after three or four decades. Moreover, their less fortunate qualities were such as inevitably attended the peculiar conditions of their life in the old country; and these gradually tended to disappear as the successive generations grew up on American soil. The fact that they already spoke English gave them an immense advantage, compared to the Germans, in that they were able from the outset to mingle freely in American life; but the difference of religion tended to keep at least the first two generations apart from the citizens of old American stock. The Irish, like the Germans, came over in such numbers that they were able to introduce their own separate social life; but in both cases the ambitious and energetic among the descendants of the immigrants soon grew to realize that they must become thorough-going Americans in order to win the great prizes of American life, while every family that acquired wealth and culture desired nothing so much as to get a foothold in the upper circles of the American portion of the community.
By the outbreak of the Civil War the flood of immigration had swamped the older native American stock, as far as numbers went. The mixed blood of New York had been mixed still further. It is curious to trace the successive additions of race elements to the population of the city. At its founding the Dutch were dominant,