1692 The Treaty of Limerick was repudiated by the English. Jacobite lands were confiscated and granted to Williamites.
Andrew Meade of Kerry was a Burgess of Virginia, later a Judge, and a Colonel in the militia. He was the antecedent of General George Meade.
Massacre at Glencoe, Scotland of more than 30 MacDonalds for being slow in taking the oath of allegiance to William and Mary who ruled England and Scotland jointly.
Daniel Sullivan of Cork was also a member of the House of Burgess in Virginia. His descendants spelled the name Sullivant and settled in Ohio.
Daniel McCarthy was another Burgess (in 1705). He was Speaker of the House in Virginia from 1715 until 1720. His son, Dennis, married Sarah Ball, a first cousin of George Washington's mother. Washington was close to his McCarthy cousins, who were also neighbors.
William O'Brien of County Clare arrived in North Carolina, he was the ancestor of William Jennings Bryan that brought the family to America.
Meanwhile in Ireland penal legislation goes unabated and the rights of the Irish become minimal. The Penal Laws are passed.
The Treaty of limerick is "ratified"? by the Irish Parliament.
South Carolina passes legislation discouraging Catholic immigration.
1694 Joseph Murray of County Laois founded Kings College, later known as Columbia University.
1695 The law denying educational facilities to the Irish was strongly enforced, resulting in a large emigration of Irish school teachers and School Masters to the United States, and is the reason so many of the teachers in early America were Irish.
These Irish went on to found an acadamia that resulted in the following schools being established: Notre Dame, Holy Cross,
Columbia, Princeton, Fordham, Brown University, Pennsylvania College, M.I.T., Georgetown University and many of the public school systems of the states; examples are in Texas, Maryland, and New York.
1698 The first Darien expedition of Scots to Panama.
1699 Restrictions are imposed on the export of Irish woolens, and Irish industry in general, except to certain Protestant merchants.
James Logan of Armagh, Secretary to William Penn arrives in Pennsylvania. He later becomes a member of the provincial council, Mayor of Philadelphia, Acting Governor, and Chief Justice of Pennsylvania.
1700 James Moore was Governor of South Carolina through 1703. His son, James Moore, II, was Governor in 1719, and served until 1721.
Calvin Baptosts emigrate to Delaware from Wales.
Orkney Islanders, Orcadians, emigrate in large numbers to Canada.
1703 Daniel Dulany, born in Ireland, arrived in Maryland as an indentured servant. After he gains his freedom he won admission to the Maryland Bar (1710). He became a judge and then Attorney General of Maryland, a member of the legislature, and was on the Governor's Council (1742-1753).
1704 The Test act imposed restrictions on Protestant dissenters mostly Presbyterians in Ireland.
The Gavelkind Act, laws discouraging Catholics immigrating to Maryland were passed by the legislature.
1706 Francis Mackemie founded the first Presbytery in the United States, in Philadelphia. He is regarded as the founder of Presbyterianism in America.
1707 The union of the English and Scottish parliaments.
1708 An attempted French invasion of Scotland.
1709 Palatine immigrants from the Palatine in Germany ( a territory on the left and right banks of the middle Rhine area) begin to settle in Ireland.
1710 Breckenridges, McDowells, McDuffies, and McGruder families settle in the Blue Ridge area of Virginia.They found and settle the towns of McGaheyville, Healys, Kennedys, McFarlands, Lynchburg and Kinsale.
The Irish begin to leave Ulster in large numbers for America as rents and abuse increase.
1711 Breton Rene Duguay-Trouin with a fleet of privateers from Saint Maol, Brittany, held the port city of Rio de Janeiro in Spanish South America for ransom during the War of Spanish Succession.
1715 Daniel McCarty was Speaker of the House of Burgess in Virginia.
A Jacobite uprising in Scotland.
Battle of Sheriffmuir in Scotland.
1716 James Francis Stuart led an English invasion of Scotland.
1718 About 100 families, the earliest known organized band of emigrants to leave Ireland together, sailed from Donegal and settled in New Hampshire to found the town of Londonderry. They later founded or helped found the towns of: Antrim, Windham, Chester, Litchfield, Manchester, Bedford, Goffstown, New Boston, and Peterborough in New Hampshire, and Barnet, Vermont.
1719 James MooreII, son of James Moore mentioned in 1685, became Governor of South Carolina, and served until 1721.
Declatory Act in Ireland reasserting British Parliament authority to legislate law in Ireland.
Another act allowed limited access to Presbyterians to certain clergy positions, this was later expanded to include low level positions in the military and government.
A west Highlands uprising in Scotland with Spanish help went nowhere.
1720 The General Court of Massachusetts, noting some 2,600 Irishmen had arrived in Boston in the past three years, warned immigrants to leave the English colony within seven months.
Timothy O'Sullivan a Colonel of the French Irish Brigade and his unit were in Canada.
1722 James Logan was Mayor of Philadelphia. When he died his private book collection served as the basis for the Philadelphia Public Library.
1723 Belfast, Maine settled by Irish from Belfast area of Ireland.
On the voyage over a man named Sullivan fell in love with an Irish girl on board and they were married when they got to America. From that union came two governors of different states, and an important general in the American Revolution.
