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Item; Thomas Gill, the New York Evening Star; Patrick Walsh, the Augusta Chronicle; Joseph Medill, the Chicago Tribune. Henry W. Grady edited the Atlanta Constitution; Michael Dee edited the Detroit Evening News for nearly fifty years; Richard Smith, the Cincinnati Gasette; Edward L. Godkin, the New York Evening Post; William Laffan, the New York Sun; and Horace Greeley, the New York Tribune. All of these were either natives of Ireland or sprung from immigrant Irishmen, as were Oliver of the Pittsburgh Gazette, O'Neill of the Pittsburgh Despatch, John Keating of Memphis, William D. O'Connor, and many other shining lights of American journalism during the last century. Fitz James O'Brien was “a bright, particular star” in the journalistic firmament; John MacGahan achieved fame as a war correspondent; Patrick Barry of Rochester, an extensive writer on horticultural and kindred subjects, was the recognized leader of his craft in the United States; and William Darby, son of Patrick and Mary Darby, and Michael Twomey were the ablest American geographers and writers on abstruse scientific subjects.
In the field of poetry, we have had Theodore O'Hara, the author of that immortal poem, "The Bivouac of the Dead”; John Boyle O'Reilly; Thomas Dunn English, author of "Ben Bolt"; Father Abram Ryan, "the poet priest of the South”; James Whitcomb Riley; Eleanor Donnelly; M. F. Egan; T. A. Daly; and Joseph I. C. Clarke, president of the American Irish Historical Society.
To recount the successful men of affairs of Irish origin it would be necessary to mention every branch of business and every profession. Recalling but a few, Daniel O'Day, Patrick Farrelly, John and William O'Brien, Alexander T. Stewart, John Castree, Joseph J. O'Donohue, William R. Grace, John McConville, Hugh O'Neill, Alexander E. Orr, William Constable, Daniel McCormick, and Dominick Lynch, all of New York, were dominant figures in the world of business. Thomas Mellon of Pittsburgh; John R. Walsh and the Cudahy brothers of Chicago; James Phelan, Peter Donahue, Joseph A. Donohoe, and John Sullivan of San Francisco; William A. Clark and Marcus Daly of Montaña; George Meade, the
Meases and the Nesbits, Thomas FitzSimmons and Thomas Dolan of Philadelphia; Columbus O'Donnell and Luke Tiernan of Baltimore, all these have been leading merchants in their day. Few American financiers occupy a more conspicuous place than Thomas F. Ryan, and no great industrial leader has reached the pinnacle of success upon which stands the commanding figure of James J. Hill, both sons of Irishmen. The names of Anthony N. Brady, Eugene Kelly, James S. Stranahan, and James A. Farrell, president of the United States Steel Corporation, are household words in business and financial circles.
John Keating, the first paper manufacturer in New York (1775); Thomas Faye, the first to manufacture wall-paper by machinery, who won for this distinction the first gold medal of the American Institute; John and Edward McLoughlin of New York, for many years the leading publishers of illustrated books; and John Banigan of Providence, one of the largest manufacturers of rubber goods in America, were natives of Ireland. John O'Fallon and Bryan Mullanphy of St. Louis, and John McDonough of Baltimore, who amassed great wealth as merchants, were large contributors to charitable and educational institutions; William W. Corcoran, whose name is enshrined in the famous Art Gallery at Washington, contributed during his lifetime over five million dollars to various philanthropic institutions; and one of the most noted philanthropists in American history, and the first woman in America to whom a public monument was erected, was an Irishwoman, Margaret Haughery of New Orleans.
Irishmen have shown a remarkable aptitude for the handling of large contracts, and in this field have been prominent John H; O'Rourke, James D. Leary, James Coleman, Oliver Byrne, and John D. Crimmins in New York; John B. McDonald, the builder of New York's subways; George Law, projector and promoter of public works, steamship and railroad builder ; and John Roach, the famous ship-builder of Chester, Pa. John Sullivan, a noted American engineer one hundred years ago, compieted the Middlesex Canal; and John McL. Murphy, whose ability as a constructing engineer was universally recognized, rendered valuable service to the United States
during the Civil War. Among pioneer ship-builders in America are noted Patrick Tracy from Wexford and Simon Forrester from Cork, who were both at Salem, Mass., during the period of the Revolution and rendered most valuable service to the patriot cause; and the O'Briens, Kavanaghs, and Sewalls in Maine.
