Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Evidence Suggests Irish Immigrant Railroad Workers Were Murdered 180 Years Ago

From The Irish Independent:
US historians trying to uncover a mystery surrounding the mass death of 57 Irish immigrants nearly 180 years ago, have found evidence they may have been murdered.

Previously it had been thought the group -- they died within weeks of starting gruelling work on the Philadelphia and Columbia railroad in 1832 -- were cholera victims.

However, four skulls unearthed from the mass grave suggest the men suffered blows to the head and at least one may have been shot in an outpouring of anti-Irish violence.


[...]

Anti-Irish feelings ran high in 19th Century America and the men lived in a shanty near the railway tracks where they worked.

It is now believed that while many died of cholera, some were killed by vigilantes because of prejudice, tension between affluent residents and these poor transient workers, or because of a fear that the cholera would spread.


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