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Irish Immigrants in 19th Century Canada Essay

Of all the ethnic groups to migrate to British North America, the
Irish are perhaps the most neglected and ignored in Atlantic Canadian
history, the reasons for which are varied and complex.[1]
The Scottish settlers are widely acknowledge, after all Nova Scotia
means New Scotland, and the French identity is strong from when the area
was united under the title of Acadia.[2]The English have a long Maritimes
history basing most of the colonial war with the French, and the Aboriginal
Canadians existed in the area at least one thousand years before any of the
others.[3]However, since European colonization began, the Irish have
always been present, with the largest concentration in Saint John, New
Brunswick, a primary immigration port in the New World, and a city with
stronger connections to Ireland than Boston, Massachusetts.[4]In fact
Saint John was the destination for more than thirty thousand Irish fleeing
the Potato Famine in Ireland between 1845 and 1854, with roughly sixteen
thousand of them arriving during 1847, called Black 47 due to the fact that
it was the worst year of the famine.[5] Moreover, a large number of Irish
moved to Miramichi to work in the lumber camps.[6]Miramichi and the rest
of northern New Brunswick was Roman Catholic, while the southwestern areas,
except for Saint John which was mainly Catholic, were predominantly Irish
Protestant.[7]The Irish made up more than one third of the entire
population and were the single largest ethnic group, more numerous than the
French, at one time in New Brunswick, in fact one of the original names
proposed for the province was “New Ireland.”[8] Although, the Irish
population has dwindled through the years due to inter-marriages, even
today most New Brunswickers can trace their ancestry back to Ireland.[9]
Most of the Irish in Nova Scotia lived in Halifax, however, large
numbers of Irish could be fou…

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