Saturday, June 16, 2018

An American War and Peace

Regarding favorite books,  you can only read War and Peace so many times ... so at the moment ... I am reading an Irishman's American  War and Peace,   Sherman's march through the South ... part Tolstoy and part Mark Twain... a lot of Twain.   It's a fascinating account ... the author swears up and down that the adopted Irishman Sherman did not really make Georgia howl.   It was South Carolina that Sherman let have it.   His men could hardly wait to burn and loot the state that spawned the rebellion.  By the time they reached the capital Columbia there was little Sherman and his officers could to stop them and the soldiers and angry blacks burned Columbia to the ground.

Shortly after Columbia burned:

An apparently wealthy planter, feeling that he was quite safe under the British lion's paw, pompously walks up to [the Irish]  General Logan, with his hands stuffed in his capacious pockets, and his hat independently on, saying,  "General, you see I want protection from these houtrages;"  and he points at two soldiers, one in pursuit of a young grunter [pig], which seemed as indignant as his master at the outrages inflicted on a Hinglish subject; another was carrying on an excited chase after a rooster, timing the amusement by an occasional fling at some members of the rooster's family that crossed his path.

"Why would I give you protection?"
"Sir, I claim protection.  I am a Hinglish subject!"  he exclaimed, with the air of Lord John Russell [who let Ireland starve]
"A what?"
"A Hinglish subject, sir;"  and he actually swelled out, like the frog in the fable, at his own importance.
"What the h--ll, then, are you doing here if you are?  The boys will take every hog and chicken that you have, though you are a British subject.  British subject be hanged!"

The last thing we heard from the old gentleman, as we rode away, was "I'll have redress,"  "Hingland shall hear of this," and the like, while the boys were making flank movements on all sides, well loaded with the rich spoils of the farm-yard.  I think the number of muskets we picked up, with the Tower stamp on them, did not dispose the general very favorably towards Hinglish subjects.

In another Logan cameo,  the Confederate cavalry are hectoring the Union troops like Tolstoy's Cossacks hectored the French.   The Confederate Cossacks engage Logan's foragers, kill most and then execute the rest after they surrender.   Logan immediately executes two Confederate prisoners and sends a third back to the Cossacks with the warning that if the Cossacks kill another Yankee who surrenders that he, Logan, will shot five Confederate prisoners for every Yankee executed.

The war between brothers?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Dinner Table Conversation

Mommy:  They're doing a big expansion at the fancy AJ's grocery store.
Daddy:  Oh.
Mommy:  They're still open while the construction's going on.
Dad: are they doing it.
Mommy:  They're expanding into the stores to the left of the store.
Daddy:  Did the restaurant close?
Mommy:  There's no restaurant on the left.
Daddy:  There's been one for years.
Mommy:  No! No! No!  On the left!  Not the right!
Daddy:   The restaurant's on the left side of the store.
Mommy:  No! No! No!
Daddy:   I identify as a grocery store.   The restaurant is on my left.
Daughter:    (Giggles ........ belly laughs........)
Mommy:  Wha.............!
Daddy:   (Laughter... tears)
Mommy:  Stop! You two!
Daddy:  I identify as a car.  I just parked in front of the grocery.   The empty stores are on my left.
Daughter:  What kind of car?
Daddy:  A Maserati.
Mommy:  Excuse me.
Daddy:  You're excused.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Corcoran's Legion

September 13, 1862 -- NY Times

The Corcoran Legion:

The Legion which is to be commanded by the gallant CORCORAN grows numerically every day. The weekly accessions to its force are much greater than the public generally understand, and it is gratifying to believe that the early completion and organization of the corps will be attained in a very short time.

Upon the personal ability of Gen. CORCORAN depends very much, and to the incipient details of the organization he gives his hourly and most careful attention.

We have at various times alluded to the composition of the Brigade, but at no time, we believe, has the entire force been given. There may be additional regiments joined to the corps, but at present there are six regiments from this State, two from Massachusetts, and one from Pennsylvania, making nine in all.

These regiments are not all full; but several of them, in fact the majority of them, will have a thousand men each, before they march to the seat of war.

The First Regiment is the old Sixty-ninth. There is now in the field the Sixty-ninth Volunteers, under charge of Col. NUGENT, formerly Lieutenant-Colonel of the Sixty-ninth New-York State Militia. The officers and men of the regular Sixty-ninth, with the exception of Col. BAGLEY, have volunteered to go again, with the organization of officers as heretofore given in this paper. The regiment has now enlisted 800 men.

