Crossings and Dwellings

Restored Jesuits, Women Religious, American Experience, 1814-2014

Posts tagged Holy Family Chicago

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OCTOBER 1 seminar: ELLEN SKERRETT, “Reconsidering Chicago’s Holy Family Parish and the Hull-House Settlement”

Ellen Skerrett will be the first presenter in the series:

Circulation Patterns: Print Culture, a Chicago Jesuit Library, and American Catholic Identity”

Tuesday, October 1st, 6 p.m.

Palm Court, Mundelein Center

Loyola University Chicago

Please request pre-circulated papers in advance.

FOR SERIES INFORMATION, CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WEBSITE

Irish Diaspora

Hull House

Near West Side

Filed under ethnicity gender Holy Family Chicago immigrants immigration Irish diaspora migration transatlantic submission

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AUGUST 23, 1849: James Van de Velde, S.J., Bishop of Chicago, presides over the exhumation of the remains of Fr. Sebastian Meurin, S.J., last remaining Jesuit from the suppressed Society in Prairie du Rocher (New France; present-day Illinois).

The Illinois & Michigan Canal taken by Bishop Van de Velde had just opened one year earlier in 1848.

This photograph showing how the canal boat was towed along the shore is one of many available in this online photo essay.
The canal was built largely by Irish immigrants who lived in transient work camps and suffered great losses in the dangerous work.
 

ON THE 1838 WINTER RIOT: FROM THE ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES:

Canal construction did not begin in earnest until 1837. The canal commissioners had to solicit bids for work on the various portions of the ninety-six mile waterway. Contractors submitting the lowest bids generally were awarded jobs. Then equipment had to be brought to the line and workers hired. Labor was scarce in northeastern Illinois at this time and consequently advertisements touting high wages were placed in newspapers sold and on handbills distributed in eastern cities and overseas, especially in Ireland where most spoke English and poverty was endemic.
Canal laborers included white Americans, Native Americans, black slaves, German and English immigrants, and French Canadians, but mainly Irish immigrants. Most of the Irish were Catholic, unskilled, not married, and poor. Working conditions were harsh. The workday was from sunup to sundown which in the summer time could be from 4:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. Breaks were short and infrequent. When the canal was hand dug, shovels lifted the earth or stone into wheelbarrows which had to be pushed up awkward planks and beyond towpaths. When sections passing through rock had to be blasted out, injuries and even deaths were common due to primitive explosion techniques and few safety standards. Disease was common with malaria being the chief scourge. Housing consisted mostly of rough shanties with earthen floors and numerous occupants. Insects and mud made life all the more unpleasant. Construction sites usually were far away from any proper settlements. Food often was barely tolerable. The average laborer earned sixteen to twenty dollars a month in 1838 with his food and shelter often supplied by the employing contractor and deducted from that amount. When workers were paid their wages with bank notes worth less than their face value in the winter of 1838, they rioted.



This was the first wave of Irish immigrants — derided as “drunken, dirty, indolent and riotous” — who would soon be served by Chicago’s Holy Family church, the “cathedral on the prairie.” 

The church’s front facade straddled the city’s western border along Twelfth Street (present-day Roosevelt Road) and looked out eastward over the prairie — home to the first immigrant Irish workers.

AUGUST 23, 1849: James Van de Velde, S.J., Bishop of Chicago, presides over the exhumation of the remains of Fr. Sebastian Meurin, S.J., last remaining Jesuit from the suppressed Society in Prairie du Rocher (New France; present-day Illinois).

canal

The Illinois & Michigan Canal taken by Bishop Van de Velde had just opened one year earlier in 1848.

canal

This photograph showing how the canal boat was towed along the shore is one of many available in this online photo essay.

The canal was built largely by Irish immigrants who lived in transient work camps and suffered great losses in the dangerous work.

pale

ON THE 1838 WINTER RIOT: FROM THE ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES:

Canal construction did not begin in earnest until 1837. The canal commissioners had to solicit bids for work on the various portions of the ninety-six mile waterway. Contractors submitting the lowest bids generally were awarded jobs. Then equipment had to be brought to the line and workers hired. Labor was scarce in northeastern Illinois at this time and consequently advertisements touting high wages were placed in newspapers sold and on handbills distributed in eastern cities and overseas, especially in Ireland where most spoke English and poverty was endemic.

Canal laborers included white Americans, Native Americans, black slaves, German and English immigrants, and French Canadians, but mainly Irish immigrants. Most of the Irish were Catholic, unskilled, not married, and poor. Working conditions were harsh. The workday was from sunup to sundown which in the summer time could be from 4:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. Breaks were short and infrequent. When the canal was hand dug, shovels lifted the earth or stone into wheelbarrows which had to be pushed up awkward planks and beyond towpaths. When sections passing through rock had to be blasted out, injuries and even deaths were common due to primitive explosion techniques and few safety standards. Disease was common with malaria being the chief scourge. Housing consisted mostly of rough shanties with earthen floors and numerous occupants. Insects and mud made life all the more unpleasant. Construction sites usually were far away from any proper settlements. Food often was barely tolerable. The average laborer earned sixteen to twenty dollars a month in 1838 with his food and shelter often supplied by the employing contractor and deducted from that amount. When workers were paid their wages with bank notes worth less than their face value in the winter of 1838, they rioted.

canal


This was the first wave of Irish immigrants — derided as “drunken, dirty, indolent and riotous” — who would soon be served by Chicago’s Holy Family church, the “cathedral on the prairie.”

The church’s front facade straddled the city’s western border along Twelfth Street (present-day Roosevelt Road) and looked out eastward over the prairie — home to the first immigrant Irish workers.

holy family

new perspectives

Filed under African Americans death emotions ethnicity experience frontier geography Holy Family Chicago immigrants immigration Irish diaspora migration space transatlantic trauma urban history submission