The Glories of Ireland
Edited by Joseph Dunn and P.J. Lennox

Part 4 out of 7

Pitt had unwittingly made the cockpit of the racial struggle. Far
from absorbing the Irish element, the Commons found themselves forced
to resist, rally, and finally succumb.

The Irish House cannot be dismissed without mention of Curran. He was
a brilliant enemy of corruption and servility. O'Connell said "there
was never so honest an Irishman," which may account for his greater
success as a lawyer than a politician. To be an Irish leader and a
successful lawyer is given to no man. For the former the sacrifice of
a great career is needed. This sacrifice Daniel O'Connell was
prepared to make. His place in history will never be estimated, for
few have been so loved or hated, or for stronger reasons. Never did a
tribune rising to power lift his people to such sudden hope and
success. Never did a champion leave his followers at his death and
decline to more terrible despair. Friend and foe admit his immensity.
He was the greatest Irishman that ever lived or seemingly could live.
In his own person he contained the whole genius of the Celt. Ireland
could not hold his emotions, which overflowed into the world for
expression. He rose on the crest of a religious agitation, but,
Emancipation won, he had the foresight to associate the Irish cause
with the advent of Reform and Liberalism throughout Europe. He
sounded the notes of free-trade and anti-slavery. What he said in
parliament one day, Ireland re-echoed the next. To her he was all in
all, her hero and her prophet, her Messias and her strong deliverer.
On the continent he roughly personified Christian Democracy.

In public oratory O'Connell introduced a new style. Torrential and
overwhelming as Flood and Grattan had never been, he proved more
successful if less polished. The exaggerations of Gaelic speech found
outburst in his English. Peel's smile was "the silver plate on a
coffin", Wellington "a stunted corporal", and Disraeli "the lineal
descendant of the impenitent thief."

It sounds bombastic, but in those feudal forties it rang more
magnificent than war. Single-voiced he overawed the host of bigots,
dullards, and reactionaries. Unhappily, he let his people abandon
their native tongue, while teaching them how to balance the rival
parties in England, the latter a policy that has proved Ireland's
fortune since. He loosed the spirit of sectarianism in the tithe war,
and he crushed the Young Ireland movement, which bred Fenianism in
its death agony. But he made the Catholic a citizen. Results
stupendous as far-reaching sprang from his steps every way.

The finest pen-sketch of O'Connell is by Mitchel, who says, "besides
superhuman and subterhuman passions, yet withal, a boundless fund of
masterly affectation and consummate histrionism, hating and loving
heartily, outrageous in his merriment and passionate in his
lamentation, he had the power to make other men hate or love, laugh
or weep, at his good pleasure."

Yet during his lifetime there lived others worthy of national
leadership. O'Brien, Duffy, and Davis played their part in England as
well as in Ireland. Father Mathew founded the Temperance, as Feargus
O'Conor the Chartist, movement. And there was an orator who
fascinated Gladstone--Sheil.

Father Mathew succeeded in keeping many millions of men sober during
the forties until the great Famine engulfed his work as it did
O'Connell's. To him is due, as a feature of Irish life, the brass
band with banners, which he originally organized as a

Feargus O'Conor founded Radical Socialism in England. As the Lion of
Freedom, he enjoyed a popularity with English workmen approaching
that of O'Connell in Ireland. He ended in lunacy, but he had the
credit of forwarding peasant proprietorship far in advance of his

Sheil was a tragic orator--"an iambic rhapsodist", O'Connell called
him--who might have been leader, did not a greater tragedian occupy
the stage. And Sheil was content to be O'Connell's organizer. Without
O'Connell's voice or presence, he was his rhetorical superior,
excelling in irony and the by-plays of speech for which O'Connell was
too exuberant. Shell's speeches touch exquisite though not the deep
notes of O'Connell, whom he criticized for "throwing out broods of
sturdy young ideas upon the world without a rag to cover them." He
discredited his master and his cause by taking office. The fruits of
Emancipation were tempting to those who had borne the heat of the
day, but there was a rising school of patriots who refused
acquiescence to anything less than total freedom.

The Young Irelanders reincarnated the men of "ninety-eight." They
were neither too late nor too soon. They snatched the sacred torch of
Liberty from the dying hands of O'Connell, who summoned in vain old
Ireland against his young rivals. But men like Davis and Duffy
appealed to types O'Connell never swayed. He could carry the mob, but
poet, journalist, and idealist were enrolled with Young Ireland. For
this reason the history of their failure is brighter in literature
than the tale of O'Connell's triumphs. To read Duffy's "Young
Ireland" and Mitchel's "Jail Journal", with draughts from the _Spirit
of the Nation_. is to relive the period. Without the Young
Irelanders, Irish Nationalism might not have survived the Famine.

Mitchel, as open advocate of physical force, became father to
Fenianism. An honest conspirator and brilliant writer, he proved that
the pen of journalism was sharper than the Irish pike. Carlyle
described him as "a fine elastic-spirited young fellow, whom I
grieved to see rushing on destruction palpable, by attack of
windmills." Destruction came surely, but coupled with immortality. He
was transported as a felon before the insurrection, while his
writings sprang up in angry but unarmed men.

Mitchel and O'Connell both sought the liberation of Ireland, but
their viewpoint differed. Mitchel thought only of Liberty; O'Connell
not unnaturally considered the "Liberator." His refusal to allow a
drop of blood to be shed caused Young Ireland to secede. Only when
death removed his influence could the pent-up feelings of the country
break out under Smith O'Brien. If Mitchel was an Irish Robespierre,
O'Brien was their Lafayette. His advance from the level of dead
aristocracy had been rapid. From defending Whigs in Parliament he
passed to opposition and "contempt of the House." He resigned from
the Bench from which O'Connell had been dismissed, became a Repealer,
adding the words "no compromise," and finally gloried in his treason
before the House. His next step brought a price upon his head.

Grave and frigid, but inwardly warmhearted and passionate, O'Brien
had little aptitude for rebellion. But the death penalty (commuted to
transportation) which he incurred went far to redeem his forlorn
failure. Mitchel, who shared his Australian imprisonment, left a fine
picture of "this noblest of Irishmen, thrust in among the
off-scourings of England's gaols, with his home desolated and his
hopes ruined, and defeated life falling into the sere and yellow
leaf. A man, who cannot be crushed, or bowed, or broken; anchored
immovably upon his own brave heart within; his clear eye and soul
open as ever to all the melodies and splendors of heaven and earth,
and calmly waiting for the angel, Death."

The Irish cause was not revived until the Fenian movement. Disgust
with the politicians drove the noblest into their ranks. In Stephens
they found an organizing chief, in Boyle O'Reilly a poet, and in John
O'Leary a political thinker, men who under other conditions had
achieved mundane success. The Fenians were defended by Isaac Butt, a
big-hearted, broad-minded lawyer, who afterwards organized a party to
convince Englishmen that Repeal was innocuous, when called "Home
Rule." The people stood his patient ways patiently, but when a more
desperate leader arrived they transferred allegiance, and Butt died
of a broken heart.

Parnell took his place and began to marshal the broken forces of
Irish democracy against his own class. Butt had been a polite
parliamentarian, reverencing the courtesy of debate and at heart
loving the British Constitution. Parnell felt that his mission lay in
breaking rather than interpreting the law. The well-bred House stared
and protested when he defied their chosen six hundred. Parnell faced
them with their own marble callousness. He outdid them in political
cynicism and out-bowed them in frigid courtesy, while maintaining a
policy before which tradition melted and a time-honored system
collapsed. In one stormy decade he tore the cloak from the Mother of
Parliaments, reducing her to a plain-speaking democratic machine.
Through the breach he made, the English labor party has since

He united priest and peasant, physical and moral force, under him. He
could lay Ireland under storm or lull at his pleasure. His
achievement equalled his self-confidence. He reversed the Irish land
system and threw English politics out of gear. With the balance of
power in his hand, he made Tory and Radical outbid each other for his
support. He was no organizer or orator, but he fascinated able men to
conduct his schemes, as Napoleon used his marshals. On a pregnant day
he equaled the achievement of St. Paul and converted Gladstone, who
had once been his gaoler. Gladstone became a Home Ruler, and
henceforth English politics knew no peace.

Parnell stood for the fall and rise of many. Under his banner Irish
peasants became human beings with human rights. He felled the feudal
class in Ireland and undermined them in England. Incalculable forces
were set to destroy him. A forged letter in the _Times_ classed him
with assassins, while an legal Commission was sent to try his whole
movement. It is history that his triumphant vindication was followed
by a greater fall. The happiness of Ireland was sucked into the
maelstrom of his ruin. He refused to retire from leadership at
Gladstone's bidding, and Ireland staggered into civil war. The end is
known--Parnell died as he had lived. Of his moral fault there is no
palliation, but it may be said he held his country's honor dearer
than his own, for he could not bear to see her win even independence
by obeying the word of an Englishman.


Lecky: Leaders of Irish Opinion; Mitchel: Jail Journal; Duffy: Young
Ireland; O'Brien: Life of Parnell; D'Alton: History of Ireland.


By Alice Milligan

The worth and glory of a nation may well be measured and adjudged by
the typical character of its womanhood: not so much, I would say, by
the eminence attained to by rarely gifted, exceptionally developed
individuals, as by the prevalence of noble types at every period, and
amongst all classes of the community, and by their recurrence from
age to age under varying circumstances of national fortune.

Judged by such a standard, Ireland emerges triumphant and points to
the roll of her chequered history, the story of her ancient race,
with confidence and pride. Gaze into the farthest vistas of her
legendary past, into the remotest eras of which tradition preserves a
misty memory, and the figure of some fair, noble woman stands forth
glimmering like a white statue against the gloom. At every period of
stern endeavor, through all the generations of recorded time, the
pages of our annals are inscribed with the names of mothers, sisters,
wives, not unworthy to stand there beside those of the world-renowned
heroes of the Gael.

In the ancient tales of Ireland we read of great female physicians
and distinguished female lawyers and judges. There were _ban-file_,
or women-poets, who, like the _file_, were at the same time
soothsayers and poetesses, and there are other evidences of the high
esteem in which women were held. There can be no doubt, to judge by
the elaborate descriptions of garments in the saga-texts, that the
women were very skilful in weaving and needlework. The Irish peasant
girls of today inherit from them not a little of their gift for
lace-making and linen-embroidery. Ladies of the highest rank
practiced needlework as an accomplishment and a recreation. Some of
the scissors and shears they used have come to light in excavations.

In the stories of the loves of the ancient Irish, whether immortals
or mortals, the woman's role is the more accentuated, while in
Teutonic tradition man plays the chief part. Again, it has often been
remarked that the feminine interest is absent from the earlier heroic
forms of some literatures. Not so, however, in the earliest
saga-texts of the Irish. Many are the famous women to whom the old
tales introduce us and who stand out and compel attention like the
characters of the Greek drama. Everyone knows of the faithful
Deirdre, the heroine of the touching story of the "Exile of the Sons
of Usnech", and of her death; of the proud and selfish Medb. the
ambitious queen of Connacht, the most warlike and most expert in the
use of weapons of the women of the Gael--far superior in combat and
counsel to her husband, Ailill; of Emer, the faithful wife of
Cuchulainn; of Etain of the Horses (that was her name in Fairyland);
and of many others too numerous to mention.

It is with the introduction of Christianity into Ireland that the
Irish woman came into her rightful place, and attained the
preponderating influence which she, ever since, has held among the
Celtic people. In the period which followed the evangelization of the
island many were the "women of worth" who upheld the honor and glory
of "Inisfail the Fair", and women were neither the less numerous nor
the less ardent who hung upon the lips of the Apostle of Ireland.

Amid the galaxy of the saints, how lustrous, how divinely fair,
shines the star of Brigid, the shepherd maiden of Faughard, the
disciple of Patrick the Apostle, the guardian of the holy light that
burned beneath the oak-trees of Kildare! Over all Ireland and through
the Hebridean Isles, she is renowned above any other. We think of
her, moreover, not alone, but as the centre of a great company of
cloistered maidens, the refuge and helper of the sinful and
sorrowful, who found in the gospel that Patrick preached a message of
consolation and deliverance. Let it be remembered that the shroud of
Patrick is deemed to have been woven by Brigid's hand; that when she
died, in 525, Columcille, the future apostle of Scotland, was a child
of four. So she stands midmost of that trilogy of saints whose dust
is said to rest in Down.

