Tennessee's Irish, 1870-1890

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Wilk, Hallie
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Middle Tennessee State University
Irish immigrants in the state of Tennessee have received scant scholarly attention, and though their representation in the historical narrative is lacking, their presence in Tennessee is not. While many associate Irish immigration with the potato famine of the 1840s, the last decades of the nineteenth century saw another rise in the number of Irish immigrants, particularly young women, immigrating to the United States. Arriving in a southern state in the decades after the Civil War, the Irish in Tennessee were positioned in a unique setting as they adapted to their new surroundings. Tennessee’s Irish played an important role in the state’s story and history.
While the degree of adaptation and assimilation may have differed for Irish immigrants based on where they settled geographically in the country, those who made their way to Tennessee and the South found that work, family, and religion enabled them to thrive in the region.
Catholic, Immigration, Irish, Nineteenth Century, Tennessee, Women