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Showing posts from May, 2023

Remember these Boston Irish War Heroes on Memorial Day

Irish-born and Irish-American veterans have a distinguished tradition of military service in Massachusetts, from the 18th century to the present day. Here are four Boston Irish war heroes, from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I and World War II you'll want to learn about on your next visit. Commodore John Barry plaque on Boston Common American naval hero of the Revolutionary War, Commodore John Barry was born in Tacumshane, County Wexford. Barry's ship, the Lexington, was the first to capture a British vessel under the American flag. After the war, President George Washington assigned Barry to help create the United States Navy. Colonel Thomas Cass , 9th Irish Regiment in the Public Garden Irish-born war hero Thomas Cass led the Irish 9th Regiment of Massachusetts into battle, and was mortally wounded at the Battle of Malvern Hill in 1861.  He was brought back to Boston where he died of his injuries a few weeks later.  Cass is buried at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambr

On May 26, 1647, Massachusetts Bay Colony Banned Catholic Jesuits

  On May 26, 1647, the Massachusetts Bay General Court officially passed a law banning Jesuit Catholic priests from the Bay Colony. In part, the law was passed because Puritans insisted upon purifying themselves and protecting the Protestant faith from Catholicism. The Puritans has originally broken away from the Church of England because it hadn't fully extricated itself from Catholic practices such as holy water, crucifixes and stained glass windows.  "In the early days the New England colonists considered priests as 'unclean spirits' who should not be allowed within the limits of the colony," according to historian Arthur Reilly, in his scholarly book,  Catholicism in New England to 1788 .  The other part was political: the Puritans were worried about the incursion of the French from Canada, who were encroaching on Maine, which was then part of the Massachusetts Bay colony.  The French Jesuits were converting Indians to Catholicism, raising the scenario that th

Boston Forms a Thomas Moore Club in May 1852 to Celebrate Ireland's Bard

Thomas Moore by Martin Archer Shee ca. 1817, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin Leaders from Boston's Irish community formed a Thomas Moore Club in May 1852 to celebrate the life and musical genius of Ireland's most famous bard.    Upon learning of Moore's death in February, 1852, Boston Pilot Publisher Patrick Donahoe and other leaders formed the Club to perpetuate his music.   The first annual celebration of the Thomas Moore Club occurred at the Merchant's Exchange Hotel on May 27, 1852.  The original officers included Thomas Darcy McGee, President; P.H. Powers, Vice-President; John W. Atkinson, Secretary; and Henry Dooley, Treasurer, according to an account in  The Boston Pilot , an Irish-Catholic weekly newspaper.  "About 80 gentlemen sat down to a bounteous table, in a tastefully decorated hall, where mirth and music, peace and harmony, love and good fellowship, seemed to congregate as members or invited guests in paying homage to the departed spirit but eve