Department Chair

Andrew D. Nicholls, Ph.D., Professor of History

Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

History, M.A.


History and Social Studies Education Department


Kenneth Mernitz

Department Home page

First Reader

Kenneth Mernitz, Ph.D.

Second Reader

Andrew Nicholls, Ph.D.


The focus of this thesis is to contribute and expand upon the historiography of Irish American history in Buffalo, New York. Throughout the 1830s and into the 1860s, the Irish in Buffalo were able to become socially mobile and establish themselves as a powerful group for change in the city. It is important to acknowledge that the process to become socially mobile was not easy for the Irish migrants and their later descendants. There were countless hardships and struggles the Irish faced prior to their journey to the United States and after their arrival and settlement in Buffalo. The time period of the 1830s to the 1860s is truly significant because it is a formative era for the Irish. The majority of Irish-American studies do not focus on the decades that will be examined in this thesis. Instead, most historians examine Irish-American history in the latter half of the 1800s and into the early 1900s. This is because during that time period, the Irish were well established throughout the United States. This thesis will provide insight into Irish-American history and prove how important this formative era was for the immigrant group and their later descendants.