Who that hears of Columcille will forget how He won that name, "dove
of the Church", because of his early piety, and that surely bespeaks
a mother's guiding care. Ethne, mother of Columcille, remains a vague
but picturesque figure, seen against the background of the rugged
heath-clad hills of Tir-Conal by the bright blue waters of Gartan's
triple lake. Her hearth-stone or couch is shown there to this day,
where once in slumber, before the birth of her son, she saw in a
glorious visionary dream a symbol of his future greatness. A vast
veil woven of sunshine and flowers seemed to float down upon her from
heaven: an exquisitely poetic thought, which gives us warrant to
believe that Columcille's poetic skill was inherited from his mother.

Ronnat, the mother of his biographer, St. Adamnan, plays a more
notable part in history, for, according to an ancient Gaelic text
recently published, it was to her that the women of Ireland owed the
royal decree which liberated them from military service. The story
goes that once, as she walked beside the Boyne, after some sanguinary
conflict, she came upon the bodies of two women who had fallen in
battle. One grasped a reaping hook, the other a sword, and dreadful
wounds disfigured them. Horrified at the sight, she brought strong
pressure to bear upon her son, and his influence in the councils of
the land availed to bring about the promulgation of the decree which
freed women from war-service.

Our warrior kings had noble queens to rule their households, and of
these none stands out so distinctly after long lapse of time as
Gormlai, the daughter of Flann Siona, and wife of Nial Glondubh. Her
story has in it that element of romance which touches the heart and
wins the sympathy of all who hear it.

Her father was king of the Meathan branch of the Clan Nial, and
_ard-ri_ of Ireland for thirty-seven years. Nial Glondubh was king of
Tir-Eoghain, and heir of Flann in the high kingship, for at that era
it was the custom for the kings of Meath and of Tyrone to hold the
supreme power alternately. In order to knit north and south, Flann
betrothed his beautiful daughter to Cormac macCuillenan, king of
Cashel, an ideal husband, one would have thought, for a poetess like
Gormlai, for Cormac was the foremost scholar of the day; but his mind
was so set on learning and religion that he took holy orders and
became bishop-king of Cashel, repudiating his destined bride. Gormlai
was then given as wife to Cearbhail, king of Leinster, and war was
waged against Cormac who was killed in the battle of Ballymoon.
Coming home wounded, Cearbhail lay on his couch, and while tended by
Gormlai and her ladies told the story of the battle and boasted of
having insulted the dead body of King Cormac. Gormlai reproached him
for his ignoble conduct in such terms that his anger and jealousy
flamed up, and striking her with his fist he hurled her to the

Gormlai rose indignant and left his house forever, returning to the
palace of King Flann, and on Cearbhail's death she at last found a
true lover and worthy mate in Nial Glondubh, who brought her
northward to rule over the famous palace of Aileach. In 916 Nial
became high king, but the place of honor was also the place of
danger, and soon he led the mustered hosts of the north against the
pagan foreigners, who held Dublin and Fingal, and he fell in battle
at Rathfarnham.

A poem, preserved for us ever since, tells us that Gormlai was
present at his burial and chanted a funeral ode. Her long widowhood
was a period of disconsolate mourning. At length it is said she had a
dream or vision, in which King Nial appeared to her in such life-like
shape that she spread her arms to embrace him, and thus wounded her
breast against the carven head-post of her couch, and of that wound
she died.

Many saintly, many noble, many hospitable and learned women lightened
the darkness that fell over Ireland after the coming of the Normans.

I pass to the time when a sovereign lady filled the throne of
England, "the spacious days of great Elizabeth," which were also the
period of Ireland's greatest, sternest struggle against a policy of
extermination towards her nobles and suppression of her ancient
faith. Amid all the heroes and leaders of that wondrous age in
Ireland, there appears, like a reincarnation of legendary Medb, a
warlike queen in Connacht, Grace O'Malley, "Granuaile" of the
ballads. Instead of a chariot, she mounts to the prow of a
swift-sailing galley, and sweeps over the wild Atlantic billows, from
isle to isle, from coast to coast, taking tribute (or is it plunder?)
from the clans. First an O'Flaherty is her husband, then a Norman
Burke. In Clare Island they show her castle tower, with a hole in the
wall, through which they say she tied a cable from her ship, ready by
day or night for a summons from her seamen. She voyaged as far as
London town, and stood face to face with the ruffed and hooped
Elizabeth, meeting her offer of an English title with the assertion
that she was a princess in her own land.

The mother of Red Hugh O'Donnell, Ineen-dubh, though daughter of the
Scottish Lord of the Isles, was none the less of the old Irish stock.
Her character is finely sketched for us by the Franciscan chronicler
who wrote the story of the captivity and mighty deeds of her son.
When the clans of Tir-Conal assembled to elect the youthful
chieftain, he writes: "It was an advantage that she came to the
gathering, for she was the head of the advice and counsel of the
Cinel-Conail, and, though she was slow and deliberate and much
praised for her womanly qualities, she had the heart of a hero and
the soul of a soldier." Her daughter, Nuala, is the "woman of the
piercing wail" in Mangan's translation of the bard's lament for the
death of the Ulster chieftains in Rome.

Modern critics like to interpret the "Dark Rosaleen" poem as an
expression of Red Hugh's devotion to Ireland, but I think that Rose,
O'Doherty's daughter, wife of the peerless Owen Roe, deserves
recognition as she whose

"Holy delicate white hands should girdle him with steel."

The record has come down to us that she prompted and encouraged her
husband to return from the low-countries and a position of dignity in
a foreign court to command the war in Ireland, and in her first
letter, ere she followed him over sea, she asked eagerly: "How stands
Tir-Conal?" True daughter of Ulster was Owen's wife, so let us
henceforth acknowledge her as the _Roisin_ dubh, "dark Rosaleen", of
the sublimest of all patriot songs.

In the Cromwellian and Williamite wars, we see the mournful mothers
and daughters of the Gaeldom passing in sad procession to Connacht,
or wailing on Shannon banks for the flight of the "Wild Geese." But
what of Limerick wall, what of the valorous rush of the women of the
beleaguered city to stem the inroads of the besiegers and rally the
defenders to the breach? The decree of St. Adamnan was quite
forgotten then, and when manly courage for a moment was daunted,
woman's fortitude replaced and reinspired it.

And fortitude was sorely needed through the black years that
followed--the penal days, when Ireland, crushed in the dust, bereft
of arms, achieved a sublimer victory than did even King Brian
himself, champion of the Cross, against the last muster of European

Yes, her women have done their share in making Ireland what she is, a
heroic land, unconquered by long centuries of wrath and wrong, a land
that has not abandoned its Faith through stress of direst persecution
or bartered it for the lure of worldly dominion; no--nor ever yielded
to despair in face of repeated national disaster.

It was this fidelity to principle on the part of the Irish Catholic
people which won for them the alliance of all that were worthiest
among the Protestants of north and south in the days of the
Volunteers and the United Irishmen. What interesting and pathetic
portraits of Irishwomen are added to our roll at this period! None is
more tenderly mournful than that of Sarah Curran, the beloved of
Robert Emmet. The graceful prose of Washington Irving, the poignant
verses of Moore, have enshrined the memory of her, weeping for him in
the shadow of the scaffold, dying of heart-break at last in a far-off
land. No more need be said of her, for whom the pity of the whole
world has been awakened by song allied to sweetest, saddest music.
What of Anne Devlin, Emmet's faithful servant, helping in his
preparations for insurrection, aiding his flight, shielding him in
hiding, even when tortured, scourged, half-hanged by a brutal
soldiery, with stern-shut lips refusing to utter a word to compromise
her "Master Robert"?

What of the sister of Henry Joy McCracken, Mary, the friend and
fellow-worker with the Belfast United Irishmen? An independent,
self-reliant business woman, she earned the money which she gave so
liberally in the good cause, or to help the poor and distressed,
through the whole period of a long life. Some still living have seen
Mary passing along the streets of Belfast, an aged woman, clad in
sombre gown, to whom Catholic artisans raised their caps reverently,
remembering how in '98 she had walked hand in hand with her brother
to the steps of the scaffold, and how, in 1803, she had aided Thomas
Russell in his escape from the north after Emmet's failure, had
bribed his captors after arrest, provided for his defence, and
preserved for futurity a record of his dying words. Madden's _History
of the United Irishmen_, as far as it tells of the north, is mainly
the record that she kept as a sacred trust in letters, papers,
long-treasured memories of the men who fought and died to make
Ireland a united nation.

And now a scene in America comes last to my mind. Wolfe Tone, a
political fugitive who has served Ireland well and come through
danger to safety, is busy laying the foundations of a happy and
prosperous future, with a beloved wife and sister and young children
to brighten his home. An estate near Princeton, New Jersey, has been
all but bought, possibilities of a career in the new republic open
before him, when a letter comes from Belfast, asking him to return to
the post of danger, to undertake a mission to France for the sake of
Ireland. Let his own pen describe what happened: "I handed the letter
to my wife and sister and desired their opinion.... My wife
especially, whose courage and whose zeal for my honor and interest
were not in the least abated by all her past sufferings, supplicated
me to let no consideration of her or our children stand for a moment
in the way of my duty to our country, adding that she would answer
for our family during my absence and that the same Providence which
had so often, as it were, miraculously preserved us would not desert
us now."

Inspired by the fortitude of this noble woman, Tone went forth on his
perilous mission, and similarly the Young Ireland leaders, Mitchel
and Smith O'Brien, were sustained by the courage of their nearest and
dearest. "Eva," the poetess of the _Nation_, gave her troth-plight to
one who had prison and exile to face ere he could claim her hand.
Other names recur to me--"Speranza", with her lyric fire; Ellen
O'Leary, fervent and still patient and wise; Fanny Parnell and her

And what of the women of Ireland today? Shall they come short of the
high ideal of the past, falter and fail, if devotion and sacrifice
are required of them? Never: whilst they keep in memory and honor the
illustrious ones of whom I have written. The name of Irishwoman today
stands for steadfast virtue, for hospitality, for simple piety, for
cheerful endurance, and in a changing world let us trust it is the
will of God that in this there will be no change.


On Ethne, mother of St. Columcille: The Visions, Miracles, and
Prophecies of St. Columba (Clarendon Press Series). On Ronnat: S. Mac
an Bhaird, Life (in Irish) of Adamnan (Letterkenny); Reeves, St.
Adamnan's Life of St. Columba; The Mother of St. Adamnan, an old
Gaelic text, ed. by Kuno Meyer (Berlin). On Gormlai: Thomas
Concannon, Gormflath (in Irish; The Gaelic League, Dublin). On
Granuaile: Elizabethan State Papers (Record Office Series); William
O'Brien, A Queen of Men. On Ineen-Dubh: O'Clery's Life of Red Hugh
(contemporary), ed. by Denis Murphy, S. J. (Dublin, 1894); Standish
O'Grady, The Flight of the Eagle, or Red Hugh's Captivity. On Rose,
wife of Owen Roe O'Neill, see references in Father Meehan's The
Flight of the Earls, and in Sir John Gilbert's History of the
Confederate War (Dublin, 1885). On the wife of Wolfe Tone, see Wolfe
Tone's Autobiography, ed. by R. Barry O'Brien (London, 1894). The
American edition has a fuller account of Tone's wife, her courage and
devotion in educating her son, and her interviews with Napoleon, and
life in America. The women of the United Irish period are fully dealt
with in K. R. Madden's Lives and Times of the United Irishmen. On
Mary McCracken, see Mrs. Milligan Fox, The Annals of the Irish
Harpers. On the women of the Young Ireland period, see C. Gavan
Duffy's Young Ireland (Dublin), and John O'Leary's Fenians and
Fenianism. On the women of Limerick, see Rev. James Dowd, Limerick
and its Sieges (Limerick, 1890). For the women under Cromwellian
Plantation persecutions and the Penal Laws, see Prendergast's
Cromwellian Settlement, Rev. Denis Murphy's Cromwell in Ireland, and
R. R. Madden's History of the Penal Laws.



[NOTE.--This chapter was written by Lord Ashbourne in French, because
he is so strong an Irishman that he objects to write in English. The
translation has been made by the Editors.]

