanation of where the NINA myth comes
    from. There probably were occasional handwritten signs in London homes
    in the 1820s seeking non-Irish maids. The slogan became a cliché in
    Britain for hostility to the Irish. Tens of thousands of middle-class
    English migrated to America, and it is possible a few used the same
    sort of handwritten sign in the 1830--1850 period; the old British
    cliché was probably known in America. There is no evidence for any
    printed NINA signs in America or for their display at places of
    employment other than private homes. Poole's song of 1862 popularized
    the phrase. The key change that made the second version such a hit was
    gender reversal--the London song lamented the maid's troubles, the New
    York City version called for Irishmen to assert their manhood in
    defiance of a cowardly [End Page 409] enemy. By 1863 every Irishman
    knew and resented the slogan--and it perhaps helped foment the draft
    riots that year. The stimulus was not visual but rather aural--a song
    about NINA sung only by the Irish. There was indeed such a song, and
    it became quite popular during the 1863 crisis of the draft riots of
    the Civil War; it still circulates. The song was a war cry that
    encouraged Irish gangs to beat up suspicious strangers and it warned
    Irish jobseekers against breaking with the group and going to work for
    The Enemy.

    Recollection is a group phenomenon--especially in a community so well
    known for its conviviality and story telling. Congressman Tip O'Neill
    of Massachusetts grew up hearing horror stories of how the terrible
    Protestants burned down a nearby convent school run by the Catholic
    Ursuline nuns. When O'Neill went to college he was astonished to read
    in a history book that it happened a century earlier in 1834--he had
    assumed it was a recent event. ^[28]26 It is most unlikely that
    businesses in Boston routinely displayed NINA signs in the 20th
    century and yet left no trace whatever in the records. People who
    "remember" the signs in the 20th century only remember the urban
    legend. ^[29]27

    Political mobilization against the Irish was never successful. The
    most important effort was the Know Nothing movement, which swept the
    Northeast and South in 1854--56. It was a poorly led grass roots
    movement that generated no significant or permanent anti-Catholic or
    anti-Irish legislation. There was no known employment discrimination.
    Know-Nothing employers, for example, were never accused of firing
    their Irish employees. The Know-Nothings were primarily a purification
    movement. They believed that all politicians were corrupt, that the
    Democrats were the worst, and that Irish support for Democrats, plus
    their growing numbers, made them highly suspect. The party lasted
    longer in the South where it was the anti-Democratic party but only
    slightly anti-Catholic. Ray Billington concludes "The almost complete
    failure of the Know-Nothings to carry into effect the doctrines of
    anti-Catholic and anti-foreign propagandists contributed to the rapid
    decline of this nativistic party." ^[30]28 Likewise there were few
    visible effects of the APA movement of the 1890s, or the KKK in the
    1920s. The conclusion is that, despite occasional temptations,
    Americans considered their "equal rights" republicanism to be
    incompatible with systematic economic or political discrimination
    against the Irish. Given the overlap of anti-Catholic and anti-Irish
    prejudice how can historians tell the difference? In both cases, the
    anti's would attack on political grounds--elections, candidates,
    appointments, bosses, machines, election frauds, registration laws,
    civil service reform. ^[31]29 Anti-Catholics would focus on certain
    issues, especially saints and Mariolatry, parochial schools,
    sacramentalism, convents, missions to the Indians, and Bible-reading
    in schools. ^[32]30 They also were intensely alert to activities of
    the Papacy, and the political power of priests and bishops. The
    Vatican certainly controlled ecclesiastical affairs, but it carefully
    avoided American political issues. ^[33]31 By 1865 politicians
    realized that bishops and priests largely avoided even informal
    electoral endorsements of any kind--they were far less active than
    pietistic Protestants, as the annals of temperance and anti-slavery
    demonstrate. ^[34]32

    Were Irish men the victims of job discrimination in reality? That was
    possible without any signs of course. The evidence is exceedingly
    thin--the Irish started poor and worked their way up slowly, all along
    believing that the Protestant world [End Page 410] hated them and
    blocked their every move. Contemporary observers commented that the
    Protestant Irish were doing well in America, but that preindustrial
    work habits were blocking progress for the Catholics. As Thernstrom
    has shown, Irish had one of the lowest rates of upward mobility.

    A likely explanation is the strong group ethos that encouraged Irish
    to always work together, and resist individualistic attempts to break
    away. (The slogan tells them that trying to make it in the Yankee
    world is impossible anyway.) No other European Catholic group seems to
    have shared that chip on the shoulder (not the Germans or
    Italians--not even anti-Irish groups such as the French Canadians).
    Historians agree the political hostility against the Irish Democrats
    in the Civil War Era was real enough. Critics complained that the
    Irish had poor morals and a weak work ethic (and hence low status).
    Much more serious was the allegation that they were politically
    corrupt and priest-controlled, and therefore violated true republican
    values. The Irish could shoot back that The Enemy did not practice
    equal rights. The Irish community used the allegation of job
    discrimination on the part of the Other to reinforce political
    solidarity among (male) voters, which in any case was very high
    indeed--probably he highest for any political group in American
    history before the 1960s.

    It is easy to identify job discrimination in the 19th century against
    blacks and Chinese (the latter indeed led by the Irish in California).
    Discrimination against the Irish was invisible to the non-Irish.
    ^[36]34 That is perhaps why this urban legend did not die out
    naturally. Benign Protestant factory owners could not soften the
    tensions by removing signs that never existed. When Protestants denied
    NINA that perhaps just reinforced the Irish sense of conspiracy
    against them (even today people who deny NINA are suspected of
    prejudice.) The slogan served both to explain their poverty ^[37]35
    and to identify a villain against whom it was all right retaliate on
    sight--a donnybrook for the foes of St. Patrick. ^[38]36 The myth
    justified bullying strangers and helped sour relations between Irish
    and everyone else. ^[39]37 The sense of victimhood perhaps blinded
    some Irish to the discrimination suffered by other groups. ^[40]38

    Perhaps the slogan has reemerged in recent years as the Irish feel the
    political need to be bona-fide victims. The Potato Famine of course
    had all the ingredients to make them victims, ^[41]39 but it will not
    do to have the villains overseas: there must be American villains.
    ^[42]40 If we conclude the Irish were systematically deluding
    themselves over a period of a century or more about their primary
    symbol of job discrimination, the next question to ask is, was it all
    imaginary or was there a real basis for the grievances about the
    economic hostility of Protestants to Irish aspirations? Historians
    need to be critical. Because a group truly believes it was a victim,
    does not make it so. On the other hand, the Irish chip-on-the-shoulder
    attitude may have generated a high level of group solidarity in both
    politics and the job market, which could have had a significant impact
    on the on the occupational experience of the Irish.

    How successful were the Irish in the job market? Observers noticed
    that the Irish tended to work in equalitarian collective situations,
    such as labor gangs, longshoremen crews, construction crews, or with
    strong labor unions, usually in units dominated numerically and
    politically by Irishmen. Wage rates were often heavily influenced by
    collective activity, such as boycotts, strikes and [End Page 411]
    union contracts, or by the political pressures that could be exerted
    on behalf of employees in government jobs, or working for contractors
    holding city contracts, or for regulated utilities such as street
    railways and subways.

    The first arrivals formed all-Irish work crews for construction
    companies in the building of railroads in the 1830s. ^[43]41 Sometimes
    the Irish managed to monopolize a specific labor market sector--they
    comprised 95% of the canal workers by 1840, and 95% of the New York
    City longshoremen by 1900. ^[44]42 The monopoly of course facilitated
    group action, and once a crossing point was reached it was possible to
    exclude virtually all Others. Solidarity (with or without formal union
    organization) made for excellent bargaining power, augmented as needed
    by the use of intimidation, strikes, arson, terrorism and destructive
    violence to settle any grievances they may have had with their
    employers, not to mention internal feuds linked to historic feuds back
    in Ireland. Direct evidence that employers did not want Irish workers
    is absent. By the early 20th century major corporations had personnel
    offices and written procedures. If the Irish had a reputation for
    being unsatisfactory, the personnel managers never commented upon it.
    Job discrimination against blacks and Asians continued, and was quite
    visible in the corporate records and the media. Discrimination against
    newer immigrant groups can be identified as late as 1941 (when it was
    banned for government contract holders). No trace of anti-Irish
    hostility has turned up in the corporate records of the literature of
    personnel management. Can we prove there was no job discrimination
    against the Irish? Zero is too hard to "prove"--though no historian
    has found any evidence of any actual discrimination by any business or
    factory. ^[45]43 The main "evidence" referenced in the historical
    literature is three fold:

    First, the NINA myth was so convincing that the Irish saw no need to
    investigate further, or to document the discrimination, or to set up a
    protective organization. (They of course organized extensively, in
    both Ireland and America, to protest maltreatment back in Ireland.)

