Guiding Questions:

What are some obstacles that faced Immigrants as they came to America?


Pitcairn House, North End Boston, 1898

Boston was home to many immigrant groups that found employment in the factories and the docks in and around town. The workforce was made up of Irish, Italian, and Jewish immigrants.

This lesson will introduce you to George A. Scigliano. Scigliano was a second generation Italian immigrant who was educated in Boston. Scigliano was one of the first Italian immigrants to hold public office at the city and state level. The Irish had been the first to arrive and call the North End home. They lived in the tenements from basement to top floors looking for jobs to support their families. As the years passed, Italians had taken over the North End tenements as Irish moved to Beacon Hill and the Back Bay. The Italians also found work on the docks as well as establishing themselves in the trades and as merchants. Italians established the North Bennett Street School which still educates countless students looking to enter the trades.

This lesson will focus on how Italian immigrants lived as workers, politicians, and assimilated citizens of the United States.

Header Image: Progressive Party of Massachusetts Convention Ribbon, 1913, retrieved from Wikimedia Commons, also found at Flickr; part of Cornell University Collection of Political Americana, Cornell University Library

Inline Image: Major Pitcairn House, Prince St, Boston, ca. 1898, retrieved from Wikimedia Commons, also found at Flickr; courtesy of Boston Public Library Print Department

Background image: Map of Boston,1899, by Albert E. Downs, courtesy of Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library