To those of us who are interested in the future of our country there
is at this very moment presented a really serious problem. The
political struggle of the last century has been so intense that many
of our people have come to have none but a political solution in
view. For them the whole question is one of politics, and they will
continue to believe that Ireland will have found salvation the moment
we get Home Rule or something like it. Such an attitude seems natural
enough when we remember what our people have suffered in the past.
Nevertheless, on a little reflection, this error--for error it is,
and an enormous one, too--will be quickly dissipated. In the first
place, the political struggle of today is only the continuation of a
conflict which has lasted seven hundred years, and in point of fact
we have a right to be proud that after so many trials there still
remains to us anything of our national inheritance. We find ourselves
indeed on the battlefield somewhat seriously bruised, but we can
console ourselves with the thought that our opponent is in equally
doleful case, that he is beginning to suffer from a fatal weariness,
and that he is anxious to make peace with us.

In order to place the present political situation in its true light
and to take into account its comparatively limited importance, we
must not lose sight of the fundamental fact that what Home Rule
connotes is rather a tender of peace on the part of Ireland than a
gift which England presents us of her own free will. In fact, our
neighbor across the Channel has as much interest as ourselves, and
perhaps even more, in bringing the struggle to an end. Through us,
England has already lost much prestige, and that famous British
Constitution, which in times past everyone admired while trying in
vain to imitate it, has lost caste considerably. I am not now
speaking of the danger which an Ireland discontented, and even
hostile, and having nothing to lose, would constitute for England in
case of war. It is especially from our neighbor's point of view that
we can cry up Home Rule or any other solution that will bring peace.
But let us leave to Great Britain the task of getting out of trouble
as best she may. On our side, what shall we say of it?

In our conflict with the English we are not wearied; rather are we
hardened for the fray. We have acquired the habit of fighting, and
many of us can now scarcely regulate our conduct in a manner suitable
to a state of peace with England. Nevertheless, as I have already
said, we have not emerged unscathed from this war of the centuries.
National sentiment remains with us, no doubt, and our traditions are
not wholly lost, especially among the country people of the West. But
our commerce is almost ruined and the national language is no longer
spoken throughout the greater part of the country. It is true that a
continuation of the hitherto existing state of war cannot do us much
more harm; that for purposes of mere destruction all the advantages
are on our side; and that on the other hand we can begin a
reconstruction at home without waiting for a treaty of peace to be
signed. But we have some things to do for which a home government
would be useful to us, and further, in the absence of such a
government, it would be difficult to imagine what means could be
employed to turn the people away from their too exclusive absorption
in Anglo-Irish politics.

It is, then, from a practical point of view that we wish for peace.
But, we may lawfully ask, will not this peace bring with it a special
danger, against which we ought to take precautions? As a matter of
fact, there is such a danger, and it lies in the fact that the people
have been to so great an extent obsessed by the political struggle
that they run the risk, once their end is attained, of collapsing and
of losing interest in the national question. Let us not forget that
that question is to save our language and our civilization; without
that, it is all over with our nationality. Let us endeavor to turn
our parliament to account in order to work seriously on the
reconstruction of our national life, and it is certain that Ireland
will find therein her salvation.

We can, therefore, take advantage either of England's prolonged
resistance or of peace. If England decides to continue the contest,
she will suffer more from it than we. Her empire, her institutions,
her safety, will be more and more impaired, while, as for us, there
will result a strong growth in patriotism and in anti-British
bitterness. What we have to do, right now, is to take our bearings in
such a way that, no matter what happens to England, our own future
shall be assured. We can do it if we wish it: the question is, shall
we wish it?

Here it may be objected, _Cui bono_ The English language is quite
enough for us. We have it now and we speak it, sometimes, even better
than the English people themselves. We are proud of using the same
language as Sheridan, Burke, and Grattan used. Such an opinion has
its modicum of truth, though less now than a hundred years ago.
Formerly there was in Ireland, and especially around Dublin, a little
colony of Anglo-Irish. The members of this colony spoke a very pure
and classic English, and this fact is largely responsible for the
place which Ireland at one time held in English literature. But
during the last century the remains of this colony have been swamped
beneath a flood of half-Anglicized people, of Irishmen from the
country districts, who were formerly excluded, and who brought with
them such a mixture of expressions and of phonetic tendencies derived
from the Gaelic that the language of Grattan, Sheridan, and Burke has
well-nigh gone out of existence. The reason of this is that since the
date of Catholic emancipation, most careers are open to everybody.
The result has been that the newly enfranchised majority has
ultimately absorbed the minority, and that the atmosphere of culture,
of which we have just spoken, has disappeared. We thus reach an
Ireland which, in a sense, has neither culture nor language, a
country in which the Gaelic spoken by a people humiliated and deeply
demoralized by an anti-Catholic legislation, which was both savage
and degrading, tended to coalesce with an English already condemned
to death. It is from the moment when the Catholics had finally
triumphed over persecution that we must date the beginning of that
political struggle with which we are familiar, a struggle which has
resulted in absorbing all the energies of a great part of the
population. That is why this tremendous problem presents itself to
us, at the very time when we should be justified in feeling ourselves
elated by triumph because of our victories in parliament. And let not
England rejoice too much at our dilemma. If we are doomed to die, she
will die with us, for before disappearing we shall prove to be a
great destructive force, and out of the ruins of the British power we
shall raise such a monument that future generations will know what it
costs to murder a nation.

But, if possible, we must live and let live. The elements of
reconstruction are always at hand. Anglo-Irish culture is indeed
dead, but Gaelic culture is only seriously sick, and on that side
there is always room for hope. Sooth to say, its sickness consists
above all in the fact that the Irish language is no longer spoken in
a great part of the country. But, on the other hand, where it is
preserved, that same language is spoken in all its purity. By going
there to find it all Ireland will gradually become Gaelic.

But, it will be objected, what a loss of time and energy! If it is a
question of languages, why not learn one of the more useful ones? To
this we may reply that, while English deforms the mouth and makes it
incapable of pronouncing any language which is not spoken from the
tip of the lips, Gaelic, on the contrary, so exercises the organs of
speech that it renders easy the acquisition and the practice of most
European idioms. Let us add, by way of example, that French, which is
usually difficult for strangers, is much more within the compass of
Irishmen who speak Irish, no less because of certain linguistic
customs than from the original relationship between the two

This remark brings us to another objection which is often lodged
against our movement. It is urged that Ireland is already isolated
enough, and that by making it a Gaelic-speaking nation, we shall make
that state of affairs still worse. English, say the objectors, is
spoken more or less everywhere, while Gaelic will never be able to
claim the position of a quasi-universal language. To this line of
reasoning it might be answered, for one thing, that no one can tell
how far Gaelic will go, in case our movement is a success, and that
many a language formerly "universal" is today as dead as a door-nail.
But we must look at the question from another point of view. John
Bull's language is spread everywhere, while he himself retains the
most exclusive insularity. He travels to every land and there finds
his own language and his own customs. Now it goes without saying that
from this very universalization his language is corrupted and becomes
vulgarized. The idiom of Shakespeare and Milton gives place gradually
to the idiom of the seaports. Furthermore, far from isolating us,
Gaelic will tend to put us in touch with the civilization of the
West. As a people Anglicised, and badly Anglicised at that, we share,
and even exaggerate, the faults which I have just described. It is
Anglo-Saxon speech which isolates us, and we wish on this ground to
break with it and to hold out our hand to our brothers of the

But, it may be said, what a pity to dig yet another abyss between
Ireland and Great Britain, for it is with the latter that our
geographical position will always link us for common defense. For,
while it is true that history does not show us a single case of an
empire which has not sooner or later fallen to pieces, nevertheless,
whatever happens, the two islands will be necessarily forced to
co-operate for the common good. Well, let us take it that things will
so fall out, and let us suppose an Anglicised Ireland called upon to
face such a situation. It would be a revolutionary Ireland, a
restless Ireland, an Ireland seeking vaguely for revenge on someone,
deprived of really national character, and, in a general way,
suspecting England of responsibility for the disappearance from our
country of everything that constitutes the idea of nationality. And
let us remark that we are no longer living in those good old times
when entire nations allowed themselves to be absorbed by their
conquerors. The art of printing has changed all that. Today a
"suppressed" nation is one that will sooner or later have its
revenge. Thus let us suppose that we are destined to make political
peace with England and to enter of our own accord into a
Hiberno-Britannic confederation. From our point of view, what would
be the result of that arrangement? The result would be strange. Here
again, as in the case of Home Rule, it is rather we who offer
advantages to England than she who offers them to us. Only, in this
latter case, the result depends on ourselves alone. If we die, it
will be because we have wished it. Our language is not dead; on the
contrary, although not widely spread, it is in itself much more alive
than English, which as a literary language is in full decay. We may
congratulate ourselves that our idiom is intact. Our civilization is
old, but it has not yet lived its full life. If we wish, the future
is ours. And let us truly believe that that is worth while, for the
race which has produced epics like those of Ossian and all that
magnificent literature which has been preserved for us through the
ages, the race that gave to Europe that great impulse of missionary
activity which is associated with the names of Columcille, Brendan,
Columbanus, and Gall, not to mention men like the famous Scotus
Erigena--that race is certainly called upon to play an important part
in the modern world. But--let us repeat it--it must have the wish.



_National Historian, A.O.H._.

In the social organization of no nation of antiquity were societies
of greater influence than in pagan Ireland. During many centuries
these societies, composed of the bards, ollamhs, brehons, druids, and
knights, contended for precedence. In no country did the literary
societies display greater vigor and exercise a more beneficent power
than in pagan Ireland. Although the Hebrews and other Asiatic nations
had societies organized from among the professions, yet in Ireland
alone these societies seem to have been constructed with a patriotic
purpose, and in Ireland alone they seem to have had ceremonies of
initiation, with constitutions and laws. These societies existed from
the earliest times until after the coming of St. Patrick. Traces of
them are visible during all the centuries from the conversion of
Ireland down to the Anglo-Norman epoch, and it is apparent that the
clan system and the introduction of the feudal system by the English
failed to eliminate completely their influence.

When the Irish emigration flowed towards the American colonies in the
eighteenth century, the social instinct early found expression in
societies. One of the earliest of these was founded in Boston, where,
in 1737, twenty-six "gentlemen merchants and others, natives of
Ireland or of Irish extraction", organized the Charitable Irish
Society. In Pennsylvania, where the Irish emigration had been larger
than in any other colony, the Hibernian Fire Company was organized in
1751. The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick was founded in Philadelphia in
1771, and about that time societies bearing this name were founded in
Boston and New York, as convivial clubs welcoming Irish emigrants to
their festive boards. These societies were formed upon the model of
the Friendly Brothers of St. Patrick, which had existed in Dublin and
other Irish cities a generation before, and was well and favorably
known throughout Ireland.

The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in Philadelphia
contained some of the most prominent merchants and leading citizens
of the city, and in 1780 they subscribed L103,000, or one-third of
the sum collected, to supply the Continental army with food. Among
its members were Commodore Barry, the Father of the American Navy;
General Stephen Moylan; General Anthony Wayne; and the great
merchants, Blair McClenachan, Thomas Fitzsimons, and Robert Morris.
Washington, who was an honorary member, described it "as a society
distinguished for the firm adherence of its members to the glorious
cause in which we are embarked." Whether upon the field or upon the
sea, in council or in the sacrifice of their wealth, their names are
foremost in the crisis of the Revolution.

The Hibernian Society for the Relief of Emigrants from Ireland was
founded in Philadelphia on March 3, 1790. Other Hibernian Societies,
with the same title and organized for the same purpose, were founded
in other cities along the Atlantic coast in the early years of the
nineteenth century, but the Philadelphia Hibernian Society was, from
the character of its members, the extent of its beneficence, and the
length of its existence, the most famous. The emigrants from Ireland
during the eighteenth century had pushed on to the frontier, or, in
some instances, remained in the cities and engaged successfully in
mercantile pursuits. The emigration which came after the Revolution
was, however, in great part composed of families almost without
means. Unable to subsist while clearing farms in the virgin forest,
thousands were congested in the cities. The Hibernian Society
extended a ready and strong hand to these helpless people, and not
only aided the emigrants with gifts of money, but also secured for
them employment, disseminated among them useful information, and
provided them with medical attendance. While the Hibernian Society
was regarded as the successor of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick,
yet the two societies, which contained largely a membership roll
bearing the same names, flourished, in the work of patriotism, side
by side. The first officers of the Hibernian Society for the Relief
of Emigrants from Ireland were: President, Chief Justice Thomas
McKean; Vice-President, General Walter Stewart; Secretary, Matthew
Carey, the historian; Treasurer, John Taylor. It was said that no
other society in America contained so many men distinguished in
civil, military, and official life as the Hibernian Society. In
almost every city where the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and the
Hibernian Society for the Relief of Emigrants were found, there was a
close and intimate connection between them, which ultimately resulted
in amalgamation.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians traces its origin to those orders
which flourished in pagan Ireland, and which exercised so potent an
influence upon the history of the Celtic race. The order of
knighthood was the first of these orders to be founded. It existed
from the earliest times, and is visible in the annals of the nation,
until the Anglo-Normans invaded the land in the twelfth century. In
pagan Ireland the knightly orders became provincial standing armies,
and there are many glorious pages describing the feats of the Clanna
Deagha of Munster, the Clanna Morna of Connacht, the Feni of
Leinster, and the Knights of the Red Branch of Ulster. When the
island was Christianized, these knightly orders were among the
staunchest supporters of the missionary priests, and were consecrated
to the service of the church in the sixth century, assuming the cross
as their distinctive emblem, and becoming the defenders of religion.

