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John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Sample from my book "Ourselves, Alone: The American Irish in their own words"



THE COLONIAL IRISH

"I seek to recover an Irishmen, one McGork, late of England, a talkative drunken furnace man last seen November 1774, fleeing north from Pennsylvania" Runaway indentured servant ad from Ben Franklin's Gazette

"Irish Teague’s and outlandish jack tars" Joseph Quincy lawyer for the British soldiers at the Boston massacre in his summation of those who were shot.

"A Brigade of Irish Roman Catholics is forming at Munster and Connaught in order to be sent to Boston to act against the Rebels..." British newspaper story, September 21st, 1775. Large numbers of these Irish deserted to Washington's side shortly after landing in the Americas.

"Desertions are still to frequent among us, I have heard of robberies committed in the country. most probably by some of the deserters...serves the Yanks right for enticing them away" Lt. John Barker, British officer assigned to the Irish regiment, most of whom deserted of to the Colonials. December 17th 1774.

"...ten guinea for the head of an Irish deserter, five guinea if he is captured alive" Lord Rawdon, June 1775, Commander of the Irish Dragons at Bunker Hill.

"The resources of England are almost annihilated in Germany and their last resources is the Roman Catholics of Ireland, and they have already experienced their unwillingness to fight the Americans" Arthur Lee, 1775 in a letter from England to George Washington commenting on the outbreak of fist fights in the streets of Dublin between Irish troops in the British army and English soldiers, after the Irishmen were ordered to ship off to fight in the Colonies.

Stark turned to his men and shouted "There they are boys! Your enemies, the Red coats and Tories, you must defeat them or Molly Stark sleeps a widow tonight!" Irish American General Stark to his men at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

"Some of the Irish merchants in this town, offered their services for the defense of this place, under the command of Captain James Forrest, they have armed and formed into a company called the Loyal Irish Volunteers and are distinguished by a white cockade" General Howe, surrounded in Boston with 13,000 men and 6,000 Tory residents.

"We think the Colonel would make a fine and formidable Irish Rifleman" American Officer to captured British Colonel Archibald Campbell who was caught trying to escape his jail cell dressed as one of Morgan's Backwoodsmen. Campbell and his entire Royal 7th Highlanders had been taken prisoner in Boston Harbor. He was later exchanged for American Colonel Ethan Allen.

"It was so unexpected, so plentiful and I am ad so needful that it impressed my mind with the highest sense of gratitude, I am confident not only from the exercise of this well timed generosity, but from a large acquaintance with gentlemen of this Irish nation, that as a people, they excel in liberty and bravery" Colonel Ethan Allen, whose wife was Dublin Born, had been taken prisoner of war in Canada while his prison ship The Solebay" was docked in Cork, Irish citizens took up a collection of food and blankets for Allen and his 50 fellow American prisoners.

"The damned American rebels, should not be feaster! At this rate by the damned rebels of Ireland!" Captain of the Solebay, after confiscating Allen's supply from the American prisoners.

"To the storming we must come at last. We shall be in the fort in two minutes" Irish born General Richard Montgomery to his men outside of Quebec. Montgomery was shot and killed seconds later by British sharpshooter.

(I would attribute) much of the rebellious spirit in the Central American colonies to emigration from Ireland of nearly thirty-three thousand fanatical and hungry republicans in the course of a very few years" Letter from the Anglican Bishop of Derry to Dartmouth 1775

"The greatest part of the American Army is scarcely one fourth natives of America, about one half of them are Irish" Marion.

"That of the operations of war, up till the comings of the French, Ireland furnished in the ratio of one hundred for one of any other nation" Virginian, George Custis, George Washington's stepson.

"A large number of them are Irishmen who are not well disposed to the New Englanders but are a terror to the British" French Journalist

"I shoots those with them epaulets rather than those who gets paid a sixpence per day" Sharp shooters Timothy Murphy who sniped and killed British General Frazier, Burgoynes, second in command of Eastern forces in the Colonies

"We were forced to quite the town" General Gage, commenting on the cannons aimed at him atop Dorchester hills by Dublin born James Boies.

"The Pennsylvania troops were the most effective fighting force in the revolution (General) Wayne's troops were known as the designation line of Pennsylvania, whereas they might have been , with more propriety, called "The Line of Ireland" Bold and daring they were impatient, and refractory and would always prefer an appeal to the Bayonet to a toilsome march. They were singularly fitted for close and stubborn action hand to hand, in the center of the Army" General Henry Lee, 1780, second in command of the American forces during the revolution. The Pennsylvania line was commanded by Irish American Generals Wayne, Shea, Hand, O'Connor and Magase.


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