1724 Jonathan Swift in his Drapier's Letters attacked English policy in Ireland.
1725 A group of Irishmen build Fort Penacook on the Merrimack River in New Hampshire. The town of Concord emerged on the opposite bank.
1727 The Penal Code was completed when Irishmen were disfranchised the right to vote. The Test Act covered any loopholes in any rights that might possibly be left.
1729 Charles Clinton, of County Longford, landed at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He and his Irish wife had a family that produced a general, two governors, and a vice president for America.
The Carroll family of Ireland donate the site of Baltimore to the Maryland Colony.
George Berkeley of Kilkenny, Ireland was an early benefactor to Yale, Harvard, and Columbia universities. His library which he bequeathed to Yale was the nucleus of that university's great library.
Thomas Griffiths of Cork was Mayor of Philadelphia.
A listing of arrivals at the port of Philadelphia shows the following arrivals by country of origin; England and Wales-267, Scotland-43, German Palatinates-343, Irish-5,655.
1730 John Young of Derry died in Worcester, Massachusetts at the age of 107.
Abraham Emmett founded Emmettsburg, Maryland; James McSherry founded McSherrytown, and Gettysburg was founded by a Major Getty. All these men were Irish.
Townships in New York were organized with Irish names: Derry, Donegal, Tyrone and Coleraine.
1733 Two Irishmen are prominent in New York, William Cosby is Governor, and Peter Warren, of County Meath, owned most of Manhattan.
1735 Scotch settlers arrive in Inverness, Georgia.
Methodism finds converts in Wales.
1736 James Patton of Londonderry received a grant to settle Irish families west of the blue ridge mountains in Virginia. That area is now Augusta County.
Charles Edward Stuart better known as the "Bonnie Prince Charlie" married a Polish princess.
The Porteous Mob in Scotland.
1737 The Charitable Irish Society was founded on Saint Patrick's Day in Boston by 26 former Irish immigrants to help
Irish immigrants adjust and advance in the United States.
Irish born Jeremiah Smith opened the first paper factory in North America in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
There is an Irish settlement in the Waxhaw District of South Carolina. The families there are the Rutledges, Calhouns, and Jacksons.
Samuel Gelson was sent to Virginia as a missionary from the Presbytery of Donegal.
1738 William Johnson (the family name was originally MacShane) from County Meath, settled in the Mohawk Valley in New York. He became an Indian trader, a Mohawk Chief, a diplomat to the Iroquois Confederacy, and he was a militia Commander in the French and Indian War. He helped crush the insurrection led by Chief Pontiac. He was later made Superintendent of Indian Affairs (1755). He was succeeded in this position by his son, Guy Johnson, who held it until 1788.
1788 Another son, Sir John Johnson formed a Loyalist regiment during the American Revolution known as the "Johnson Greens."
William Cosby, the Irishman, was still Governor of New York.
1739c Edward and William Patterson set up the first tinware manufacturing operation in the United States at Berlin and New Britain, Connecticut. The brothers were originally from Dungannon in County Tyrone.
1740 A potato blight brings famine to Ireland. The continued plotting of the one crop in the small tenant plots of the farmers depleted the soil. As many as 200,000 Irish died. George Bernard Shaw wrote;
the famine? No!, the starvation. When a country is full of food and exporting it, there can be no famine.
Shaw's point being the Irish were being starved off their own island unable to feed themselves from the little plot they kept by their thatched home, while the English land lords continued to ship food from their large Irish farms to market for profit.
The Great Hunger, as it is sometimes called, claimed more than a million Irish lives.
The absentee land lords were not immediately aware of the problem, when they did become aware, because their Irish tenants were stealing part of the crop to feed their families, they evicted the tenants.
One of the worst practitioners of eviction was George Charles Bingham, Lord Lucan. The Irish gave him the name of "The Exterminator." It was because of his ruthlessness, and disregard for sentiment, Lord Lucan was selected for a Command in the Crimean War where he subsequently ordered the charge of the Light Brigade.
These Irish at first without food were now without a home as well, and those who had not yet left Ireland search of food, left in search of a home.
1743 A district of the lower Shenandoah Valley is settled by Irish families and is called "the Irish tract."
1745 Lord Chesterfield the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in an attempt to dissuade a possible Irish uprising in favor of support for Bonnie Prince Charlie, suspended the Penal Laws. He also, in 1747, established Phoenix Park in Dublin.
The Jacobite Rising in favor of Bonnie prince Charlie.
1746 Princeton University is founded by Irish Presbyterians
Louisburg, the largest fortified settlement of French Canada was successfully attacked under a plan of Irishman William Vaughn.
Robert Strettal, a native of Dublin, was the Mayor of Philadelphia.
Oliver Pollock, of Colleraine, Ireland, cornered the trade of Spain in New Orleans.
The Battle of Culloden, Scotland in which the Scottish Highlanders lost. They emigrate to Cape Fear, North Carolina and found the town of Campbelltown which later becomes Fayetteville, North Carolina.
