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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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teacup.jpg
Uncovered during an archaeological dig of the former Five Points neighborhood, this teacup depicts the Irish temperance reformer Father Theobold Mathew, who during the late 1830s and 1840s convinced Irish on both sides of the Atlantic to embrace…

Henry David Thoreau is one of America's best-loved poets and authors, known especially for his work Walden, with its meditations on nature. In this 1850 poem, Thoreau turns his attentive eye to a "little Irish boy," destined for a life of manual…

irishdomestics.png
This photograph identifies the women only as Katy, Hannah, and Mary. Over half—53%—of all Irish immigrants who came to the United States were women.  By comparison, only 41% of German emigrants were female.  Among Southern Italians, who immigrated in…

The Irish often faced discrimination when seeking jobs upon their arrival in the United States. Although historians have been hard-pressed to identify an actual sign bearing the notorious legend "No Irish Need Apply," contemporary newspaper…

A.W. Auner of Philadelphia was among the most prolific printers of "broadside ballads," cheaply-produced topical songs and poems that were widely available throughout the nineteenth century. "Poor Pat Must Emigrate," published by Auner sometime in…

JobConflict.tif
In this cartoon from the weekly satirical magazine Vanity Fair, an Irish longshoreman tells a black worker seeking employment on New York's waterfront: "Well, ye may be and man and a brother, sure enough; but it's little hospitality ye'll get out of…

Voting Place.tif
During the 1840s and 1850s, anti-immigrant feelings grew among many native-born whites. Nativists argued that immigrants caused many of the nation’s ills by rejecting “American” work habits, culture, and religion. Nativists and and their reformer…

This essay examines two images of members of an Irish street gang in the mid-nineteenth century that address issues of immigrant stereotyping, urban immigration, poverty, and reform in the wake of large-scale Irish immigration. The link includes the…

five-points-1859.png
This print showing a view of one of New York City's more notorious poor neighborhoods offers a variety of picturesque and sensational incidents, including an assault in broad daylight. It also indicates that African Americans worked and resided in a…

This booklet is curriculum support for the American Social History Project's 30-minute documentary Five Points: New York's Irish Working Class in the 1850s. The viewer's guide contains background information on issues raised by the documentary as…
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