"Out of these narrow lanes,
dirty streets, damp cellars, and suffocating garrets, will come forth some
of the noblest sons of our country, whom she will delight to own and honor."
This is a copy of the flag carried by the Irish troops in Meagher's Brigade during the American Civil War. The harp is sometimes called the Harp of Tara and is a major symbol for Irish-Americans.
The Irish have been coming to America since the country was first opened to settlement in the 1600's. In 1662 Irish settlers from Cork founded the town of Kinsale in Virginia. Many more came in the 17th and 18th centuries as indentured servants, an only slightly less repugnant form of slavery. Indeed, enough came that at the end of the 17th century the colonies of South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland passed laws banning further importation of "Irish papists".
But it wasn't until the mid 19th century and the potato blight that the floodgates opened and the flight of the "Wild Geese" began.
I hope in these pages to chronicle, in some small way,
the story of the Irish-American.
The Molly Maguires
on the Railway