Which States Did Immigrants Live In? Census of 1860

WJC

Major General
Judge Adv. Genl.
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
I would note that while we commonly contrast Irish poverty with Irish politics, many of the Irish immigrants at the time referred to themselves as "Exiles" signifying that they viewed themselves as being forced to migrate by political decisions made by the British Empire.
Thanks for your response.
Was it perhaps also an indication that they might one day return?
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Andy Hall's maps show a slow migration of people from Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee, northward, and westward.
The maps do not reflect any movement north to south.
The disproportionate population growth in the two sections was based in part on people looking for healthier living as well no competition from slaves and slave owners.
 

Norm53

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 13, 2019
Location
Cape May, NJ
This is a really interesting table, Pat. I wondered how those migration patterns would look on a map, and this is the result. Native states are shown in dark blue, and the leading states where those people ended up are in light blue:

View attachment 134897

View attachment 134898

View attachment 134902

It's really clear that internal migration up to 1860 was overwhelmingly from free states to free states, and from slaveholding states to slaveholding states. One outlier in that trend is Missouri, which was a slaveholding state but less so than others, and drew migrants from all over the country.

And of course, California -- everybody was going to California. Same as it ever was.
As usual, I'm catching up on older threads. Excellent pictorial presentation. Q: Why are Californians migrating to NY?
 

AndyHall

Colonel
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
As usual, I'm catching up on older threads. Excellent pictorial presentation. Q: Why are Californians migrating to NY?

Good question. My first guess is that those are people who went west during the old Rush and the boom that followed, returning back to their states of origin.

But it's made a little more complex when we don't know what they're counting as "native" Californians. Are those persons actually born in California, or those who were living there when it became a state in 1850?
 

Norm53

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 13, 2019
Location
Cape May, NJ
Good question. My first guess is that those are people who went west during the old Rush and the boom that followed, returning back to their states of origin.

But it's made a little more complex when we don't know what they're counting as "native" Californians. Are those persons actually born in California, or those who were living there when it became a state in 1850?
Thanks for your provocative comment. Actually, every picture subsumes a fabulous and extensive history, but it would be off-topic to discuss them at a CW site. I can imagine each picture being a single thread of migration patterns.
 

AndyHall

Colonel
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
I can imagine each picture being a single thread of migration patterns.

My guess would be that the absolute numbers leaving from California and going east would be relatively small compared to other internal migraiton patterns.
 

Norm53

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 13, 2019
Location
Cape May, NJ
My guess would be that the absolute numbers leaving from California and going east would be relatively small compared to other internal migration patterns.
Yes, we need to include numbers for all the pictures; i.e., numbers into each state by state and out of each state by state. I would think that those numbers would be available from the census.
 

treebie2000

Corporal
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Location
Lima, OH
Interesting. I wondered if it is geography, with the Irish settling more in the East and Germans more spread out.

I've pondered that myself.
I came across this recently while doing some reading. The underlined parts are my reactions.

http://www.ushistory.org/us/25f.asp
1845–49 Irish Potato Famine
Ireland
Over 750,000 people starved to death.
Impoverished, the Irish could not buy property. Instead, they congregated in the cities where they landed, almost all in the northeastern United States.

My take: The Irish immigrants were fleeing STARVATION. Once they got to the port of entry, they were looking for work immediately, and lacked the means to seek out "greener pastures".
In light of this, it is not surprising to see the dense masses of Irish immigrants in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.

Germany
In the decade from 1845 to 1855, more than a million Germans fled to the United States to escape economic hardship. They also sought to escape the political unrest caused by riots, rebellion and eventually a revolution in 1848.
(I would term that an attempted revolution).

Unlike the Irish, many Germans had enough money to journey to the Midwest in search of farmland and work.
 
Last edited:

treebie2000

Corporal
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Location
Lima, OH
The Irish were radicalized by the hardship of the potato famine and the repression of English.
The German immigrants were nearly Socialists, or actually Communists.
Freedom had a direct, personal meaning for both groups, who were flooding the growth areas of the Midwest.

I certainly won't contest your statement that "Freedom had a direct, personal meaning for..." the German immigrants, who were flooding the growth areas of the Midwest."

But to refer to the bulk of the German immigrants as Socialists, or actually Communists....No.
The attempted revolutions in the German States in 1848 and 1849 were seen as "Republican" in nature.

https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-hccc-worldhistory2/chapter/the-german-revolutions-of-1848/
"The revolutions of 1848 in the German states, the opening phase of which was also called the March Revolution, were initially part of the Revolutions of 1848 that broke out in many European countries. They were a series of loosely coordinated protests and rebellions in the states of the German Confederation, including the Austrian Empire. The revolutions, which stressed pan-Germanism, demonstrated popular discontent with the traditional, largely autocratic political structure of the 39 independent states of the Confederation that inherited the German territory of the former Holy Roman Empire. They demonstrated the popular desire for the Zollverein movement.

The middle-class elements were committed to liberal principles while the working class sought radical improvements to their working and living conditions. As the middle class and working class components of the Revolution split, the conservative aristocracy defeated it. Liberals were forced into exile to escape political persecution, where they became known as Forty-Eighters. Many immigrated to the United States, settling from Wisconsin to Texas.
(We must remember that "liberal principles" of that day had little association with socialism, or communism.)
The groundwork of the 1848 uprising in Germany was laid long beforehand. The Hambacher Fest of 1832, for instance, reflected growing unrest in the face of heavy taxation and political censorship. The Hambacher Fest is noteworthy for the republicans adopting the black-red-gold colors (used on today’s national flag of Germany) as a symbol of the republican movement and of unity among the German-speaking people."
 

Ataxerxes

Private
Joined
Dec 2, 2017
Location
Queen City of the West
I've pondered that myself.
I came across this recently while doing some reading. The underlined parts are my reactions.

http://www.ushistory.org/us/25f.asp
1845–49 Irish Potato Famine
Ireland
Over 750,000 people starved to death.
Impoverished, the Irish could not buy property. Instead, they congregated in the cities where they landed, almost all in the northeastern United States.

My take: The Irish immigrants were fleeing STARVATION. Once they got to the port of entry, they were looking for work immediately, and lacked the means to seek out "greener pastures".
In light of this, it is not surprising to see the dense masses of Irish immigrants in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.

Germany
In the decade from 1845 to 1855, more than a million Germans fled to the United States to escape economic hardship. They also sought to escape the political unrest caused by riots, rebellion and eventually a revolution in 1848.
(I would term that an attempted revolution).

Unlike the Irish, many Germans had enough money to journey to the Midwest in search of farmland and work.
Another contribution is that places like Cincinnati, St. Louis and Milwaukee already had a strong German fabric dating back to after the unrest in 1830. Chain migration brought many German immigrants further inland and it snowballed from there. I have also seen a few period pieces published to ethnic Germans living in Europe extolling the wonders of places like the Ohio River Valley, comparing it favorably to the Rhine, etc.
 
Top