    Second, historians point to contemporaries who commented unfavorably
    on the Irish, generalizing from a handful of cases to create a
    stereotype of the dominant views of all of American society. Now
    indeed the 19th century literature is filled with eyewitness and
    statistical descriptions of Irish drunkenness, crime, violence,
    poverty, extortion, insanity, ignorance, political corruption and
    lawless behavior. The reports come from many cities, from Catholics
    and non-Catholics, social scientists and journalists, Irish and
    non-Irish. ^[47]45 The question is not whether the Irish were admired.
    (They were not.) The argument that the dominant popular stereotypes of
    the Irish were especially nasty does not hold up under careful
    examination. There is no evidence that more than one in a thousand
    Americans considered the Irish as racially inferior, non-white or
    ape-like. ^[48]46

    Third, as noted, historians point to statistical evidence that the
    Irish had lower rates of upward social mobility than average, in the
    1850--1880 period. The Irish must have been held back by something:
    but was it internal or external, or just random historical luck? Given
    the 20th century success story of the Irish--they are among the
    wealthiest groups today--the disability or discrimination ended
    somewhere along the line. [End Page 412]

    Many different models can explain the Irish condition: First there was
    lack of financial and human capital. The Irish who arrived in the
    1840s and 1850s came with few useful industrial or agricultural
    skills, while the British and Germans who came at the same time
    brought cash and much more human capital. Thus the distribution of
    human capital can be said to have allocated Irish to unskilled jobs,
    and other immigrants to more skilled opportunities. After 1890 the
    Irish had acquired some schooling and skills, while the current
    newcomers were primarily unskilled peasants from southern and eastern
    Europe. The latter groups moved into the unskilled jobs while the
    Irish moved up. In the coal fields, with very few job opportunities
    above the level of unskilled miner, the arrival of new competitors led
    to significant tensions and violence. In some cases the new
    competitors were more skilled than the Irish; thus the Swedes who came
    to Worcester in the late 19th century displaced the less skilled Irish
    in the metals factories.

    The Irish did invest heavily in human capital, through their system of
    parochial schools and colleges. The impact of such investment was
    necessarily long-term, and seems to have become visible by 1900. To a
    considerable extent the goal was preservation and protection of
    traditional religious values, and the creation of a social system that
    would discourage intermarriage. However the schools did follow a
    standardized curriculum that inculcated literacy and learning skills.
    Negative investment in human capital involved internal self-defeating
    factors, such as heavy alcoholism, weak motivation, poor work habits,
    and disorganized family life. This was widely commented on regarding
    19th century Irish, but not much reported in 20th century. ^[49]47
    Rather few Irish became entrepreneurs; the community did not generate
    pools of financial capital. Perhaps more important was a low communal
    value on the individualistic businessman. Construction contracting
    seems to have been the only business in which they had any significant
    ownership role, and that depended on control of labor and access to
    government contracts rather than financial capital. The Irish did
    operate many saloons, but they were financed by the German brewers and
    generated little new capital for the community. ^[50]48

    Comparing rates of social mobility assumes that the Irish were seeking
    that goal to the same extent as the Yankees. Perhaps their ambitions
    looked more toward non-individualistic goals (such as building
    impressive churches), or non-career family advancement strategies
    focused on political leadership or home ownership, or (in the case of
    nuns and priests) honorific careers that involved a vow of poverty. A
    strikingly high proportion of talented Irish youth went into very low
    paying, very high prestige religious careers. The community more often
    honored priests and bishops than business entrepreneurs.

    Social mobility depends upon strong family structures. Weak ties in a
    group would indicate fathers and uncles did not assist their kin. The
    Irish had a reputation for the opposite traits (clannishness and
    nepotism), but also had reportedly high rates of internal family
    discord. ^[51]49 On the other hand kinship ties could be too strong
    and impede upward mobility. Parents might demand more child labor,
    valuing family collective goals over the child's individualistic
    career potential. Did the Irish tend to remove their children from
    schools to put them to work early? This would produce ready funds for
    home ownership, but less long-run human capital. Census data indicate
    high rates of school attendance, at least to [End Page 413] age 14.
    ^[52]50 Special family needs, especially sending funds to Ireland for
    subsistence and bringing over more relatives, might have drained the
    capital needed for upward mobility through small business. This indeed
    was a major factor among the Irish down to the 1880s.

    Perhaps the Irish ethic placed more stress on equality and communal
    sharing of wealth. Different customs can have this effect--for example
    extensive charity (tithing), or heavy gambling that redistributes
    earned income in random fashion. Irish levels of charity were
    moderately high (especially donations to the church); observers did
    not comment on heavy gambling. In some cultures, when a man gets money
    he must share it widely with relatives, thus diffusing it and slowing
    accumulation in entrepreneurial hands. Observers did not report this
    trait as especially characteristic of the Irish community. In the
    context of social mobility, "clannishness" can refer to a collective
    ethic whereby the goal is for the group as a whole moves ahead, with
    individual initiative discouraged. ^[53]51 Bad historical luck could
    lock a group into the wrong skills or geography, causing retarded
    growth and structural unemployment. A group could cling too long to
    old-fashioned skills that were dead-end or slow growth, or be attached
    to businesses or geographical areas that grew very slowly. This may
    have happened to the Germans, and certainly did happen in the 20th
    century to coal miners. The Irish however, were noted for their
    willingness to change jobs, move to new neighborhoods or cities, and
    abandon trades. However, the quest for political patronage probably
    locked Irish men into overpaid but dead-end blue-collar jobs, and
    channeled talent into public administration rather than private
    entrepreneurship. ^[54]52

    Perhaps businessmen figured Irish were unacceptable and decided not to
    hire any? There is little evidence for, and vast evidence against,
    this hypothesis. Beginning with Samuel Slater, New England
    entrepreneurs built hundreds of textile mills in the ante-bellum
    period. Although the Yankee owners were at first eager to use Yankee
    workers like themselves (the famous "Lowell Girls") they soon switched
    to Irish and French Canadian Catholics. Pleased with this new labor
    supply, they built more mills, often in small towns that had
    previously been entirely Yankee. They counted on a steady inflow of
    Catholic workers, borrowing millions of dollars to create these jobs.
    Once the Irish did have mill jobs they were four times more likely to
    put their children to work in the same mill than Yankees--rather odd
    behavior if they were mistreated so badly. ^[55]53 Perhaps foremen and
    superintendents hired Irish for low level jobs but deliberately held
    them back or promote them very slowly? Major research projects by
    Tamara Hareven (dealing with Amoskeag, the largest textile mill in the
    world), and Walter Licht, dealing with internal promotion system in
    railroads, finds no evidence of this. Business historians and
    biographers have turned up no instances of systematic anti-Irish
    discrimination by any employer in the US, at any time. ^[56]54

    NINA originated with women domestic servants, and we need to rethink
    their position. No one has suggested the Irish women used violence,
    boycotts or threats to achieve dominance in this industry. "Bridget"
    had a reputation for mediocre quality work, but this liability was
    offset by communal assets that made them attractive employees. They
    spoke English. Along with African Americans and Swedes, they had a
    strong commitment to service jobs and were available in large numbers.
    Because of late marriages and spinsterhood, they spent years in
    service, accumulating experience and maturity that made them more
    attractive [End Page 414] than inexperienced teenagers. Off the job
    the Irish had a well-developed support network that provided
    friendship, entertainment, advice, and connections to find new
    employers. These support networks established informal job standards
    regarding working hours, housing, food, perquisites and pay scales.
    The standards were enforced by the maid immediately quitting if the
    employer violated the standards, with knowledge her friends would be
    supportive and would help her find a new position. Despite scare
    stories in the anti-Catholic pamphlets, the Irish servants did not
    proselytize or interfere with household religious activity. Given the
    dominance of Irish women among maids in the large cities, and the
    constant turnover of servants, we can estimate that the large majority
    (perhaps 80 or 90 percent) of middle class families, regardless of
    their own ethnic or religious affiliations, routinely hired Irish
    women. ^[57]55