But it is not in the material things of life alone that the Irish have been in the van. Thousands of Americans have been charmed by the operas of Victor Herbert, a grandson of Samuel Lover, and with lovers of music the strains of Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore's band still linger as a pleasant memory. Edward A. MacDowell, America's most famous composer, was of Irish descent. The colossal statute of “America” on the dome of the National Capitol was executed by Thomas Crawford, who was born in New York of Irish parents in 1814; Henry Inman, one of the very best of portrait painters, was also born in New York of Irish parents; John Singleton Copley, the distinguished artist, came to Boston from Co. Clare in 1736; Thompson, the sculptor, was born in Queen's Co.; another noted sculptor was William D. O'Donovan of Virginia; and Augustus Saint Gaudens, one of the greatest sculptors of modern times, was born in Dublin. Other sculptors of Irish race have been elsewhere mentioned. Among America's most talented artists and portrait painters may be mentioned George P. Healy, William J. Hennessy, Thomas Moran, Henry Pelham, Henry Murray, John Neagle, and William Magrath, all of Irish birth or descent.
Ireland has given many eminent churchmen to the United States. The three American Cardinals, Gibbons, Farley, and O'Connell, stand out prominently, as do Archbishops Carroll, Hughes, McCloskey, Kenrick, Ryan, Ireland, Glennon, Corrigan, and Keane, all of whom have shed lustre on the Church. History has given to an Irishman, Francis Makemie of Donegal, the credit of founding Presbyterianism in America, while among noted Presbyterian divines of Irish birth were James Waddell, known as “the blind preacher of the wilderness," Thomas Smyth, John Hall, Francis Allison, William Tennant, and James McGrady, all men of great ability and influence in their day. Samuel Finley, President of Princeton College in
1761, was a native of Armagh, and John Blair Smith, famous as a preacher throughout the Shenandoah Valley and the first president of Union College (1795), was of Irish descent. Among the pioneer preachers of the western wilderness were McMahon, Dougherty, Quinn, Burke, O'Cool, Delaney, McGee, and many others of Irish origin.
Irishmen and their sons have founded American towns and cities, and the capital of the State of Colorado takes its name from General James Denver, son of Patrick Denver, an emigrant from county Down in the year 1795. Sixty-five places in the United States are named after people bearing the Irish prefix “O” and upwards of 1000 after the “Macs”, and there are 253 counties of the United States and approximately 7000 places called by Irish family or place names. There are 24 Dublins, 21 Waterfords, 18 Belfasts, 16 Tyrones, 10 Limericks, 9 Antrims, 8 Sligos, 7 Derrys, 6 Corks, 5 Kildares, and so on.
Immigrant Irishmen have also been the founders of prominent American families. One of the most ancient of Irish patronymics, McCarthy, is found in the records of Virginia as early as 1635 and in Massachusetts in 1675, and all down through the successive generations descendants of this sept were among the leading families of the communities where they located. In Virginia, the McCormick, Meade, Lewis, Preston, and Lynch families; in the Carolinas, the Canteys, Nealls, Bryans, and Butlers; and in Maryland, the Carrolls and Dulanys are all descended from successful Irish colonizers.
Even from this very incomplete summary, we can see that Irish blood, brain, and brawn have been a valuable acquisition to the building of the fabric of American institutions, and that the sons of Ireland merit more prominent recognition than has been accorded them in the pages of American history. The pharisees of history may have withheld from Ireland the credit that is her due, but, thanks to the never-failing guidance of the records, we are able to show that at all times, whether they came as voluntary exiles or were driven from their homes by the persecutions of government, her sons have had an honorable part in every upward movement in American life. Testimony adduced from the sources from which this imperfect sketch is drawn cannot be called into question, and its perusal by those who so amusingly glorify the “Anglo-Saxon” as the founder of the American race and American institutions would have a chastening influence on their ignorance of early American history, and would reopen the long vista of the years, , at the very beginning of which they would see Celt and Teuton, Saxon and Gaul, working side by side solidifying the fulcrum of the structure on which this great nation rests.
The archives, registers, records, reports, and other official documents mentioned in the text; the various Town, County, and State Histories; the collections and publications of the following societies : Massachusetts Historical Society, Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, New York Historical Society (34 vols.), New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (44 vols.), Maine Historical Society, Rhode Island Historical Society, Connecticut Historical Society, South Carolina Historical Society, and American Historical Society; New England Historical and Genealogical Register (67 vols., Boston, 1847-1913); New England Historical and Biographical Record; Hakluyt: Voyages, Navigations, Trafiques, and Discoveries of the English Nation (London, 1607); Dobbs: The Trade and Improvement of Ireland (Dublin, 1729); Hutchinson: History of Massachusetts from the First Settlement in 1628 until 1750 (Salem, 1795); Proud : History of Pennsylvania, 1681-1770 (Philadelphia, 17971798); Savage: Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England (Boston, 1860-1862); Morris (ed.): The Makers of New York (Philadelphia, 1895); Pope : The Pioneers of Massachusetts (Boston, 1900), The Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire (Boston, 1908); Richardson: Side-lights on Maryland History (Baltimore, 1913); Spencer: History of the United States; Ramsay: History of the United States; Prendergast: Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland.