In 1847, in the third year of Ireland's Great Famine and the thirteenth year of their rent strike against the Crown, hundreds of tenant farmers in Ballykilcline, County Roscommon, were evicted by the Queen's agents and shipped to New York. Mary Lee Dunn tells their story in this meticulously researched book. Using numerous Irish and U.S. sources and with descendants' help, she traces dozens of the evictees to Rutland, Vermont, as railroads and marble quarries transformed the local economy. She follows the immigrants up to 1870 and learns not only what happened to them but also what light American experience and records cast on their Irish qrebellion.q Dunn begins with Ireland's pre-Famine social and political landscape as context for the Ballykilcline strike. The tenants had rented earlier from the Mahons of Strokestown, whose former property now houses Ireland's Famine Museum. In 1847, landlord Denis Mahon evicted and sent nearly a thousand tenants to Quebec, where half died before or just after reaching the Grosse Ile quarantine station. Mahon was gunned down months later. His murder provoked an international controversy involving the Vatican. An early suspect in the case was a man from Ballykilcline. In the United States, many of the immigrants resettled in clusters in several locations, including Vermont, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, and New York. In Vermont they found jobs in the marble quarries, but some of them lost their homes again in quarry labor actions after 1859. Others prospered in their new lives. A number of Ballykilcline families who stopped in Rutland later moved west; one had a son kidnapped by Indians in Minnesota. Readers who have Irish Famine roots will gain a sense of their own qback storyq from this account of Ireland and the native Irish, and scholars in the field of immigration studies will find it particularly useful.From Famine Ireland to Immigrant America Mary Lee Dunn ... of them likely evicted by Major Mahon before he was gunned down in a crisis- stricken season. 1 aquot;Lives Cruelly Destroyedaquot;? ... settled into new lives in the United States, and the issue is what kind of life it was and how it was affected by their Irish past. ... Or did they surmount their troubles in Ireland to make worthwhile new lives in America?
|Author||:||Mary Lee Dunn|
|Publisher||:||Univ of Massachusetts Press - 2008|