I just finished the book called the Boston Italians. by Stephen Puleo. It is basically a history of the Italian Community that is Boston's North End.
The author not only gives his own family history, but covers the issues that not only affected the Italian/Sicilian immigrants in Boston but in every italian community. It covers the New Orleans lynchings in 1896 to Sacco and Venzetti, to the present. I think it is a must read for every italian.
This sounds very interesting. The last few months I've purchased several books that I think are must reads so I'll need to add this one to the list. I'm particularly interested in the part about the New Orleans lynchings.
Including the lynchings in New Orleans in 1891, from 1885 to 1915 fifty Italians were lynched in the states of Lousianna, Mississippi, Florida, Colorado, Kentucky, Illinois, Washington and New York.
Linciati, Lynchings of Italians in America
"There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children - one is roots, and the other, wings." -- Hodding S. Carter
"You live as long as you are remembered." -- Russian proverb
A little late getting this and not sure if it was the one I read a few months back, but I had read this book about Italian-Americans and was surprised at the violence against them.
From Luciano Iorizzo (State University of New York, Oswego) with Salvatore Mondello (Rochester Institute of Technology) The Italian-Americans, Twayne Publishers, New York,1971, page 223:
Mob Violence Against Italian-Americans*
Date Location Number and Condition Indemnity
12/17/1874 Buena Vista, Pa. 4 killed
3/28/1886 Vicksburg, Miss. 1 lynched
3/14/1891 New Orleans, La. 11 lynched $25,000
7/?/1893 Denver, Colo. 1 lynched
3/21/1894 Altoona, Pa. 200 driven from city
3/12/1895 Walsenburg, Pa. 6 murdered by mob $10,000
8/11/1896 Hahnville, La. 3 lynched $6,000
7/20/1899 Tallulah, Miss. 5 lynched $4,000
7/11/1901 Erwin, Miss. 2 lynched, 1 wounded $5,000
11/18/1901 Marksville, La. 4 driven from city
5/14/1906 Marion, N. C. 2 killed, 5 wounded private settlement
9/20/1910 Tampa, Fla. 2 lynched $6,000 10/12/1914 Willisville, Ill. 1 shot and killed
6/12/1915 Johnson City, Ill. 1 lynched
*There were three major difficulties involved with aliens and mob violence: 1) denial of justice was likely in the failure of local or state authorities to afford adequate protection to aliens in custody; 2) failure to criminally punish the alleged violators of aliens; 3) denial of justice in not securing indemnity by state and local authorities. The U.S. government was able to remedy the third difficulty and did so on a number of occasions. Originally, it admitted of no liability for mob violence. But in 1891 the U.S. began paying indemnities "without respect to the question of liability." See Charles H. Watson, "Need of Federal Legislation in Respect to Mob Violence in Cases of Lynching of Aliens," Yale Law Journal, XXV (May, 1916), 560-81.
Source: For details of the lynchings and documentation, see Iorizzo, "Italian Immigration and the Impact of the Padrone System," pp. 212-14
Professor Iorizzo also has tables of Italian Immigration To The United States By Year from 1820 to 1869, Distribution Of Italian-Born Immigrants By Decade And State from 1850 to 1960, List of Italian Rural Communities in the United States -- 1900-1910, plus a very good bibliography of books and articles, some from the 1800s and others from the early 1900s concerning contemporary immigrant problems and more recent books covering the very beginnings of immigration to the Americas.
These certainly are not as great as that suffered by African-Americans, but I was surprised that some were in the North as well.
Ferro (from Ferri), Capriotti(TE); De(i)Marzio, Nervina(o), Colucci, Gatto, Testa(CB); Basile(BA) ; Bianchi(AQ); Augello, Bissi, Iacono(AG); Pisano(), Impaglia () Friends looking also: Vivenzio (SA); LoPiccolo(PA)-seems to be Lopicolo originally
"The Boston Italians" is a great read, gives alot of perspective to those of us whose families lived in the North End during those times, as well as anyone with an interest in Italian American history. I also recommend "Dark Tide", also by Stephen Puleo, which is a detailed look at the Boston molasses flood of 1919. Some of the same subjects are touched on, but the bulk of the book is different, really interesting stuff. For anyone interested in what life was like in the isolated hill towns of southern Italy post-unification, I recommend Carlo Levi's "Christ stopped at Eboli", and "Torregreca", by Ann Cornelisen. If anyone knows any others, let me know!