Journey to America

The Story of Patrick O'Mally and his Family's Immigration

Ireland, 1900

Due to the poor economy in Ireland, the O'Malley's left for America in hopes of achieving better life. The promise of finding work in the growing economy urged them to leave their homeland. Because they were so poor, the O'Malleys sen their eldest son John to America. He then worked until he had enough money to sent his family pre-paid tickets to bring them over as well. Finally after many months, the tickets had arrived.

The Voyage

The O’Malley’s traveled to Queenstown to board the SS Teutonic, which was headed for New York. As the ship took off, the family watched until Ireland was out of sight. Patrick felt saddened by the fact that he would most likely never return to his country. Being only able to afford third class tickets, they stayed in steerage. This was the lower deck of the ship that typically held cargo. Hundreds of lower class passengers were crowded into this space. Steerage received little venhilation, and with such a large number of people, it was foul-smelling. Due to harsh living conditions with no bathroom facilities, disease spread easily. Caitlyn, Pat's youngest sister, came down with a severe cough. She began to have chest pains, and refused to eat. Sadly Caitlyn, along with several other third class passengers, died along the voyage.


Finally, after 10 long days, the voyage was over. As the Statue of Liberty came into view, the passengers began to cheer. Patrick felt overjoyed to have finally reached land, however he was also very nervous. Pat was unsure of what to expect from New York. He had never lived in the city before, and was used to the wide open fields back on his family's farm. The one thing he was sure was that they still had a long way to go.

Ellis Island

After the ship docked at Ellis island and the passengers exited the ship, they were separated by class. First and second class passengers ... For third class passengers, inspection took much longer.

Arriving in New York

Pat O'Malley could not believe his eyes. The crowded streets were hectic, full of people shouting trying to persuade the immigrants to stay in their tenants.

Life in the City

Living in the tenants was very unpleasant, as they were very crowded.


Despite the large number of jobs open in New York, Patrick and his father had difficulty getting hired . The Irish were very discriminated, and were viewed as lazy and unintelligent . Often, help wanted signs would specify they are not interested in hiring Irish.This discrimination made it more difficult for Irish immigrants to thrive in America.

Finding Work

As America became more and more industrialized, factories were opened up. These workplaces created several jobs. These jobs were relatively easy for immigrants to get, however they were the dirtiest and most dangerous jobs. Factory workers worked 12 hour days, six days a week.
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