Among the names which are upon the rolls of the ancient orders of
knighthood are those of most of the kings, bards, saints, and
statesmen, and in the long list there was no family of greater renown
than that of Roderick the Great, to which belonged Conall Cearnach
and Lugaidh, who, according to MacGeoghegan and others, were the
direct ancestors of the O'Mores of Leix. In this family the ancient
splendor of the knightly orders was a tradition which survived for
centuries, and they were in almost continual rebellion against the
English, from the siege of Dublin by Roderick O'Connor until the
rebellion against Queen Elizabeth, led by Rory Oge O'More and his son
Owen in the latter part of the sixteenth and the early seventeenth
century. A nephew of Rory Oge, the sagacious and statesmanlike Rory
O'More, revived the ancient orders in the Catholic Confederation of
Kilkenny in 1642. A grandson of Rory O'More, Patrick Sarsfield, Earl
of Lucan, was the most distinguished commander of Irish armies who
opposed, in Ireland, the forces of William of Orange.

There is no stranger story in all history than the intimate
connection of the O'More family with the annals of the Ancient Order
of Hibernians. The lineage of this family furnishes the links
connecting the ancient orders of pagan Ireland through the centuries
with the Ancient Order in modern times. Under the names of Rapparees,
Whiteboys, Defenders, Ribbonmen, etc., the Confederation of Kilkenny
was carried on through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries until
the nineteenth. At various times the duties of these organizations
were subject to local conditions. Thus the Defenders were occupied in
protecting themselves and their priests against the hostility of the
Penal Laws, engaging in armed conflict with the Orangemen in the
north, while the Whiteboys were waging war against the atrocities of
landlordism in the south. Between these two organizations there was a
secret code, which operated until they were combined, under the name
of Ribbonmen, in the early nineteenth century. The contentions of the
Whiteboys regarding Irish landlordism have since been acknowledged to
be just, and have been enacted into statutes. The Defenders joined
with Wolfe Tone in the formation of the United Irishmen.

About 1825 the Ribbonmen changed their name to St. Patrick's
Fraternal Society, and branches were established in England and
Scotland under the name of the Hibernian Funeral Society. In 1836 a
charter was received by members in New York City, and in Schuylkill
County, Pennsylvania. The headquarters were for some years in
Pennsylvania, but in 1851 a charter was granted to the New York
Divisions under the name of "The Ancient Order of Hibernians." New
York thus became the American headquarters. National conventions were
held there until 1878, since which year they have been held in many
other cities biennially. Many of the most distinguished leaders of
the Irish race in America have been members of the Order, and from a
humble beginning, with a few emigrants gathered together in a strange
land, the membership has grown to nearly 200,000. General Thomas
Francis Meagher, Colonel Michael Doheny, General Michael Corcoran,
and Colonel John O'Mahony were among the members in the late '50's.

Among the organizations which have sprung from the ranks of the
A.O.H. were the powerful Fenian Brotherhood, the Emmet Monument
Association, and scores of smaller associations in all sections of
the United States and Canada. During the Know Nothing riots, the
Order furnished armed defenders for the Catholic churches in New
York, Philadelphia, and Charleston, and it has ever been foremost in
preserving its position as the hereditary defender of the faith. In
1894, the Ladies' Auxiliary was founded, and this body of women
numbered in 1914 over 63,000, and had donated great sums to charity,
education, and religion. The A.O.H. had, in 1914, assets of
$2,230,000. It pays annually, for charity, sick and death benefits,
and maintenance, over $1,000,000, and during its existence in America
has donated nearly $20,000,000 to works of beneficence. One of the
most celebrated of the gifts of the Order was the endowment of the
Chair of Celtic in the Catholic University of America, and one of its
greatest gifts to charity was its contribution of $40,000 to the
sufferers from the San Francisco earthquake.

The Clan-na-Gael is a society organized to secure the independence of
Ireland by armed revolution. Its organization is secret and it is the
successor of the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood, called in America
the Fenian Brotherhood, which promoted many daring raids and risings
in Ireland in 1867. The I.R.B. was perfected by James Stephens in
Ireland, and by John O'Mahony in America, from 1857 to 1867. An
invasion of Canada was made in great force under the general
direction of Colonel William R. Roberts, president of the Fenian
Brotherhood, but was unsuccessful owing to the attitude of the United
States Government, which declared that the Fenians were violating the
principles of neutrality. After the disorganization of the Fenian
Brotherhood, the idea of revolution languished until revived by the
founding of the Clan-na-Gael by Jerome J. Collins in 1869, and the
membership during the twenty years from 1880 to 1900 included almost
fifty thousand of the flower of the men of Irish blood in America.
The principle of revolution was first given organized public
expression in America through the formation in 1848 of the Irish
Republican Union, which was succeeded by the Emmet Monument
Association, these societies influencing the creation of the
Sixty-Ninth and Seventy-Fifth Regiments of the New York State
Militia, and the Ninth Massachusetts, which became so famous for
valor during the Civil War. Although not putting forth all its
strength, so as to allow full scope to the parliamentary efforts to
ameliorate the state of the Irish people, the Clan-na-Gael is as
vigorous a section as ever of the forces organized for the service of

The Land League, founded in Ireland in 1879, was transplanted to
America in 1880, when the first branch was established in New York
City through the efforts of Patrick Ford, John Boyle O'Reilly, John
Devoy, and others. Michael Davitt soon after came to America and
travelled through the country founding branches of the League. In a
few years the whole American continent was organized, and in this
organization Michael Davitt declared that the members of the Ancient
Order of Hibernians and the Clan-na-Gael were everywhere foremost. To
the enormous sums collected by the League in this country, and to the
magnificent labors of Parnell, Davitt, Redmond, Ferguson, Dillon,
Kettle, Webb, and others in Ireland, is due in a large measure the
present improved state of the people, resulting from the sacrifices
made by those who supported this greatest of leagues devoted to the
amelioration of unbearable economic conditions. A Ladies' Auxiliary
to the Land League was established by the sisters of Parnell, and was
for some years a brilliant vindication of the power and justice of
feminine participation in public questions.

The Land League, the name of which was changed to the Irish National
League in the early '80's, having prepared the path to eventual
victory, declined in potency after the political movement was divided
into Parnellites and Anti-Parnellites in 1890. The elements composing
these rival parties were, through the initiative of William O'Brien,
M.P., and in commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the
United Irishmen of Wolfe Tone's day, joined in 1898 under the name of
the United Irish League, John E. Redmond becoming the first
president, and also the chairman of the Parliamentary Party which it
had been instrumental in uniting. This organization is now a living,
vital force in the affairs of Ireland on both sides of the Atlantic,
Mr. Redmond being still its head, with Michael J. Ryan, of
Philadelphia, as president of the American Branch.

The Knights of Columbus were organized in 1881 by Rev. Michael
McGivney, in New Haven, Connecticut, and a charter was granted by the
Connecticut Legislature on March 29,1882. At first the activity of
the organization was confined to Connecticut, but the time was ripe
for its mission, and it soon spread rapidly throughout New England.
In 1896 it began to attract the attention of Catholic young men in
other parts of the nation, and during the next few years its appeal
was made irresistibly in almost every State. It now exists in all the
States of the Union, the Dominion of Canada, Nova Scotia,
Newfoundland, Panama, Porto Rico, Mexico, Cuba, and the Philippine
Islands, with a total membership of 328,000, of whom 108,000 are
insurance members and 220,000 associate members. Its mortuary reserve
fund is $4,500,000, being over $1,000,000 more than is required by
law. It is one of the most successful fraternal societies ever
organized, and the Irish-American Catholics have given to it the full
strength of their enthusiasm and purpose.

The temperance movement among Catholics was, from the visit of Father
Mathew in 1849, largely Irish. The societies first formed were united
by no bond until 1871, when the Connecticut societies formed a State
Union. Other States formed unions and a national convention in
Baltimore in 1872 created a National Union. In 1878 there were 90,000
priests, laymen, women, and children in the Catholic Total Abstinence
Benevolent Union. In 1883 the Union was introduced into Canada, and
in 1895 there were 150,000 members on the American continent. From
the C.T.A.B.U. were formed the Knights of Father Mathew, a total
abstinence and semi-military body, first instituted in St. Louis in

The Catholic Knights of America, with a membership chiefly
Irish-American, were organized in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1877, and
the advantages offered for insurance soon attracted 20,000 members.
The decade of the '70's was prolific of Irish Catholic associations.
The Catholic Benevolent Legion was founded in 1873, shortly followed
by the Catholic Mutual Benevolent Association, the Catholic Order of
Foresters (which started in Massachusetts and spread to other
States), the Irish Catholic Benevolent Union, and the Society of the
Holy Name, which latter, although tracing its origin to Lisbon in
1432, is yet dominantly Irish in America.

In the large industrial centres there are scores of Irish county and
other societies composed of Irishmen and Irish-Americans, organized
for the service of country and faith, beneficence and education, and
all dedicated to the uplifting of humanity and to the progress of
civilization. The ancient genius for organization has not been lost,
the spirit of brotherhood pulsates strongly in the Irish heart, and
through its powerful societies the race retains its place in the
advance of mankind.


John M. Campbell: History of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and
Hibernian Society; Maguire: The Irish in America; McGee: Irish
Settlers in America; John O'Dea: History of the Ancient Order of
Hibernians and Ladies' Auxiliary in America; Michael Davitt: The Fall
of Feudalism in Ireland; Cashman: Life of Michael Davitt; T.P.
O'Connor: The Parnell Movement; Joseph Denieffe: Recollections of the
Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood; Articles in the Catholic
Encyclopedia; Report of the Knights of Columbus, 1914; The Tidings,
Los Angeles, 7th annual edition.



_Historiographer, American Irish Historical Society_.

Students of early American history will find in the Colonial records
abundant evidence to justify the statement of Ramsay, the historian
of South Carolina, when he wrote in 1789, that:

"The Colonies which now form the United States may be considered as
Europe transplanted. Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Germany,
Holland, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland, and Italy furnished the
original stock of the present population, and are generally supposed
to have contributed to it in the order named. For the last seventy or
eighty years, no nation has contributed so much to the population of
America as Ireland."

It will be astonishing to one who looks into the question to find
that, in face of all the evidence that abounds in American annals,
showing that our people were here on this soil fighting the battles
of the colonists, and in a later day of the infant Republic, thus
proving our claim to the gratitude of this nation, America has
produced men so ignoble and disingenuous as to say that the Irish who
were here in Revolutionary days "were for the most part heartily
loyal," that "the combatants were of the same race and blood", and
that the great uprising became, in fact, "a contest between

Although many writers have made inquiries into this subject, nearly
all have confined themselves to the period of the Revolution. We are
of "the fighting race", and in our enthusiasm for the fighting man
the fact seems to have been overlooked that in other noble fields of
endeavor, and in some respects infinitely more important, men of
Irish blood have occupied prominent places in American history, for
which they have received but scant recognition. The pioneers before
whose hands the primeval forests fell prostrate; the builders, by
whose magic touch have sprung into existence flourishing towns and
cities, where once no sounds were heard save those of nature and her
wildest offspring; the orators who roused the colonists into activity
and showed them the way to achieve their independence; the
schoolmasters who imparted to the American youth their first lessons
in intellectuality and patriotism; all have their place in history,
and of these we can claim that Ireland furnished her full quota to
the American colonies.

