Archiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2007-10 > 1192843741

From: Nan Brennan <>
Subject: Re: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Biographical History of the American Irishin Chicago
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2007 20:29:01 -0500
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>

Interesting comments, Jim.

I agree with you about the lowered profile of their Irish heritage,
it was an Anglo/Protestant nation and they wanted to assimilate.
But at the same time they built the parish & school (Catholic) system
that became the new "Placename" and cultural center for successive
that were more exposed to and inspired by the emerging (re-emerging)
nationalism. There are always these ebbs and flows don't you think?
And not unique to the Irish immigrant either.

As to Captain O'Neill, he was collecting the music for decades, but I
don't know when (or if) he published, or if his efforts were even
well known at the time of the book we are talking about.

Thanks for your contribution.


On Oct 19, 2007, at 9:20 AM, Jim Mullany wrote:

> Thanks very much for posting this link. The book is very
> interesting and gives a great sense of the lives of the Chicago
> Irish of the time.
> I get the sense that this one is like many regional vanity
> compilations that, maddeningly, require the folks to pay for their
> entries in the book. The cheap Irish - like mine! - will never
> show. My relation, the Most Rev. Anthony O'Regan, third bishop of
> Chicago, for instance, makes no appearance here except as an aside
> in others' bios. He was a controversial Catholic leader, but was
> also quite important in the history of the Chicago Irish of the
> mid-1800s.
> And what was left out of some prominent Irish biographies is quite
> telling. I sense that Irish music and dance was considered a sign
> of ill-breeding and of being "too Irish" among a people (is the
> term "Lace-curtain Irish applicable here?) trying to blend in with
> ordinary Americans of the time (whatever that means in immigrant-
> rich Chicago of the late 1800s). How else to explain the lack of
> mention of Irish music in the included biography of Chicago Police
> Captain O'Neill, he one of the most venerated collectors of Irish
> music in the Western hemisphere. O'Neill's stupendous collection of
> written-out Irish tunes remains one of the most referenced Irish
> music collections a hundred years later. Yet his biography is lined
> with admirably industrious but culturally neutral activities.
> With most of the bios I read, the Irishness of the individual seems
> deliberately muted. Overall, an excellent source book, though, and
> one I intend to scour repeatedly. And, yes, I find the search box
> disabled on my PC, too.
> Jim Mullany
> Sandia Park, New Mexico
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