Friday, March 20, 2020

Good Reads - A Distinct Alien Race

In the later 19th century, French-Canadian Roman Catholic immigrants from Quebec were deemed a threat to the United States, potential terrorists in service of the Pope. Books and newspapers floated the conspiracy theory that the immigrants seeking work in New England's burgeoning textile industry were actually plotting to annex parts of the United States to a newly independent Quebec. 

Vermette’s groundbreaking study sets this neglected and poignant tale in the broader context of North American history. He traces individuals and families, from the textile barons who created a new industry to the poor farmers and laborers of Quebec who crowded into the mills in the post-Civil War period. Vermette discusses the murky reception these cross-border immigrants met in the USA, including dehumanizing conditions in mill towns and early-20th-century campaigns led by the Ku Klux Klan and the Eugenics movement. 

Vermette also discusses what occurred when the textile industry moved to the Deep South and brings the story of emigrants up to the present day. Vermette shows how this little-known episode in U.S. history prefigures events as recent as yesterday’s news. His well documented narrative touches on the issues of cross-border immigration; the Nativists fear of the Other; the rise and fall of manufacturing in the U.S.; and the construction of race and ethnicity.

Available nationwide.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Lost Children of the Carricks



New documentary by a Concordia professor recounts the hidden history of Quebec’s Irish population...more

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Seeking The Primrose Girls from Galway Ireland to Canada 1853

A group of Irish amateur genealogists from a small Galway town are seeking to connect with descendants of 156 emigrants known as the “Primrose” girls after the name of the ship they sailed on to Canada in 1853...more