QUESTION

           The mid-19c wave of immigration brought significant changes to the American economy, society, and political life.  What contributions did these immigrants make to American social life and to industry?  What antagonisms were aroused by these new arrivals in this country?

 

DOCUMENT A

         In the presence of Almighty God and these witnesses, you do solemnly promise and swear that you will never betray any of the secrets of this society, nor communicate them even to proper candidates, except within a lawful council of the order; that you never will permit any of the secrets of this society to be written, or in any other manner made legible, except for the purpose of official instruction; that you will not vote, nor give your influence for any man for any office in the gift of the people, unless he be an American-born citizen, in favor of Americans ruling America, nor if he be a Roman Catholic; that you will in all political matters, so far as this order is concerned, comply with the will of the majority, though it may conflict with your personal preference, so long as it does not conflict with the Constitution of the United States of America or that of the State in which you reside; that you will not, under any circumstances whatever, knowingly recommend an unworthy person for initiation, nor suffer it to be done, if in your power to prevent it; that you will not, under any circumstances, expose the name of any member of this order nor reveal the existence of such an association; that you will answer an imperative notice issued by the proper authority; obey the command of the State council, president or his deputy, while assembled by such notice, and respond to the claim of a sign or cry of the order, unless it be physically impossible;…

Source:  Know-Nothing Oath, mid-19th century.

 

DOCUMENT B

Source:  Illustration by Charles Christian Nahl, Hutching’s California Magazine, 1860.

 

DOCUMENT C

         You intend to shut out the foreigners or naturalized citizens of this country from any benefit that will arise from your plans to get better wages…. You use the word American very often and nothing at all is said about naturalized citizens, but if you think to succeed without the aid of foreigners you will find yourself mistaken; for we are strong and are getting stronger every day, and though we feel the effects of competition from these men who are sent here from the poorhouses of Europe, yet if you don’t include us to get better wages by shutting off such men, why, you’d needn’t expect our help.

Source:  Champion of American Labor, April 17, 1847.

 

DOCUMENT D

          My business continued to prosper, and by constantly offering none but the best quality of goods for sale, in a very short time I had so much to do that my whole time in the day was occupied with the out-door business, and I was forced to sit up at night with my sister to prepare work for the knitters.
          At one time, we had thirty girls constantly in out employ, and in this way I became acquainted with many of those unfortunates who had been misled and ruined on their arrival by persons pretending friendship….
          One, the granddaughter of a famous German and bearing his name, was the daughter of a physician.  She had come to this country hoping to find a place as a governess…
          She attempted to find a situation as a governess, but her proficiency in music, French and drawing counted as nothing.  She had no city references, and though having been two years in New York, dared not name the place to which she had been conducted on her arrival.  She left us at last in despair after having been a week with us.  She never called again and I could not learn from her landlady where she had gone….
          Women of good education but without money are forced to earn their living….
           They are too well educated to become domestics, better educated indeed than half the teachers here, but modesty, and the habit of thinking that they must pass through the same legal ordeal as in Europe prevent them from seeking places in this capacity.  They all know how to embroider…[and] seek to find employment of this kind in the stores.
          Not being able to speak English, they believe the stories of the clerks and proprietors, are made to work at low wages, and are often swindled out of their money.  They feel homesick, forlorn and forsaken in the world.  Their health at length fails them, and they cannot earn bread enough to keep themselves from starvation.  They are too proud to beg and the consequence is that they walk the streets or throw themselves into the river.

Source:  A Woman’s Quest, by Marie Zakrzewska, a German immigrant; 1853. 

 

DOCUMENT E

          …Their inferiority as a race compels them to go to the bottom [of the occupational scale]…and the consequence is that we are all, all of us, the higher lifted because they are here…. [The Irish] do the manual labor.  They do it most cheaply, and so they leave those whom they find [in those jobs] free to do other and more agreeable walks of duty.

Source:  Edward Everett, Massachusetts educator and politician, mid-19th century.

 

DOCUMENT F

Source:   “America and Its People Online.”  Addison Wesley Longman.

 

DOCUMENT G

Source:  “America and Its People Online.”  Addison Wesley Longman.

