LLR Books

F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Minnesota Irishman had family roots on his father’s side in Maryland (Including his namesake Francis Scott Key) and spent many of his childhood summers with his cousins in Montgomery County where he is buried.

St. Patrick's

It is only fitting that a church with the fine name of St. Patrick's is the
parent church of Washington DC. The land for the church was raised in 1794 by an Irishman, Father Anthony Caffry (Or, according to Vatican records,  McCaffery) On April 17, 1794, Father Caffery purchased lots 5 and 6 of block 376 in the original DC plat, bounded by Ninth and Tenth and F and G streets, "for the use of the Roman Catholic congregation worshipping in Saint Patrick's church and for their use forever." (The first church was a one-and-a- half-story frame house.) The priest paid eighty pounds sterling for the land and deeded it to Bishop Carroll in September, 1804. He later raised enough money to purchase more land around the area where the church would be.  Caffery left for Ireland in 1805, there is no definite record or when he actually left nor is it known if he ever built a church on the spot.
 Rev. Timothy O 'Toole was pastor of St. Patrick’ s from 1854 to 1860.

Rowland B. Mahany

Rowland Blennerhassett Mahany (September 1864 28- May 2, 1937) was a U.S. Representative from New York who died in the District of Columbia. He’s buried in the Congressional Cemetery.  

A Harvard University graduate (1888) he served as “Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary” to Ecuador on February 24, 1892, and served until his resignation on June 12, 1893. He was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1892 to the Fifty-third Congress. He returned to Ecuador in 1893 and concluded the Santos Convention. He was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Congresses (March 4, 1895-March 3, 1899) but defeated in relection
 in 1898. He went on to practice law in the DC and served as Commissioner of conciliation, Labor Department, assistant to the Secretary of Labor, member of the Foreign Trades Relation Committee of the State Department,  appointed by Woodrow Wilson as one of the ten Federal umpires for the War Labor Board in 1919, member of the United States Housing Corporation, representative of the United States to the International Commission on Immigration and Emigration at Geneva and solicitor and Acting Secretary of Labor

If God is an Irishman, do Orange Irish go to heaven when they die?

From Tyrone To Washington DC

St Mary's Chapel

St Mary's Chapel (AKA Barry's Chapel) was Roman Catholic parish church, 10th and F Streets SW, Washington, D.C.  (Now covered by the Southwest Freeway) It was demolished in 1806, although its cornerstone was saved and was inserted in the outer wall of the Holy Name Chapel, the Church of St. Dominic. (designed and built by James Hoban) on Half street west and O street southwest.  The chapel was the first building erected for Catholic worship in the City of Washington and was paid for, essentially, by James Barry an Irishman from Baltimore and a millionaire who was a close friend and confidential adviser on business matters to Bishop Carroll. The chapel was better know in its day as Barry's Chapel and served the Catholics...many of them Irish ..in the area of  Greenleaf's Point near the present day Navy Yard and Fort McNair.

Ten Thousand Mick's

Ten Thousand Mick's
They swung their pix's
to dig the new Canal
but the Cholerey
was stronger then thee
and twice it killed them all
Editor, The Times Picayune

The Fairfax Herald

The Fairfax Herald was a local Northern Virginia established in 1882 by Capt. S.R. Donohoe, who, in 1904 moved it to this small, one-story frame structure. The Herald remained in operation until 1966.

