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Illustrated lecture: Journey of Hope: The Irish in New York

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

6:30 p.m.8:00 p.m.

Please note: This event has already taken place. Please use the Search options on the right to find upcoming events.

This talk will take a fascinating multimedia look at the history and culture of the Irish of New York from their immigrant beginnings to the present day. Their journey of hope is reflected in the shared experiences of immigrants from around the world coming to America.

To escape religious persecution and decades of poverty and famine, waves of Irish immigrants arrived in New York from the 18th century on. By the mid-19th century, one quarter of the City’s population was Irish. Many Irish women and girls found jobs as live-in servants for New York’s wealthy citizens, the Tredwells among them. It is a compelling story: they typically emigrated from Ireland at a young age, were willing to do the work others shunned, and often endured cruel prejudice. Yet, despite it all, these women managed to persevere, and collectively sent millions of dollars home so that their relatives could escape the troubles at home for a better life.

The Museum’s servants quarters are “arguably the oldest intact site of Irish habitation in Manhattan” (TimeOut New York). Unfortunately, little is known about the Tredwells’ four servants besides their names, ages, and place of birth (Ireland), taken from census reports; they themselves left no written record. One thing is certain though: the family’s lifestyle of on East 4th Street would have been utterly impossible without them.

Tara Rider is the director of Stony Brook University’s international academic programs to both Ireland and England, where she seeks to introduce students to new cultures, ideas, and histories. She earned her Ph.D. in history from SUNY Stony Brook.

NOTE LOCATION: Church of St. Brigid, which was built in 1848 by Irish immigrants for those fleeing the Great Famine, 119 Avenue B (southeastern corner of 8th Street)

Co-sponsored by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

This Public Scholars event, which is free and open to the public, is made possible through the support of the New York Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Church of St. Brigid
119 Avenue B
Directions to this location



Event Organizer

Merchant's House Museum

Contact Number

(212) 777-1089

Contact Email


Accessible, Education, History, Saint Patrick's Day, Talks

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