    The economic theory of discrimination focuses on the tastes of the
    employers, coworkers and customers, and the costs to each (in terms of
    profits, wages and prices) of having a distaste for a category of
    workers. If there is underemployment of a target group in a
    competitive market, then some entrepreneur can make a bigger profit by
    seeking out and hiring that group. Coworkers who have a strong
    distaste for working alongside the target can react by boycotting that
    employer, forcing up his other costs. By looking at wage rates in
    workplaces with different mixes of groups, economists hope to estimate
    the "distaste" factor: that is, workers will have to be paid more to
    work alongside a target group (and will accept lower pay if there are
    no coworkers from that group.) Estimates of the distaste factor come
    from a historical study dealing with Michigan furniture workers in the
    1890s. It found that in general all groups have a preference for their
    own kind as coworkers (and were willing to take a 5--10% wage cut for
    the privilege of working alongside their own kind.) People who were
    willing to work with outsiders were paid more. "Distaste" for Irish
    measured out about the same as for other groups. Overall
    discrimination was small--combined with language skills and the myriad
    of other unmeasured factors it was less than 5% of the average wage.
    Doubtless there was a tendency for owners of small shops to hire only
    their own ethnicity. While this would have the effect of excluding
    Irish from certain jobs, it cannot be called "anti-Irish" in
    motivation. Probably the Irish practiced closed hiring as much as or
    more than any group. ^[58]56

    We know from the experience of African Americans and Chinese that the
    most powerful form of job discrimination came from workers who vowed
    to boycott or shut down any employer who hired the excluded class.
    Employers who were personally willing to hire Chinese or blacks were
    forced to submit to the threats. ^[59]57 There were no reports of mobs
    attacking Irish employment, even during sporadic episodes of attacks
    on Catholic church facilities in 1830s and 1840s. No one has reported
    claims that co-workers refused to work alongside Irish; this powerful
    form of discrimination probably did not affect the Irish in
    significant ways. On the other hand the Irish repeatedly attacked
    employers who hired African Americans or Chinese. If a group is
    systematically discriminated against in a major way by most employers,
    it will be segregated into a small niche. This segregation should be
    visible in the census statistics of occupation, when comparing it to
    other groups, especially to British Protestant immigrants who were not
    reputedly subject to discrimination. The most useful analysis of any
    large city for the 19th century is the "Philadelphia Social History
    Project" [End Page 415] which computerized hundreds of thousands of
    census entries. The Irish comprised 15--30% of the labor force there.
    How segregated were they, and how did the segregation decline over
    time? [60]Table 1 shows an index of how different the Irish and others
    were from native Americans. (Philadelphia was one of the few cities
    with a large native American working class.) The data show the Irish
    were about in the same position as German immigrants, and much less
    liable to being boxed into a job niche than blacks, Italians, Poles or
    Jews. The Irish had about the same score in 1930 as the British, which
    is consistent with very little discrimination by employers. The index
    is about the same for Irish of the first and second generation (1880)
    and later Irish (1930) indicating that the level of anti-Irish
    discrimination did not change much over time; it can be seen as
    equally low in both 1880 and 1930. [End Page 416]

    Assuming the Irish relied somewhat less on individual skills or market
    forces, and more on collective action and political prowess for their
    job security and pay rates, we must ask how successful were they? By
    the early twentieth century their pay scales were probably at least
    average. Peter Baskerville has discovered the Irish Catholics in urban
    Canada in 1901 were about average in terms of both family incomes and
    standards of living.

            Table 1: 1880 Index of Job Segregation , Philadelphia

    Old Stock


    Irish Immigrants

    Sons of Irish immigrants

    German Immigrants

    Sons of German immigrants


                 1930 Index of Job Segregation, Philadelphia

    White, US born parents









    My analysis of Iowa data in 1915 in Table 2 shows the Irish Catholics
    had slightly above average incomes, but that additional years of
    schooling helped them less than other groups. This suggests that group
    solidarity was a powerful force for uplift, but it improved the status
    of the group as a unit rather than as an average of separate
    individuals. Autobiographies of overly ambitious youth relate how they
    were harassed by their classmates and warned against the sin of pride
    by the priest and nuns. ^[62]60
  Table 2: Lifetime Earnings and return to additional schooling Iowa
Non-Farm Men, 1915

Group                    N       $Lifetime   Return ALL
                              909      100       10.6%

OLD STOCK                    499       97        9.7%
    No Religion               243       93        9.1%
    Methodist                 164       95        9.7%

ETHNICS                      410      100       10.6%
   German                     147      109       12.2%
   Lutheran                    34       95        9.5%
   Catholic                    46      106       13.9%
   Scandinavian                87      103       12.2%
   British                     58      114       14.7%
   Irish Catholic              57      104        8.4%

    Pete Hamill explained how the collective spirit affected him, growing
    up in Brooklyn in 1940s: ^[63]61

      This was part of the most sickening aspect of Irish-American life
      in those days: the assumption that if you rose above an acceptable
      level of mediocrity, you were guilty of the sin of pride. You were
      to accept your place and stay in it for the rest of your life; the
      true rewards would be given to you in heaven, after you were dead.
      There was ferocious pressure to conform, to avoid breaking out of
      the pack; self-denial was the supreme virtue...it was arrogant, a
      sin of pride, to conceive of a life beyond the certainties,
      rhythms, and traditions of the Neighborhood. Sometimes the attitude
      was expressed directlyMore often, it was implied. But the
      Neighborhood view of the world had fierce power. Who did I think I

    When the Irish grumbled about "No Irish Need Apply," they perhaps were
    really warning each other against taking jobs which were controlled by
    the Other and immune from the political pressures that group
    solidarity could exert. There was method to the myth, which is why it
    persisted so long. Individual upward mobility was a priority for
    individualistic strivers imbued with the "Protestant Ethic." There is
    no reason to assume it motivated the Irish. Their individual upward
    mobility rates were modest. ^[64]62

    If the Irish turned both politics and the job market into a group
    struggle, then we might expect different outcomes when comparing the
    three situations where the Irish were too weak to make much
    difference, where they had the "right amount" of leverage, and where
    they were too numerous. Statistical studies of social mobility in the
    1850--1920 era suggest that the Irish did best in the Midwest (where
    they had just the right amount of strength), and not nearly as well in
    the Northeast, where they were too numerous to be advantaged by
    zero-sum power maneuvering. ^[65]63 Why the difference? Both Midwest
    and Northeast regions were doing very well, industrializing rapidly at
    that time. Let's examine the model of collective solidarity of the
    Irish in the labor market. It was a technique to facilitate the group
    as a whole moving rather than individuals. It had zero-sum properties
    (what one group gained, other groups lost). Their technique would work
    much better when the Irish were 10--30% of the population, and not
    nearly as well when they were in a majority. (If their numbers went
    above 50%, then it was dysfunctional, for most gains would come at the
    expense of other Irish.) The Irish did have a numerical dominance in
    Boston and other northeastern [End Page 417] cities, such as Troy.
    There were fewer rivals to elbow out of the way, and their technique
    was therefore much less successful there. The Irish approach
    discouraged entrepreneurship (which is positive-sum). It encouraged
    government work, and jobs (such as canal or railroad construction,
    longshoremen, transit) where government contacts or franchises were
    involved (thus allowing them to use their political muscle). In order
    to expand their preferred job base the Irish supported expansion of
    government spending and government regulation--what John Buenker has
    called "urban liberalism." Successors to the Al Smith tradition of
    urban liberalism, such as Speakers John McCormack and Tip O'Neill and
    Senator Ted Kennedy could well boast of their achievements in
    expanding government (or preventing its contraction) during and after
    the New Deal era. ^[66]64

    After 1860 fears that the Irish were a threat to republicanism rapidly
    disappeared. The most decisive event came in spring 1861; when the War
    broke out the Irish rallied to the American flag, and joined the army.
    Although they strenuously opposed the draft and emancipation, they
    never supported the Confederacy (unlike some old-line Democratic
    leaders who took Confederate money.) Irish veterans were welcomed into
    the GAR, whose camaraderie validated their republicanism. The worst
    forms of poverty and destitution eventually disappeared, and a solid
    class of property owners and civil servants emerged to anchor the
    Irish in their communities. The Catholic Church, controlled by the
    Irish, vigorously supported law and order, and effectively suppressed
    the premodern urge to use violence for political goals. The Pope never
    dictated politics, and the bishops and priests never became active in
    domestic politics. They focused on building schools, colleges,
    hospitals, asylums and the stunningly beautiful churches. Many
    critics--throughout the 19^th and 20^th centuries--were alarmed that
    parochial schools threatened the public school system, which they
    insisted was the only guarantee of republican values. The Catholics
    vehemently rejected this allegation, and over the years gained
    surprising allies, as other denominations started their own parochial
    schools, including the German Lutherans, Dutch Calvinists, Orthodox
    Jews, and evangelicals. Lingering anti-Catholicism reappeared in
    debates over prohibition, and especially over the nomination of
    Catholics to the presidency, but it is notable that politicians were
    never attacked for their Irish heritage. ^[67]65