Nuns of the Battlefield

Just off Connecticut Avenue, across from the Rhode Island Avenue & M Street, NW is a monument called Nuns of the Battlefield, which was commissioned in 1924 by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians to honor nuns who volunteered to care for the sick and wounded of the Civil War.  The Arsenal Monument, another mostly Irish intended monument and Nuns of the Battlefield are the only two Civil War-related monuments in the capital that suggest the role that women played in the conflict.
 The idea for a national monument started with a Rhode Islander with the wonderful name of Dr. Ellen Ryan Jolly who was, at the turn of the 20th century, president of the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, (From 1912-1916) a new but large (56,000 members on its inception) and political powerful organization at the time.
For one year, Dr. Jolly researched the roles of Nuns in the American civil war and complied enough evidence to bring her case before congress to ask that a monument be built in their honor.   Her campaign was championed by her Congressman, an Irishman named Ambrose Kennedy (A Republican of Rhode and not the Democrat from Maryland who shared his name)
 The Congress, aware of the growing political clout of the Irish-American and Catholic communities, agreed and the monument was commissioned. One member of the House objected to the government paying for the statue, and according to Dr. Jolly, managed to have his objections recorded but not his name. He didn’t show up on the day of the vote saying he would be “away from Washington for the day”  Later, at the unveiling, Dr. Jolly noted with a smile that the Congressman “is permanently away now”. Funding for the memorial was given on St. Patrick’s Day 1918.  
It was unveiled in 1924, while the Hibernians held their second annual convention at the old Raleigh Hotel. (100,000 members showed up including Boston Mayor William Curley).
The unveiling before a crowd of 5,000, was one of three that month in the city. The other two were the First Division memorial by the Old Executive Office Building and the statue of another (although Ulster-orange) Irishman, Francis Asbury, the first Bishop of the Methodist church in America.
The monument shows twelve nuns, representing the different orders who nursed the wounded of both North and south, are depicted in this statue.  The upper inscription reads: They comforted the dying, Nursed the wounded, carried hope to the imprisoned, gave in His name a drink of water to the thirsty.” The lower inscription reads: To the memory and in honor of The Various Orders of Sisters who gave their services as nurses on battlefields and in hospitals during the Civil War.
The monument was intended to be placed in Arlington Cemetery but the war department objected (Too religious) and the piece was plopped down in front of Saint Mathew’s cathedral, to the objections of its sculptor Jerome Connor.
Connors, like his earlier counterpart Lot Flannery, was a quick-tempered Irishman with a tendency to sue those who annoyed him. As an example, he sued the Ancient Order of the Hibernians for allegedly never paying him.
Jerome Connor was born on February 23, 1874 in Coumduff, Annascaul, Co. Kerry, Ireland, the sixth and youngest child of Patrick Connor and Margaret (Currane) Connor who operated a small mountainside farm even though his father was experienced as a stonemason.  In about 1884, the family moved to Holyoke Massachusetts, where an elder son, Timothy, was already settled.
Two years after the family arrived, Jerome’s father died unexpectedly and Jerome, at age 16, found work as a sign painter, a stonecutter, bronze founder and machinist. " My father” he wrote “ was a master of four trades, and it was the inheriting of those tendencies, along with a little extra will all my own, that enables me to do this work. I am self taught…when I was a boy I used to steal my father's chisels and carve figures on the rocks in Kerry."
He worked as an assistant in the manufacturing of  bronzes statues including  the Fountain of Neptune bronzes at the Library of Congress. He also made his living as foundry-man, professional prizefighter, machinist, sign painter and stonecutter and served as a Japanese intelligence officer in Mexico.
The Nuns of the Battlefield tablet made his career and, heavily influenced by the work of Irish American sculptor Augustus St Gaudens, Connor returned to Ireland in 1925 and opened his own studio in Dublin with a substantial advance sum to create a work for the memorial committee in New York to sculpt a memorial to the dead of the Lusitania. He disappeared with the money and was not heard from for another 18 years.  On August 20, 1943, Connor, at age 67, was found deathly ill in his slum apartment and brought to the Hospital in Dublin where he died the following day of heart failure. His friends formed a committee to have his work completed by another sculptor in order to "save Ireland's honor."

The Washington Arsenal explosion

The Washington Arsenal was located where Fort Lesley McNair sits today, its first earth works being built there in 1791 and an arsenal opening along the same 28-acre location in 1801.  Intended to be a major defense point for the city, the fort was abandoned by American troops during the British invasion of Washington in 1814. Federal troops took as much gunpowder as they could carry from the arsenal and hid the rest left at the fort inside a well. 
An accidental explosion killed and wounded about 45 British soldiers when a spark ignited an open barrel of black powder. A doctor on the scene reported ‘A tremendous explosion ensued whereby the officers and about 30 of the men were killed and the rest most shockingly mangled.” On their way out of the city, the English destroyed the arsenal buildings, which were rebuilt a few years after the war ended.

In 1826, the government purchased the land north of the arsenal buildings for the first federal penitentiary. (This was the site where the Lincoln conspirators were hung in 1865)
The Washington Arsenal was the largest of all Federal arsenals where the union army built and stored thousands of caissons and limbers, wagons and ambulances, cannon balls and mortar shells. The Arsenal employed hundreds of women who, by June of 1864, a year before the Civil War would end, were producing 120,000 cartridges per day.

