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|Rick Rescorla · Dirk Kempthorne|
|Regions with significant populations|
|California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin|
|Related ethnic groups|
Cornish Americans are citizens of the United States who describe themselves as having Cornish ancestry. Cornish ancestry is not recognised on the United States Census, although the Cornish people are recognised as a separate ethnic group in the United Kingdom Census.
Cornish emigration to the United States
The coinciding of the decline of the mining industry in Cornwall in the 19th century and the discovery of large amounts of mineral deposits abroad meant that Cornish families headed overseas for work. Each decade between 1861 and 1901, a fifth of the entire Cornish male population migrated abroad – three times the average for England and Wales. In total, the county lost over a quarter of a million people between 1841 and 1901.
Large numbers of Cornish people moved to the United States, and while some stayed in New York City and other East Coast ports after arriving, many moved inland to mining areas in California, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. One such area was Mineral Point, Wisconsin, in which the largest group of immigrants were Cornish miners attracted to the lead mining opportunities, and by 1845 roughly half of the town's population had Cornish ancestry. Today the Cornish town of Redruth is twinned with Mineral Point.
Cornish culture in the United States
In California, statues and monuments in many towns pay tribute to the influence of the Cornish on their development. In the city of Grass Valley, the tradition of singing Cornish carols lives on and one local historian of the area says the songs have become "the identity of the town". Some of the members of today's Cornish Carol Choir are in fact descendants of the original Cornish gold miners. The city holds St Piran's Day celebrations every year, which along with carol singing, includes a flag raising ceremony, games involving the Cornish pasty, and Cornish wrestling competitions. The city is twinned with Bodmin in Cornwall.
Cornish immigrant miners are depicted speaking Cornish in the TV series Deadwood.
Noted Cornish Americans
Cornish Americans were either Cornish by birth and took American citizenship or had Cornish ancestors.
- Richard Bullock - became a legendary figure of the Wild West Cowboy era. His quick-shooting deeds working on the Deadwood stage gained him the nickname "Deadwood Dick".
- Dirk Kempthorne - United States Secretary of the Interior, Governor of Idaho, United States Senator representing Idaho, and Mayor of Boise, who has immigrant ancestors from Cornwall.
- Rick Rescorla - a retired United States Army officer of Cornish birth who served with distinction in Rhodesia as a British soldier and the Vietnam War as an American officer. As the World Trade Center security chief for the financial services firm Morgan Stanley, Rescorla anticipated both attacks on the towers and implemented evacuation procedures that are credited with saving many lives. He died in the attacks of September 11, 2001, while leading the evacuation efforts.
- John Johns Trigg - Virginian congressman and Revolutionary War officer was of mostly Cornish ancestry, his ancestors having immigrated to the American colonies from Cornwall in the mid-17th century.
- William Williams - a Cornish immigrant to Saint Paul, Minnesota who was convicted of the 1905 murders of his homosexual lover and the latter's mother. His hanging was botched and Williams remains the last person executed by the State of Minnesota.
- Cornish emigration
- Mining in Cornwall and Devon
- Celtic music in the United States
- British American
- English American
- Scottish American
- Scots-Irish American
- Welsh American
- Maps of American ancestries
- ^ Cornish ethnicity data from the 2001 Census
- ^ Tangier Island
- ^ BBC - Immigration and Emigration - I'm Alright Jack
- ^ Nesbit, Robert C. (1989). Wisconsin: A History. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-299-10804-X.
- ^ "Pendarvis - Shops & Restaurants"
- ^ Calyfornya Kernewek (California Cornish)
- ^ Grass Valley's St Pirans Day Celebration - DowntownGrassValley.com
- ^ Butler, Gillian; John Butler, Ren Kempthorne (2000). Karanza Whelas Karanza, The Story of the Kempthornes, 1300-2000.
- Cornish, Joseph H. The History and Genealogy of the Cornish Families in America. Higginson Book Company. 2003. ASIN: B0006S85H6.
- Ewart, Shirley. Highly Respectable Families: the Cornish of Grass Valley, California 1854-1954 (Nevada County Pioneers Series). Comstock Bonanza Press. October 1998. ISBN 978-0933994188.
- Magnaghi, Russell M. Cornish in Michigan (Discovering the Peoples of Michigan Series). Michigan State University Press. October 2007. ISBN 978-0870137877.
- Payton, Philip The Cornish Overseas. Cornwall Editions Limited. April 2005. ISBN 978-1904880042.
- Rowse, A. L. The Cornish in America. Redruth: Dyllansow Truran. June 1991. ISBN 978-1850220596.
- Todd, Arthur C. The Cornish Miner in America: the Contribution to the Mining History of the United States by Emigrant Cornish Miners: the Men Called Cousin Jacks. Arthur H. Clark (publisher). September 1995. ISBN 978-0870622380.
- White, Helen M. Cornish Cousins of Minnesota, Lost and Found: St. Piran's Society of Minnesota. Minnesota Heritage Publications. 1997. ASIN: B0006QP60M.
- The Cornish American Heritage Society
- California Cornish Cousins
- Pennsylvania Cornwall Association
- The Cornish Society of Greater Milwaukee
- Pasties in Wisconsin, by Dorothy Hodgson