 

DOCUMENT H

          Look at the hordes of Dutch and Irish thieves and vagabonds, roaming about our streets, picking up rags and bones, pilfering sugar and coffee along our wharves and slips, and whatever our native citizens happen to leave in their way.  Look at the English and Scotch pick-pockets and burglars, crowding our places of amusement, steam-boat landings, and hotels.  Look at the Italian and French mountebanks, roaming the streets of every city in the Union with their dancing monkeys and hand organs, all as an excuse for the purpose of robbing us of our property the first favorable opportunity.  Look at the wandering Jews, crowding our business streets with their shops as receptacles for stolen goods, encouraging thievery and dishonesty among our citizens.  Look at the Irish and Dutch grocers and rum-sellers monopolizing the business which properly belongs to our own native and true-born citizens.         

Source:  New York Daily Plebian, April 20, 1844. 

 

DOCUMENT I

          I am not a Know-Nothing.  How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of Negroes be in favor of degrading classes of white people?  Our progress in degeneracy appears to me pretty rapid.  As a nation we began by declaring “all men are created equal.”  We now practically read it, “all men are created equal, except Negroes.”  When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except Negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.”  When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty—to Russia, for example, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.

Source:  Abraham Lincoln, in a letter, 1855. 

 

DOCUMENT J

          Our Country’s greatest living Statesman has just been defeated, (it is almost certain,) and the benignant system of Nation Policy with which he is identified has been frustrated by what is termed the Foreign Vote.  That is, the Man and the Measures preferred by a large majority of Americans born have been crushed by the vote of Two Hundred Thousand Immigrants from Europe whom we have admitted to an equality of Political Rights with us.  While we Americans born are nearly all in some degree educated and informed on questions of National policy, these are in good part unable to read or write, and many of them unable to speak our language.  While we very generally consider and discuss the great Political questions of the day, these concern themselves very little, inform themselves less, with regard to the Tariff, the Annexation of Texas, or whatever may be the ruling topics of the time, but band together as Irishmen, Germans, or whatever they maybe, to secure personal or clannish ends.

Source:  “Native Americanism,” The Tribune, November 11, 1844. 

 

DOCUMENT K

         From the evidence taken by the Court of Common Please we are enabled to present a more accurate account of …the late riots…
          … J. Patrick Dunn, the pastor of the congregation worshipping at the Catholic church, in Southwark, called St. Philip de Neri, received a letter from a female teacher of the schools connected with the church, informing him of a conspiracy to burn the church either on the evening of Friday the 5th of July, or…on one of two succeeding evenings.  Believing this information to be in all probability well founded, the proprietors of the church caused twelve muskets to be taken into it during the day of the 5th….
          In the evening of that day, crowds calling themselves “Natives,” collected about three of the Catholic churches, the largest [being] St. Philip’s.  The pretext for the gathering was the existence of arms in the church, and an alleged fear that they were to be used offensively.  From the number of the assemblage, however, and the early period at which so large a number gathered, it may be doubted whether many of them did not come in pursuance of a previous arrangement….Sufficient evidence has not been elicited, as yet, to determine this point….
          Early in the morning of Saturday the 6th, the sheriff called on Generals Patterson and Cadwallader for aid, as well as on many private citizens to act as a civil posse.  Next day, the mob increased in numbers and violence, until they at length attacked the military with stones and brick bats, knocking some down, and among them Capt. Hill, with a view to force the lines and get at the church….
          Charles Naylor [one of the Natives] being still in custody, the mob undertook to deliver him, by battering the church with cannon.  They at length succeeded in releasing him.  They were not content however with that, but demanded that the Hibernia Greens should quit the church….This demand was acceded to, under the assurance of …the Native party, that the Greens should not be molested in their withdrawal.  This assurance was violated.  They were assaulted, pelted, and beaten.  When they had left, the Native party and the mob took full possession of the church, and held it for some hours, a portion being engaged in attempts to set it on fire, which would probably have been consummated, had not the military returned.

Source:  “The Riots,” Pennsylvania Freeman, July 18, 1844.

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR DOCUMENTS USED

A.  Knight, Kevin.  “New Advent.”  New Advent Catholics.  2001.  New Advent. 2 February 2002.
                <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08677a.htm>

B.     Hansen, Gladys Cox. “Museum of the City of San Francisco”. San Francisco History 1846-1864. 1995.The Museum of the City of San Francisco. 2 February2 <http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist6/chincradle.html

C.    “...We Are Strong and Getting Stronger...” Champion of American Labor 17 April 1847. as cited in:   
Clark, Christopher; Hewitt, Nancy A. Who Built America? Working People and the Nation’s Economy, Politics, Culture, and Society- Volume One: From Conquest and Colonization Through 1877. New York: Worth Publishers, 2000. p. 445

D.  Zakrzewska, Marie. A Woman’s Quest (not ă). as cited in:
                Hunter, Gordon. Immigrant Voices. New York
: Penguin Group, 1999. p. 99, 100, 101, 102

E.  Clark, Christopher; Hewitt, Nancy A. Who Built America? Working People and the Nation’s Economy,    
    Politics,  Culture, and Society- Volume One: From Conquest and Colonization Through 1877.
    New York
: Worth     Publishers, 2000. 