The workers were mostly young and very poor Irish women and teenage girls, often from the same families. The young girls were in demand at the facility becuase their small, slender fingers were better suited to pack the cartridges. Not only was the building dangerous...the gunpowder was volatile and scared about the property but the working conditions were dreadful.
On the morning of June 17, 1864, a spark ignited a massive explosion in one of the buildings in the complex. The noise from explosion was deafening and witnesses said they felt the earth shake under their feet.  The women rushed to the central door to escape causing a logjam.  Some women were saved due to the heroism of Storekeeper E.M. Stebbins and officers and soldiers of the 16th and 19th US Infantry Regiments. However, 21 girls weren’t saved and their deaths were brutal and horrific. The explosion ripped off limbs and riddled bodies with bits of black metal.  Mary Jane Black, an arsenal worker said “two girls behind me; they were on fire; their faces were burning and blood running from them. I pulled the clothes off one of them; while I was doing this, the other one ran up and begged me to cover her. I did not succeed in saving either one.”
The victims were mostly (But not exclusively) Irish-Americans including Melissa Adams, Emma J. Baird, Lizzie Brahler, Kate Branahan,  Elizabeth Brannagan, Mary Burroughs, Emily Collins, Susan Harris, Eliza Lacy, Louisa Lloyd, Julia McEwen,  Ellen Roche, Pinkey Scott,  Mrs. W. E. Tippett and Maggie Yonson, Annie Roche, Sallie McElfresh,   Johannah Connor, Bridget Dunn, Catherine Horan and Catherine Hull.
Strangly enough, there was a similar explosion at a Confederate arsenal in Richmond, and again, the victims were mostly young Irish girls desperate for work.
The funeral procession to from the Arsenal site to Congressional cemetery three days after the explosion, contained 150 carriages and stretched for more than a mile with  President Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton leading the procession.
 Some of the girls were buried in a mass grave at Congressional cemetery (Johanna Connors, Bridget Dunn, Margaret Horan, and Rebeca Hull were buried at the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in a Roman Catholic ceremony.  Maggie Yonson, Annie Roche and Sallie McElfresh were buried in family plots.).The War Department paid all fees for funerals.  Secretary Stanton notified the Commandant of the Arsenal that "You will not spare any means to express the respect and sympathy of the government for the deceased and their surviving friends." Still, a grief-stricken city collected $3,000 (At the time, a respectable middle class income was about $300 a year) to build a tall marble monument with a granite base which was carved by an Irish-American (Not Irish as is often reported) sculptor, Lot Flannery.

The Flannery brothers owned a marble stone business in town and Lot Flannery (1836 probably 1848-1922) worked on the creation of interior of the US Capitol building and created the marble statue of Lincoln that stands in Judiciary Square. Flannery claimed he knew Lincoln and was present at the theatre when Lincoln was assassinated.

The Washington Arsenal was closed in 1881 and the post was handed over to the Quartermaster Corps who renamed it The Washington Barracks. From 1898 until 1909, an army hospital was run on the site. It was here that Major Walter Reed researched his work on malaria. He died of peritonitis after an appendectomy at the post in 1902. In 1948, the post was renamed in honor of Lt. General Lesley J. McNair.
In September of 1910, sculptor Lot Flannery, who seemed to have a penchant for legal troubles, shot and wounded “a young negro man” named Jake Owens, who broke into Flannery’s studio/home/office (His firm was called Flannery & Phillipson)  at Delaware and B streets SW.  Flannery, 62 years old and a bachelor, fired five shot, hitting Owens with the sixth shot that passed through his back near the spine, the bullet exiting through his left ribs, managed to run to Second and Canal streets before he collapsed and was arrested. Owens later disappeared from his bed at the Eastern Dispensary and Casualty Hospital at B and 3rd Streets SE

John Joseph Scanlon (Born 1892) was a District Irishman and lawyer who served as; U.S. Vice Consul in Paris, 1918-19.

Robert Emmet

A statue of the Irish hero Robert Emmet stands in Triangle Park at Massachusetts Ave, 24nd Street, and S Streets, NW. Jerome Connor, a DC Irishman who cast the statue at the Washington navy yard, sculpted it, it was the first statue to be cast in the District of Columbia.
After its unveiling the bronze statue, standing 7-feet tall, was placed in the rotunda of the Museum of Natural History until 1964 when it was taken down and placed in storage. In 1966, the statue was taken out of storage and placed in  Triangle Park.
 Robert Emmet, at the age of 25 , led rebellion against British rule in 1803 and was captured, tried and executed. The English, being the English, then beheaded him. Since various members of his family were arrested simply for being related to the young man, no one claimed his body.
His last words were  “I have but a few more words to say — I am going to my cold and silent grave — my lamp of life is nearly extinguished — I have parted with everything that is dear to me in this life, for my country’s cause; with the idol of my soul, the object of my affections. My race is run, the grave opens to receive me, and I sink into its bosom. I have but one request to make, at my departure from this world– it is the charity of its silence. Let no man write my epitaph: for as no man, who knows my motives, dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice nor ignorance asperse them. Let them rest in obscurity and peace. Let my memory be left in oblivion, and my tomb remain uninscribed until other times and other men can do justice to my character; when my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not until then, let my epitaph be written. I am done.”
Robert Emmet's older brother, Thomas, immigrated to the United States  after Robert's execution and would eventually serve as the New York States Attorney General.