1749 Richard McAllister, of Ireland, founded McAllister's Town, it later became known as Hanover, Pennsylvania.
1752 Hugh Gaine founded the Mercury, a newspaper in New York. It was one of the leading colonial newspapers. Gaine was from Belfast.
1754 Arthur Dobbs, born in Antrim, was Governor of North Carolina.
James McBride navigates the Ohio River to settle Kentucky.
Henry Stevenson started a trading business with Ireland from Baltimore that inaugurated Baltimore's commercial consequence. Other Irish merchants quickly added to the volume including: Alexander Brown, Robert Oliver, and William Patterson.
Alexander Brown, who was born in Ulster, was soon the largest importer of Irish lenins. Alexander & Sons Private Mercantile and Banking House which he founded is America's oldest investment banking firm. Brown later helped to found the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1827.
1755 A Captain McGinnis of New Hampshire led a successful attack on Crown Point on Lake George. He was killed in the battle.
The Reverend Francis Allison, whose teachings had a great influence over many of the American Revolution's leaders, founded the College of Pennsylvania.
1756 The Irish Brigade of France is at Oswego, New York under General Montcalm. They came from their former station in the West Indies. There is evidence they participated in the capture of Fort George and of Fort William Henry in the French and Indian War. Irishman General Edward Hand was among their number.
1758 Irishman Robert Rogers' Ranger unit is well known and respected by friend and foe in the border area between the French and English of North America.
1759 Henry Flood enters the Irish Parliament. He assumes leadership of the "patriot party" a movement that has grown among Irish Protestants in opposition to English control of Ireland's political and economic function.
The fall of Quebec, where Wolfe captured the city after a siege of Montcalm's forces. Key to the success was knowledge of an approach to the French citadel on Abraham's Plain owned by Irishman Abraham Martin, given to Wolfe's men by Scotsman Robert Strabo who was previously a hostage in Quebec. With General Wolfe were Irishmen: Richard Montgomery, John Stark, and John Sullivan.
1760 John Lynch from Galway settled in Virginia. His son John founded the town of Lynchburg, Virginia. His son, Charles was a commander of irregular forces during the American Revolution, his drastic treatment of Loyalists gave rise to the term "Lynch Law." His son Charles, later became a governor of Louisiana.
An estimated 40,000 Ulster Irish were settled in the area of Cape Fear, North Carolina. The Presbyterian Chruch reported that a large number of them became Baptists and Methodists due to missionary work being done among them by those churches.
1761 Irish settled the County of Dublin, and town of Londonderry, Nova Scotia.
1762 The "Whiteboys", a secret society, emerged from Ireland's poor people in Munster. The organization carried on guerrilla warfare against oppressive landlords, tax collectors, tithe gathers, and such. Similar organizations began to appear elsewhere in Ireland.
1763 McKee's Place and Mahoney's were two Indian Trading Posts operated by Irishmen in western Pennsylvania.
Scotsman James Small invented the swing plow.
1764 The "Oakboys", a secret society among the Ulster Presbyterians, rose to fight tithe gathering, for they too were being forced to tithe to the only official church, the Anglican church; the organization also protested rent-raising, forced work on roads and clearing of areas, and other unfair actions.
1764 The Burke brothers, Thomas and Adamus arrived in America. Thomas later represented North Carolina in the Continental Congress, and was Governor of North Carolina. Adamus became Chief Justice of North Carolina in 1778, and represented South Carolina in the First Congress (1789-91).
The Sugar Act was levied by Parliament on the colonies to pay high import duties on refined sugar, and called for enforcement of an earlier Molasses Act in 1733, that was not enforced driving up the cost of all related products. Also taxes were raised on rum and other spirits.
The Currency Act, another act of Parliament for the colonies, forbid the colonies to use any money other than English currency.
1765 Mathew Lyon of Wicklow settled in Vermont, he later assisted Ethan Allen at Fort Ticonderoga and represented Vermont in the Congress of 1797-1801. Mathew Lyon cast the vote that chose Thomas Jefferson as President over Aaron Burr when the election was thrown into the House of Representatives in 1800. His vote was against the wishes of his constituents. He moved to Kentucky where he was elected to Congress in 1803. He later moved to Arkansas where he was elected to Congress in 1820.
Mathew Lyon served his country as a United States Congressman from three different states.
The English Parliament passes the Stamp Act, an attempt to finance the colonial administration and defense costs by taxing every official transaction. All documents had to have a stamp affixed to show the tax was paid.
The port of Waterford, Ireland built up a sizeable trade with Newfoundland that opened a route for emigrants and goods to and from America that lasted until the 1840's.
The Quartering Act called for the colonists to house, and board English troops where barracks were not available.
William Tryon was Governor of New York, he was Irish.
Patrick Henry, of Scottish ancestry, when he made a complaint against King George to the Virginia Assembly he heard shouts of "treason", to which he replied, "If that be treason make the most of it."
1767 George, Viscount Townsend, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in attempting to assert the authority of the English Crown more stringently, stimulates a growth in the "Patriot's Party" throughout his term (1767-1772) as well as political activity among Irish Catholics. He imposes on the colonies new taxes on glass, lead, tea, paper, and painter's colors.