It must now be accepted as an indisputable fact that a very large
proportion of the earliest settlers in the American colonies were of
Irish blood, for the Irish have been coming here since the beginning
of the English colonization. It has been estimated by competent
authorities that in the middle of the seventeenth century the
English-speaking colonists numbered 50,000. Sir William Petty, the
English statistician, tells us that during the decade from 1649 to
1659 the annual emigration from Ireland to the western continent was
upwards of 6000, thus making, in that space of time, 60,000 souls, or
about one-half of what the whole population must have been in 1659.
And from 1659 to 1672 there emigrated from Ireland to America the
yearly number of 3000 (Dobbs, on Irish Trade, Dublin, 1729).
Prendergast, another noted authority, in the _Cromwellian Settlement
of Ireland_, furnishes ample verification of this by the statistics
which he quotes from the English records. Richard Hakluyt, the
chronicler of the first Virginia expeditions, in his _Voyages,
Navigations, Traffiques, and Discoveries of the English Nation_
(London, 1600), shows that Irishmen came with Raleigh to Virginia in
1587 and, in fact, the ubiquitous Celts were with Sir John Hawkins in
his voyage to the Gulf of Mexico twenty years earlier. The famous
work of John Camden Hotten, entitled "The Original Lists of Persons
of Quality, Emigrants, Religious Exiles, Political Rebels, Serving
Men sold for a term of years," etc., who were brought to the Virginia
plantations between 1600 and 1700, as well as his "List of the
Livinge and the Dead in Virginia in 1623," contains numerous Celtic
names, and further evidence of these continuous migrations of the
Irish is contained in "A Booke of Entrie for Passengers passing
beyond the Seas", in the year 1632. The Virginia records also show
that as early as 1621 a colony of Irish people sailed from Cork in
the _Flying Harte_ under the patronage of Sir William Newce and
located at what is now Newport News, and some few years later Daniel
Gookin, a merchant of Cork, transported hither "great multitudes of
people and cattle" from England and Ireland.

In the "William and Mary College Quarterly," in the transcripts of
the original records published by the Virginia Historical Society,
and in all County histories of Virginia, there are numerous
references to the Irish "redemptioners" who were brought to that
colony during the seventeenth century. But the redemptioners were not
the only class who came, for the colonial records also contain many
references to Irishmen of good birth and education who received
grants of land in the colony and who, in turn, induced many of their
countrymen to emigrate. Planters named McCarty, Lynch, O'Neill,
Sullivan, Farrell, McDonnell, O'Brien, and others denoting an ancient
Irish lineage appear frequently in the early records. Much that is
romantic is found in the lives of these men and their descendants.
Some of them served in the Council chamber and the field, their sons
and daughters were educated to hold place, with elegance and dignity,
with the foremost of the Cavaliers, and when in after years the great
conflict with England began, Virginians of Irish blood were among the
first and the most eager to answer the call. Those historians who
claim that the South was exclusively an "Anglo-Saxon" heritage would
be completely disillusioned were they to examine the lists of
Colonial and Revolutionary troops of Celtic name who held the Indians
and the British at bay, and who helped in those "troublous times" to
lay the foundations of a great Republic.

There is no portion of the Atlantic seaboard that did not profit by
the Irish immigrations of the seventeenth century. We learn from the
"Irish State Papers" of the year 1595 that ships were regularly
plying between Ireland and Newfoundland, and so important was the
trade between Ireland and the far-distant fishing banks that "all
English ships bound out always made provisions that the convoy out
should remain 48 hours in Cork." In some of Lord Baltimore's accounts
of his voyages to Newfoundland he refers to his having "sailed from
Ireland" and to his "return to Ireland," and so it is highly probable
that he settled Irishmen on his Avalon plantations. After Baltimore's
departure, Lord Falkland also sent out a number of Irish colonists,
and "at a later date they were so largely reinforced by settlers from
Ireland that the Celtic part of the population at this day is not far
short of equality in numbers with the Saxon portion"--(Hatton and
Harvey, _History of Newfoundland_, page 32). Pedley attributes the
large proportion of Irishmen and the influence of the Catholics in
Newfoundland to Lord Falkland's company, and Prowse, in his History
(pp. 200-201), refers to "the large number of Irishmen" in that
colony who fled from Waterford and Cork "during the troubled times"
which preceded the Williamite war (1688). Many of these in after
years are known to have settled in New England.

But it was to Maryland and Pennsylvania that the greatest flow of
Irish immigration directed its course. In the celebrated "Account of
the Voyage to Maryland," written in the year 1634 by Mutius
Vitellestis, the general of the Jesuit Order, it is related that when
the _Arke_ and the _Dove_ arrived in the West Indies in that year,
they found "the island of Montserrat inhabited by a colony of
Irishmen who had been banished from Virginia on account of their
professing the Catholic faith." It is known also that there were many
families in Ireland of substance and good social standing who, at
their own expense, took venture in the enterprise of Lord Baltimore
and afterwards in that of William Penn, and who applied for and
received grants of land, which, as the deeds on record show, were
afterwards divided into farms bought and settled by O'Briens,
McCarthys, O'Connors, and many others of the ancient Gaelic race, the
descendants of those heroic men whose passion for liberty, while
causing their ruin, inspired and impelled their sons to follow
westward "the star of empire."

After the first English colonies in Maryland were founded, we find in
all the proclamations concerning these settlements by the proprietary
government, that they were limited to "persons of British or Irish
descent." The religious liberty established in Maryland was the
magnet which attracted Irish Catholics to that Province, and so they
came in large numbers in search of peace and comfort and freedom from
the turmoil produced by religious animosities in their native land.
The major part of this Irish immigration seems to have come in
through the ports of Philadelphia and Charleston and a portion
through Chesapeake Bay, whence they passed on to Pennsylvania and the
southern colonies.

The "Certificates of Land Grants" in Maryland show that it was
customary for those Irish colonists to name their lands after places
in their native country, and I find that there is hardly a town or
city in the old Gaelic strongholds in Ireland that is not represented
in the nomenclature of the early Maryland grants. One entire section
of the Province, named the "County of New Ireland" by proclamation of
Lord Baltimore in the year 1684, was occupied wholly by Irish
families. This section is now embraced in Cecil and Harford Counties.
New Ireland County was divided into three parts, known as New
Connaught, New Munster, and New Leinster. New Connaught was founded
by George Talbot from Roscommon, who was surveyor-general of the
Province; New Munster, by Edward O'Dwyer from Tipperary; and New
Leinster, by Bryan O'Daly from Wicklow, all of whom were in Maryland
prior to 1683. Among the prominent men in the Province may be
mentioned Charles O'Carroll, who was secretary to the proprietor;
John Hart from county Cavan, who was governor of Maryland from 1714
to 1720; Phillip Conner from Kerry, known in history as the "Last
Commander of Old Kent"; Daniel Dulany of the O'Delaney family from
Queen's County, one of the most famous lawyers in the American
Colonies; Michael Tawney or Taney, ancestor of the celebrated judge,
Roger Brooke Taney; the Courseys from Cork, one of the oldest
families in the State; the Kings from Dublin; and many others.

The only place in the State bearing a genuine Irish name which has
reached any prominence is Baltimore. Not alone has the "Monumental
City" received its name from Ireland, but the tract of land on which
the city is now situate was originally named (in 1695) "Ely
O'Carroll," after the barony of that name in King's and Tipperary
counties, the ancient home of the Clan O'Carroll. To subdivisions of
the tract were given such names as Dublin, Waterford, Tralee, Raphoe,
Tramore, Mallow, Kinsale, Lurgan, Coleraine, Tipperary, Antrim,
Belfast, Derry, Kildare, Enniskillen, Wexford, Letterkenny, Lifford,
Birr, Galway, Limerick, and so on, all indicating the nationality of
the patentees, as well as the places from which they came.

From such sources is the evidence available of the coming of the
Irish to Maryland in large numbers, and so it is that we are not
surprised to find on the rosters of the Maryland Revolutionary
regiments 4633 distinctive Irish names, exclusive of the large
numbers who joined the navy and the militia, as well as those who
were held to guard the frontier from Indian raids, whose names are
not on record. However, it is not possible now to determine the
proportion of the Revolutionary soldiers who were of Irish birth or
descent, for where the nationality is not stated in the rosters all
non-Irish names must be left out of the reckoning. The first census
of Maryland (1790), published by the United States Government,
enumerates the names of all "Heads of Families" and the number of
persons in each family. A count of the Irish names shows
approximately 21,000 persons. This does not take into account the
great number of people who could not be recorded under that head, as
it is known there were many thousand Irish "redemptioners" in
Maryland prior to the taking of the census, and while no precise data
exist to indicate the number of Irish immigrants who settled in
Maryland, I estimate that the number of people of Irish descent in
the State in 1790 was not far short of 40,000.

* * * * *

The Land Records and Council Journals of Georgia of the last half of
the seventeenth and the first half of the eighteenth century afford
like testimony to the presence of the Irish, who crossed the sea and
colonized the waste places of that wild territory, and whose
descendants in after years contributed much of the strength of the
patriot forces who confronted the armed cohorts of Carleton and
Cornwallis. From the Colonial Records of Georgia, published under the
auspices of the State Legislature, I have extracted a long list of
people of Irish name and blood who received grants of land in that
colony. They came with Oglethorpe as early as 1735 and continued to
arrive for many years. It was an Irishman named Mitchell who laid out
the site of Atlanta, the metropolis of the South; an O'Brien founded
the city of Augusta; and a McCormick named the city of Dublin,

* * * * *

From the records of the Carolinas we obtain similar data, many of an
absorbingly interesting character, and the number of places in that
section bearing names of a decidedly Celtic flavor is striking
evidence of the presence of Irish people, the line of whose
settlements across the whole State of North Carolina may be traced on
the high roads leading from Pennsylvania and Virginia. Hawk, one of
the historians of North Carolina, refers to the "Irish Romanists" who
were resident in that Province as early as 1700, and Williamson says
that "the most numerous settlers in the northwestern part of the
Province during the first half of the eighteenth century were from
Ireland." The manuscript records in the office of the Secretary of
State refer to "a ship load of immigrants" who, in the year 1761,
came to the Carolinas from Dublin. The names of the Irish pioneers in
the Carolinas are found in every conceivable connection, in the
parochial and court records, in the will books, in the minutes of the
general Assembly, in the quaint old records of the Land and
Registers' offices, in the patents granted by the colonial
Government, and in sundry other official records. In public affairs
they seem to have had the same adaptability for politics which, among
other things, has in later days brought their countrymen into
prominence. Florence O'Sullivan from Kerry was surveyor-general of
South Carolina in 1671. James Moore, a native of Ireland and a
descendant of the famous Irish chieftain, Rory O'More, was governor
of South Carolina in 1700; Matthew Rowan from Carrickfergus was
president of the North Carolina Council during the term of office of
his townsman, Governor Arthur Dobbs (1754 to 1764); John Connor was
attorney-general of the Province in 1730, and was succeeded in turn
by David O'Sheall and Thomas McGuire. Cornelius Hartnett, Hugh
Waddell, and Terence Sweeny, all Irishmen, were members of the Court,
and among the members of the provincial assembly I find such names as
Murphy, Leary, Kearney, McLewean, Dunn, Keenan, McManus, Ryan,
Bourke, Logan, and others showing an Irish origin. And, in this
connection, we must not overlook Thomas Burke, a native of "the City
of the Tribes", distinguished as lawyer, soldier, and statesman, who
became governor of North Carolina in 1781, as did his cousin Aedanus
Burke, also from Galway, who was judge of the Supreme Court of South
Carolina in 1778. John Rutledge, son of Dr. John Rutledge from
Ireland, was governor of South Carolina in 1776 and his brother
Edward became governor of the State in 1788.

But there were Irishmen in the Carolinas long before the advent of
these, and indeed Irish names are found occasionally as far back as
the records of those colonies reach. They are scattered profusely
through the will books and records of deeds as early as 1676 and down
to the end of the century, and in a list of immigrants from Barbados
in the year 1678, quoted by John Camden Hotten in the work already
alluded to, we find about 120 persons of Irish name who settled in
the Carolinas in that year. In 1719, 500 persons from Ireland
transported themselves to Carolina to take the benefit of an Act
passed by the Assembly by which the lands of the Yemmassee Indians
were thrown open to settlers, and Ramsay (_History of South
Carolina_, vol. I, page 20) says: "Of all countries none has
furnished the Province with so many inhabitants as Ireland."

