THE IRISH IN IOWA

 

Burlington Hawkeye
Burlington, Des Moines, Iowa
Apr 9, 1864

     There are said to be two organizations in Ireland, both having in view a separation from the British Crown. One is styled the Fenian Brotherhood and the second is the Brotherhood of St. Patrick. It strikes us that both will prove useless, if the Irish Exodus continues to gather force. If all the people come to this country, as really seems within the bounds of possibility, of what importance will it be to them whether the land they leave is subject to the British or not? The easiest and cheapest mode for the Irish to elude English rule is for all to come to America. And they really seem to have come to that conclusion themselves.

Burlington Hawkeye
Burlington, Des Moines, Iowa
Jan 9, 1865

THE FENIAN BROTHERHOOD AND BRITISH PROTECTION
    
The attention of the members of the F.B. and Irishmen in general, is called to a general rule of the Brotherhood issued by the Head Centre of America, John O'Mahony, of New York:
     "That any member of the Fenian Brotherhood claiming British protection shall be forthwith expelled as a traitor, and any Irishman claiming such protection can never become a member of the order."
     Those miscreants who disgrace the proud name of Ireland by claiming British protection ought to be sent back to receive the protection which England gives to Irishmen-the poor house, the gallows, and total extermination by fire and famine. By order of the COMITTEE OF SAFETY.

Burlington Hawkeye
Burlington, Des Moines, Iowa
4 Mar 1865

Fenian Convention
    
Boston, March 2- A great meeting of the friends of Irish nationality was held last night in Faneuil Hall under the auspices of the Fenian Brotherhood, at which speeches were made by Col. Mahoney, the head center of the Brotherhood of the U.S., Capt. R.R. Walsh, of Pa., and A.P. Sinnett, of Boston. The meeting adopted resolutions ratifying the proceedings and resolutions of the late Fenian Congress held in Cincinnati. Great enthusiasm prevailed.

Burlington Hawkeye
Burlington, Des Moines, Iowa
Mar 25, 1865

     THE FENIANS ON SNEAKS- WHEREAS, It has come to the knowledge of the Leavenworth Circle of Fenian Brotherhood, that a few instances have occurred in this city of Irishmen taking out their exemption papers to escape the pending draft; and;
     WHEREAS, That to be able to obtain such exemption papers it becomes necessary for the applicant to claim the very dubious protection of our hatred foe and avowed enemy of our country-the tyrannical Government of Englan; and
     WHEREAS, That while in our native country British protection was exemplified to us by such refined cruelties and oppression as expatriation, landlord persecution, religious intolerance, a rope and gibbet for all who dared to murmur, and many other outrages, with all the modern British protection improvements peculiar to England rule in Ireland; be it therefore
     Resolved, That in the opinion of this Circle, none but cowardly poltroons, unworthy of the Irish name would be guilty of resorting to such means to escape their duties at this hour of our adopted country's crisis.
     Resolved, That we deem such conduct on the part of our countrymen as reprehensible in the extreme-that we will neither countenance, aid or assist or acknowledge them as Irishmen, and that any person giving such evidence of attachment to British institutions, is in the opinion of this Circle, unfit to enjoy the privilege of free Government and unworthy of being a member of the Fenian Brotherhood and shall be forever excluded from this Circle.
     ED. CARROLL,
     P.F. MEAGER,
     D. MALLOY,
     JOSEPH MACKEL,
          Committee.