Sir Henry Moore was Governor of New York.
Doctor Andrew Turnbull, from Scotland, established a colony in Florida below San Augustine called New Smyrna.
1768 The first Methodist church in the United States is founded in New York city by Philip Emery of Ballingane, Ireland.
Emery was the leader of a group of Methodists who founded the Wesley Chapel.
The Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick, a fraternal organization of Irish born officers in the British Army in America was organized in New York.
There were 35 Ulster Irish settlements in South Carolina and five in georgia as reported by the Prebyterian Church. All were missions of the Presbyterys of New York and Philadelphia.
Cooper and lead discovered in Wales.
1769 Scotsman James Watt invented the steam engine.
1770 The Boston Massacre occurred on March 5, one of those killed was Irishman Patrick Carr. The incident escalated to violence when two regiments of British troops stationed at Boston were called out to help control the crowd. They fired into a street crowd that was shouting insults and developing into a mob.
In Scotland, Andrew Meikle invented the threashing machine.
1771 The Bogland Act provides relief to Catholics.
The Marquis of Donegal, an absentee landlord, raised the rent of his Presbyterian farmers. When they would not pay, he put the farms up for bidding. When Catholic families won such bids and took over the farms that were previously held by Presbyterians, problems arose. Organizations representing one side or the other molded after the Whiteboys or Oakboys began to appear. There was the Protestant Steel Boys who focused their wrath on the absentee landlords that allowed such bidding wars to be held. The Peep O'Day Boys was an organization of Protestant groups. This group pooled resources to insure the bidding on a Protestant farm was not won by a Catholic. They also terrorized Catholics who would bid on Protestant farms.
This organization led to what is called today the Orangemen. The Catholics countered with their own organizations such as the Catholic Defenders.
About 4,000 of the Marquis of Donegal's tenants left for America. Many of these Irish left Ireland as indentured servants to an American merchant or craftsman needing labor who would pay their passage. Thomas Jefferson explained the system:
So desirous are the poor people of Europe to get to America, where they may better their conditions that, being unable to pay their passage, they will agree to serve two or three years on their arrival there, rather than not go. During the time of service they are better fed, better clothed, and have lighter labour thanwhile in Europe. Continuing to work for hire for a few years longer, they buy a farm, marry, and enjoythe sweets of a domestic society of their own.
What was to become the first daily newspaper in the United States began publication as a weekly paper, it was the Pennsylvania Packet owned by John Dunlap from County Tyrone. The paper went daily in 1784.
Dunlap's presses printed the first copies of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
The Society of Gwyneddigion is founded in Wales to preserve things Welsh.
1773 The Tea Act called for the colonists to use only tea from the British East India Company and to pay a tax on it.
The Boston "Tea Party", at Griffin's wharf, where many who participated were Irish "Indians" who dumped the British East India Tea into the harbor. In the other colonies they simply refused to let the ships unload the tea to the point the tea spoiled on the ships.
The British response were the "Intolerable Acts", a series of punitive acts that precipitated the American Revolution.
1774 Colonel Andrew Lewis, an Irishman, defeated the Shawnee Indians at Point Pleasant on the Ohio River opening the way to the Northwest Territory.
A dispute arose between the colonies of Connecticut and Pennsylvania over Delaware. The two sides were called the "Yankees" and the "Pennyites". Irish leaders were on both sides. Colonel Zebulon Butler led the "Yankees" of Connecticut, and a Colonel Plunkett led the Pennsylvania "Pennyites."
Meeting of the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Many of the delegates were Irish or Scottish born. John Hancock of Irish heritage was elected President of the Congress. Charles Thomson,who was born in Maghera, County Derry was elected Secretary of the Congress. Thomson would later design the Great Seal of the United States.
John Sullivan, whose people were from Limerick, led a band of militia to take Fort William and Mary at Newcastle, New Hampshire. One hundred barrels of gunpowder, 15 light cannon, and many small arms were taken. The gunpowder captured was later used by the Americans at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
1775 Daniel Boone and other Irish including McGradys, Harlands, and McBrides settle Kentucky.
James Sullivan founds Limerick, Maine
The records of the Presbyterian Church in America show there were 100 Ulster Irish communities to which they had sent missionaries located in Virginia and Maryland. There were another 75 in South Carolina and Georgia and 50 more in North Carolina for a total of 225.
In efforts to politically work out a settlement before the American Revolution both John Adams and Benjamin Franklin offered plans for a representative Parliament that included both the Colonies and Ireland. John Adams wrote, "Ireland too must be incorporated...."
Franklin wrote describing such a Parliament as a, " firm league of friendship with other colonies of Britain's Empire, notably Ireland."
Lexington and Concord were two conflicts in the Massachusetts's towns named, between Massachusetts's militia and British soldiers sent to destroy militia military stores, and to arrest some American leaders, among them John Hancock.
Many Irish were among the Minutemen including General John Greaton with 150 men most of whom were Irish.
