M15934.45 | Laying the Monumental stone, marking the graves of 6000 immigrants near Victoria Bridge

 
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Laying the Monumental stone, marking the graves of 6000 immigrants near Victoria Bridge
1860, 19th century
Ink on paper - Wood engraving
7.4 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
M15934.45
© McCord Museum
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Keywords:  event (534) , History (944) , Print (10661)
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Description

The Irish immigrants who settled in Griffintown in the 19th century were a source of cheap labour, so much so that many of them were hired to work on large-scale construction projects such as the digging of the Lachine Canal, which opened in 1825, and the construction of the Victoria Bridge, inaugurated in 1860. Still, life in Griffintown was difficult as a result of frequent floods, major fires, unsanitary housing conditions and pollution from the surrounding factories. Moreover, the quarter was struck by several epidemics. In 1846-1847, 6 000 British subjects, for the most part Irish immigrants living in Griffintown, died of typhus. In 1860, workers on the Victoria Brige erected a monument in their memory.