Davenport Daily Gazette
Davenport, Scott, Iowa
4 Apr 1867


     To the Irishmen and Fenians of Iowa:
     COUNTYRMEN AND BROTHERS:-According to orders received from Headquarters
Captain W.A. Grace, Central Organizer for Minnesota, has started on a tour
to organize the F.B. of Iowa. he comes to our State to advance the cause of
Fenianism, and while he will do all in his power to strengthen and increase
the civil department, he will devote his time and energies more particularly
to the military. He will remain in each place long enough to set the
organization of that locality in thorough working order; still, in order to
facilitate his progress, circles are expected to have their arrangements
made when he visits them. He will inform you of what is required from Iowa,
and I am sure that the promises made at the last State Convention, based on
the report of the F.B. in Iowa will be fulfilled to the letter. In a word,
Captain Grace's mission to Iowa means work, earnest, practical work, so that
localities, or communities of Irishmen, who have nothing more for Ireland
and the cause than senseless cheers or a cheap "God speed," can consider
themselves entirely outside the programme. This may seem arbitrary, no
matter; arbitrary or not, I repeat that parties requesting a visit from
Captain Grace, and who, when means and muscle are required, are found
wanting, must no feel disappointed if he prefers the company of a few "do
or die" men, to the meaningless cheers of a crowed of place goers. He will
give all attention to those places and persons, willing to aid our cause,
and satisfy every wish and desire with regard to the organization. Let us
then, my countrymen, do all in our power to second his efforts. We can do a
vsat deal if we but only try in earnest. One effort, then; one sincere,
determined effort and we must succeed in placing Iowa as a power on the
rolls of the F.B. Our worst trials are passed.
     The justness of our position and the holiness of our cause, have carried us
through the storm. 'Tis true, "a little the worse for the weather," but the
ordeal has only served to unite the true ingredients in one more solid mass,
and to day the bewilderment of England and the terror of Canada, tell but
too plainly their admission of our earnestness. But a few months ago and the
pampered robbers in Dublin Castle laughed as they recounted the "follies" of
the "deluded dupes of Fenianism," the "Irish madmen." Let them answer
to-day, and if, for once in their lives, they tell the truth, they will
admit that there is a certain methodism and sleuth bound perseverance about
the doings of these same "deluded dupes" and "madmen" never before
manifested by any body of "Irish madmen." I remain yours, fraternally, John
Haley, D.C. Southern District F.B. for Iowa. N.B. Circles are requested to
communicate immediately with Capt. Grace and receive their appointments.
     Address all letters to Capt. W.H. Grace, Box 1591 Dubuque, or in care of
John Haley, Davenport.

Burlington Hawkeye
Burlington, Des Moines, Iowa
August 13, 1874

     John Mitchell, the banished Fenian, has arrived in Cork and met with a brilliant and enthusiastic reception. He will enter the canvass as a candidate for Parliament. There is no probability that the English government will pay any attention to the return of this noted exile, and if he is elected he will very probable be permitted to take his seat without any opposition.

From: "Michael Ruddy" <mruddy@usit.net>
Sent: Sunday, June 16, 2002 1:03 PM
Subject: [IA-IRISH] United Irishmen Subscribers in Iowa

 

     A staunch Fenian and die-hard Irish rebel, Jeremiah O'Donovan-Rossa (1831-1915) was made business manager of the Irish People, the Fenian newspaper started by James Stephens, the self styled "Chief Organizer Irish Republic" or COIR. The officers of the Irish People were rounded up in Sept 1865 by the English Crown and O'Donovan-Rossa was sent to jail in Australia. Rossa was released in 1871 along with John Devoy and some others known as the "Cuba Five" (Devoy was later on the president of the Clan Na Gael).
     Rossa published a newspaper in New York at the turn of the century called "The United Irishman" and while going through a microfilm of Rossa's papers, I ran across a ledger where he kept track of subscribed names.
Unfortunately it is nothing but a list with no addresses or anything except a date and town. My family having farmed in the 1860s in Allamakee Co., I jotted down the names from Iowa.
     John Devoy called Rossa's newspaper "the queerest ever written" giving Rossa's views on everything along with his Reminiscences and subscribed to by men who "liked Rossa personally and wanted to help him out." Rossa was outspoken in his support for the "Dynamite War" which targeted English landmarks for bombing. John Devoy, president of the secretive Clan Na Gael was not against dynamiting, but he was against making such a thing public and he took O'Donovan-Rossa to task over this.
     The list I have transcribed below is from an 1880-1886 ledger. Be aware that this is a handwritten notepad and I could easily have made a mistake in transcription as I just transcribed what it looked like to me. For some
who have ancestors from Iowa in this time frame it might help. Anyone who recognizes a place or county which entered in error let me know so we can get this as accurate as possible. The months are suspect in some instances but the years are clear. I assume the Month/year given was the date someone paid up a subscription ($5 a year) to the United Irishman.

