The month of March in general, and the days around March 17 in particular, are usually a happy time for the Irish and their friends. These days.
This was not always the case. Popular lecturer Christopher Daley will speak about the Irish experience in America at the March meeting of the Foxborough Historical Society.
“No Irish Need Apply – A History of the Irish in Boston” is a 90-minute slide lecture in which the many facets of the early Irish experience in Boston are examined.
Daley begins with the story of the Irish who were brought over unwillingly as indentured servants in the mid-17th Century. Then the first real migration of the Irish in 1718. The arrival of the Scot-Irish or the “Ulster Irish” will be discussed.
Next, we will explore the slow pre-famine trickle (1820’s) of Irish Catholic immigrants coming into Boston as well as the corresponding increase in anti-Irish/Catholic sentiment within Boston beginning with the notorious Pope’s Day celebrations. Then the discussion will turn to the burning of the Ursuline Convent in 1834 in Charlestown and the Broad Street Riot of 1837.
In the third quarter of the lecture, the massive wave of immigration into Boston after the “Great Potato Famine” will be examined, including the condition of the new arrivals, the neighborhoods they settled, how they banded together, the kinds of work they did to survive and their eventual assimilation into American culture.
Finally, there will be a discussion of the rise of the Irish within the sphere of Boston politics and the emergence of the “Ward Boss.”
Additionally, Daley will give short vignettes on famous Irish political leaders such as Patrick Collins, Hugh O’Brien, Martin Lomasney, Patrick J. Kennedy, John “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, and of course, the old “Rascal King” himself, James Michael Curley.
The meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 22, at 7:30 pm in the lower level of the Boyden Library at the corner of Bird and Baker Streets in Foxboro center.There is parking under the library and on nearby streets. Please do not park in the Aubuchon lot.
Those interested in joining the Foxborough Historical Society should ask for an application form at the meeting. The annual fee is $8 for individuals, $10 for families. For further information, call Patrick Lyons at 508-543-3728, or email [email protected].