Matt Kane's Bit O'Ireland

Matthew J. Kane was the owner of Matt Kane's Bit O'Ireland, one of the city's best-known Irish pubs for many decades that was located at 1118 13th St. NW. The bar opened in 1960. House speaker Tip O'Neill and Senator Robert F. Kennedy  were customers.

For years, it was the only Irish bar in DC.

Although Kane reported that St. Patrick's Day was his most profitable day of the year, he said he didn’t like the green beer now synonymous with the holiday pointing out that it was simply American draft with green food coloring sold at an inflated price. "Somebody discovered that you could put food color in Budweiser and charge an extra quarter for it and everybody would think it's Irish,"  Kane said. "Irish whiskey and Guinness draft -- that's Irish."
 Kane was a native of Chicago who served aboard submarines in the Pacific during World War 2. He moved to Washington after the war and operated guesthouses in the city before opening his tavern.
For years Kane, one of his sons was a police officer as was his daughter and son-in-law,   hosted an event called "Maids' Night Out," when Irish domestic workers would drop by to make friends with U.S. Marines on leave.
"Everybody goes out (On St. Patrick’s Day) and gets drunk and then blames it on the Irish," Kane told the Washington. "But what the heck. Nothing wrong with a good party."

William John Duane

Irishman William John Duane of Tipperary,  an a newspaper owner, lawyer and politicans from Philadelphia. He arrived with his parents, William Duane and Catherine Corcoran in 1796. He helped his father establish the Aurora, a Philadelphia newspaper, which he ran until  1806 before turning to law and politics. By 1805, he was one fo the most powerful politicans in the country.  In
In 1833, President Andrew Jackson appointed Duane Secretary of the Treasury . Daune dablled in DC politics and made attempts to have Jackson fire the DC establishment and replace them with Irishmen from Philadelphia. he tern mayor Robert a "nincumpoop,"  Stephan Pleasanton (Fifth Auditor of the Treasury)  a “nothingarian,"  and “assistant throat-cutter."
Like his predecessor at the Treasurt, Duane refused to remove government deposits from the Bank of the United States and transfer them to state banks.  Jackson fired him.  For several years Duane ran a bookstore on Pennsylvania Avenue (The Daune family also sold most of the paper stock purchased in the United States)  

Simeon Meade

In 1810, Irishman, Simeon Meade was the superviser of the workersbuilding the US Capitol building. Meade was a carpenter by trade and arrived America from Ireland about 1799 abd became a naturalized citizen in Washington in1804. He died in DC on Feb. 11 1819, age about 45.

Elizabeth Curran Solterer

Elizabeth Curran Solterer moved to the District in 1955 and over the next few decades kept Irish culture alive in the Washington. Her mother, Helen Laird, was a founding member of the Abbey Theatre and her father was the lawyer  C.P. Curran, who wrote some of the first journalistic accounts of the Irish uprising of  1916.  William Butler Yeats,  Maud Gonne and  James Joyce, were friedns of the family and Joyce once remarked that Elizabeth was the only child he knew who had read his modernist masterpiece "Ulysses" -- and had done so by the age of 9.
"It was a village, Dublin, in those days," she her  daughter, Helen Solterer, a professor of French literature and culture at Duke University. "My grandparents held an open house and knew everyone."
Elizabeth was fluent in German, French, Italian and the Irish. She and Flann O'Brien, while students at the University College Dublin in the early 1930s, founded a literary magazine, Blather.
After receiving a bachelor's degree in history in 1935, she traveled across and ettled in Paris for a while, where she worked in an art gallery that sold works by Picasso. she came to the US for a visit and becam eacquainted with leading figures of modern art and stormed around New Orleans in a hearse owned by the sculptor Fritz Bultman.
The Irish government sent her back to the United States in the early 1950s to introduce Irish art to the American public through a series of lectures.  In 1954, while in Irelandshe met Josef Solterer, a Viennese-born economist who had taught at Georgetown since 1932. They married in 1955 and settled in Falls Church on what was then farmland. They moved to the District in 1972.  She was 42 at the time.
In Washington, Mrs. Solterer spoke of Irish accomplishments in the arts at museums and galleries, at the Irish-American Cultural Institute and in lectures arranged by the Irish Embassy. She was active in the American Association of University Women and in Holy Trinity Catholic Church in the District.