    Irish collective solidarity seems to have broken down after World War
    Two, as New Deal work relief ended, the big city machines collapsed,
    unions entered an era of slow, steady decline, and the Catholic school
    system generated high school and college graduates well-equipped to
    make their way in the white collar world entirely as individuals, with
    minimal need for group support. By the 1960s the Irish had moved from
    the bottom to near the top of the ladder, with an economic status that
    surpassed their old Yankee antagonists. With the election of John
    Kennedy in 1960, Irish political solidarity climaxed. The Last Hurrah
    came in 1964, when Irish Catholics voted 78 percent for Lyndon
    Johnson. They abandoned Humphrey in 1968; since then they have split
    evenly between the parties and no longer comprise a bloc vote. ^[68]66

    Did the Irish come to America in the face of intense hostility,
    symbolized by the omnipresent sign, "Help Wanted: No Irish Need
    Apply"? The hard evidence suggests that on the whole Irish immigrants
    as employees were welcomed by employers; their entry was never
    restricted; and no one proposed they be excluded [End Page 418] like
    the Chinese, let alone sent back. Instead of firing Catholics to make
    way for Protestant workers, most employers did exactly the opposite.
    That is, the dominant culture actively moved to create new jobs
    specifically for the unskilled Irish workers. As soon as the Irish
    acquired education and skills they moved up the social status ladder,
    reaching near the top by the 1960s. For a while political questions
    were raised about the devotion of the Irish to America's republican
    ideals, but these doubts largely faded away during the 1860s. The
    Irish rarely if ever had to confront an avowedly "anti-Irish"
    politician of national or statewide reputation--itself powerful
    evidence for the absence of deep-rooted anti-Irish sentiment. By the
    late 19th century the Irish were fully accepted politically and
    economically. However, reality and perception diverged. After the song
    appeared in 1862 the Irish themselves "saw" the NINA signs everywhere,
    seeing in them ugly discrimination that was forcing them downward into
    the worst jobs. It was deliberate humiliation by arrogant Protestant
    Yankees. The myth was undeniable--anyone inside the group would be
    called a traitor for suggesting that internal weaknesses inside the
    Irish community caused its problems; anyone outside would be called a
    prejudiced bigot. ^[69]67 But what if there were no such signs? The
    NINA slogan was in the mind's eye, conjured by an enormously popular
    song from 1862. Job discrimination by the Other was too well known to
    the Irish to need evidence beyond NINA, or the "recent" burning of the
    Ursuline convent. Historians engaging in cultural studies must beware
    the trap that privileges evidence derived from the protests of
    self-proclaimed victims. Practically every ethnoreligious group in
    America cherishes its martyrs and warns its members that outsiders
    "discriminate" against them, or would if they had the opportunity. The
    NINA slogan had the effect of reinforcing political, social and
    religious solidarity. It had a major economic role as well,
    strengthening the politicized work-gang outlook of Irish workers who
    had to stick together at all times. It warned the Irish against
    looking for jobs outside their community, and it explained away their
    low individual rates of upward social mobility. The slogan identified
    an enemy to blame, and justified bully behavior on the city streets.
    NINA signs never faded away, even as the Irish prospered and
    discrimination vanished--they remained a myth about origins that could
    not be abandoned.

                                                            Bow, NH 03304


    This essay grew out of discussions on several email lists, including
    H-ETHNIC, H-HIGH-S, Irish-Diaspora, and Wild Geese. Special thanks to
    all the participants; I appreciate the advice from John Allswang,
    Tyler Anbinder, Peter Baskerville, Colin B. Burke, Leo Casey, Robert
    Cherny, Terry Clark, Heather Cronrath, Maura Doherty, Jay Dolan,
    Elizabeth Ellis and the staff at the Museum of the City of New York,
    Joe Gannon, Larry Giantomas, Victor Greene, Susan Ikenberry, Rob
    Kennedy, Kevin Kenny, Lawrence Kohl, Bill Leckie, Dale Light, Sean
    Lyons, Dennis J. McCann, Martha Mayo, Brad McKay, Lawrence J.
    McCaffrey, John McClymer, John Morello, Gerald A. Regan, Joel
    Schwartz, Patrick O'Sullivan, Gene Sessions, and Stephan Thernstrom.
    [End Page 419]

    [70]1. Even historians have believed the myth; for example, the
    leading scholar of the Irish migration claims, "Unskilled workers and
    servants, especially, encountered the ubiquitous 'No Irish Need Apply'
    notices when they searched for jobs in Boston, New York, and other
    major cities." Kerby Miller, Emigrants and Exiles (1985), 323. Kevin
    Kenny, The American Irish: A History (2000) demonstrates how central
    the sense of discrimination was.

    [71]2. Stephan Thernstrom (email of March 27, 2001 to author) notes he
    saw no discriminatory ads, or complaints of job discrimination, in the
    four decades of issues of Newburyport Daily Herald that he examined.
    Martha Mayo (email of June 24, 2001 to author) likewise has found no
    references in her exhaustive search of Lowell newspapers. Oscar
    Handlin did not report seeing a NINA, but he did reference a handful
    of editorials in Irish Catholic newspapers that vigorously condemned
    NINA in want ads for household workers. Handlin, Boston's Immigrants,
    1790--1880 (1959), p. 62.

    [72]3. A major exhibit, Gaelic Gotham, from the Museum of the City of
    New York, see [73]http://www.mcny.org/Exhibitions/Irish/irish.htm did
    not have any NINA signs, but did reprint the text of a newspaper ad
    for maids.

    [74]4. Of course Ebay.com sells these signs. But they are all modern
    fakes, made by novelty sign makers for the Irish market. See for
    example [75]http://www.bookguy.com/Irish/Books/irishem.htm Scholars
    can get fooled too, as shown by

    [77]5. Kennedy said, "I remember 'Help Wanted' signs in stores when I
    was growing up saying 'No Irish Need Apply ."' Congressional Record
    Senate Sept 9, 1996 page S10054. He was born to a rich family in 1932,
    about the same time as the Lindbergh baby, and grew up in very well
    protected upper class circumstances that seldom brought him to the
    factory districts. No other Irishman hius age reports seeing a sign.

    [78]6. Immigration restriction movements originated in the 1890s, at a
    time when Irish immigration had declined to a trickle, and did not
    target the Irish. Indeed, the most powerful force behind restriction
    was the American Federation of Labor--half of whose leaders were Irish

    [79]7. On motivation see Randall M. Miller, "Catholic Religion, Irish
    Ethnicity, and the Civil War," in Randall M. Miller, Harry S. Stout,
    and Charles Reagan Wilson, eds. Religion and the American Civil War
    (1998), 261--96. Edward K. Spann, "Union Green: The Irish Community
    and the Civil War," in Ron Bayor and Timothy Meagher, eds. The New
    York Irish (1996), 193--209. There were no allegations of Irishmen
    going South to join the Confederacy. In the war with Mexico, however,
    a hundred Irish Americans deserted from the US army, organized two San
    Patricio battalions, and fought alongside the Mexicans. Many were
    captured and hung by General Winfield Scott. Pam Nordstrom, "San
    Patricio Battalion," Handbook of Texas (1996)

    [81]8. Steven P. Erie, Rainbow's End: Irish-Americans and the Dilemmas
    of Urban Machine Politics, 1840--1985 (1988), ch 2. After the war the
    leading veteran's organization, the Grand Army of the Republic,
    welcomed Irish Catholic members. Since it was the mainstay of the
    Republican party in many small towns, the GAR provided an opportunity
    for Democratic Irishmen to mingle on friendly and equal terms with
    Protestants of the same age, and softened the tensions created by the
    temperance movement. See Michel J. Martin, "'A Class of Persons Whose
    Presence is a Constant Danger': Progress, Prohibition, and 'Public
    Disorderliness' in Burlington, 1860--1880," Vermont History (1994) 62:
    148--165; and Gene Sessions, "'Years of Struggle': The Irish in the
    Village of Northfield, 1845--1900," Vermont History (1987) 55: 69--95.
    [End Page 420]

    [82]9. John Belchem "Nationalism, Republicanism and Exile: Irish
    Emigrants and the Revolutions of 1848," Past & Present (Feb 1995) 146:
    103--35. They also considered themselves superior Christians in vivid
    contrast to the heretical Protestants, who were most likely damned to

    [83]10. One might add the Fenian invasion of Canada in 1866, which
    failed totally; the Pope excommunicated the Fenians.

