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From Ireland to America:. An immigrant experience By: Ms. Murphy. “You are Brian Walsh, a farmer living in the west of Ireland in the 1840s”.

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From ireland to america

From Ireland to America:

An immigrant experience

By: Ms. Murphy


“You are Brian Walsh, a farmer living in the west of Ireland in the 1840s”.

For the past few years, a disease had wiped out your potato crop. You can’t pay the rent on your land, your family is starving, and things keep getting worse.

If you choose to stay in Ireland and tough it out, click here.

If you choose to leave Ireland for America, click here.


Over the next two years, things get worse and worse. First, your little sister dies of malnutrition. Then, your older brother leaves to try and find work in Dublin, but never returns.

You work and work on your farm, but the potato disease is persistent. Finally, a wave of fever sweeps over your village and you and the rest of your family die, unable to fight the sickness because you are so weak with hunger.

The End

Click here to go back to the beginning.


You and your family walk for days and days until you reach Dublin, where you can board a ship for New York.

Dublin is a bustling city, filled with more people and buildings than you have ever seen before. As you walk towards the dock, you are mesmerized by the markets and the storefronts.

If you decide to stay and try your luck in Dublin, click here.

If you decide to make your way to the ship, click here.


You find work on the docks and manage to rent a small room for you and your family.

Life in Dublin doesn’t turn out to be much better than it was in the country. The city is dirty, it smells bad, and people are uninterested in helping another poor family in need.

If you decide, after a few months, to go to New York after all, click here.

If you continue to live in Dublin, click here.


A murderous band of thieves breaks into your room late one night looking for money, food, anything they can find. You and you family try to fight them off, but they have knives and are much stronger than you.

They force you out of your small home, take all your belongings and the money you have saved, and you are left on the street to starve.

Within a few weeks, your family is dead from the cold and hunger.

R.I.P.

The End.

Click here to go back to the beginning.


As you stand in line to board the ship, you are required to take a medical examination. Sick passengers will not be allowed.

You pass the exam with flying colors, but the rest of your family does not. You are given the choice of staying in Dublin with the rest of them, or making your way to New York on your own.

If you choose to stay in Dublin with your family, click here.

If you choose to continue on your own, click here.


On the ship, you are given a tiny place to sleep below deck. After just a few days, the whole place smells of filth and waste.

To keep your spirits up, in the evenings you and some of the other passengers sing and dance traditional Irish songs.

People keep stealing your food while your are sleeping, and you are beginning to feel like you might not make it.

If you choose to work as a crew member to earn more food, click here.

If you choose to steal other passengers’ food to survive, click here.


The first night you steal food, you end up with a feast of moldy crackers and cheese. Delicious!

You get better and better at stealing, so you decide to go above deck and take some of the better food from the richer passengers.

But, you’re caught! The captain makes an example of you by whipping you with a cat-o’-nine-tails. He then locks you in the ship’s hold for the remainder of the trip, where you soon die.

The End

Click here to go back to the beginning.


As a crew member, you get more food and better sleeping quarters, but the work is very, very hard. You soon find out that if you make even a small mistake, you’ll get beaten as punishment.

You learn to weather a bad storm and navigate around icebergs. You like to look for wildlife, like whales and walruses.

Click here to go to the next page.


After more than 90 days at sea, you finally reach New York. You see the Statue of Liberty waiting on the horizon.

Before you can go ashore, you must go through another inspection at Ellis Island. You will be checked for disease, and you will register your name as a new arrival.

When you finally walk upon the shore, you are approached by a fellow Irishman who offers to help you find a place to stay.

If you choose to go with your countryman, click here.

If you refuse his offer and go off on your own, click here.


The man introduces himself and Johnnie McDonough. He takes you to a small boarding house and sets you up in a room, promising to come back in the morning to help you find work.

The next day when you wake up, your bag is gone! You money is gone! Even your shoes are gone! That McDonough was a crook!

If you choose to try to find McDonough and get revenge, click here.

If you decide to try to get work make the best of it, click here.


You track McDonough down in a pub, enjoying a mug of beer that he bought with your money.

You take a swing at him, punching him right in the nose. This turns out to be a mistake, since he is part of a powerful gang of crooked Irishmen, who process to take you into the alley and beat you to death.