The Know Nothings in DC

                                                                  By John William Tuohy

The formation of the Know Nothing party would, as John F. Kennedy pointed out, give the American Irish the odd distinction of being the only group of Americans to have a political party formed against them.
The Know Nothings were founded in New York City in 1853 by a former dry goods store owner named James W. Barker under the name The Supreme Order of the Star Spangled Banner. It was suppose to be a super secret organization that was dedicated to keeping foreigners, naturalized citizens, and above all else, Catholics, out of political office. In the organizations prime years (1850's -1860's) all of those things, foreign and Catholic, meant the Irish who made up 45% of the countries foreign born.
On June 1, 1857, a Know Nothing sponsored group of thugs calling themselves the Plug Uglies arrived by train from Baltimore to disrupt the local  municipal elections. Armed with a cannon, rifles, pistol and clubs, they marched to Northern market then the cities commercial district and quickly took control of the voting booths. They beat Irish citizens who tried to vote and threatened to burn down Irish and African American ghettos.
The city's mayor was William Beans Magruder (1810–1869) was a prominent physician who served as Mayor from 1856 to 1858. Although born in Montgomery County, the family moved to Georgetown where Magruder was raised and educated. He set up his medical practice there in 1831. A year later, when a cholera epidemic broke out.  Magruder was placed in charge of the Western Hospital and his heroic actions during the epidemic made his reputation as an important physician in the city. 
Magruder is the subject of a now famous anecdote that once, while attempting to talk a small boy into taking a dose of castor oil, he promised the child that the medicine was very sweet, when the boy replied, "Well, then, if it's so good, why don't you take some yourself?"
Magruder entered public office in 1835, when he became a member of the Washington Board of Health. Two years later, he was elected to the city's Common Council, then to the Board of Aldermen in 1843, where he served until 1856.
                                                      John Thomas Towers
John Thomas Towers, a Know Nothing had been mayor before Magruder. Towers, born in Alexandria to English immigrant parents, was trained as a printer and ran several book and printing shops in Washington until 1852 when President Millard Fillmore appointed him superintendent of printing at the U.S. Capitol.
 (The position was the forerunner of the modern Government Printing Office.)  The Know-Nothings put Towers up for mayor against incumbent John Walker Maury in 1854.
                                                     John Walker Maury
Maury was born in Caroline County, Virginia to a prominent family. His great-grandfather, Reverend James Maury, had founded the Maury Classical School for Boys at which Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe were students. His grandfather was headmaster of a school in Williamsburg; his great-uncle, "Consul" James Maury, was the United States' first consul to Liverpool, England, appointed by George Washington; and his uncle, Matthew Fontaine Maury, was a famous and accomplished oceanographer.
He moved at 17 to Washington City (as DC was then called), where he established a law practice. As mayor, Maury (and the philanthropist William Wilson Corcoran) convinced Congress to appropriate funds for the Government Hospital for the Insane, now known as St. Elizabeth’s. He also oversaw the start of construction of Washington's public waterworks. Additionally, he appropriated the money to pay sculptor Clark Mills to complete the statue of Andrew Jackson that stands in Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House.
The year 1854 was the political peak for Know Nothings all across America that year, and the party elected mayors in most of the major US cities, including DC and John T. Towers defeated Maury.
 As mayor go, Towers was a disaster.  In 1856, Towers declined to seek re-election. In his place, the Know-Nothings nominated Silas H. Hill to succeed him as mayor. However, the city's Democrats, Republicans, and remaining Whigs banded together as the "Anti-Know-Nothing Party" and nominated Magruder. After one of the fiercest campaigns in the history of Washington, Magruder won the mayoral election by a mere 13 votes.
As mayor, Magruder worked to build the city's infrastructure, in particular building an archway over a stream that then ran near L Street and frequently overflowed, damaging the city streets.
The Plug-Uglies turned away anti-Know-Nothing voters with rocks, guns, and knives, until some citizens brought weapons of their own and the violence grew into mob rule. When the rioters reached levels of over 1,000, Magruder, commanding a force of less than 56 full time Police officers most of whom had abandoned their posts in the face of the pending violence, was forced to close the polls and appeal to President Buchanan, one of eleven children of poor Ulster Irish parents, for help.  (Of those eleven children, three died in infancy and only one o lived past the year 1840) However, before soldiers arrived, the rioters had stolen a Federal cannon and Magruder pled with the mob to abandon it and surrender until Navy Marines arrived and dispersed the rioters.
Buchanan also knew a thing or two about the Know Nothings. In fact, in 1856, former president, Millard Fillmore's Know-Nothing candidacy helped Buchanan defeat John C. Fremont, the first Republican candidate for president. 

