Posts filed under: Social History (Famine Era)

I am delighted to be in a position to share another piece of innovative work undertaken by Brendan Hamilton, long-time contributor to the site. It serves as a preview of some of the intriguing original research he has been conducting...
Read More →
I have given numerous talks at historic sites over the years, particularly locations associated with conflict. Where I can, I always try to take opportunities to look beyond the military moment, explore the impact of these events on individuals and...
Read More →
The men who entered the Union military as substitutes from 1863 onwards are among the most neglected and maligned groups associated with the American Civil War. History–and many historians–have overwhelmingly focused on the negative aspects of their service, highlighting their...
Read More →
The first months of the newly dawned 20th century found Peter Keefe drawing his final breaths in his rural home of Corloughan, Co. Kilkenny. The 60-year-old had the comfort of his nearest relative Betsy by his side, and the knowledge...
Read More →
In 1869 the New York Irish-American Weekly came out on Christmas Day. As with every week’s issue, a portion of the paper was given over to “Information Wanted” advertisements. Most often placed by family and friends, these notices were usually...
Read More →
Amputation, as one historian has noted, is the “symbolic wound” of the American Civil War. One estimate places the number of wartime amputations at 60,000, three-quarters of all the operations undertaken during the conflict. Around 45,000 of these men are...
Read More →
In 1865 Ellen McCann of 87 Mulberry Street in New York’s infamous Five Points district went in search of a pension. She was not a typical widow. By the time her husband Francis had elected to join the Union cause...
Read More →
Among the most intriguing stories of widows and dependents in the Atlantic World are those of the African Americans who moved into Canada having escaped the shackles of slavery. In 1883, one of them was Priscilla Atwood. She made her...
Read More →
The latest podcast explores a topic close to my heart, the final letters of Union soldiers from the American Civil War. The episode takes a geographical slant, looking at the words of Ulster men from both the Catholic and Protestant...
Read More →
In 1911 John Fitzgerald of Liscelty sat down to write a letter to America from the rural fishing village of Dunmore East. He was doing so on behalf of a local fisherman, a man named John Dunne. By then in...
Read More →