John Bacon, a man whose family came from Dublin, was among the Minutemen killed. Another Irishman there was Hugh Cargill. He had come from Ballyshannon, Ireland destitute, he built a business and died, at age 60 in Concord, having led a good life in America. But from his gravestone he tells us of his loneliness for Ireland:
How strange, O God that reigns on high.
That I should come so far to die!
And leave my friends where I was bred,
To lay my bones with strangers dead!
The British troops withdrew to Boston after the events at Lexington and Concord.
William Pitt, Edmund Burke, Colonel Barre, Richard Brisley Sheridan, all spoke against using military force against the colonies in the British Parliament, Henry Grattan did the same in the Irish Parliament.
Colonel Barre was one of the founders of The Sons of Liberty. Another founder was the Reverend Francis Allison.
The Siege of Boston, among the American leaders there were Richard Montgomery and John Sullivan.
The Battle of Bunker Hill, present were 800 New Hampshire militia most of whom were Irish serving under Irishman John Stark. Others present were General John Sullivan, Major Andrew McClary, and Henry Knox.
Meeting of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. John Hancock was again elected President and Charles Thomson was again elected Secretary.
In June, a special committee of the Congress composed an address to the people of Ireland:
Your nation has produced patriots, who have nobly distinguished themselves in the Cause of humanity and America.
Henry Gratton assumes the role of leader of the "Patriots" from Henry Flood in the Irish Parliament.
Data available for this year show that Anglicans controlled over 90% of the land in Ireland. The Anglican establishment controlled the military, government, and educational institutions, as well as the courts.
Jeremiah O'Brien, whose father came from Cork, captures the British schooner, Margretta in Machias Bay, Maine. He and his five sons captured the two British ships sent to rescue the Magretta.
Patrick Henry in a speech to get Virginia to join the revolution told the gathered members of a Virginia convention to discuss
I know not what course others may take,
but as for me,
give me liberty or give me death.
General Richard Montgomery a native of Dublin led an American invasion of Canada. He captured Montreal, but was killed leading an assault on Quebec. He was with Wolfe during the earlier Quebec campaign.
John McCluskey was appointed the first American Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He completed Saint Patrick's Cathedral begun by the irrepressible Bishop of New York, John Joseph Hughes. In 1841, Cardinal McCluskey was appointed the first President of Fordham University.
The spell cast on us by a small island 3,000 miles away, began more than a century ago when Irish immigrants first came to this land - immigrants whose sweat and labor built our economy, whose hearts and minds shapedliterary and intellectual history, whose smiles and mirth gave us the gift oflaughter, whose conscience and spirituality reminded us of the importanceof religious faith in our lives.
Irishmen and their descendants have always played a significant role in America's history. Some of our most fiery patriots -- the ones who inspired the colonies on to independence were of Irish blood.
... the truth is there are few people on this planet whose hearts burn more with a flame for freedom than do the Irish. And maybe that's why so many were moved to come here and be apart of our noble experiment. In a world awash with dictatorships and despotism, we can be proud that Ireland and the United States remain dedicated to the principles of liberty.
Ronald Reagan, American President
1776 British troops evacuate Boston on Saint Patrick's Day. General Washington issues "Saint" and "Patrick" as the password and countersign for the day. General James Sullivan was placed in charge. His father's family was one of those who left Ireland with Patrick Sarsfield.
While the Continental Congress was meeting in Philadelphia and debating the issue to declare itself independent or not, Thomas McKean in an effort to spur action by the national group, influences a committee of the Pennsylvania Congress also in Philadelphia to write a Declaration of Independence.
The committee did produce such a document. Not long after the Declaration of Independence was written by Welshman Thomas Jefferson.
Charles Thomson writes out the first copy from Jefferson's draft.
Irishman John Dunlap of Strabane prints the Declaration of Independence.
Irishman and Colonel John Nixon makes the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence from the center window of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
The Declaration of Independence is signed in Philadelphia by Irish born: Mathew Thornton for New Hampshire; George Taylor and James Smith for Pennsylvania; and by men of Irish ancestry including: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Lynch,
Thomas McKean, George Read, and Charles Carroll.
Also signing was the Secretary of the Continental Congress, Charles Thomson, who had come to America as an indentured servant at the age of ten. Andrew McNair, Doorkeeper of the Pennsylvania Assembly, rang the Liberty Bell when the Declaration of Independence was being signed.
The first to sign was John Hancock who signed with a bold and large flourish "so King George can see it without his glasses." His bold act led to an American expression, to put your John Hancock on something, is to proudly sign your name to it.
An Irish Regiment, the Ninth Regiment of Foot, in British service is at Fort Ticonderoga under General "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne.
The Royal Welch Fusiliers, another British unit with heavy Irish membership is stationed on Long Island. Among its officers is Captain Frederick Mackenzie of Dublin.
Many Irish desert British units to join the American cause.
Commodore John Barry puts to sea in the United States Navy's first official ship, the Lexington.
1777 Militia General John Stark of Londonderry led the New Hampshire militia to victory at Bennington, Vermont.
At the Battle of Saratoga which was won by the Americans, Timothy Murphy of General Morgan's Rifles, a sharp shooter, killed two of the British commanders. Murphy's marksmanship came at a point when the British were winning the battle. Analysts say his actions were critical to the American victory.