Buchanan ordered marines from the nearby Capitol Hill barracks to restore order. General Archibald Henderson (January 21, 1783 – January 6, 1859 75) the so-called "Grand old man of the Marine Corps" hailed from Colchester (A former wealthy tobacco port, it is an unincorporated town on the Occoquan River) in Fairfax County. Henderson would be the longest-serving Commandant of the Marine Corps (over 38 years) and had served on the USS Constitution during her famous victories in the War of 1812.
He went into the field as Commandant during the Indian campaigns in Florida and Georgia during 1836 and 1837, and was promoted brevet brigadier general for his actions in these campaigns. Tradition holds that he pinned a note to his door that read, "Gone to Florida to fight the Indians. Will be back when the war is over."
Henderson is credited with thwarting attempts by President Andrew Jackson to combine the Marine Corps with the Army in 1829. Instead, Congress passed the Act for the Better Organization of the Marine Corps in 1834, ensuring the Marines would remain part of the United States Department of the Navy.  A  sword presented to Henderson after the end of the Mexican-American War read "From the Halls of Montezuma, to the Shores of Tripoli" giving the opening words to the Marines' hymn.
Henderson, then 74-years-old and dressed in a civilian suit (He had been in church when the call came in to the Marines barracks on 8th Street just after noon) ordered  Maj. Henry Tyler to march two companies of marines from their Barracks to down town. Also in command were Capts. Jacob Zeilin and William Maddox. (of Charles County, the USS Maddox is named for him) Henderson rode at the front of the men; armed with an umbrella (Others say it was a cane)
The two companies marched to the District’s city hall, where Major Tyler discussed the situation with Mayor Magruder and then carried on towards the polling headquarters at what is now 5th and K streets.
The marines took the voting booths back from the mob and ordered the rioters to disband.  Instead, the Plug Uglies turned their Cannon on the General and threatened to shoot if he and his men did not withdraw. Henderson, riding on horseback and dressed in civilian clothes, instead stuck his umbrella into the Plug Uglies Cannon and turned his back on the mob defying them to shot. "Give my men due cause to impose the wrath of God" (Another version says the generals words were “Men, you had better think twice before you fire this piece at the Marines.”)
At that point, a squad of marines that included Henderson’s son, rushed into the Plug Uglies line and wrestled the cannon away from the gangsters (The term gangster rose out of another massive street gang of the time, in Detroit)   
Again, Henderson ordered the mob to disperse and then ordered his marines to march into the mob, Bayonets fixed. The plug Uglies responded by firing into the oncoming Marines with pistol shot, killing one and injuring several more. The Marines charged the mob.  In the next several minutes, 12 people fell severely wounded. Eventually the marines managed to push the mob back to the B&O railroad station where the Plug Uglies where reinforced with a contingent of Know Nothings brought in from Baltimore. In the next 24 hours, five more people lay dead and scores more were wounded before the Marines could not retake the city streets from the Nativist's.
Mayor Magruder did not receive the Anti-Know-Nothing nomination for mayor in the 1858 election, and the coalition's new candidate, James G. Berret, came to office. Magruder ran again as an independent candidate in 1860 but lost to Berret. After leaving office, Magruder continued to practice medicine until dying from a stomach infection in May of 1869.
John Walker Maury died one year after leaving office. He is buried at the Congressional Cemetery in DC. The Maury Elementary School in upper northwest was named in his honor.
Know Nothing mayor John Thomas Towers also died in 1857, one year after leaving office and was interred in Congressional Cemetery.
There is a bronze and granite memorial in Meridian Hill Park in DC in honor of President Buchannan. It was designed by Baltimore architect William Gorden Beecher and sculpted by Maryland artist Hans Schuler. Commissioned in 1916 but not approved by the U.S. Congress until 1918, and not completed and unveiled until June 26, 1930. The statue of Buchanan is between the classical figures of a male and female which represent law and diplomacy, with the engraved text reading: "The incorruptible statesman whose walk was upon the mountain ranges of the law," a quote from a member of Buchanan's cabinet, Jeremiah S. Black.
General Henderson is buried in the Congressional Cemetery.  Henderson Hall Barracks on 8th Street SE is named for him
Capt. Zeilin, one of the two officers that led the marines against the Plug Uglies, was later promoted to Brigadier General and served as the seventh Commandant of the United States Marine Corps from 1864 to 1876. It was Zeilin who officially approved of the design of the "Eagle, Globe, and Anchor," as the emblem for the Marine Corps. He died in D.C but is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

C&O Canal

C&O Canal: By the middle of the 19th century America was pushing itself forward into the industrial age. Cities, roads, canals and railways needed to be built. And as it always had in the past, America looked to other shores for the labor it needed to continue its growth. Spurred on by a devastating famine that would level Ireland's population of eight million to three million dead and four and a half million to immigrate.

