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The New York Irish: Fashioning urban identities in 19th-century New York City

Author(s): Meredith Linn

Year: 2014

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Summary

Much has been written in the past few decades about how mid-19th-century Irish immigrants, the first large wave of immigrants Americans perceived to be foreign, forged hybridized Irish American identities. What had not been fully addressed thus far is how these predominately rural newcomers adjusted to urban life in the cities in which many settled. This paper begins to address this issue in New York City, a distinctly cosmopolitan central place of Irish in America. The material remains from the Five Points site, in particular, reveal how Irish immigrants utilized commodities like cosmetics, patent medicines, and ceramics to counter stereotypes that they were unsophisticated brutes and to fashion new urban (and urbane) identities.


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The New York Irish: Fashioning urban identities in 19th-century New York City. Meredith Linn. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436752)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-19,02

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America