* * * * *

In the Pennsylvania records one is also struck with the very frequent
mention of Irish names. William Penn had lived in Ireland for several
years and was acquainted with the sturdy character of its people, and
when he arrived on board _The Welcome_ in 1682 he had with him a
number of Irishmen, who are described as "people of property and
people of consequence." In 1699 he brought over a brilliant young
Irishman, James Logan from Lurgan, who for nearly half a century
occupied a leading position in the Province and for some time was its
governor. But the first Irish immigration to Pennsylvania of any
numerical importance came in the year 1717. They settled in Lancaster
County. "They and their descendants," says Rupp, an impartial
historian, "have always been justly regarded as among the most
intelligent people in the County and their progress will be found to
be but little behind the boasted efforts of the Colony of Plymouth."
In 1727, as the records show, 1155 Irish people arrived in
Philadelphia and in 1728 the number reached the high total of 5600.
"It looks as if Ireland is to send all her inhabitants hither," wrote
Secretary Logan to the provincial proprietors in 1729, "for last week
not less than six ships arrived. The common fear is that if they
continue to come they will make themselves proprietors of the
Province" (Rupp's _History of Dauphin County_).

The continuous stream of Irish immigration was viewed with so much
alarm by the Legislature, that in 1728 a law was passed "against
these crowds of Irish papists and convicts who are yearly powr'd upon
us"--(the "convicts" being the political refugees who fled from the
persecutions of the English Government!). But the operations of this
statute were wholly nullified by the captains of the vessels landing
their passengers at Newcastle, Del., and Burlington, N, J., and, as
one instance of this, I find in the Philadelphia _American Weekly
Mercury_ of August 14, 1729, a statement to this effect: "It is
reported from Newcastle that there arrived there this last week about
2000 Irish and an abundance more daily expected." This expectation
was realized, for according to "An Account of Passengers and Servants
landed in Philadelphia between December 25, 1728, and December 25,
1729", which I find in the _New England Weekly Journal_ for March 30,
1730, the number of Irish who came in via the Delaware river in that
year was 5655, while the total number of all other Europeans who
arrived during the same period was only 553. Holmes, in his _Annals
of America_, corroborates this. The Philadelphia newspapers down to
the year 1741 also contained many similar references, indicating that
the flood of Irish immigration was unceasing and that it was at all
times in excess of that from other European countries. Later issues
of the _Mercury_ also published accounts of the number of ships from
Ireland which arrived in the Delaware, and from these it appears that
from 1735 to 1738 "66 vessels entered Philadelphia from Ireland and
50 cleared thereto." And in the _New York Gazette and Weekly
Post-Boy_ of the years 1750 to 1752, I find under the caption,
"Vessels Registered at the Philadelphia Custom House," a total of 183
ships destined from or to Ireland, or an average of five sailings per
month between Irish ports and the port of Philadelphia alone. A
careful search fails to disclose any record of the number of persons
who came in these ships, but, from the fact that it is stated that
all carried passengers as well as merchandise from Irish ports, we
may safely assume that the "human freight" must have been very large.

Spencer, in his _History of the United States_, says: "In the years
1771 and 1772 the number of emigrants to America from Ireland was
17,350, almost all of whom emigrated at their own expense. A great
majority of them consisted of persons employed in the linen
manufacture or farmers possessed of some property, which they
converted into money and brought with them. Within the first
fortnight of August, 1773, there arrived at Philadelphia 3500
immigrants from Ireland. As most of the emigrants, particularly those
from Ireland and Scotland, were personally discontent with their
treatment in Europe, their accession to the colonial population, it
might reasonably be supposed, had no tendency to diminish or
counteract the hostile sentiments toward Britain which were daily
gathering force in America." Marmion, in his _Ancient and Modern
History of the Maritime Ports of Ireland_, verifies this. He says
that the number of Irish who came during the years 1771, 1772, and
1773 was 25,000. The bulk of these came in by way of Philadelphia and
settled in Pennsylvania and the Virginias.

The Irish were arriving in the Province in such great numbers during
this period as to be the cause of considerable jealousy on the part
of other settlers from continental Europe. They were a vigorous and
aggressive element. Eager for that freedom which was denied them at
home, large numbers of them went out on the frontier. While the
war-whoop of the savage still echoed within the surrounding valleys
and his council fires blazed upon the hills, those daring adventurers
penetrated the hitherto pathless wilderness and passed through
unexampled hardships with heroic endurance. They opened up the roads,
bridged the streams, and cut down the forests, turning the wilderness
into a place fit for man's abode. With their sturdy sons, they
constituted the skirmish line of civilization, standing as a bulwark
against Indian incursions into the more prosperous and populous
settlements between them and the coast. From 1740 down to the period
of the Revolution, hardly a year passed without a fresh infusion of
Irish blood into the existing population, and, as an indication that
they distributed themselves all over the Province, I find, in every
Town and County history of Pennsylvania and in the land records of
every section, Irish names in the greatest profusion. They settled in
great numbers chiefly along the Susquehanna and its tributaries; they
laid out many prosperous settlements in the wilderness of western
Pennsylvania, and in these sections Irishmen are seen occupying some
of the foremost and most coveted positions, and their sons in after
years contributed much to the power and commercial greatness of the
Commonwealth. They are mentioned prominently as manufacturers,
merchants, and farmers, and in the professions they occupied a place
second to none among the natives of the State. In several sections,
they were numerous enough to establish their own independent
settlements, to which they gave the names of their Irish home places,
several of which are preserved to this day. It is not to be wondered
at then that General Harry Lee named the Pennsylvania line of the
Continental army, "the Line of Ireland"!

Ireland gave many eminent men to the Commonwealth, among whom may be
mentioned: John Burns, its first governor after the adoption of the
Constitution, who was born in Dublin; George Bryan, also a native of
Dublin, who was its governor in 1788; James O'Hara, one of the
founders of Pittsburgh; Thomas FitzSimmons, a native of Limerick,
member of the first Congress under the Constitution which began the
United States Government and father of the policy of protection to
American industries; Matthew Carey from Dublin, the famous political
economist; and many others who were prominent as nation-builders in
the early days of the "Keystone State."

* * * * *

While the historians usually give all the credit to England and to
Englishmen for the early colonization of New England, whose results
have been attended with such important consequences to America and
the civilized world, Ireland and her sons can also claim a large part
in the development of this territory, as is evidenced by the town,
land, church, and other colonial records, and the names of the
pioneers, as well as the names given to several of the early
settlements. That the Irish had been coming to New England almost
from the beginning of the English colonization is indicated by an
"Order" entered in the Massachusetts record under date of September
25, 1634, granting liberty to "the Scottishe and Irishe gentlemen who
intend to come hither, to sitt down in any place upp Merimacke
river." This, doubtless, referred to a Scotch and Irish company
which, about that time, had announced its intention of founding a
settlement on the Merrimac. It comprised in all 140 passengers, who
embarked in the _Eagle Wing_, from Carrickfergus in September, 1636,
bringing with them a considerable quantity of equipment and
merchandise to meet the exigencies of their settlement in the new
country. The vessel, however, never reached its destination and was
obliged to return to Ireland on account of the Atlantic storms, and
there is no record of a renewal of the attempt. In the Massachusetts
records of the year 1640 (vol. I, p. 295) is another entry relating
to "the persons come from Ireland," and in the Town Books of Boston
may be seen references to Irishmen who were residents of the town in
that year.

From local histories, which in many cases are but verbatim copies of
the original entries in the Town Books, we get occasional glimpses of
the Irish who were in the colony of Massachusetts Bay between this
period and the end of the century. For example, between 1640 and
1660, such names as O'Neill, Sexton, Gibbons, Lynch, Keeney, Kelly,
and Hogan appear on the Town records of Hartford, and one of the
first schoolmasters who taught the children of the Puritans in New
Haven was an Irishman named William Collins, who, in the year 1640,
came there with a number of Irish refugees from Barbados Island. An
Irishman named Joseph Collins with his wife and family came to Lynn,
Mass., in 1635. Richard Duffy and Matthias Curran were at Ipswich in
1633. John Kelly came to Newbury in 1635 with the first English
settlers of the town. David O'Killia (or O'Kelly) was a resident of
Old Yarmouth in 1657, and I find on various records of that section a
great number of people named Kelley, who probably were descended from
David O'Killia. Peter O'Kelly and his family are mentioned as of
Dorchester in 1696. At Springfield in 1656 there were families named
Riley and O'Dea; and Richard Burke, said to be of the Mayo family of
that name, is mentioned prominently in Middlesex County as early as
1670. The first legal instrument of record in Hampden County was a
deed of conveyance in the year 1683 to one Patrick Riley of lands in
Chicopee. With a number of his countrymen, Riley located in this
vicinity and gave the name of "Ireland Parish" to their settlement.
John Molooney and Daniel MacGuinnes were at Woburn in 1676, and
Michael Bacon, "an Irishman", of Woburn, fought in King Philip's war
in 1675. John Joyce was at Lynn in 1637, and I find the names of
Willyam Heally, William Reyle, William Barrett, and Roger Burke
signed to a petition to the General Court of Massachusetts on August
17, 1664. Such names as Maccarty, Gleason, Coggan, Lawler, Kelly,
Hurley, MackQuade, and McCleary also appear on the Cambridge Church
records down to 1690. These are but desultory instances of the first
comers among the Irish to Massachusetts, selected from a great mass
of similar data.

In the early history of every town in Massachusetts, without
exception, I find mention of Irish people, and while the majority
came originally as "poor redemptioners", yet, in course of time and
despite Puritanical prejudices, not a few of them rose to positions
of worth and independence. Perhaps the most noted of these was
Matthew Lyon of Vermont, known as "the Hampden of Congress," who, on
his arrival in New York in 1765, was sold as a "redemptioner" to pay
his passage-money. This distinguished American was a native of county
Wicklow. Other notable examples of Irish redemptioners who attained
eminence in America were George Taylor, a native of Dublin, one of
Pennsylvania's signers of the Declaration of Independence; Charles
Thompson, a native of county Tyrone, "the perennial Secretary of the
Continental Congress", and William Killen, who became chief justice
and chancellor of Delaware. Some of the descendants of the Irish
redemptioners in Massachusetts are found among the prominent New
Englanders of the past hundred years. The Puritans of Massachusetts
extended no welcoming hand to the Irish who had the temerity to come
among them, yet, as an historical writer has truly said, "by one of
those strange transformations which time occasionally works, it has
come to pass that Massachusetts today contains more people of Irish
blood in proportion to the total population than any other State in
the Union."

So great and so continuous was Irish immigration to Massachusetts
during the early part of the eighteenth century that on Saint
Patrick's Day in the year 1737 a number of merchants, who described
themselves as "of the Irish Nation residing in Boston," formed the
Charitable Irish Society, an organization which exists even to the
present day. It was provided that the officers should be "natives of
Ireland or of Irish extraction," and they announced that the Society
was organized "in an affectionate and Compassionate concern for their
countrymen in these Parts who may be reduced by Sickness, Shipwrack,
Old Age, and other Infirmities and unforeseen Accidents." I have
copied from the Town Books, as reproduced by the City of Boston, 1600
Irish names of persons who were married or had declared their
intentions of marriage in Boston between the years 1710 and 1790,
exclusive of 956 other Irish names which appear on the minutes
between 1720 and 1775.

In 1718, one of the largest single colonies of Irish arrived in
Boston. It consisted of one hundred families, who settled at
different places in Massachusetts. One contingent, headed by Edward
Fitzgerald, located at Worcester and another at Palmer under the
leadership of Robert Farrell, while a number went to the already
established settlement at Londonderry, N.H. About the same time a
colony of fishermen from the west coast of Ireland settled on the
Cape Cod peninsula, and I find a number of them recorded on the
marriage registers of the towns in this vicinity between 1719 and
1743. In 1720, a number of families from county Tyrone came to
Shrewsbury, and eight years later another large contingent came to
Leicester County from the same neighborhood, who gave the name of
Dublin to the section where they located. The annals of Leicester
County are rich in Irish names. On the Town Books of various places
in this vicinity and on the rosters of the troops enrolled for the
Indian war, Irishmen are recorded, and we learn from the records that
not a few of them were important and useful men, active in the
development of the settlements, and often chosen as selectmen or
representatives. On the minutes of the meetings of the selectmen of
Pelham, Spencer, Sutton, Charlestown, Canton, Scituate, Stoughton,
Salem, Amesbury, Stoneham, and other Massachusetts towns, Irish names
are recorded many years before the Revolution. In local histories
these people are usually called "Scotch-Irish," a racial misnomer
that has been very much overworked by a certain class of historical
writers who seem to be unable to understand that a non-Catholic
native of Ireland can be an Irishman. In an exhaustive study of
American history, I cannot find any other race where such a
distinction is drawn as in the case of the non-Catholic, or so-called
"Scotch," Irish. In many instances, this hybrid racial designation
obviously springs from prejudice and a desire to withhold from
Ireland any credit that may belong to her, although, in some cases,
the writers are genuinely mistaken in their belief that the Scotch as
a race are the antithesis of the Irish and that whatever commendable
qualities the non-Catholic Irish are possessed of naturally spring
from the Scotch.

