The remains of 57 Irish immigrants have been found in a mass grave in Pennsylvania. It was believed that they succumbed to cholera, but the bones show evidence of murder.
Two skulls unearthed at a probable mass grave near Philadelphia this month showed signs of violence, including a possible bullet hole. Another pair of skulls found earlier at the woodsy site also displayed traumas, seeming to confirm the suspicions of two historians leading the archaeological dig.
“This was much more than a cholera epidemic,” William Watson said.
Watson, chairman of the history department at nearby Immaculata University, and his twin brother Frank have been working for nearly a decade to unravel the 178-year-old mystery.
Anti-Irish sentiment made 19th-century America a hostile place for the workers, who lived amid wilderness in a shanty near the railroad tracks. The land is now preserved open space behind suburban homes in Malvern, about 20 miles west of Philadelphia.