Irish Girls

John Francis Maguire
CHAPTER IX (12) start of chapter

From a communication which I have received from an eminent citizen of St. John's, to whose kindness I am much indebted, I take the following passage:—

The Irish girls, 'to the manner born,' are almost extinct in this island, emigration for many years past having almost entirely ceased. But the Irish of native growth are, as a class, intelligent, well-developed, and industrious. Immorality is rare among them, as may be shown by a record of last year's births in St. John's, from which it appears that of 725 births, 12 only were illegitimate, or less than 2 per cent, of the whole. This, too, is not an exceptional year, but may be taken as a fair criterion of the morality of the Irish girls. The educational labours of the Nuns are doing much to preserve the virtue of the female youth; and nowhere are these holy women more valued than here.

The Irish in America, first published in 1868, provides an invaluable account of the extreme difficulties that 19th Century Irish immigrants faced in their new homeland and the progress which they had nonetheless made in the years since arriving on a foreign shore. A new edition, including additional notes and an index, has been published by Books Ulster/LibraryIreland:

Paperback: 700+ pages The Irish in America

ebook: The Irish in America