The End

Click here to go back to the beginning.


At first you cannot find work. There are signs posted everywhere that read “No Irish Need Apply”. It seems that the Irish are not well-liked in New York.

Eventually, you find work in a pub near the dock. It’s rough work, and you often have to throw drunken sailors out, or break up fights. You manage to save a little money, and you meet a lovely young Irish girl who seems to like you.

If you choose to stay in New York and work in the pub, click here.

If you choose to head West in search of your fortune, click here.


You fall madly in love with your girl and get married. You work hard and eventually buy the pub and the apartment upstairs where you live happily ever after with your wife, your children, and the rest of your family that you manage to bring over from Ireland little by little.

The End

Click here to go back to the beginning.


You marry your sweetheart and take the train west to Chicago, where you buy a wagon and horses to head out to Colorado.

When you get there, you settle in a small mountain town and live happily ever after with your wife. Although you miss your family that stayed back in Ireland, you are happy working your new land and being a farmer again.

As time goes by, Irish-American become fully accepted into American society, and your great-grandson goes on to become the first Irish-Catholic president of the United States in 1961. Can you name that President?

The End

Click here to go back to the beginning.

Click here for the credits.


Works cited
Works Cited Chicago, where you buy a wagon and horses to head out to Colorado.

  • Pipe, Jim. You Wouldn’t Want to Sail on an Irish Famine Ship! Franklin Watts: New York, 2008.

  • "Immigrants Suffer in the Hold of a Ship." Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE52&iPin=AHI2087&SingleRecord=True (accessed March 24, 2009).

  • "Dutch Immigrants Arrive in Montreal." Library and Archives of Canada. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE52&iPin=AHI2078&SingleRecord=True (accessed March 24, 2009).

  • "Immigrant Receives a Medical Inspection upon Arriving at Ellis Island." National Archives and Records Administration. Still Picture Records. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE52&iPin=AHI2079&SingleRecord=True (accessed March 24, 2009).

  • "Immigrant Family Gazes at the Statue of Liberty." Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE52&iPin=AHI1010&SingleRecord=True (accessed March 24, 2009).

  • "Express Trains Leave a Junction." Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division. Popular Graphic Arts Collection. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE52&iPin=AHI2446&SingleRecord=True (accessed March 24, 2009).

  • "Lakes in Killarney." Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division. Photochrom Print Collection. Modern World History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE53&iPin=IRLI016&SingleRecord=True (accessed March 24, 2009).


Works cited cont
Works Cited, cont. Chicago, where you buy a wagon and horses to head out to Colorado.

  • “Potato Blight.” http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Garage/1329/rot.gif.

  • “Irish Family During the Potato Famine”. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d9/Starving_Irish_family_during_the_potato_famine.JPG

  • “Map of Sublin, 1896”. http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/dublin_1610_1896.jpg.

  • “New York City”. http://www.historicphotoarchive.com/images11/00613.jpg.

  • “New York Rooming House”. http://affordablehousinginstitute.org/blogs/us/wp-content/uploads/imagesragpickers-row-nyc-1890-small.jpg

  • “Sackville St., Dublin”. http://www.igp-web.com/dublin/images/SackvilleStDubllin1890.jpg

  • “Black Rabbit Bar”. http://blackrabbitbar.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/brnov3.jpg

  • “No Irish Need Apply”. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_PRW_WGxqTbo/SEgSzRB_ASI/AAAAAAAAAUY/s9iYwq148r0/s400/No+Irish+Need+Apply.jpg

  • “Transatlantic Ship”. http://www.gjenvick.com/images/CunardLine/1912/LaconiaAtFullSteam-TransatlanticVoyage-500.jpg

  • :19th Century Irish comic”. http://www.geschichteinchronologie.ch/eu/irland/EncJud_juden-in-Dublin-d/EncJud_Dublin-band6-kolonne249-kleiderkarikatur-19jh.jpg

  • :Liverpool Landing”. http://webzoom.freewebs.com/graham7760/liverpool_landing_stage_ca1915.jpg

  • “19th Century cartoon”. http://angoleiro.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/i15.jpg

  • “Map of Atlantic Ocean”. http://www.greatdreams.com/atlnorth.jpg