Son's of Hibernia and other Irish-American Groups

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Son's of Hibernia and other Irish-American Groups

Postby finnobreanan on Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:36 am

I was going through my weekly scans of photographs listed on eBay for possible purchases for my museum when I stumbled across this image. It appears to be a member of the "Sons of Hibernia" or another Irish-American organization in the mid-19th century. The image has revenue stamps on the back that would date it to 1863-1866. I think it is a great image! "Erin Go Braugh!"


Well, the GODS of the internet are frustrating me, and I can't post the actual image, due to their flights of whimsey, so here is a link that should work. My appologies.
http://www.villagephotos.com/members/im ... i=25985774

That's not working either, so let's try this http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2007-4/1255360/Sons%20of%20Hibernia.bmp.jpg

What did I do in this life (or a fomer life), that this will not link? Here's the direct link, I just didn't want any of you other bastards (can I say that?) bidding on it: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... K:MEWAX:IT

Isn't his daughter a spitting image of the old man? And some wonder why our Irish heritage is so important to us here in the States? It has been bred into us for generations. Look at the gleam in that young girl's eyes! See how she is tugging at her father's arms! She is proud of her Da! (My son Aaron used to call me Da).

I was halfway raised by my grandfather, Harold Anthony "Shag" Brennan (born 1894), and he knew his grandparents that came from Ireland in the 1840s. He was filled with tales that they told him. He told me those tales, and so our heritage passed on to the following generations. My g-g-grandmother, Bridget Moore (Coyne, 1st husband) (Brennan, 2nd husband) (Norton, 3rd husband) has a fine monument over her grave, proudly proclaiming that she was born in County Louth. And as I pass through St. Catherine's Cemetery, in the hills overlooking the Mississippi River, I see my family: the Brennans, the Murrays, the Murpheys, the Coynes, the Buckleys, and other related families, who left Ireland during the Great Blight, seeking a new life, and I remember as a child listening to the old people's stories at the "Irish Picnics" that we used to attend. We were'nt the Holywood, New York City Irish, We were the majority of the irish who immigrated, who settled on farms, worked the railroads, and factories across the USA. I am extremely proud to be an Irish-American, and an Irish Living Historian.
Finn O'Breanan
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"...The O'Brennans, a sept of thieves without any right or title, ... were a perpetual disturbance to the peace of the county,"
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Re: Son's of Hibernia and other Irish-American Groups

Postby the_power on Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:44 am

That's an amazing image. It's a great shame the seller has no context for it. And yes, you are right - his daughter looks like she's a midget in her late fourties!

It's curious that though he looks quite...unkempt to modern eyes, it's because his sleeves are long; the suit looks new, and well cut. Obviously expensive.

After your post, I'm tempted to go learn the chords to 'Thousands are Sailing' now... ( http://url.ie/4dmd )

John
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Re: Son's of Hibernia and other Irish-American Groups

Postby finnobreanan on Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:52 pm

One more try:
Image
It's difficult to see with all the tinting on his sash, but I can definately make out an Irish Harp there. Even the little girl's dress is tinted green.
Finn O'Breanan
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Re: Son's of Hibernia and other Irish-American Groups

Postby kevin714 on Sat Dec 19, 2009 9:17 pm

finnobreanan wrote: We were'nt the Holywood, New York City Irish, We were the majority of the irish who immigrated, who settled on farms, worked the railroads, and factories across the USA. I am extremely proud to be an Irish-American, and an Irish Living Historian.


Finn great post, But can you explain what you meant by "Hollywood, New York city Irish". I am proudly New York city Irish-American(or as I like to say American of Irish descent). I would venture to guess that the majority of Irish settled in New York and Boston originally but of course we did expand from there. And don't forget for the most part it was the New York and Boston Irish who broke down most of the Anti-irish prejudices of the time eventually taking over those cities and breaking into the mainstream. That was a titanic struggle and we owe them our gratitude. (And lets not forget where the Fighting 69th came from ;) . I give all those who struggled to make it in this country there due wherever they settled, from those who built the canals in Louisana and the Railroads to the west and the coal miners in the Appalchians and the farmers of the midwest, but also to those who toiled in the ghettoes of New York city. I can tell you from my own family history tragic stories of how hard it was and how young many of them died. But we too always passed on our heritage.
Kevin Patrick Molloy
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Re: Son's of Hibernia and other Irish-American Groups

Postby the_power on Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:11 pm

Kevin, not wanting to put words into Finn's mouth, but there are very very few stories told of the hundreds of thousands of Irish that moved to rural parts of the US. Most never even had a chance to struggle against the prejudices that the city-irish managed to stand up against eventually.

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Re: Son's of Hibernia and other Irish-American Groups

Postby bannerman on Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:24 am

-
Last edited by bannerman on Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Son's of Hibernia and other Irish-American Groups

Postby Jess de Búrca Monty on Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:26 am

Amazing image. I would hazard a guess that the overcoat is borrowed for the purposes of the photograph. If you look at his neckline you can see another garment possibly a jacket sticking up over the shirt. As for the little girl she is wonderful and is most likely quite concerned about the photographer and the whole process. Lovely bit of social history, as you say pity about the lack of information regarding context.
Happy bidding.
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Re: Son's of Hibernia and other Irish-American Groups

Postby finnobreanan on Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:40 pm

Kevin, sorry, I should have been more specific. I should have said Hollywood's interpretation of Irish-Americans (Jimmy Cagne in the Fighting 69th comes to mind, but the list goes on and on). Yes, My ancestors came through the Port of New York, and my g-grandmother, Catherine Elizabeth Murray, was born there in 1860, before the family moved west. Her father, Patrick Murray, was a breakman on the Rock Island Line, before he was crushed between two box cars and killed in 1866.

The clothing the Son of Hibernia is wearing is typical for the 1860s in the US. He wears a black "Frock Coat" and the garment underneath is his waistcoat/vest which doesn't seem to match). By the time of the 1860s in the US, these were being massed produced and were called "Ready made" garments, that could be purchased rather inexpensively, compared to tailor made garments. The sleeves are called "Baloon Sleeves" which was a popular cut during the 1860s, but soon died out. Top coats or overcoats of the period were very large and quite long, and would be worn over the frock coat. The image was being sold by a dealer from Peoria, Illinois, but it could have originated anywhere, possibly even the east.
Finn O'Breanan
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"...The O'Brennans, a sept of thieves without any right or title, ... were a perpetual disturbance to the peace of the county,"
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Re: Son's of Hibernia and other Irish-American Groups

Postby Jess de Búrca Monty on Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:11 pm

Hi Finn,
Gas, I recognised it as a Frock Coat but was afraid to call it such in case I was using the wrong terminology, doh! (That era is way outside my comfort zone) It just seems so ill fitting that I wondered if it had been inherited or borrowed. Anyway it's a cool image, I hope you get the opportunity to add it to your museum collection.
Regards
Jess
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Re: Son's of Hibernia and other Irish-American Groups

Postby Seathrun on Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:35 pm

I have seen some similar pics in our Ancient Order of Hibernians hall from the 1800s. Our History Museum has one on display occasionally. It looks like a Parade Marshal's sash over the coat. For what its worth there were at least five Irish imigrant fraternities that I know of back then. I imagine there were many more.
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