Prince Street Stories

With an average of 1 in 4 inhabitants of the 8th and 14th Wards in 1855 born in Ireland (and many more born to Irish parents), the unmistakably Irish character of these enclaves is clear.  By examining data mined from the EISB Test Book records, one can begin to gain a more refined insight into the physical and cultural environment of the world in which many of the account holders called home.  Nestled between Prince, Mott and Mulberry Streets in the center of NoLita (North of Little Italy), the original St. Patrick’s Cathedral still stands as a solemn reminder to all that this was once the center of organized Irish political power and cultural presence in New York city during the mid 19th century.  Within feet of the cathedral, at 42 Prince Street, the (in)famous Hibernian Hall Headquarters was a powder-keg of protest, organization, and activity among the New York City.  Smaller dwellings too – an aged Irish Printer’s shop, a full service clothier, and an apparently very Connaught-leaning boarding house – all made up the rich fabric that was this Irish Ethnic Village.  Again, the EISB Test Book records prove an invaluable source from which to delve into the personal histories of these dwellings and their very human inhabitants.

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