James Clinton and his brother in law James McCleary, and James' brother, George Clinton prevented other English forces from joining British General Burgoyne at Saratoga.
Saratoga was a stunning success for the colonials and led directly to French confidence to enter an alliance with the United States. After the battle an Irishman named Maguire found his brother among the English prisoners. Years earlier they both emigrated from Ireland; one to America the other to England.
George Washington, the American commander, had many Irish on his staff. Among them were: Colonel Stephen Moylan from Cork, Colonel John Fitzgerald of Wicklow, and Colonel Francis Barber, whose father was from Longford. Hercules Mulligan was Irish born and Washington's spy in British occupied New York. Twenty six of Washington's Generals were Irish, fifteen of them were Irish born.
Some of the Irish generals who went up the ranks from Brigadier to full general were: William Irvine, William Thomson, Richard Montgomery, and Richard Butler.
They in turn were served by Irish generals: John Shee, Edward Hand, Anthony Wayne, Thomas Fitzsimons, Stephen Moylan, James Mease, and George Mead.
Key officers in the southern campaign with an Irish connection included: Francis Marion; Andrew Pickens; and Daniel Morgan, victor of the Battle of Cowpens.
The Commander of the Continental Artillery was Irishman, John Lamb.
Irish militia generals included: John Armstrong, James Ewing, James Potter, John Greaton, Joseph Reed, John Sullivan, William Thomson, William Maxwell, Andrew Potter, and Roche Fermoy from the French Irish Brigade, all Irish born. In addition one of Washington's favorite generals was Andrew Lewis who was of Irish parents. Brigadier General Moore of North Carolina militia was the grandson of the former governor of North Carolina, another general of the North Carolina Militia was Brigadier General James Hogan.
Washington's Aide de Camps were almost all Irish, those not already mentioned above are; Joseph Casey, and Colonel John Fitzgerald.
The Continental Army was said to be one third to one half Irish, a review of the rosters shows there were:
695 Kellys 266 Sullivans 183 Carrolls
484 Murphys 248 Doughertys 178 O'Neills
331 McCarthys 243 Connollys 168 Maguires
327 O'Connors 231 O'Briens 165 MaGees
322 Ryans 231 Mullens 142 Farrells
285 Reillys 210 Walshes 138 Flynns
184 Fitzgeralds 128 Lynchs 115 Hogans
In Ireland, the Irish supported the American Revolution indirectly. They discouraged Irish from joining the British Army, and they destroyed Irish factories in Cork, Dublin, and Belfast that manufactured supplies for the British Army.
Dillon's Regiment of the Irish Brigade in the service of France served with distinction in the siege of Savannah.
George Rogers Clark led American forces to take Forts Kaskaskia and in 1799, Vincennes. His father was born in County Offaly, Ireland. Clark is credited with opening the "Northwest Territory."
General "Mad Anthony" Wayne turned the tide at the Battle of Monmouth. He was formally thanked by General Washington and a grateful Congress. Wayne was also a key participant in the battles of: Brandywine, Germantown, and Schuykill, as well as at Valley Forge, Stony Point and Bergan Neck.
John Rutledge was Governor of South Carolina until 1778.
Betsy Flanagan invented the cocktail.
Irish born Gustavus Conyngham was an American privateer for the U. S. Navy. He purchased munitions for the U.S.
Navy in Europe. While there, he took so many English ships as prizes he was called by the French, "The Terror of the English."
1778 The Irish Volunteer Army is raised in Ireland of Protestants for the defense of the island against traditional enemies in Europe, when the British have to reduce garrisons there to send troops to the American colonies.
Gardiner's Act is passed providing some Catholics property rights in Ireland.
British General Sir Henry Clinton wrote to the Colonial Secretary in London that the Continental Army was between one third and one half Irish, and "...our most serious antagonists."
John Paul Jones engages the English sloop-of-war the Drake just off from Carrickfergus Castle near Belfast. The Drake had superior armament to Jones' Ranger, but after an hour's battle the Drake struck its colors and docilely went as a prize, with seven other ships, to France. John Paul Jones was a Scot.
George Bryan was President of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, he later served as a justice on its Supreme Court 1780-1791.
James McHenry was George Washington's Secretary until 1780. Fort McHenry, where events of the War of 1812 inspired Irishman Francis Scott Key to write the "Star Spangled Banner", was named for him.
John Barry of Tacumshane, County Wexford was made the United States Navy's first Commodore. He was later called the Father of the American Navy.
The "Conway Cabal", General Thomas Conway was on loan from the French Irish Brigade, many believe his name was used only for its alliterative value and little else in a plot to replace George Washington with General Gates as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army.
1779 The first Saint Patrick's Day parade in New York city was held by a Loyalists Irish Regiment known as the Volunteers of Ireland.
The "patriots" political pressure and the Irish Volunteer military pressure result in English concessions on Irish trade. The Volunteers were 40,000 men. Grattan asked for legislative autonomy, and that the Irish Parliament make the laws for Ireland.