    [84]11. Generally see Michael Glazier, ed. The Encyclopedia of the
    Irish in America (1999); for details, Iver Bernstein, The New York
    City Draft Riots: Their Significance for American Society and Politics
    in the Age of the Civil War (1990); Michael A. Gordon, The Orange
    Riots: Irish Political Violence in New York City, 1870 and 1871
    (1993); Edward B. Freeland, "The Great Riot," Continental Monthly
    (Sept 1863) v4#2 pp. 302--312 online at
    -0004-62. On the Molly Maguires, see Wayne G. Broehl, Jr., The Molly
    Maguires (1964) and Kevin Kenny, Making Sense of the Molly Maguires
    (1998); see also online sources at
    [86]http://tigger.uic.edu/~rjensen/molly.htm and Joel Tyler, Headley,
    The Great Riots of New York, 1712 to 1873, including a full and
    complete account of the Four Days' Draft Riot of 1863 (1873), online
    at [87]http://www.hti.umich.edu/m/moa.new/

    [88]12. Lawrence J. McCaffrey, The Irish Diaspora in America (1976),
    p. 66, suggests ghetto life exaggerated stereotypes and nurtured Irish
    failure "by cultivating the paranoia, defeatism, and feelings of
    inferiority planted by the past." See also Thomas H. O'Connor, The
    Boston Irish: A Political History (1995), 94.

    [89]13. The Irish tended to equate themselves with Catholicism,
    interpreting anti- Catholicism as anti-Irish prejudice. Other
    Catholics groups, especially the Germans, French Canadians, and Poles,
    resented this proprietary attitude.

    [90]14. Brian C. Mitchell, The Paddy Camps: The Irish of Lowell,
    1821--61 (1988), shows how the mill owners replaced the Yankee "Lowell
    Girls" with Irish and French Catholics. Wealthy Protestants who
    summered in Maine brought their servants along and asked the bishop to
    help arrange for Catholic services for them. James O'Toole, Militant
    and Triumphant: William Henry O'Connell and the Catholic Church in
    Boston, 1859--1944 (1992), 42. On the decline of anti-Catholicism at
    the local level, see Luisa Spencer Finberg, "The Press and the Pulpit:
    Nativist Voices in Burlington and Middlebury, 1853--1860," Vermont
    History (1993) 61: 156--175.

    [91]15. The history of Pendennis. His fortunes and misfortunes, his
    friends and his greatest enemy (1848) p. 102. The character was
    referring to Protestant Irish.

    [92]16. On relations between the two Irish groups, see David
    Montgomery, "The Shuttle and the Cross: Weavers and Artisans in the
    Kensington Riots of 1844." Journal of Social History (1972) 5:
    411--446. In addition to religion, Irish regionalism led to
    internecine fighting over jobs, which further gave the Irish community
    a "fighting" reputation.

    [93]17. It is now easy to search through hundreds of thousands of
    pages of 19th century magazines and books, using the Making of America
    online software at Cornell ([94]http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/ or
    Michigan. (see [95]http://moa.umdl.umich.edu For the Times, see
    [96]http://newspaperarchive.com/ and for The Nation,

    [98]18. See the ad in The New York Times of March 25, 1854 shown
    below--this is the only NINA ad for men anyone has ever found; also
    see Sept. 21, 1859. The Times of Jan 9, 1854, had an ad for servants
    from a "Protestant Employment Society." A houseworker ad on February
    10, 1858 specified, "Only Scotch need apply." For comparison, the
    search engine turned up 25 instances of the phrase "respectable young
    girl" in 1861 alone, plus 34 entreaties for a "first rate cook" that
    year. It turned up a solitary ad that specified "only Americans need
    apply"--for a governess position in Kentucky. New York
    [End Page 421] Times July 18, 1855. The New York Irish-American (May
    28, 1853) vowed that "we shall kill this anti-Irish-servant-maid
    crusade." It claimed to have hired a lawyer to sue the advertisers and
    the papers involved. On May 16, 1857, it proudly noted that there had
    not been a "no Irish need apply" ad in a while. On maids see David M.
    Katzman, Seven Days a Week: Women and Domestic Service in
    Industrializing America (1978).

    [99]19. Aunt Abbie, The O'Brian Family, or The Fruits of Bible Reading
    (Philadelphia, 1855). They hired an Irish servant anyway, to keep the
    story moving.

    [100]20. The privacy zone around household employment still operates
    in federal civil rights law. Stephen J. Pollak, "1968 and the
    Beginnings of Federal Enforcement of Fair Housing," (2000), online at
    [101]http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing/documents/pollak.htm has
    explained the exemption from the 1968 Civil Rights law for "Mrs.
    Murphy's boarding house." That is, for houses with no more than four
    units, one of them occupied by the owner. The choice of an Irish
    boarding house was doubtless a humorous touch by Senator Everett
    Dirksen, who loved witty wordplay.

    [102]21. Online at
    [103]http://memory.loc.gov/rbc/amss/cw1/cw104040/001q.gif Library of
    Con- gress. See William H. A. Williams, "Irish Song in America," in
    Glazier, ed. The Encyclopedia of the Irish, 475--6.

    [104]22. Online at [105]http://memory.loc.gov/ Library of Congress,
    digital ID 09730

    [107]23. Meagher's men (see
    [108]www.mindesign.net/Ninth_Corps/meagher/meagher2.html and
    Corcoran's brigade were Irish Catholic combat units raised in New York
    City in 1861--62. (see
    [109]http://members.tripod.com/~Shaung/164thny.html After Lincoln
    issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on Sept 22, 1862,
    support from Irish Catholics fell off drastically, suggesting that the
    lyrics were written before then. At the battle of Fredericksburg in
    December, 1862, Meagher's brigade, comprising six all-Irish regiments
    from New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, suffered 45% casualties
    and the Irish enthusiasm for fighting drastically declined. Craig A.
    Warren, "'Oh, God, What a Pity!': The Irish Brigade at Fredericksburg
    and the Creation of Myth," Civil War History (2001) 47:193--221. For
    the Irish mood see Bernstein, The New York City Draft Riots; Frank L.
    Klement, "Catholics as Copperheads during the Civil War," The Catholic
    Historical Review (1994) 80:36--57. For songs celebrating their
    patriotism, see David Kincaid, "The Irish Volunteer: Songs of the
    Irish Union Soldier, 1861--1865," online at

    [111]24. The narrator is male but he selects an ad for a maid, which
    gives the house address. The annual Donnybrook fair had a long
    reputation for brawling. "Spalpeen" meant rascal and was current only
    in Ireland; "Millia murther" ("million murders") was the standard oath
    when one was getting beaten up. On more typical job searches by new
    arrivals, see Joseph Dinneen, Ward Eight (1936), 1--3. For Tony
    Pastor, see [112]http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/research/fa/pastor.html and
    Susan Kattwinkel, Tony Pastor Presents: Afterpieces from the
    Vaudeville Stage (1998). The modern version by Brendan Nolan (see
    [113]http://brendannolan.com/) is a variant of the Poole version. For
    music listen to [114]http://tigger.uic.edu/~rjensen/song.htm

    [115]25. The unsigned editorial was probably authored by John Mitchel,
    the famous "Young Ireland" leader who was on staff at the time.
    William Dillon, The Life of John Mitchel (1883). For text see

    [117]26. John Aloysius Farrell, Tip O' Neill and the Democratic
    Century: A Biography (2001) p 55; Miller, Emigrants and Exiles, 324.
    The convent was run by Catholic nuns from French Quebec and primarily
    served rich Unitarian girls. See Nancy Lusignan Schultz, Fire and
    Roses : The Burning of the Charlestown Convent, 1834 (2000). [End Page

    [118]27. There are a few other references to NINA in the periodical
    literature: The Nation Jan 14, 1869, p. 27; March 23, 1871, p. 192;
    1873 short story used to show prejudice of a crooked politician p 447;
    4-0032-78); an amusing 1876 usage by novelist Henry James, Jr. in The
    American, showing tolerance p 669 (see
    4-0037-136); 1876 account on why Chinese make better houseworkers in
    San Francisco p 736 (see
    4-0012-116); There is an explicit reference by an Irish priest in a
    Catholic magazine of 1881, referring to an era 40 years before: Rev.
    F. P. Ryan, "Ireland and the Irish," Catholic World (Sept 1881) 33:
    849, online at [122]http://www.hti.umich.edu/

