Duffy's Cut Group Lesson Plan

Bethanne Killian, Irish Network, Philadelphia, Duffy's Cut Board Member
James W. Flannery, Bishop McDevitt High School - Grade Level 9-12
Keysiah Middleton, John Bartram High School - Grade Level 9-12
Charles G. Ullestad, Phelps School - Grade Level 10-12
William E. Schluter, The Tatnall School - Grade Level 10-12

Lesson Plan: The Unsolved Mystery of Duffy's Cut (PDF) | Downloadable WordDoc

This project engages students in the topics of immigration, nativism, and religious bigotry and how these issues shaped the United States in the early 19th century.  Encompassed below are three lesson  It focuses on Duffy’s Cut, a contracted mile in the construction of the Philadelphia & Columbia Railroad in southeastern Pennsylvania, where 57 Irish immigrants lost their lives in 1832.  This episode in history is particularly important because it illustrates how the aforementioned factors played out on the local level.  This project consists largely of primary source analysis and is designed for grades 10 and 11. The goal of the lesson is that students, by looking at primary sources, will develop an appreciation of how local history provides a valuable lens by which to view current issues.  Students will discover that themes such as nativism and religious xenophobia not only contributed to the genocide at Duffy’s Cut in the 19th century, but they are still relevant today. 

Supplemental Information

PowerPoint Presentation (PDF) | Download the PowerPoint here
NEHImmaculata UniversityDuffy's CutPenn Museum

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