Feb 85 Hugh Bransey, Boone Co. Iowa
Mar 84 John Kennedy, [Boone Co.?? nothing after the name -mr]
Jun 83 Dan Lorgan, Boone Co. Iowa
Dec 83 Thomas O'Neill, Boone Co. Iowa
Feb 84 James Phelan, Boone Co. Iowa
Jan 84 Patrick Sheedy, Burlington, Iowa
Aug 84 R M Washburn, Burlington, Iowa
Jan 86 P F Maher, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Sep 83 John P O'Hara, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Jun 84 John Heery Sr., Clarksville, Iowa
Dec 84 Patrick Clancy, Clinton, Iowa
May 85 John Collins, Clinton City, Iowa
May 85 Dominic Flannery, Clinton City, Iowa
Oct 84 John Murray, Clinton, Iowa
Aug 84 P H GLeeson, Clinton City, Iowa
May 85 Patrick Murphy Clinton, Iowa
Aug 83 R R McLaughlin, Clinton, Iowa
May 85 James O'Keefe, Clinton City, Iowa
Aug 83 Sister Mary Olympia, Holy Family Academy, Clinton, Iowa
May 85 Thomas Collins, Coleville, Webster Co., Iowa
MaY 85 Thomas Welch, Woodbury County, Iowa
Dec 85 Thomas McGovern Po General Hill, Clayton, Iowa
Jan 86 Daniel Ford, Carton, Lee County, Iowa
Aug 85 John McGrath, Dubuque, Iowa
Sep 83 Cornelius Ryan, Elkader, Iowa
Feb 86 Conn Sullivan, Excelsior, Makaska Co., Iowa
May 85 James Shannon, Fairbank, Buchanan Co. Iowa
Feb 86 John Martin, Fort Dodge, Iowa
Feb 86 Patrick Judge, Grand Mound, Clinton Co. Iowa
May 84 John Lacy, Grand Mound, Clinton Co. Iowa
Jan 85 John Lucy, Grand Mound, Iowa
Dec 85 Thomas Shannahan, Hancok, Iowa
Jan 85 Peter McFarland, Humbolt, Iowa
Jun 83 Andrew Black, Holbrook, Iowa
May 85 Thomas Boyle, Holbrook, Iowa
Jun 85 Edmund Butler, Holbrook, Iowa
Jan 85 Michael Fitzpatrick, Hobrook, Iowa
Jun 85 Augustine Kervin, Holbrook, Iowa
May 84 James Donovan, Neola, Iowa
May 84 John J McCarthy Neola, Pattawattamie Co, Iowa
May 84 Conn Fitzpatrick, Neola, Iowa
May 84 James O'Donovan, Neola, Iowa
Jul 83 James Carbeny, Guthrie, Iowa
Jul 83 W E Holliker, Red Oak, Iowa
Jul 84 W Austin, Sioux City, Iowa
Jul 84 ? Brennan, Sioux City, Iowa
Jul 86 Thomas Brennan Sioux City, Iowa
Jul 86 Charles Collins, Sioux City, Iowa
Jul 86 William S Hollis, Sioux City, Iowa
Jul 86 Charles P Kavaugh, Iowa
May 86 James S Hane,
May 86 John Driscoll, Sidney, Fremont Co. Iowa
May 86 John K Lanorgan, Waterville, Allamakee Co., Iowa
Jul 85 Stephen Tierney, Monroe Co. Iowa
Feb 85 Michael Tracy, Waterville, Iowa
Sep 84 Michael Murphy, Johnson Co. Iowa


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2001 Cathy Joynt Labath