The Second Regiment is the one known as the "Fourth Senatorial." Its officers are: Colonel, PETER MCDERMOTT; Lieutenant-Colonel, James P. McIver; Major, George W. Warner; Quartermaster, Walter T. Burke; Surgeon, Dr. Heath. Lieut.-Col. MCIVER was formerly Captain of Company I, Sixty-ninth Regiment, and was a prisoner at Richmond for thirteen months.  The men are of the very best class, and will do credit to the District in which they reside. There are now but 700 of them, though enlistments are being made daily.
The Third Regiment is yet at Buffalo, near which its rank and file mainly live. The men, like those of all the country regiments, are said to be of excellent physique, of intelligence and power. Col. JOHN E. MCMAHON and Lieut.-Col. MICHAEL BAILEY have seen service, and know the value of good officers and good men. There are now about 900 in the ranks, with a fair prospect for the full quota.

The Fourth Regiment is one which sprang from the old Twenty-fifth New-York State Militia, upon its return from service within a few weeks past. Col. M.K. BRYAN, of the Twenty-fifth, is at the head of the regiment, and the official personnel thereof will not vary materially from that of the old corps. Some 500 of the men have reenlisted, and there is every probability that Col. BRYAN will bring from Albany a regiment of which he may well be proud, and which will do the State good service.

The Fifth Regiment is one which is being raised in this City. To its organization Gen. CORCORAN has given much personal attention, and in its success feels a deep interest. Its Colonel is WM. MCEVILY, and the Lieutenant-Colonel is JAMES MOONEY, brother of the fighting Chaplain of the old Sixty-ninth. If the Lieutenant-Colonel is as true as the Father; if his patriotism is as sound, his bravery as unquestioned, and his influence as beneficial, then may the regiment congratulate itself upon the selection. There are already 500 men in this corps.

The Sixth Regiment is known as the Stanton Legion. It has been in camp some time, and has frequently been referred to in this paper. Col. ALLEN, formerly of the First New-York Volunteers, is a good man, a superior disciplinarian and brave as a lion. He is a decided favorite with his men, of whom he has now about 900, and will render a satisfactory account of himself without a doubt.

Is the One Hundred and Sixteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, under Col. HEENAN. This regiment, which is one of the finest bodies of men ever sent from the Keystone State, was tendered to the General when he was in Philadelphia, and has been, by consent of the Governor and of the Government, attached to the Legion. It numbers 1,040 men, all superbly equipped and efficiently appointed.

Last are two from Massachusetts, which Gov. ANDREW, through Mayor WIGHTMAN, of Boston, has made arrangements to give to Gen. CORCORAN. They are said to be like all the rest of the troops sent from the Old Bay State, and further recommendation need not be desired.

Thus we see that the Legion numbers at this time:

Men. Men.

First Regiment........800 Sixth Regiment...... 900

Second Regiment......700 Seventh Regiment...1,000

Third Regiment.......900 Eighth Regiment ..1,000

Fourth Regiment......500 Ninth Regiment......1,000

Fifth Regiment........500 -----


Which, if the others recruit up to the full standard, would give him 9,000 good and effective men.

We hear also of other regiments which will probably be attached to the Legion, sufficient to make the force under CORCORAN in the neighborhood of 15,000. Gen. CORCORAN has selected Camp Scott for his encampment, which will, for some time to come be, without doubt, the scene of many an entertainment, and the object of curiosity and interest to thousands of visitors.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Ethnic Cleansing of History: When Harlem was Irish

Michael Henry Adams (NYT 5/27/2016) while lamenting the gentrification of black Harlem forgets that before Harlem was black it was Irish and Catholic.  My Irish family is from Harlem.  My grandfather died on the Harlem bus on the way home from visiting his sister in 1938, the same year Brother Rice High School was established at 74 W. 124th Street.   My grandfather, like many of his family and friends, was a devout supporter of Senator Bob Wagner who helped give us Social Security and the National Labor Relations Act.   Little remembered today, Wagner also supported the Tuskegee airmen's right to fly.   Our good friend Joseph Gavagan represented Harlem for many years in Congress until 1944.  He was a longtime ally of the NCAAP's Walter White in the effort to pass anti-lynching legislation.   Our family attended St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church at 211 W 141st Street,  which is celebrating its 125th anniversary.   In 1897,  St. Charles Borromeo held the funeral mass for Captain Edward Patrick Doherty who enlisted in the Union army, fought at Bull Run and throughout the Civil War, and in 1865, led the New York cavalry who hunted down and killed John Wilkes Booth.   It a very odd ethnic cleansing of New York history that forgets Gavagan and Doherty.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Anglophilia: why Diane Roberts Hates Andrew Jackson

Is it really a surprise that Diane Roberts, an Oxford University grad, BBC contributor and enthusiastic Anglophile, would enter the debate over the $20 bill by denouncing Andrew Jackson, America's first Irish president, who gave the British a drubbing at the Battle of New Orleans.

South of the Mason-Dixon line they never really liked the Irish, especially the Catholic kind.  In some parts of the South they have never gotten over John Kennedy, who was assassinated in Dallas, forcing them to enroll James Meredith at the University of Mississippi.

