The Mysterious Death of 57 Irish Immigrants

Fifty-seven Irish-American railroad workers supposedly died of cholera in 1832. It turns out the they may have been murdered, perhaps because of fear that they might be carrying cholera.

Researchers from Immaculata College and Pennsylvania state and local governments have been overseeing an archaeological dig at the site since 2004. In 2009, they announced that the first two skulls unearthed appeared to have suffered from blunt force trauma.

The Pennsylvania historic marker, visible only briefly in the CNN video below, reads:

Duffy’s Cut Mass Grave

Nearby is the mass grave of fifty-seven Irish immigrant workers who died in August, 1832, of cholera. They had recently arrived in the United States and were employed by a construction contrator named Duffy, for the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad. Prejudice against Irish Catholics contributed to the denial of care to the workers. Their illness and death typified the hazards faced by many 19th century immigrant industrial workers.

Duffy’s Cut is the name of “a stretch of railroad tracks” near Malvern, Pennsylvania. Below is the latest from CNN.

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