    [123]28. Ray Allen Billington, The Protestant Crusade, 1800--1860
    (1938), 407, and geographical maps 405--6. Tyler Anbinder, Nativism
    and Slavery: The Northern Know Nothings and the Politics of the 1850's

    [124]29. Critics said Irish bosses made a mockery of republicanism;
    for an example (with no anti-Catholic component), see "Irish Power" a
    cartoon in Puck, April 3, 1889, online at

    [126]30. Jenny Franchot, Roads to Rome: The Antebellum Protestant
    Encounter with Catholicism (1993); Billington, Protestant Crusade ;
    Ward M. McAfee, Religion, Race, and Reconstruction: The Public School
    in the Politics of the 1870s (1998). American scholars are laggard
    compared to the excellent work done in Britain and Canada: D. G. Paz,
    Popular Anti-Catholicism in Mid-Victorian England (1992); John D.
    Brewer and Gareth I. Higgins, "Understanding Anti-Catholicism in
    Northern Ireland," Sociology, (1999) 33:235--261; J. R. Miller,
    "Anti-Catholic Thought in Victorian Canada," Canadian Historical
    Review, (1985), 66:474--494; Mark McGowan, The Waning of the Green:
    Catholics, the Irish and Identity in Toronto, 1887--1922 (1999);
    Terence Punch, "Anti-Irish Prejudice in Nineteenth century Nova
    Scotia: The Literary and Statistical Evidence," in Thomas P. Power,
    ed., The Irish in Atlantic Canada, 1780--1900 (1991). For an
    anti-Catholic compendium see Samuel W. Barnum, Romanism as It Is
    (1872), online at [127]http://www.hti.umich.edu/

    [128]31. The bishops strongly opposed the Fenians and the Molly
    Maguires; the Pope condemned the boycotts in the Irish Land War.
    Violence simply was an unacceptable technique. The one American
    exception that proves the rule was Rev. Edward McGlynn, who was
    repeatedly warned and finally excommunicated. Many priests and nuns
    were arrested in Missouri during Reconstruction; the Irish were known
    to have supported the Confederacy and the Radicals wanted to exclude
    them from politics. The indictments were thrown out by the U.S.
    Supreme Court. See Harold C. Bradley, "In Defense of John Cummings,"
    Missouri Historical Review (1962) 57: 1--15; William T. Johnson,
    "Missouri Test Oath" The Catholic Encyclopedia (1912) v 14, online at

    [130]32. In Ireland the political role of priests was well
    established; John Newsinger, "The Catholic Church In
    Nineteenth-Century Ireland," European History Quarterly (1995) 25:
    247--267. Rev. L. W. Bacon, "The Literature of the Coming
    Controversy," Putnam's Monthly Magazine (Jan 1869) p. 72, praises
    rapid maturation of RC church; online at

    [132]33. Miller, Emigrants and Exiles 268--70, 273--4; 314--23;
    Stephan Thernstrom, The Other Bostonians: Poverty and Progress in the
    American Metropolis, 1880--1970 (1973); Joseph P. Ferrie, "The Entry
    into The U.S. Labor Market of Antebellum European Immigrants,
    1840--1860," Explorations in Economic History (1997) 34:295--330;
    Ferrie, "Up and out or [End Page 423] Down and Out? Immigrant Mobility
    in the Antebellum United States," The Journal of Interdisciplinary
    History (1995) 27:33--55.

    [133]34. The Irish image in the popular media has been a topic of
    interest for historians. As Lewis P. Curtis showed in Apes and Angels:
    The Irishman in Victorian Caricature (1997) Punch magazine in London
    commissioned many cartoons and jokes denigrating the Irish in every
    way possible, and making them look like monkeys. For example see the
    crude humor of its Dec 21, 1861 issue, pp 250--51, online at
    2-0072-6 American writers in the MOA corpus never referred to the
    Irish as monkeys or apes (though one did refer to Yale undergraduates
    as monkeys.) However the German-American cartoonist Thomas Nast picked
    up the device. Nast was famous for his use of animals--including the
    Republican elephant and Democratic donkey--but does not seem to have
    depicted the Irish or any ethnic group as animals. Nevertheless rival
    cartoonist Frank Beard ridiculed Nast by drawing him as a monkey, in
    Judge July 12, 1884. Otherwise there were no references to the Irish
    as "Simian" or subhuman in the American literature. Anthony Wohl
    reviews the British hostility towards the Irish (see

    [136]35. The most visible--and ghastly--conditions were in New York
    City; see Tyler Anbinder, Five Points: The Nineteenth-Century New York
    City Neighborhood That Invented Tap Dance, Stole Elections and Became
    the World's Most Notorious Slum (2001).

    [137]36. In Ireland the Land Wars of 1879--82 involved a demonization
    of landlords, contrasted with their sacralization of the exploited
    tenant farmer, reflecting a premodern rural ethic, coupled with a duty
    sense of fighting back against the oppressor. See Donald Jordan, "The
    Irish National League and the 'unwritten law': rural protest and
    nation-building in Ireland, 1882--1890," Past & Present (1998)
    158:146--70. A dynamic interaction between agitators inside Ireland
    and America existed from the mid 1850s, resulting in the formation of
    the Fenians and the Irish Republican Brotherhood, as well as
    fund-raising in the States. The Fenians turned violent in 1863, aiming
    to invade Canada. This cross-Atlantic interplay perhaps heightened
    Irish suspicions that they were abused by Yankees as much as by
    Englishmen. Oliver Rafferty, "Fenianism in North America in the 1860s:
    The Problems for Church and State," History (1999) 84: 257--277;
    Victor A. Walsh, "Irish Nationalism and Land Reform: The Role of the
    Irish in America," Irish Studies (1985) 4: 253--269.

    [138]37. William Cardinal O'Connell of Boston reveled in the memories
    of his boyhood, when he and his chums would refuse to endure "Puritan
    Yankee jeers and taunts," and often would mete out a few retaliatory
    "cuffing(s), blows, and bloody noses." William Henry O'Connell,
    Recollections of Seventy Years (1934), pp. 35--39. Chicago's first
    mayor Daley built his political reputation as a gang leader circa
    1919, with perhaps some involvement in the Chicago race riot that
    year, as revealed by chapter 1 from Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor,
    American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley: His Battle for Chicago and
    the Nation (2000).

    [139]38. As the biographers of Mayor Richard Daley observe:

      Daley's childhood catechism of Irish deprivations left him
      convinced that no group had suffered as his kinsmen had suffered.
      In the 1960s, when Daley was turning a deaf ear to the civil rights
      movement, one liberal critic opined: "I think one of the real
      problems {\lbracket}Daley{\rbracket} has with Negroes is
      understanding that the Irish are no longer the out-ethnic group."

    Cohen and Taylor, American Pharaoh, p. 21.

    [140]39. The Irish have worked to include the Potato Famine in the
    school curriculum; see
    [141]http://www.nde.state.ne.us/SS/irish/irish_pf.html [End Page 424]

    [142]40. The sense of victimhood among American ethnic groups varied
    greatly. It was highest for groups who lived in high-tension local
    situations with neighbors they feared, such as Irish, African
    Americans, Jews, Japanese Americans, and white Southerners (after
    Reconstruction). However, it seems to be lower among Mormons and
    German Americans, who were targets primarily of federal wrath. The
    Chinese Americans seem to have surprisingly low levels of perceived
    victimhood, perhaps because they systematically walled themselves off
    from very hostile neighbors after 1880. The question is open on what
    the correlation was between perceived and actual discrimination.

    [143]41. Matthew E. Mason, "'The Hands Here Are Disposed to Be
    Turbulent': Unrest among the Irish Trackmen of the Baltimore and Ohio
    Railroad, 1829--1851," Labor History (1998) 39: 253--72. Peter Way,
    "Shovel and Shamrock: Irish Workers and Labor Violence in the Digging
    of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal," Labor History (1989) 30: 489--517.