They crossed, what Joyce called "The bitter bowl of tears" to arrive in America, as desperate, shocked refugees from a dying country. They would become a rural people converted to a race of city dwellers overnight.

They came to Baltimore, thousands of them, to work on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad lines which started work on July the Fourth of 1828. On that day Charles Carrol turned the first shovel of dirt for the line in Baltimore (for the rail line that became known as the B&O)

Oddly enough, just as Carrol turned that shovel of dirt 65 miles away in Washington, President John Adams was also turning over the first shovel of dirt on what would become the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.

The C&O project would attract thousands more Irish to the State but with the completion of the B&O, 165 miles later in 1850, the Canal was rendered all but useless.

The White House

 When the new Federal Government held a contest to chose a design for the Executive Mansion, the winner having their choice between $500.00 or a gold medal, they chose a design based on the Duke of Lienster's Mansion in Dublin redesigned by Irish Immigrant by way of Charleston North Carolina, named James Hoban.(He chose the gold medal for his prize and beat out another contender for the award, President Thomas Jefferson who entered his rendition under another name) Hoban went on to design many other Washington Landmarks and also served on the city council from 1820 until his death in 1831. 

Trinity College

Julia McGroarty was born in Ireland. She founded Trinity College in Washington DC in 1897, the first Women's Catholic University in America.

From there, large numbers of Irish American women graduated as nurses and lawyers including Mary O'Toole, the first Female Judge to sit on the Districts Court and teachers like Anne Sullivan who dedicated her life to her Student Helen Kellor and initiated so many advances for the hearing impaired through out the world. 

Charles Carroll

Charles Carroll of Maryland was the longest-lived and only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence.

US Grant

President US Grant claimed to have Irish ancestry. So did Presidents Reagan, Jackson, Polk, Buchanan, Arthur, McKinley, Wilson, Nixon and several others.

Archibal Mellon

Archibal Mellon was from County Tyrone (They were Scots-Irish) and emigrated moved to Pennsylvania.  His grandson Andrew was appointed Secretary of the Treasury in 1921. The Mellon family remain prominent in industry, banking and as art patrons

John Barry, Franklin Park DC

                       Father of the American Navy, born in County Wexford, ireland


During World War Two, when  General Anthony McAuliffe, an Irish-American Catholic from Arlington Virginia, (He was born in DC)  was surrounded at Bastogne by the German army, they demanded his surrender. Although out gunned, out manned and low on supplies, McAuliffe's reply was "Nuts". He held out and was eventually relieved by Allied forces. He  retired to his home in Chevy Chase in 1964 and is buried at Arlington.

My Ulster blood

“My Ulster (Derry) blood is my most priceless heritage.” James Buchanan, 15th President of the United States. His father left Derry (Ulster) in 1783

Thus, smartened up

"Thus, smartened up, the Irish have become the most important people in America"  William Chambers 

F. Scott Fitzgerald, buried at St. Mary's in Rockville

“The English language brings out the best in the Irish. They court it like a beautiful woman. They make it bray with donkey laughter. They hurl it at the sky like a paint pot full of rainbows, and then make it chant a dirge for man's fate and man's follies that is as mournful as misty spring rain crying over the fallow earth.” T. E. Kalem

"One of the great troubles with Mr. F Scott Fitzgerald you see," said a New York Society Matron "he wanted so badly to be taken into society, and to be accepted as society, and he was certainly attractive and amusing enough to have made it easily. But he drank so badly you see. He would get blind drunk or he wouldn't show up...he was very unreliable, a very disorganized sort of man. No one minds a bit of drinking. .social drinking….we all do that, but there must be organization, without organization…..society simply doesn't exist."  

Of the first generation of Irish

"Of the first generation of Irish in America, fifty four percent are servants and waitresses, of the second generation, only sixteen percent. Whither have these daughters gone ? Out of the kitchen into the factory, the store, the office and the school" E.A.Ross, British diplomat

Thousands of Irish built the C& Canal and the B&O Railroad

"There are three kinds of power that run this great nation, water power, steam power, and Irish power...and the last works hardest of all". E.M Johnson

"how often do we see such paragraphs in the paper as an Irishmen drowned, an Irishman crushed by a beam, an Irishman suffocated in a pit, an Irishman blown to atoms by a steam engine, ten or twenty Irishmen buried alive by the sinking of a bank, and other like casualties and perils to which honest Pat is constantly exposed in the hard toils of his daily bread" Letter to Ireland, 1836.

