Duffy’s Cut Display in Gabriele Library at Immaculata University
The Duffy´s Cut archaeological team from Immaculata University is setting up a display in the Gabriele Library of artifacts from the dig site. The artifacts include items the Irish workers at the site used in daily life along with things related to the railroad construction. Dr. Watson expects that the display will draw history enthusiasts of various types, including Irish-American, railroad, and immigration historians.
Dr. William Watson, chair of the history department at Immaculata University and one of the leaders of the archaeological team, commented, "It´s basically a re-creation of an industrial site from the early Industrial Revolution." Excavating the area has presented a unique opportunity, because most sites from this era have vanished. The dig has uncovered several rare items, such as a cast iron railway track that was imported from England, a stone railroad spike, and a pipe with Celtic carvings, including the words, "Erin go bragh," or "Ireland forever." Dr. Watson was told that this pipe is the earliest known example of Irish nationalism in North America.
In 1832, 57 Irish immigrants came to Duffy´s Cut in Malvern, PA to work on the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad. A cholera epidemic in the area killed thousands of people, apparently including the Irish immigrants, just six weeks after their arrival. However, based on evidence of trauma inflicted on the skeletons found at the site, Dr. William Watson suspects that at least one of the men may have been murdered to keep the disease from spreading.
For more information about the Duffy´s Cut Project, please visit http://duffyscut.immaculata.edu.
Immaculata University, a Catholic, coeducational institution, is located 20 miles west of Philadelphia, south of the intersection of routes 30 and 352, between Paoli and Exton.
Y: public relations: news release: Duffy´s Cut Display #98