nation. There were many English, Scotch, and Welsh, and a few Scandinavians among the immigrants, and these speedily amalgamated with, and became indistinguishable from, the natives. But by far the largest numberprobably more than five-sixths of those settled in New York City during the half-century before the close of the Civil Warwere Irish and Germans, the former being at this time much in the lead.
The Germans had formed an important element of the citys population ever since the days of Leisler, who was himself a German, and, with the exception of Stuyvesant, the most important figure in the history of the colonial town. They were probably, in point of numbers and importance, at no time lower than the fourth in rank among the nationalities which were being fused together to make New York citizens. By the beginning of the present century the descendants of the old German immigrants had become completely Americanized. The new swarms of Germans who came hither, revived the use of the German tongue; and as they settled in large bodies,often forming the entire population of certain districts,they clung pertinaciously to their own customs, kept to their own churches, and published their own newspapers. Nevertheless, the public-school system and the all-pervading energy of American life proved too severe solvents