Wanted: Cheap Labor. Livings of Working Class European Immigrants in an Iron Furnace

Author(s): Jocelyn S Lee; Patrick Kim

Year: 2018

Summary

Immigrants have always played a crucial role in America, and ironworkers were among them. Beginning in the early 19th century, many people emigrated from their countries of origin, bringing with them their traditions, customs, identities, and established households. Populations from Ireland and Germany, accounted for many of the known workers. While census data and tax assessments provide basic information such as name, address, age, and property, the availability of the surviving store and payroll ledgers from the Catoctin Furnace company store reveal further information about these workers, including the names of specific workers and their commercial habits. Archaeological excavations conducted from 2013 to 2016 have also revealed a wealth of details about the individual household consumption. Together, the store and payroll ledgers, census records, tax assessments, and archaeological materials tell a tale of an immigrant community maintaining and modifying their cultural ties through commercial networks.

Cite this Record

Wanted: Cheap Labor. Livings of Working Class European Immigrants in an Iron Furnace. Jocelyn S Lee, Patrick Kim. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441318)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 1009