BY MICHAEL J. O'BRIEN, Historiographer, American Irish Historical Society.
STUDENTS of early American history will find in the Colonial records abundant evidence to justify the statement of Ramsay, the historian of South Carolina, when he wrote in 1789, that:
"The Colonies which now form the United States may be considered as Europe transplanted. Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland, and Italy furnished the original stock of the present population, and are generally supposed to have contributed to it in the order named. For the last seventy or eighty years, no nation has contributed so much to the population of America as Ireland."
It will be astonishing to one who looks into the question to find that, in face of all the evidence that abounds in American annals, showing that our people were here on this soil fighting the battles of the colonists, and in a later day of the infant Republic, thus proving our claim to the gratitude of this nation, America has produced men so ignoble and disingenuous as to say that the Irish who were here in Revolutionary days "were for the most part heartily loyal," that "the combatants were of the same race and blood", and that the great uprising became, in fact, "a contest between brothers"!
Although many writers have made inquiries into this subject, nearly all have confined themselves to the period of the Revolution. We are of "the fighting race", and in our enthusiasm for the fighting man the fact seems to have been overlooked that in other noble fields of endeavor, and in some respects infinitely more important, men of Irish blood have occupied prominent places in American history, for which they have received but scant recognition. The pioneers before whose hands the primeval forests fell prostrate; the builders, by whose magic touch have sprung into existence flourishing towns and cities, where once no sounds were heard save those of nature and her wildest offspring; the orators who roused
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Publication information: Book title: The Glories of Ireland. Contributors: Joseph Dunn - Editor, P. J. Lennox - Editor. Publisher: Phoenix Limited. Place of publication: Washington, DC. Publication year: 1914. Page number: 184.
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