    [144]42. The first chapter Divided We Stand (2001), by Bruce Nelson,
    provides an excellent discussion of the collective work culture of
    longshoremen, 95% of whom were Irish in New York. It is online at

    [146]43. Thomas N. Maloney, "Personnel Policy and Racial Inequality in
    the Pre-World War II North," The Journal of Interdisciplinary History
    (1999) 30:235--57; Daniel Nelson, Managers and Workers: Origins of the
    New Factory System in the United States 1880--1920 (1975); Sanford
    Jacoby, Employing Bureaucracy: Managers, Unions, and the
    Transformation of Work in American Industry, 1900--1945 (1985);
    Richard W. Steele, "'No Racials': Discrimination Against Ethnics in
    American Defense Industry, 1940--42," Labor History (1991) 32: 66--90.
    When job discrimination ends--as it largely did against Catholics in
    Northern Ireland after 1972, the statistics show a rapid equalization
    of social status. Richard Breen, "Class Inequality and Social Mobility
    in Northern Ireland, 1973 to 1996," American Sociological Review
    (2000) 65:392--406. The Irish were not privy to the private letters of
    management--but historians are, They never mention the desirability of
    not hiring Irish--though they were often keen about blackballing
    strikebreakers. See Thomas C. Cochran, Railroad Leaders 1845--1890
    (1953); James R. Barrett, "Unity and Fragmentation: Class, Race and
    Ethnicity on Chicago's South Side, 1900--1922," Journal of Social
    History (1984) 18:37--55; Licht, Working for the Railroad. Railroad
    policy, as one president explained to a priest, was zero tolerance for
    discrimination. "If there are any just grounds even of suspicion that
    there is any movement among our Superintendents to discriminate in any
    manner against Irishmen or against Catholics, we will see that the
    proper steps are taken to prevent it." Franklin B. Gowen to Fr. Daniel
    O'Connor, March 15, 1880, quoted in Marvin W. Schlegel, Ruler of the
    Reading, The Life of Franklin B. Gowen (1947), p. 176.

    [147]44. See Bayor and Meagher, eds. New York Irish, especially Hasia
    Diner, "'The Most Irish City in the Union': The Era of Great
    Migration, 1844--1877" pp 87--106. For conditions in Ireland and the
    mind-set of the immigrants, see Miller, Emigrants and Exiles. Miller
    shows that the Catholics felt exiled from their native land, driven
    out by malevolent Protestants. At the same time the Orange Protestants
    became much more hostile to the Catholics; they were a strong factor
    in Canada, and weak in the USA. See Donald MacRaild, "The Orange
    Order, Militant Protestantism and Anti-Catholicism: A Bibliographical
    Essay," (1999) online at

    [149]45. Carl Siracusa, A Mechanical People: Perceptions of the
    Industrial Order in Massachusetts, 1815--1880 (1979). For a Catholic
    view see "The Sanitary and Moral Condition of New York City," Catholic
    World (August, 1869) 9:553--566, online at

    [151]46. Dale T. Knobel, Paddy and the Republic: Ethnicity and
    Nationality in Antebellum America (1986) grossly exaggerates the
    ridicule toward the Irish--even to the point of reprinting cartoons
    that had nothing to do with the Irish, after removing the captions.
    Knobel [End Page 425] haphazardly selected a couple hundred
    publications (he never says exactly how many); he selected newspaper
    stories, for example, that dealt with riots and other episodes of
    intergroup violence which have little relevance to employment or
    social status. He found 1592 references to the Irish over the years
    1820--1860. However sources, such as melodramas with numerous Irish
    characters, had numerous references, and each was counted as a
    separate "unit-perception." In all he found 392 different descriptive
    adjectives, and coded them according to a scheme developed by a
    psychologist for the language in use a century later. Knobel found a
    small (statistically insignificant) increase in emphasis on physical
    characteristics in the depiction of Irish in melodrama and popular
    fiction in the 1850s (p. 194). He then rebuilt his thesis around this
    tiny effect; he failed to follow proper research design by not taking
    a larger sample to see if the effect was caused by sampling error. (He
    only looked at 33 melodramas, and then split them three ways, so his N
    is around 12.) Likewise he divided his 30 school texts into three
    groups. On the whole, Knobel's statistical research design is much too
    weak to support his conclusions. For more on the problem of content
    analysis, see Charles Dollar and Richard Jensen, Historian's Guide to
    Statistics (1971). Knobel's own data reveal that physical references
    to the Irish were declining in three of the seven categories of
    writing, including newspapers and popular nonfiction. He mentions
    adjectives that he found only once--such as "Simian," "bestial,"
    "savage," "brutish" and "low-browed", and many readers have assumed
    these were "typical" descriptions of the Irish. In contrast to his few
    sources this project examined 14,000 books and magazine articles, with
    48,000 references to the Irish. We used the amazing searchable indexes
    at the Making of America project, the New York Times, and The Nation,
    which of course were not available when Knobel wrote. Searches
    indicate that Americans rarely or never referred to Blacks as "smoked
    Irish"; they did not call the Irish "white Negroes" nor characterize
    them as "Simian," "bestial," "savage," or "low-browed." We found
    exactly one reference to "low browed" (p. 267 in an 1857 humorous
    essay full of vast exaggerations), (see Thomas Butler Gunn, The
    Physiology of New York Boarding Houses (1857), 267, online at
    4) and one to "Simian" (by William Dean Howells, (see
    4-0083-25) p. 191, in 1891, commenting on the British cartoonists.)
    Knobel's misreading of the evidence was perpetuated by David Roediger,
    The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working
    Class (1991) and Noel Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White (1995) who
    uncritically used page 88 of Knobel (which, however, is highly
    ambiguous and misleading in the first place.) No American in the 19^th
    century is known to have considered Irish as black. The Confederacy
    for example, welcomed Irish Catholics as citizens and soldiers--even
    as governors and generals. See Glazer, Encyclopedia, 155--56, 868,
    929--30; Jason H. Silverman, "Stars, Bars and Foreigners: The
    Immigrants and the Making of the Confederacy," Journal of Confederate
    History (1988) 1:265--88.

    [154]47. Hasia R. Diner, Erin's Daughters in America: Irish Immigrant
    Women in the Nineteenth Century (1983); Richard Stivers, Hair of the
    Dog: Irish Drinking and Its American Stereotype. (2nd ed. 2000).

    [155]48. Dennis Clark, "Ethnic Enterprise and Urban Development,"
    Ethnicity (1978) 5:108--118; Perry R. Duis, The Saloon: Public
    Drinking in Chicago and Boston, 1880--1920 (1983); Walter Licht,
    Getting Work in Philadelphia, 1840--1950 (1992); Timothy J. Meagher,
    Inventing Irish America: Generation, Class, and Ethnic Identity in a
    New England City, 1880--1928 (2000). Kevin Blackburn, "The Protestant
    Work Ethic and the Australian Mercantile Elite, 1880--1914," Journal
    of Religious History, (1997) 21:193--208, demonstrates the Irish did
    not share the individualistic work ethic of their Protestant neighbors
    in Australia. The best coverage of the rise of the Irish middle class
    is Paula M. Kane, Separatism and Subculture. Boston Catholicism,
    1900--1920 (1994).

    [156]49. Diner, Erin's Daughters.

    [157]50. David W. Galenson, "Ethnic Differences in Neighborhood
    Effects on the School Attendance of Boys in Early Chicago," History of
    Education Quarterly (1998) 38:17--35; [End Page 426] Galenson,
    "Neighborhood, and the School Attendance of Boys in Antebellum
    Boston," Journal of Urban History (1998) 24:603--26; Joel Perlmann,
    Ethnic Differences: Schooling and Social Structure among the Irish,
    Italians, Jews, and Blacks in an American City, 1880--1935 (1988), re
    Providence; Steven Herscovici, "Ethnic Differences in School
    Attendance in Antebellum Massachusetts: Evidence from Newburyport,
    1850--1860," Social Science History (1994) 18:471--96.

    [158]51. Miller, Emigrants and Exiles argues this "peasant" outlook
    was strong among the Irish; Lloyd I. Rudolph, "The Modernity of
    Tradition: The Democratic Incarnation of Caste in India," American
    Political Science Review (1965) 59:5--89, shows that an entire caste
    can indeed move upward by sticking together.

    [159]52. Erie, Rainbow's End, 61.

    [160]53. Jonathan Prude, The Coming of Industrial Order: Town and
    Factory Life in Rural Massachusetts, 1810--1860 (1983) demonstrates
    good relations between the mill owners and the Irish. Also see
    Siracusa, A Mechanical People; Mitchell, Paddy Camps, and Bernstein
    Draft Riots.