* * * * *

The first recorded Irish settlement in Maine was made by families
named Kelly and Haley from Galway, who located on the Isles of Shoals
about the year 1653. In 1692, Roger Kelly was a representative from
the Isles to the General Court of Massachusetts, and is described in
local annals as "King of the Isles." The large number of islands,
bays, and promontories on the Maine coast bearing distinctive Celtic
names attests the presence and influence of Irish people in this
section in colonial times. In 1720, Robert Temple from Cork brought
to Maine five shiploads of people, mostly from the province of
Munster. They landed at the junction of the Kennebec and Eastern
rivers, where they established the town of Cork, which, however,
after a precarious existence of only six years, was entirely
destroyed by the Indians. For nearly a century the place was
familiarly known to the residents of the locality as "Ireland." The
records of York, Lincoln, and Cumberland counties contain references
to large numbers of Irish people who settled in those localities
during the early years of the eighteenth century. The Town Books of
Georgetown, Kirtery, and Kennebunkport, of the period 1740 to 1775,
are especially rich in Irish names, and in the Saco Valley numerous
settlements were made by Irish immigrants, not a few of whom are
referred to by local historians as "men of wealth and social
standing." In the marriage and other records of Limerick, Me., as
published by the Maine Historical and Genealogical Recorder, in the
marriage registers of the First Congregational Church of Scarborough,
and in other similarly unquestionable records, I find a surprisingly
large number of Irish names at various periods during the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries. In fact, there is not one town in the
Province that did not have its quota of Irish people, who came either
direct from Ireland or migrated from other sections of New England.

* * * * *

The records of New Hampshire and Rhode Island are also a fruitful
source of information on this subject, and the Provincial papers
indicate an almost unbroken tide of Irish immigration to this
section, beginning as early as the year 1640. One of the most noted
of Exeter's pioneer settlers was an Irishman named Darby Field, who
came to that place in 1631 and who has been credited by Governor
Winthrop as "the first European who witnessed the White Mountains."
He is also recorded as "an Irish soldier for discovery," and I find
his name in the annals of Exeter as one of the grantees of an Indian
deed dated April 3, 1638, as well as several other Irish names down
to the year 1664. In examining the town registers, gazeteers, and
genealogies, as well as the local histories of New Hampshire, in
which are embodied copies of the original entries made by the Town
Clerks, I find numerous references to the Irish pioneers, and in many
instances they are written down, among others, as "the first
settlers." Some are mentioned as selectmen, town clerks,
representatives, or colonial soldiers, and it is indeed remarkable
that there is not one of these authorities that I have examined, out
of more than two hundred, that does not contain Irish names. From
these Irish pioneers sprang many men who attained prominence in New
Hampshire, in the legislature, the professions, the military, the
arts and crafts, and in all departments of civil life, down to the
present time. In the marriage registers of Portsmouth, Boscawen, New
Boston, Antrim, Londonderry, and other New Hampshire towns, are
recorded, in some cases as early as 1716, names of Irish persons,
with the places of their nativity, indicating that they came from all
parts of Ireland. At Hampton, I find Humphrey Sullivan teaching
school in 1714, while the name of John Sullivan from Limerick,
schoolmaster at Dover and at Berwick, Me., for upwards of fifty
years, is one of the most honored in early New Hampshire history.

This John Sullivan was surely one of the grandest characters in the
Colony of Massachusetts Bay, and the record of his descendants serves
as an all-sufficient reply to the anti-Irish prejudices of some
American historians. He was the father of a governor of New Hampshire
and of a governor of Massachusetts; of an attorney-general of New
Hampshire and of an attorney-general of Massachusetts; of New
Hampshire's only major-general in the Continental army; of the first
judge appointed by Washington in New Hampshire; and of four sons who
were officers in the Continental army. He was grandfather of an
attorney-general of New Hampshire, of a governor of Maine, and of a
United States Senator from New Hampshire. He was great-grandfather of
an attorney-general of New Hampshire, and great-great-grandfather of
an officer in the Thirteenth New Hampshire regiment in the Civil War.

* * * * *

In Rhode Island, Irish people are on record as far back as 1640, and
for many years after that date they continued to come. Edward Larkin
was an esteemed citizen of Newport in 1655. Charles McCarthy was one
of the founders of the town of East Greenwich in 1677, while in this
vicinity as early as 1680 are found such names as Casey, Higgins,
Magennis, Kelley, Murphy, Reylie, Maloney, Healy, Delaney, Walsh, and
others of Irish origin. On the rosters of the Colonial militia who
fought in King Philip's war (1675) are found the names of 110
soldiers of Irish birth or descent, some of whom, for their services
at the battle of Narragansett, received grants of land in New
Hampshire and Massachusetts. The New England Historical and
Genealogical Register for 1848 contains some remarkable testimony of
the sympathy of the people of Ireland for the sufferers in this cruel
war, and the "Irish Donation," sent out from Dublin in the year 1676,
will always stand in history to Ireland's credit and as an instance
of her intimate familiarity with American affairs, one hundred years
prior to that Revolution which emancipated the people of this land
from the same tyranny under which she herself has groaned. And yet,
what a cruel travesty on history it reads like now, when we scan the
official records of the New England colonies and find that the Irish
were often called "convicts", and it was thought that measures should
be taken to prevent their landing on the soil where they and their
sons afterwards shed their blood in the cause of their fellow
colonists! In the minutes of the provincial Assemblies and in the
reports rendered to the General Court, as well as in other official
documents of the period, are found expressions of the sentiment which
prevailed against the natives of the "Island of Sorrows." Only twenty
years before the outbreak of King Philip's war, the government of
England was asked to provide a law "to prevent the importation of
Irish Papists and convicts that are yearly pow'rd upon us and to make
provision against the growth of this pernicious evil." And the
colonial Courts themselves, on account of what they called "the cruel
and malignant spirit that has from time to time been manifest in the
Irish nation against the English nation," prohibited "the bringing
over of any Irish men, women, or children into this jurisdiction on
the penalty of fifty pounds sterling to each inhabitant who shall buy
of any merchant, shipmaster, or other agent any such person or
persons so transported by them." This order was promulgated by the
General Court of Massachusetts in October, 1654, and is given in full
in the American Historical Review for October, 1896.

With the "convicts" and the "redemptioners" came the Irish
schoolmaster, the man then most needed in America. And the fighting
man, he too was to the fore, for when the colonies in after years
called for volunteers to resist the tyranny of the British, the
descendants of the Irish "convicts" were among the first and the most
eager to answer the call.

* * * * *

Although it does not appear that Irish immigrants settled in the
Province of New York in such large numbers as in other sections, yet,
as far back as the third quarter of the seventeenth century, Irish
names are found on the records of the Colony. O'Callaghan, the
eminent archivist and historian, refers to "Dr. William Hayes,
formerly of Barry's Court, Ireland," as one of New York's physicians
in the year 1647, and from the same authority we learn that there
were "settlers and Indian fighters in New Netherland" named Barrett,
Fitzgerald, Dowdall, Collins, and Quinn in 1657. In records relating
to the war with the Esopus Indians (1663), and in fact as early as
1658, frequent references are made to "Thomas the Irishman", whose
name was Thomas Lewis, a refugee from Ireland to Holland after the
Cromwellian war. Lewis is on record in 1683 as one of the wealthiest
merchants of New York and a large owner of real estate in the present
downtown portion of the city. Such names as Patrick Hayes, John Daly,
John Quigly, and Dennis McKarty appear among its business men between
1666 and 1672, and in a "Census of the City of New York of the year
1703" we find people named Flynn, Walsh, Dooley, Gillen, Carroll,
Kenne, Gurney, Hart, Mooney, Moran, Lynch, Kearney, and others, all
"Freemen of the City of New York." In the "Poll List" of the city
from 1741 to 1761, more than one hundred such names appear, while
among the advertisers in the New York newspapers all through the
eighteenth century I find a large number of characteristic Irish

One would scarcely expect to find an Irishman in the old Dutch
settlement of Beverwyck as early as 1645. Yet such is the case, for
"Jan Andriessen, de Iersman van Dublingh"--(John Anderson, the
Irishman from Dublin)--is mentioned as the owner of considerable
landed property in the neighborhood of Albany and Catskill, and in
every mention of this ancient pioneer he is referred to as "the
Irishman." At Albany, between 1666 and 1690, we find people named
Connell, Daly, Larkin, Shaw, Hogan, and Finn, all Irishmen, and in
Jonathan Pearson's "Genealogies of the First Settlers of the Ancient
County of Albany" and in his "Genealogies of the First Settlers of
the Patent and City of Schenectady", I find 135 distinctive Irish
names. These were mostly merchants, farmers, artisans, millers, and
backwoodsmen, the pioneers, who, with their Dutch neighbors, blazed
the trail of civilization through that section, rolled back the
savage redman, and marked along the banks of the Hudson and Mohawk
rivers the sites of future towns and cities. In the rate lists of
Long Island between 1638 and 1675, I find Kelly, Dalton, Whelan,
Condon, Barry, Powers, Quin, Kane, Sweeney, Murphy, Reilly, as well
as Norman-Irish and Anglo-Irish names that are common to Irish
nomenclature. Hugh O'Neale was a prominent resident of Newtown, L.I.,
in 1655. In a "Report to the Lord President," dated September 6,
1687, Governor Dongan recommended "that natives of Ireland be sent to
colonize here where they may live and be very happy." Numbers of them
evidently accepted the invitation, for many Irishmen are mentioned in
the public documents of the Province during the succeeding twenty

That the Irish continued to settle in the Province all through the
eighteenth century may be seen from the announcements in the New York
newspapers of the time and other authentic records. The most
important of these, in point of numbers and character of the
immigrants, were those made in Orange County in 1729 under the
leadership of James Clinton from Longford, and at Cherry Valley, in
Otsego County, twelve years later. On the Orange County assessment
and Revolutionary rolls, and down to the year 1800, there is a very
large number of Irish names, and in some sections they constituted
nearly the entire population. In the northwestern part of New York,
Irishmen are also found about the time of the Franco-English war.
They were not only among those settlers who followed the peaceful
pursuits of tilling and building, but they were "the men behind the
guns" who held the marauding Indians in check and repelled the
advances of the French through that territory. In this war, Irish
soldiers fought on both sides, and in the "Journals of the Marquis of
Montcalm" may be seen references to the English garrison at Oswego,
which, in August, 1756, surrendered to that same Irish Brigade by
which they had been defeated eleven years before on the battlefield
of Fontenoy. In the "Manuscripts of Sir William Johnson", are also
found some interesting items indicating that Irishmen were active
participants in the frontier fighting about that time, and in one
report to him, dated May 28, 1756, from the commandant of an English
regiment, reference is made to "the great numbers of Irish Papists
among the Delaware and Susquehanna Indians who have done a world of
prejudice to English interests."

The early records, with hardly an exception, contain Irish names,
showing that the "Exiles from Erin" came to the Province of New York
in considerable numbers during the eighteenth century. The baptismal
and marriage records of the Dutch Reformed and Protestant churches of
New York City; of the Dutch churches at Kingston, Albany,
Schenectady, and other towns; the muster rolls of the troops enrolled
for the French, Indian, and Revolutionary wars; the Land Grants and
other provincial records at Albany; the newspapers; the Town, County,
and family histories, and other early chronicles, supplemented by
authoritative publications such as those of the New York Historical
and Genealogical and Biographical Societies--these are the
depositories of the evidence that thousands of Irish people settled
in the Province of New York and constituted no inconsiderable
proportion of the total population.