"The rarest sight in America, is that of a grey haired Irishman" Letter to Ireland 1860

"There are seventy thousand railroad ties that connect this city to the rest of our country, I would venture that we had to buried an Irishman under each one of them."

"Tugged up from their roots, taken and going willingly from the sea smells and peat smells, shoved into a boat with sweating and cursing and stinking and praying with deaths and births, with old age and youth, they landed and a shovel was placed in their hands or a hammer or a spade and they built Boston and New York and Chicago and Philadelphia. And in the evenings they walked home in the leaning shadows of the grey stone to their one or two rooms and fell into a bewildered sleep" Jack Dunphy.

generous portions of liquor

Meat ! Three times a day !  plenty of bread ! and fresh vegetables with generous portions of liquor and good wages ! Between $10.00 and $12.00 dollars a month, American.
      Typical sign posted across Ireland on Church doors and trees, by recruiting agents for the Canals and Railroads being built in DC and other places on the east coast 

     Unfortunately the reality of life along America’s canals and railroad lines were far different. The work was dangerous and brutal and the free distribution of liqueur by the canal and railway companies, a hold over used to keep indentured servants from running away, more then often led to avoidable countless deaths when it was combined dynamite and unskilled drunken hands.
    The free flow of liqueur also helped to fuel the sporadic and deadly "Irish Wars" that broke out along the C&O canal and the railroad crews. Gangs of drunken Irish laborers, re-fighting century old disputes with Irishmen from other areas of the old country with pix axes, dynamite and shovels.
     The fighting grew so severe at one construction site neat Great Falls, Maryland, that president Andrew Jackson was forced to call out the Federal Militia to restore order and in Western Maryland 130 Sheriffs deputies  took two weeks to quell fraction fighting there. The same was true in Irish camps in Frederick and Tunneton and one riot in the Irish settlement town of Cresopa Maryland needed the entire troop placement from Fort Mckinley to restore order.

The Irish at Antietam, Maryland

At the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day of the Civil war In eight hours 23,000 men would lay dead or wounded. Captain Edwin Field wrote:
"It was their crowning glory (The Irishmen had forced the enemy back beyond a sunken road) which had been filled with corpses by an enfilading fire from one of our batter­ies and presented one of the most ghastly specta­cles of war.
Using this lane as a breastwork, they held it to the close of the fight, losing not a prisoner, having not one straggler, but at a loss of life that was appalling.
One Irish regiment lost nearly 50% of it men, another over thirty per cent. the rebels seemed to have a special spite against the green flag, and five color bearers were shot down successively in a short time.
As the last man fell even these Irishmen hesitated a moment to assume a task synonymous with death. "Big Gleason" Captain of the sixty third, six feet seven, sprang forward and snatched it up. In a few minutes a bullet struck the staff, shattering it to pieces; Gleason tore the flag from the broken staff, wrapped it around his body, putting his sword belt over it, and went through the rest of the fight untouched.
At the brow of the hill the fighting was the severest and most deadly ever witnessed before, so acknowledged by veterans in the service. Men on both sides fell in large numbers and those who were eye witness to the struggle did not think it possible for a single man to escape. The enemy here first, were concealed behind a knoll, so that only their heads were exposed. The brigade advanced up the hill with a cheer, when a most deadly fire was poured in by a second line of the enemy con­cealed in the Sharpsb­urg road, which at this place is several feet lower then the surrounding sur­face, forming a complete rifle pit and also from a force partially concealed still further to the rear.
The line of the brigade, in its advance up the hill, was broken in the center temporarily by an obstruction the right wing having advanced to keep up with the colors, and fell back a short distance, when General Meagher directed that a rail fence - which the enemy only a few minutes before had been fighting behind- be torn down.
His men, in the face of a galling fire, obeyed the order, when the whole brigade advanced to the brow of the hill, cheering as they went, and causing the enemy to fall back to their second line- which is some three feet lower then the surrounding surface. In this road were massed a large force of infantry and here was the most hotly contested point of the day. Each brigade of this division was brought into action at this point, and the struggle was truly terrific for more then four hours-the enemy finally however, were forced from their position. The Brigade suffered terribly. General Meagher horse was shot out from under him, and a bullet passed through his clothes. The sixty third regiment of this brigade, always conspic­uous for deeds of daring in battle, was particu­larly so in the battle of Antietam.
The colors were shot down sixteen times and on each occasion a man was ready to spring forward and place the colors in front. John Hartigan, a member of company H, and only 16 years old, went some distance in advance of the regiment with the colors and waved them defiant­ly in the face of the enemy.
The whole Brigade gave a cheer that was heard along the lines for a mile, when it advanced up the rising ground and drove the enemy from a strong position"