    [161]54. Walter Licht, Working for the Railroad (1983), pp. 222--23;
    Tamara Hareven, Family Time and Industrial Time (1982). The nearest
    example is an 1886 newspaper report that a Worcester, Massachusetts,
    factory was deliberately replacing Irish with cheaper Swedish workers.
    There was considerable tension between the groups, expressed in street
    violence and politics. The Swedes, however, seem to have been rather
    more skilled and better paid. The French also complained about being
    replaced by Swedes. Roy Rosenzweig, Eight Hours for What We Will:
    Workers and Leisure in an Industrial City, 1870--1920 (1983), pp.

    [162]55. Diner, Erin's Daughters, 80--94; Diane M. Hotten-Somers,
    "Relinquishing and Reclaiming Independence: Irish Domestic Servants,
    American Middle-class Mistresses, and Assimilation, 1850--1920,"
    Eire-lreland: a Journal of Irish Studies, (Spring--Summer 2001)
    185--203; Janet A. Nolan, Ourselves Alone: Women's Emigration from
    Ireland. 1885--1920 (1989), 73--90; Katzman, Seven Days a Week,
    271--73; Diner, "Women, Nineteenth Century" in Glazer, ed.
    Encyclopedia of Irish 964; Faye E. Dudden, Serving Women: Household
    Service in Nineteenth-Century America (1983), 62--5; Aife Murray,
    "Miss Margaret's Emily Dickinson," Signs (1999) 24: 697--732. For a
    negative view see Kenny, American Irish, 153--54. Note that in
    aristocratic Britain the butlers controlled the servants' quarters,
    not the housewives; an informal Irish network would be a threat to
    them, so perhaps they were the ones who decided, "No Irish Need
    Apply." See Jessica Gerard, Country House Life: Family and Servants.
    1815--1914 (1994). On the workings of informal networks among
    domestics, see Dorothea Schneider, "The Work That Never Ends: New
    Literature on Paid Domestic Work and Women of Color," Journal of
    American Ethnic History (1998) 17: 61--66. For contemporary views see
    Grace A. Ellis, "Household Servants," The Galaxy (Sept 1872)
    14:349--55 online at
    7-0014-43; Robert Tomes, "Your Humble Servant," Harper's New Monthly
    Magazine. (June 1864) 29: 53--60, online at
    4-0029-10; Harriet Beecher Stowe, "House and Home Papers," Atlantic
    Monthly (June 1864) 13:759 online at
    For a revealing cartoon see [166]"Bridget...Our Self-Made Cooks - From
    Paupers to Potentates..."

    [167]56. David Buffum and Robert Whaples, "Fear and Lathing in the
    Michigan Furniture Industry: Employee-based Discrimination a Century
    Ago," Economic Inquiry (1995) 33:234--52 finds the Irish were overpaid
    by 7%; Paul McGouldrick and Michael Tannen, "Did American
    Manufacturers Discriminate against Immigrants Before 1914?" Journal of
    Economic History (1977): 723--46 finds virtually no discrimination.
    For theory see Kenneth Arrow, "The Theory of Discrimination," in
    Discrimination in Labor Markets, edited by Orley Ashenfelter and
    Albert Rees, (1973), pp. 3--33; Gary Becker, The Economics of
    Discrimination, 2nd. ed. (1971); Glen G. Cain, "The Economic Analysis
    of Labor Market Discrimination: A Survey" in Orley C. Ashenfelter and
    Richard Layard, eds. Handbook [End Page 427] of Labor Economics (1986)
    v1 ch 13 . On ethnic in-hiring, see Odd S. Lovoll, A Century of Urban
    Life: The Norwegians in Chicago before 1930 (1988), pp. 153, 159, 165.

    [168]57. Harper's Weekly reported on the anti-Chinese movement in
    California; their reports are online at
    [169]http://immigrants.harpweek.com/ James Ford Rhodes, History of the
    United States (1920) 8:186 explained how real job discrimination

      "There were a large number of unemployed in San Francisco,
      estimated when the winter came on at 15,000, a large number for a
      city of about 200,000; these were willing converts of Dennis
      Kearney, the leader of the Sandlotters. Kearney was a drayman of
      some education who had lost money through speculation in mining
      stocks and who swayed the crowd by his inflammatory speech. "The
      Chinese must go," was a favorite declaration and, from attacking
      the Chinese, Kearney naturally arrived at a denunciation of their
      employers. "A little judicious hanging right here and now," he
      said, "will be the best course to pursue with the capitalists and
      stock sharps who are all the time robbing us." A notable event was
      a meeting on October 29 (1877) on Nob Hill in front of the railroad
      kings' wooden palaces. In his speech Kearney demanded that the
      Central Pacific Railroad discharge all Chinese within three months.
      "Recollect Judge Lynch," he said, "and that is the judge that the
      working-men will want in California if the condition of things is
      not ameliorated." Kearney was arrested for incendiary language and
      when released reiterated his refrain, "The Chinese must go," and
      exhibiting to the Sand Lot meeting four feet of rope with a noose
      declared that that was their platform."

    [170]58. From Stephanie W. Greenberg, "Industrial Location and Ethnic
    Residential Patterns in an Industrializing City: Philadelphia, 1880,"
    in Theodore Hershberg, ed., Philadelphia (1981), p. 215.

    [171]59. Jensen, unpublished data, using sample of 1915 Iowa State
    Census. The "lifetime income" is an index involving time discounts,
    and should be considered the present value of the future income of the
    group, holding age constant. "Return" is how much one additional year
    of high school improved annual earnings over a lifetime.

    [172]60. Peter Baskerville, "Did Religion Matter?: Religion and Wealth
    in Urban Canada at the Turn of the Twentieth Century," (unpublished
    paper); Joel Perlmann and Waldinger, Roger, "Second Generation
    Decline? Children of Immigrants, Past and Present: A Reconsideration,"
    International Migration Review (1997) 31:893--922.

    [173]61. Pete Hamill, A Drinking Life: A Memoir (1994), pp. 110--11.

    [174]62. Stephan Thernstrom, Poverty and Progress: Social Mobility in
    a Nineteenth Century City (1964); see also Howard Gitelman, "No Irish
    Need Apply: Patterns of and Responses to Ethnic Discrimination in the
    Labor Market," Labor History (1973) 14(1): 56--68. Looking at Waltham,
    Massachusetts, 1850--90 he finds Irish avoided on-the-job training or
    formal education; they stayed in the lowest-paying, unskilled jobs.

    [175]63. See Andrew Greeley, The Irish Americans: The Rise to Money
    and Power (1981), pp. 110--20; Thernstrom, Other Bostonians; JoEllen
    Vinyard, "The Irish on the Urban Frontier: Detroit, 1850--1880." (PhD
    Michigan, 1972); David Noel Doyle, Irish-Americans, Native Rights and
    National Empires; The Structure, Divisions and Attitudes of the
    Catholic Minority In the Decade of Expansion, 1890--1901 (Doctoral
    Thesis, University of Iowa, 1976; published by Arno); Grace McDonald,
    History Of The Irish In Wisconsin In The Nineteenth Century (1954);
    and Steven P. Erie, "Politics, the Public Sector and Irish Social
    Mobility: San Francisco, 1870--1900," Western Political Quarterly
    (1978) 31: 274--289. For good essays comparing cities across the
    country see Timothy J. Meagher, From Paddy to Studs: Irish-American
    Communities in the Turn of the Century Era, 1880 to 1920 (1986). For
    comparative wealth data, see Timothy G. Conley and David W. Galenson,
    "Nativity and Wealth in Mid-Nineteenth Century Cities," The Journal of
    Economic History, (1998) 58:468--93. [End Page 428]

    [176]64. Terry N. Clark, "The Irish Ethnic Identity and the Spirit of
    Patronage" Ethnicity (1978) 2: 305--359, found municipal spending much
    higher in Irish strongholds; compare Erie, Rainbow's End, 46. See also
    John D. Buenker, Urban Liberalism and Progressive Reform (1973).
    Patrick D. Kennedy, "Chicago's Irish Americans and the Candidacies of
    Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1932--1944," Illinois Historical Journal (1995)
    88: 263--278.

    [177]65. German was another matter, especially in World War I, and as
    late as 1940 Wendell Willkie was attacked for his German (Protestant)

    [178]66. Andrew Greeley That Most Distrustful Nation: the Taming of
    the American Irish (1972) and many other reports using national survey

    [179]67. Identification of a minority's dysfunctional and pathological
    internal problems make an investigator vulnerable to attacks for
    "blaming the victim" or "racism." A firestorm of criticism engulfed
    sociologist Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1965, when he reported on the
    condition of the Negro family. Daryl Michael Scott, "The Politics of
    Pathology: The Ideological Origins of the Moynihan Controversy,"
    Journal of Policy History (1996) 8: 81--105.


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