The majority of the Irish residents of New York whose marriages are
recorded in the Dutch Reformed church were, doubtless, of the
Catholic faith, but, as it was necessary to comply with the
established law, and also so that their offspring might be
legitimate, they could be bound in wedlock only by a recognized
Minister of the Gospel. As there was no Catholic church in New York
prior to 1786, the ceremony had to be performed in the Dutch Reformed
or Protestant church. Many of these Catholics were refugees from
Ireland on account of the religious persecutions. Like the people of
Ireland in all ages, they were devoted to their religion, and while,
no doubt, they eschewed for a while association with the established
churches, yet, as time went on, they and their children were
gradually drawn into religious intercourse with the other sects,
until eventually they became regular communicants of those churches.
The variations which from time to time were wrought in their names
brought them further and further away from what they had been; in
their new surroundings, both social and religious, they themselves
changed, so that their children, who in many cases married into the
neighboring Dutch and French families, became as wholly un-Irish in
manner and sentiment as if they had sprung from an entirely different
race. That fact, however, does not admit of their being now included
in the category "Anglo-Saxon."

In a work entitled "Names of Persons for whom Marriage Licenses were
issued by the Secretary of the Province of New York, previous to
1784," compiled by Gideon J. Tucker (when Secretary of State), and
taken from the early records of the office of the Secretary of State
at Albany, we find ample corroboration of the church records. Page
after page of this book looks more like some record of the Province
of Munster than of the Province of New York. It is a quarto volume
printed in small type in double columns, and there are eleven pages
wholly devoted to persons whose names commence with "Mac" and three
to the "O's." Nearly every name common to Ireland is here

New York, as a Province and as a State, is much indebted to Irish
genius. Ireland gave the Province its most noted governor in the
person of Thomas Dongan from Co. Kildare, and in later years Sir
William Johnson from Co. Meath, governor of the Indians from New York
to the Mississippi. It gave the State its first governor, George
Clinton, son of an immigrant from Co. Longford, and to the city its
first mayor after the Revolution, James Duane, son of Anthony Duane
from Co. Galway. Fulton, an Irishman's son, gave America priority in
the "conquest of the seas." Christopher Colles, a native of Cork, was
the originator of the grand scheme which united the waters of the
Atlantic and the Lakes--one of the greatest works of internal
improvement ever effected in the United States--while the gigantic
project was carried to a successful end through the influence and
direction of Governor DeWitt Clinton, the grandson of an Irishman.

* * * * *

Many of the pioneer settlers of New Jersey were Irish. As early as
1683 "a colony from Tipperary in Ireland" located at Cohansey in
Salem County, and in the same year a number of settlers, also
described as "from Tipperary, Ireland," located in Monmouth County.
In the County records of New Jersey, Irish names are met with
frequently between the years 1676 and 1698. Several of the local
historians testify to the presence and influence of Irishmen in the
early days of the colony, and in the voluminous "New Jersey Archives"
may be found references to the large numbers of Irish
"redemptioners," some of whom, after their terms of service had
expired, received grants of land and in time became prosperous
farmers and merchants. Perhaps the most noted Irishman in New Jersey
in colonial days was Michael Kearney, a native of Cork and ancestor
of General Philip Kearney of Civil War fame, who was secretary and
treasurer of the Province in 1723.

* * * * *

All through the west and southwest, Irishmen are found in the
earliest days of authentic history. Along the Ohio, Kentucky, Wabash,
and Tennessee rivers they were with the pioneers who first trod the
wilderness of that vast territory. As early as 1690, an Irish trader
named Doherty crossed the mountains into what is now Kentucky, and we
are told by Filson, the noted French historian and explorer of
Kentucky, that "the first white man who discovered this region"
(1754) was one James McBride, who, in all probability, was an
Irishman. The first white child born in Cincinnati was a son of an
Irish settler named John Cummins; the first house built on its site
was erected by Captain Hugh McGarry, while "the McGarrys, Dentons,
and Hogans formed the first domestic circle in Kentucky." Prior to
the Revolution, Indian traders from Western Pennsylvania had
penetrated into this region, and we learn from authentic sources that
no small percentage of those itinerant merchants of the west were
Irishmen. Among the leading and earliest colonists of the "Blue Grass
State" who accompanied Daniel Boone, the ubiquitous Irish were
represented by men bearing such names as Mooney, McManus, Sullivan,
Drennon, Logan, Casey, Fitzpatrick, Dunlevy, Cassidy, Doran,
Dougherty, Lynch, Ryan, McNeill, McGee, Reilly, Flinn, and the noted
McAfee brothers, all natives of Ireland or sons of Irish immigrants.

Irishmen and their sons figured prominently in the field of early
western politics. In the Kentucky legislature, I find such names as
Connor, Cassidy, Cleary, Conway, Casey, Cavan, Dulin, Dougherty,
Geohegan, Maher, Morrison, Moran, McMahon, McFall, McClanahan,
O'Bannon, Powers, and a number of others evidently of Irish origin.
On the bench we find O'Hara, Boyle, and Barry. Among the many
distinguished men who reflected honor upon the west, Judge William T.
Barry of Lexington ranks high for great ability and lofty virtues.
Simon Kenton, famed in song and story, who "battled with the Indians
in a hundred encounters and wrested Kentucky from the savage," was an
Irishman's son, while among its famous Indian fighters were Colonels
Andrew Hynes, William Casey, and John O'Bannon; Majors Bulger,
McMullin, McGarry, McBride, Butler, and Cassidy; and Captains
McMahon, Malarkie, Doyle, Phelon, and Brady. Allen, Butler, Campbell,
Montgomery, and Rowan counties, Ky., are named after natives of
Ireland, and Boyle, Breckinridge, Carroll, Casey, Daviess, Magoffin,
Kenton, McCracken, Meade, Menifee, Clinton, and Fulton counties were
named in honor of descendants of Irish settlers.

* * * * *

In the councils of the first territorial legislature of Missouri were
Sullivan, Cassidy, Murphy, McDermid, McGrady, Flaugherty, McGuire,
Dunn, and Hogan, and among the merchants, lawyers, and bankers in the
pioneer days of St. Louis there were a number of Irishmen, the most
noted of whom were Mullanphy, Gilhuly, O'Fallon, Connor, O'Hara,
Dillon, Ranken, Magennis, and Walsh. In all early histories of
Missouri towns and counties, Irish names are mentioned, and in many
instances they are on record as "the first settlers."

* * * * *

And so it was all through the west. In Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, and
Illinois, across the rolling prairies and the mountains, beyond the
Mississippi and the Missouri, in the earliest days of colonization of
that vast territory, we can follow the Irish "trek" in quest of new
homes and fortunes. They were part of that irresistible human current
that swept beyond the ranges of Colorado and Kansas and across the
Sierra Nevada until it reached the Pacific, and in the forefront of
those pathfinders and pioneers we find Martin Murphy, the first to
open a wagon trail to California from the East. The names of Don
Timoteo Murphy, of Jasper O'Farrell, of Dolans, Burkes, Breens, and
Hallorins are linked with the annals of the coast while that
territory was still under Spanish rule, and when Fremont crossed the
plains and planted the "Bear flag" beyond the Sierras, we find
Irishmen among his trusted lieutenants. An Irishman, Captain Patrick
Connor, first penetrated the wilderness of Utah; a descendant of an
Irishman, Hall J. Kelly, was the explorer of Oregon; Philip Nolan and
Thomas O'Connor were foremost among those brave spirits "whose daring
and persistency finally added the Lone Star State to the American
Union"; and the famous Arctic explorer, scientist, and scholar, Dr.
Elisha Kent Kane, was a descendant of John O'Kane who came from
Ireland to the Province of New York in 1752.

* * * * *

To form any reliable estimate of the numerical strength of the Irish
and their descendants in the United States would, I believe, be a
hopeless task, and while several have attempted to do so, I am of the
opinion that all such estimates should be discarded as mere
conjecture. Indeed, there is no standard, or fixed rule or principle,
by which a correct judgment of the racial composition of the early
inhabitants of the United States can now be formed, and the available
statistics on the subject are incomplete and confusing. The greatest
obstacle in determining this question is found in the names of the
immigrants themselves. With names such as Smith, Mason, Carpenter,
and Taylor; White, Brown, Black, and Gray; Forrest, Wood, Mountain,
and Vail, and other names that are similarly derived, the first
thought is that they are of English origin. Yet we know that for
centuries past such names have been numerous in Ireland, and there
are many Irish families so named who are of as pure Celtic blood as
any bearing the old Gaelic patronymics. By a law passed in the second
year of the reign of Edward IV., natives of Ireland were forced to
adopt English surnames. This Act was, substantially, as follows: "An
Act that Irishmen dwelling in the Counties of, etc.... shall go
appareled like Englishmen and wear their beards in English manner,
swear allegiance and take English sirnames, which sirnames shall be
of one towne, as Sutton, Chester, Trim, Skryne, Cork, Kinsale; or
colours, as white, black, brown; or arts, or sciences, as smith or
carpenter; or office, as cook, butler, etc., and it is enacted that
he and his issue shall use his name under pain of forfeyting of his
goods yearly", etc.

This Act could be enforced only upon those Irish families who dwelt
within the reach of English law, and as emigrants from those
districts, deprived of their pure Celtic names, came to America in an
English guise and in English vessels, they were officially recorded
as "English." Moreover, numbers of Irish frequently crossed the
channel and began their voyage from English ports, where they had to
take on new names, sometimes arbitrarily, and sometimes voluntarily
for purposes of concealment, either by transforming their original
names into English or adopting names similar to those above referred
to. These names were generally retained on this side of the Atlantic
so as not to arouse the prejudice of their English neighbors. In
complying with the statute above quoted, some Irish families accepted
the rather doubtful privilege of translating their names into their
English equivalents. We have examples of this in such names as
Somers, anglicised from McGauran (presumably derived from the Gaelic
word signifying "summer"); Smith from McGowan (meaning "the son of
the smith"); Jackson and Johnson, a literal translation from MacShane
(meaning "the son of John"); and Whitcomb from Kiernan (meaning,
literally, "a white comb").

In addition to this, in the case of some of those Irish immigrants
whose family names were not changed in Ireland, their descendants
appear in a much disguised form in the colonial records. Through the
mistakes of clergymen, court clerks, registrars, and others who had
difficulty in pronouncing Gaelic names, letters became inserted or
dropped and the names were written down phonetically. In the
mutations of time, even these names became still further changed, and
we find that the descendants of the Irish themselves, after the lapse
of a generation or two, deliberately changed their names, usually by
suppressing the Milesian prefixes, "Mac" and "O". Thus we have the
Laflin and Claflin families, who are descended from a McLaughlin, an
Irish settler in Massachusetts in the seventeenth century; the Bryans
from William O'Brian, a captain in Sarsfield's army, who, after the
fall of Limerick in 1691, settled in Pasquetank County, N.C., and one
of whose descendants is William Jennings Bryan, now Secretary of
State; the Dunnels of Maine, from an O'Donnell who located in the
Saco Valley; and at the Land Office at Annapolis I have found the
descendants of Roger O'Dewe, who came to Maryland about 1665,
recorded under the surnames of "Roger", "Dew", and "Dewey". I find
Dennis O'Deeve or O'Deere written down on the Talbot County (Md.)
records of the year 1667 with his name reversed, and today his
descendants are known as "Dennis". Many such instances appear in the
early records, and when we find a New England family rejoicing in the
name of "Navillus" we know that the limit has been reached, and while
we cannot admire the attempt to disguise an ancient and honorable
name, we are amused at the obvious transposition of "Sullivan".

Thus we see, that, numerous though the old Irish names are on
American records, they do not by any means indicate the extent of the
Celtic element which established itself in the colonies, so that
there is really no means of determining exactly what Ireland has
contributed to the American Commonwealth. We only know that a steady
stream of Irish immigrants has crossed the seas to the American
continent, beginning with the middle of the seventeenth century, and
that many of those "Exiles from Erin", or their sons, became
prominent as leaders in every station in life in the new country.

Nor is the "First Census of the United States" any criterion in this
regard, for the obvious reason that the enumerators made no returns
of unmarried persons. This fact is important when we consider that
the Irish exodus of the eighteenth century was largely comprised of
the youth of the country. Although the First Census was made in 1790,
the first regular record of immigration was not begun until thirty
years later, and it is only from the records kept after that time
that we can depend upon actual official figures. During the decade


Back to Full Books