Fifty-seven Irish immigrant laborers arrived in the port of Philadelphia in June 1832 to work on Pennsylvania's Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad. They all perished within six weeks.
Contractor Philip Duffy hired them to work a stretch of track in rural Chester County known as Duffy's Cut. For more than 180 years, the railroad maintained that cholera was to blame and kept the historical record under lock and key. In a harrowing modern-day excavation of their mass grave, a group of academics and volunteers found evidence some of the laborers were murdered. Authors and research leaders Dr. William E. Watson and Dr. J. Francis Watson reveal the tragedy, mystery and discovery of what really happened at Duffy's Cut.
About the Author
The Watsons are the founders of the Duffy's Cut Project. William E. Watson received his PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania and is a professor of history at Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. J. Francis Watson received his PhD in historical theology from Drew University and is a Lutheran clergyman, ecclesiastical archivist and historian in New Jersey.
Table of Contents
Ireland and America: Immigration and Industrialization 7
Philip Duffy and Duffy's Cut: An Immigrant Laborer Becomes a Gentleman 24
What Happened at Duffy's Cut 39
Cholera and Murder 50
The PRR File: Railroaders and Others Remember Duffy's Cut 72
Recovery at Duffy's Cut 104
Commemoration of Duffy's Cut 128
Concluding Assumptions 145
Appendix A Account of the Duffy's Cut Incident Julian Sachsc, 1889 149
Appendix B Duffy's Philadelphia and Columbia Mile 60 Contract, Village Record, June 9, 1829 151
About the Authors 176