F/G.  America and Its People. Addison Wesley Longman. 2001. Figure 12.2. “Immigration by Country of
               Origin, 1849-1860” as cited in:

                    Longman, Addison Wesley. “American and Its People Online”. 2001.
2 February 2002.
           
         <http://occawlonline.pearsoned.com/bookbind/pubbooks/martin_awl/medialab/download/MARTFIG122.gif>
                  
<http://occawlonline.pearsoned.com/bookbind/pubbooks/martin_awl/medialab/download/MARTFIG121.gif>

H.  “Look at the Hordes of Dutch and Irish Thieves and Vagabonds....” New York Daily Plebian 20 April 1844.
                as cited in:
                Clark, Christopher; Hewitt, Nancy A. Who Built
America? Working People and the Nation’s
                Economy, Politics, Culture, and Society- Volume One: From Conquest and Colonization Through
                1877. New York: Worth Publishers, 2000. p. 445. 

I.  Lincoln, Abraham. Lincoln and Nativism. 1855. as cited in:
               
“The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.” The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American
                 History. 2 February 2002. <http://www.gliah.edu/documents/documents_p2.cfm?doc=126>

J.   “Native Americanism.” The Tribune 11 November 1844, v 4. n 186. as cited in:
                Davis, David Brion (Director). “Yale Center for International and Area Studies.” 1996.
               <http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/1018.htm

K.  “The Riots.” Pennsylvania Freemen 18 July 1844, n 14. as cited in:
                Davis, David Brion (Director). “Yale Center for International and Area Studies.” 1996.
                <http://www.yale.edu/glc/archive/953.htm>

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR WORKS REFERENCED

1.  Cooper, James F. Notions of the Americans. as cited in:
               Longman, Addison Wesley. “American and Its People Online”. 2001. 2 February 2002.
              
<http://occawlonline.pearsoned.com/bookbind/pubbooks/garraty8e_awl/chapter8/medialib/primarysources4_9_3.html>

2.  Scraps. Boston: Boston Athenaeum, 1835. Johnston, David Claypoole. “Defenders of the True Faith”. as
     cited in:
               Clark, Christopher; Hewitt, Nancy A. Who Built
America? Working People and the Nation’s
               Economy, Politics, Culture, and Society- Volume One: From Conquest and Colonization Through
               1877
. New York: Worth Publishers, 2000. p. 446.

3.  Stott, Richard B. Workers in the Metropolis: Class, Ethnicity, and Youth in Antebellum New York City.
     1990. p. 92. as cited in:
               Abbott, Carl; Anderson, Virginia DeJohn; Argersinger, Jo Ann E.; Argersinger, Peter H.; Barney,
               William L.; Goldfield, David; Weir, Robert M. The American Journey: A History of the
United
               States. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 2001. “New York City Working Class,
               1855”. p. 332. 

4.  “Supplement to the Dollar Weekly Times”. The Dollar Weekly Times. 1813. 2 February 2002. as cited in:
              
University of San Diego”. USD: Libraries. 3 December 2002. The University of San Diego. 2
               February  2002. <http://history.acusd.edu/gen/USPics2/40246bg.jpg>
 

5.  U.S. Bureau of Census. Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1957. 1960. p. 57.
     as cited in:

               Abbott, Carl; Anderson, Virginia DeJohn; Argersinger, Jo Ann E.; Argersinger, Peter H.; Barney,
               William L.; Goldfield, David; Weir, Robert M. The American Journey: A History of the
United
               States. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 2001. “Immigration to the United States,
               1820-1860”. p. 320.
 

6.  University of Chicago, The. The Chicago History of American Civilization. Chicago: The University of
               Chicago Press, 1960. Table 1.6.

DBQ Question created by:

Deanna Cioppa
Deirdre Synan
Maria Regina H. S.
Hartsdale, NY
2002