The Unstoppable Irish

The Unstoppable Irish

On Saturday, Nov. 9, author and singer Dan Milner will join us for an entertaining and unique presentation focusing on the integration of Irish people into the mainstream of New York City life during the hundred years following 1783—and on how the songs and music of Irish New Yorkers reveal that historical progress. Joining this program as Discussant will be Robert W. Snyder, a specialist in New York history and professor of American Studies at Rutgers University.

The Irish have been in New York City since the 17th century, but their progress to full participation in the city would not be achieved until nearly two centuries later. What was this progress like? How can we trace it? Fortunately we have answers from scholar and singer, Dan Milner. At this unique Roundtable program, Dan Milner will discuss the changing fortunes of New York’s Irish Catholics, starting with the evacuation of British military forces in late 1783 and concluding one hundred years later with the initial term of the city’s first Catholic mayor, William R. Grace. During that century, Irish New Yorkers rose in uneven progression from being dismissed and feared foreigners to finally taking their part as constituents in the city’s life.

Dan will present evidence that the Catholic Irish of New York came into equal membership within the city’s populace rather than being assimilated into the dominant culture. He will demonstrate that the same Hibernian psyche that had rejected abandonment of Gaelic Catholic life in Ireland continued in New York, resulting in a community that remained largely intact culturally. A key aspect of this entertaining and lively talk will be use of song, in combination with period news reports and existing scholarship, to develop a fuller picture of the Catholic Irish struggle in New York. Products of a highly verbal and passionately musical people, such Irish songs provide special insights into the popularly held attitudes and beliefs of the integration epoch.

Save the Date
The Unstoppable Irish
Saturday, Nov.9, 2019 at 2 p.m.
McCloskey Meeting Room
Parish House
Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral
263 Mulberry Street, Manhattan
Reception to follow
Suggested donation $5

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