August 12, 2015
‘No Irish Need Apply’: Professor Jensen strikes back at teen girl who ‘disproved’ his findings
I examined all her signs. Apart from the 1883 and 1932 cases, her cases are misinterpretations and are not relevant to the historical debate. This underscores the need for letting the class see the preliminary findings before publishing them. A fellow student could revisit her case #65 from the 1901 Monmouth College Yearbook (in which D.R. Turnbull seeks “a partner to take interest in a home. Must have a loving heart and be willing to take an active interest. No Irish need apply”) and see this is student humor about marriage. The Yearbook staff concocted this fake “want-ad,” and they touched on the friendly campus rivalry between the Scottish Presbyterian and the Scotch-Irish Presbyterian students.
The 1883 sign, case #54, came from the town of Port Washington in rural Ohio, where the local police department posted a patronage job to clean lamps on the bridges. When Republicans won local elections, they replaced all the Democrats. Practically all the Irish were Democrats, so “no Irish need apply” represented routine political cleansing. (I had excluded political patronage from my 2002 article, assuming that all historians knew about it.)
(…) My 2002 approach to explaining hostility to the Irish focused on rejection of pre-modern behavior (such as violence), Catholicism, and supposed Irish anti-Republicanism.
Negative factors also came with jobs involving salesmanship, entrepreneurship or investment of cash, and jobs in corporate bureaucracy and finance.