"Migrations was not the only mass movement int the mid-nineteenth century; even bigger was the surge of European immigrants across the Atlantic into the northeast and Midwest"-Dr
"proportionately the biggest influex in Us history"
majority from Ireland + Southwest Germany
"victimes of economic depression"
DR says Germans to rural areas
Irish overwhelmingly to "America's burgeoning cities" -> took on "essential but menial jobs"
-navvies building the railroads
Most came in through NYC, 3rd largest city in Western world after London + Paris
"often they were enticed by rags-to-riches stories"
DR gives example of newspaper by editor Moses Beach in his almanac entitled The Wealth and Biography of the Wealthy Citizens of the City of New York
he gave example of Mr John Jacob Astor (German)-> worth an estimated $25 mil.
made his money in fur trade, then invested it in Manhattan real estate
lots of other examples given of Britain + Germany
But DR says "for most Irish immigrants, however, the reality was very different from the myth"
=> those suspected of cholera/typhus/other diseases incarcerated in the hospital in Staten Island
those deemed healthy sent to Manhattan by "runners", "fleecing them handsomely in the process"-DR
"once ashore, many wandered around aimlessly - dodgingt he pigs and rabid dogs that roamed the streets - until they ended up, penniless, in the city almshouse"
"or in the Five Points area, the prime site for murder, robbery and prostitution in New York"
DR gives an example "fairly typical of this area":
lodging house at 35 Orange Street, described by one NY Times reporter as a 'damp and filthy cellar', half a dozen beds in 10 foot square, each bed with >1 person
'man, woman and child were huddled up in one undistinguishable mass'
DR says "yet even this was probably an improvement on th squalor these people had fled in Ireland"