Major General James Robertson testified before a committee of the British Parliament in London that he "remembered General Lee telling me, that he believed half the Rebel Army were from Ireland."
A portion of the Maine coast known as the Castine Peninsula was seized and occupied by the British. They gave the area a new name, New Ireland, in hopes of attracting some Irish with generous land grants. The scheme failed.
General Andrew Pickens defeated a British force under General Boyd at Kettle Creek.
1780 A Loyalist group in Pennsylvania organize the Volunteers of Ireland. The unit is commanded by Francis Randon of County Down. This group won the Battle of Camden.
A Colonel Butler, an Irishmen, in the Continental Army raised a toast in the Wyoming district of North Carolina, "May the kingdom of Ireland merit a stripe in the American standard." There after it became a regular toast wherever Irish officers in the Continental Army met.
1781 Grattan, and then the "patriots" attempted to overturn Poyning's Law. Both efforts are unsuccessful.
General Anthony Wayne with 800 men found himself facing the entire British Army of 5,000 men at Greenspring. Wayne sent marksmen forward to confuse the enemy and runners back five miles to the Continental Army to let them know his problem. The British realized that only a small force lay before them and began to advance, Wayne seeing that his men would be wiped out before the American Army could arrive, organized a bayonet charge. General Cornwallis, the British Commander, believed no one would order such an attack unless superior troops were in support, and so withdrew to Portsmouth, and then later to Yorktown and fate.
The details of the surrender at Yorktown were worked out in the home of Augustine Moore. Cornwallis' second in command, General Charles O'Hara made the formal surrender.
Not long after Yorktown, the British fleet under Admiral George Rodney defeats the French fleet of De Grasse who supported the ground troops at Yorktown. The action took place off the Leeward Islands. There were so many Irish aboard Rodney's ships that a popular description of the event said the victory was due to "Rodney's guns and Paddy's sons."
Thomas McKean was President of the Commonwealth of Delaware (same as Governor), he also served as Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court 1777-1799.
Elements of the French Irish Brigade are present at the siege of Pensacola.
Thomas Burke of Galway is Governor of North Carolina.
1782 Grattan and his followers succeeded in exploiting the situation in America and the presence of an armed Irish Army in Ireland. A Convention of the Irish Volunteers at Dungannon endorses Grattan's proposals and implies they will use force to see them attained. They also pass by a vote of 198 to 2 a motion, put to them by Grattan for Catholic Emancipation.
Legislative autonomy is granted, the Declatory Act is repealed, and Irish courts are made independent.
French trading house in France owned by Irishmen such as Cumings and Moylans of Lorient, the McCarthy's of Bordeaux, and James O'Dea of Paimboeuf smuggled goods from Ireland into America and back the other way through 1793.
1783 The Renunciation Act pushed by Flood is passed by the British Parliament and acknowledged the independence of the Irish nation (to be ruled by the Protestant Irish Parliament).
The Irish Volunteers met in Convention again in Dublin, this time, they demanded parliamentary representation reform.
This is denied. A confrontation seemed sure until moderate leaders disperse the Convention. The Volunteers never regain their political or numerical clout after that.
General Henry Knox, son of an Irish immigrant, succeeds Washington as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army.
1784 James Duane, son of an Irish immigrant, is elected the first Mayor of New York City since the Revolution. His father, Anthony, emigrated from Ireland in 1717.
Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick organized as a fraternal organization for charitable works in New York City. Daniel McCormick was elected its first President.
George Clinton was Governor of New York, his son DeWitt will also be governor.
Dubliner Mathew Carey, who published a leading newspaper in Dublin arrived in Pennsylvania and founded a publishing empire that later included several newspapers. His son, Henry Charles Carey, who was born in 1793, later became a renowned economist.
Christopher Colles of Dublin expounds an idea to build canals with "locks" to join the Great Lakes as a transportation system to connect Oswego to Albany. He also proposes a national road network and a communication system (semaphore stations) to connect the new nation.
Benjamin Franklin wrote; "It is a fact that the Irish emigrants and their children are now in the possession of the government of Pennsylvania."
The Reverend Francis Allison founded the College of Pennsylvania.
Patrick Henry is Governor of Virginia until 1786.
1785 Dominick Lynch arrived from his native Galway. He rose to become one of New York's leading merchants
1786 John Sullivan was Governor of New Hampshire. He served until 1790.
1787 Scotchman Dan McKetch owned a fortified plantation in East Florida.
Of the 36 delegates to the United States Constitution Convention, 17% are Irish.
1789 Commodore John Barry forcibly brought to the Pennsylvania Assembly a small minority opposition group so a quorum could be met to ratify the U. S. Constitution. Many other states where holding back to see what Pennsylvania was going to do, ergo the moniker, the "Keystone State."
George Washington elected the first President of the United States, Charles Thomson as Secretary of the Continental Congress brings him the news. Washington was, as shown earlier second cousins to a family of McCarthy's. His diary shows he was very close to the family.
Washington's family was from the southwestern part of England that had a Celtic tie.