The Brits and Ms. Roberts employer, the BBC, have never forgiven Jackson for drubbing them at the Battle of New Orleans.   Jackson for his part hated the Brits and with good reason.  Jackson's father had to flee Ireland because he'd belonged to the anti-British United Irishmen movement.  Jackson lost his mother and a brother during the Revolutionary War and for a time was himself held prisoner by the British.   Not without cause Jackson believed the British instigated much of the trouble between Native Americans and the infant United States.  

Most of America's founding fathers were slaveholders, including Washington, Jefferson and Madison.  It's hard to think of an 18th or 19th century American who wasn't involved in Indian removals and Indian wars.   George Washington fought the French and Indians on behalf of the British.  During the Revolutionary War, Washington ordered scores of Iroquois villages burned to the ground because the Iroquois sided with the British.   It's no secret that Lincoln fought the Indians while fighting the Confederates.  The same U.S. militia that battled the Confederates in New Mexico was responsible for the Sand River Massacre in Colorado in 1864.  Lincoln also fought the Sioux  in Minnesota and had scores of the Indian rebels hung.  Grant was George Armstrong Custer's boss and, under Grant, Sheridan waged a brilliant, but ruthless, winter war to bring the Southern Plains Indians to bay.  Yet, Roberts singles out Jackson for opprobrium, clearly Anglophilia run amok. 

While condemning Jackson in this politically charged debate over pictures on currency, Jackson's Anglophile enemies won't acknowledge that Jackson saved America during its first secession crisis, when South Carolina tried to nullify U.S. law, threatening to leave the Union if it didn't get its way.  Jackson's response was:  try that and I'll personally lead an army down there and hang you all for treason. 

Nor will Jackson's Anglophile detractors admit that Jackson pushed American away from political and economic oligarchy toward real democracy.  Jackson gave the boot to Northeastern and British elites who wanted to control America's government and its banks.

Finally, Jackson's Anglophile detractors won't admit that Jackson inherited a mess from his predecessors.   Jefferson, for example, said: don't force the Indians to give up their land; just sell them goods on credit and the Indians will have to pay off their debts by selling their land to you.   By the time Jackson took office, Indians in the South still held onto a patchwork of lands and there was widespread and bloody skirmishing with white settlers over what remained.  When Jackson negotiated treaties for Indians to exchange their lands for lands west of the Mississippi, the Indians weren't happy, but they left peacefully of their own volition, concluding they'd be safer with a big river between them and the white land schemers.   It wasn't until the Van Buren administration that force was used to remove the remaining Native Americans their Southern lands.  The Anglophiles would rather blame Jackson, who had two adoped Native American sons, for genocide than stick to the facts.

NY Times: a Long History of anti-Catholicism

The Times refuses to acknowledge and apologize for it's long history of anti-Catholic Nativism, starting with its role in founding a Republican party which incorporated Know Nothing Nativism.  Here's a sampling from the early days until now.

Times published "No Catholic Need Apply"  job ads

Times egregiously stalks General Sherman's deathbed hoping to shock New York by discovering a Catholic priest.

Times says New York not an American city:  too many Irish.

Times Book Review covers up Nativism of prominent historian who claimed, even though the Union army never recorded the religion of its soldiers, that Catholics refused to fight to free slaves.

The Times ongoing role in covering up deaths of civilians killed by army and police during the 1863 draft riots.

Times shamelessly debating the Irish character while covering up deaths of civilians killed by militia during the "Orange and Green" riots.

Times celebrates the King James Bible, failing to note its controversial role in the city's history

Times features Anglo-German exceptionalism

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Emancipation 1829

Daniel O'Connell.png
Daneil O'Connell
The Liberator

"Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the late 18th century and early 19th century that involved reducing and removing many of the restrictions on Roman Catholics introduced by the Act of Uniformity, the Test Acts and the penal laws."

Relief from the proto-Apartheid penal laws that oppressed the Irish.

Frederick Douglass Family and Douglass Ireland Project Board to Join Dedication of Frederick Douglass Square at University of Maryland

The Frederick Douglass Ireland Project Founded in 2011 as the Frederick Douglass/Daniel O'Connell Project, the Frederick Douglass Ireland Project highlights the inspirational role that Ireland and the Irish people played in Frederick Douglass’s life. In 1845, as Ireland was descending into the despair of the great famine, Douglass arrived for a four-month lecture tour of the island. Douglass had escaped slavery in Maryland seven years earlier and had recently published his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself. He was shocked and appalled by the living conditions of the Irish peasantry and likened them to conditions endured by slaves on American plantations. Douglass was greeted in cities and towns including Dublin, Belfast, and Cork by swells of enthusiastic crowds. Although Douglass continued his speaking tour in Scotland and England, it was his experience in Ireland that he described as “transformative. " Douglass often recalled that his time in “Dear Old Ireland” - the first country outside of the U.S. to publish his autobiography- had given him “a new life.”