Washington in gratitude to his Irish supporters once offered this prayer:
...when Ireland shall strike her harp to the wild notes
of Erin and Liberty, the ocean breeze will bear to her
shores the prayers of Americans, to cheer her in her
glorious struggle, and hail her regenerate in the rights
Ireland, thou friend of my country in my country's most
friendless days, much injured, much enduring land,
accept this poor tribute from one who esteems thy worth,
and mourns thy desolation. May the God of Heaven,
in His justice and mercy, grant thee more prosperous
fortunes and in His own good time, cause the sun of
Freedom to shed its benign radiance on the Emerald Isle.
Colonel John Parke Custis, Washington's adopted son and Robert E. Lee's father in law wrote:
...let the Shamrock be entwined with the laurels of the
Revolution; and truth and justice, guiding the pen of
history, inscribe on the tablets of America's remembrance:
"Eternal gratitude to Irishmen."
Henry Knox, one of Washington's Irish generals, was appointed Secretary of War by President Washington. Knox, the son of Andrew Knox an Irish immigrant, replaced Lamb as head of the Artillery during the American Revolution. After the war, he replaced Washington as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army 1783-1784. Henry Knox served as the Secretary of War under the Articles of Confederation 1785-1789.
William Mooney founded Tammany Hall in New York which grows to control the cities politics.
John Adams is elected as Washington's Vice President, there is evidence the Adams family was Irish on their mother's side.
Thomas Jefferson served as Washington's Secretary of State.
George Bryan was elected President of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was born in Dublin. He supported a law which he passed abolishing slavery in Pennsylvania.
John and Henry Shears of Cork were present at the storming of the Bastille.
1790 The site of the Federal capital, Washington D.C. was deeded to the United States by Irishman Daniel Carroll.
John Carroll is consecrated as America's first Catholic bishop in Baltimore. His area of responsibility includes all the American colonies. Bishop Carroll later founded Georgetown University.
"Address of the Roman Catholics" was sent to George Washington by Charles Carroll, Thomas Fitzsimons, Dominick Lynch, Daniel Carroll and Bishop John Carroll, asking for Catholics to be granted at least minimal rights.
1791 Wolf Tone, a rising leader of the Protestant Patriot party, feels that group has grown too cautious and founds the Society of United Irishmen. The Society of United Irishmen was dedicated to the union of Irishmen of all faiths in pursuit of democratic reforms.
Kilkenny native James Hoban won the design contest for the "President's Palace", later known as the White House. Hoban based the winning design on Leinster House in Dublin. Previously, he built the capital at Columbia, South Carolina.
1792 A national Catholic convention met in Ireland.
1793 William Pitt pressures the Protestant Irish Parliament to give propertied Catholics the right to vote.
George Washington, and James Hoban in his position as Master Mason of the Federal of Free and Accepted Masons, laid the cornerstone of the White House.
1794 John Barry made the Senior Captain of the reorganized United States Navy.
Wolfe Tone is forced to go underground with his movement. He becomes strongly influenced by the French Revolution.
General "Mad Anthony" Wayne won an important battle against the Indians of the Ohio region in the Battle of Fallen Timbers.
The next year the Indians signed the Treaty of Greenville, giving up the Ohio territory.
The "Whiskey Rebellion" in western Pennsylvania was a revolt of Irish farmers who made their own whiskey not wanting to pay Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton's excise tax. Washington put down the rebellion with troops. Jefferson, who already resigned from the Cabinet, criticized the government's actions.
1796 John Adams elected President of the United States by three electoral votes over Thomas Jefferson.
James McHenry made Secretary of War, he was born in Ballymena, Ireland.
Organization in Ireland of Yeomanry militia units to serve as military police in an effort by the Irish Parliament to curb insurrection.
1798 Insurrection broke out in Leinster and Ulster. After initial victories, they are put down.
Dublin born, Sir Henry Johnson, who was with Cornwallis at Yorktown, served with him in Ireland when he was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Johnson won for Cornwallis a victory at New Ross that broke the momentum of an Irish uprising that was influenced by events in France.
The French landed a force under General Jean Humbert in Connacht, Wolfe Tone is captured together with another French fleet off Ulster. The revolt lasted from Summer to Fall of '98 before the English were able to subdue it. The French who participated and survived to the end were allowed to go home, the Irish who participated and survived were killed.
James McKinley, the grandfather of President William McKinley, emigrated from Antrim.
John Adams signed into law the Alien and Sedition Laws. They were offered out of fear the Irish and French would export revolution to America. Among other things the laws change the probationary period for immigrants to become citizens of the United States from two years to 19 years. They also called for the arrest of individuals who criticize the laws or the government.
Mathew Lyon challenges the laws by writing a critical editorial, he is arrested and placed in jail, while there he is elected to the United States Congress.
1799 Edward Rutledge, Irish signer of the Declaration of Independence, was elected Governor of South Carolina.
Thomas McKean was Governor of Pennsylvania until 1806.
Doctor William J. MacNeven arrived from Ireland, he was a participant in the recent revolt. He becomes known as the "Father of American Chemistry."
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