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John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

The Washington Irish








THE WASHINGTON IRISH

CIVIL
The Irish American General Richard Montgomery of Raphoe Ireland was already and officer in the British Army at age 18, raising through the ranks to become a Brigadier General at age 33 in the Colonial Army.  Handsome, tough and gallant, Montgomery swept his colonial army through Canada with his second in Command Aaron Burr stopping his force within a day’s March of British held Quebec. A day before he was to take the city, a British sharp shooter ended his brilliant career and life with a single shot through the heart. His death was mourned on both sides of the Atlantic, in America, as the tragic end of a noble military man and in England as the tragic loss of a Patriot gone wrong. 

"I employed every capacity with which God has endowed me, and the result was far more successful than my hopes could have flattered me to expect." Rose O'Neal
Rose O'Neal Greenhow was one of the most successful spies the Confederate States of America had. Born Maria Rosetta O’Neal in Montgomery County, Maryland, she was as a Catholic orphaned as a child (Her father was murdered in 1817, by persons unknown.) and raised by an aunt who ran the exclusive Congressional Boarding House in D.C where Rose came to know some of the most important political figures of her time.
In 1835, the beautiful, educated, loyal and refined O’Neal marred Dr. Robert Greenhow, a physician and amateur historian, who worked in the U.S. State Department and eventually had four daughters. Dr. Greenhow died in 1854.Her sister Ellen married Dolley Madison’s nephew James Madison Cutts. In 1856 their daughter Adele Cutts married the widower Stephen A. Douglas, the senator from Illinois.
At the start of the civil war, Thomas Jordan, a young lieutenant from Virginia recruited O’Neal to act as a spy for the south answering to Gen. PGT Beauregard. Jordan, of Luray Virginia was an interesting man. A career soldier he served 30 years in three armed forces. (The United States, Mexico, and Cuba)
Jordan recruited O’Neal while he was still enlisted in the Union Army but intending to switch sides to the Confederate States. He knew that O’Neal was a sympathizer to the southern cause and was widely known in the right circles in DC and counted President James Buchanan and William Seward as her friends. She was strongly influenced in pro=Southern beliefs by her friendship with U.S. Senator John C. Calhoun from South Carolina.
Working from her home on 16th Street near St. John’s Episcopal Church, O’Neal passed along critical information regarding the 1st Bull Run and Confederate President Jefferson Davis credited Greenhow's information with securing victory at Manassas for the South. On August 11, 1861, she was able to send a long report detailing the complete Washington defense system including the numbers of men and weapons in each fort as well as weak spots in the earthworks.
The great bulk of her information probably came from her lover, abolitionist Henry D. Wilson, a Senator from Massachusetts and Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee. In 1872, he was elected Vice President as running mate with President Ulysses S. Grant, and served from 4 March 1873 until his death on 22 November 1875. A married man, Wilson, signed his love letters to O’Neal as “H”. (There is some speculation that “H” stood for Henry Wilson’s secretary Horace White.)
On August 23, 1861 Allan Pinkerton arrested O’Neal as a spy. She was kept under house arrest. While searching her house, Pinkerton and his men found extensive intelligence materials left from evidence she tried to burn, including scraps of coded messages, copies of what amounted to eight reports to Jordan over a month's time, and maps of Washington fortifications and notes on military movements. (The materials also included numerous love letters from Henry Wilson)  Shortly afterwards, her guards discovered a Confederate plot to free her and transferred her to the Old Capitol Prison (Now the site of the present day Supreme Court)  on January 18, 1862.
On June 6, 1862, Rose and her daughter were banished to Richmond, arriving to wild hero’s welcome. The Confederate government then assigned her to be a courier to Confederate diplomats. O’Neal ran the Northern Naval blockades and, from 1863 to 1864, traveled through France and Britain on a diplomatic mission building support for the Confederacy with the aristocrats. She was received in the court of Napoleon III at the Tuileries. In Britain, she had an audience with Queen Victoria. She also met and became engaged to Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Granville. Two months after arriving in London, Greenhow wrote her memoir, titled My Imprisonment and the First Year of Abolition Rule at Washington. She published it that year in London and it sold well in Britain.
In late September of 1864, a ship that was carrying O’Neal ran aground on a sandbar. Desperate to escape, O’Neal boarded a lifeboat that capsized in the rough water and drowned. She was weighed down by $2,000 worth of gold sewn into her underclothes, returns from her memoir royalties, which she intended to donate to the Confederate treasury.
At the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day of the Civil War. In eight hours 23,000 men would lay dead or wounded. Captain Edwin Field wrote:
"It was their crowning glory (The Irishmen had forced the enemy back beyond a sunken road) which had been filled with corpses by an enfilading fire from one of our batteries and presented one of the most ghastly spectacles of war.
Using this lane as a breastwork, they held it to the close of the fight, losing not a prisoner, having not one straggler, but at a loss of life that was appalling.
One Irish regiment lost nearly 50% of it men, another over thirty per cent. The rebels seemed to have a special spite against the green flag, and five color bearers were shot down successively in a short time.
As the last man fell even these Irishmen hesitated a moment to assume a task synonymous with death. "Big Gleason" Captain of the sixty third, six feet seven, sprang forward and snatched it up. In a few minutes a bullet struck the staff, shattering it to pieces; Gleason tore the flag from the broken staff, wrapped it around his body, putting his sword belt over it, and went through the rest of the fight untouched.
At the brow of the hill the fighting was the severest and most deadly ever witnessed before, so acknowledged by veterans in the service. Men on both sides fell in large numbers and those who were eye witness to the struggle did not think it possible for a single man to escape. The enemy here first, were concealed behind a knoll, so that only their heads were exposed. The brigade advanced up the hill with a cheer, when a most deadly fire was poured in by a second line of the enemy concealed in the Sharpsburg road, which at this place is several feet lower than the surrounding surface, forming a complete rifle pit and also from a force partially concealed still further to the rear.
The line of the brigade, in its advance up the hill, was broken in the center temporarily by an obstruction the right wing having advanced to keep up with the colors, and fell back a short distance, when General Meagher directed that a rail fence - which the enemy only a few minutes before had been fighting behind- be torn down.
His men, in the face of a galling fire, obeyed the order, when the whole brigade advanced to the brow of the hill, cheering as they went, and causing the enemy to fall back to their second line- which is some three feet lower than the surrounding surface. In this road were massed a large force of infantry and here was the most hotly contested point of the day. Each brigade of this division was brought into action at this point, and the struggle was truly terrific for more than four hours-the enemy finally however, were forced from their position. The Brigade suffered terribly. General Meagher horse was shot out from under him, and a bullet passed through his clothes. The sixty third regiment of this brigade, always conspicuous for deeds of daring in battle, was particularly so in the battle of Antietam.
The colors were shot down sixteen times and on each occasion a man was ready to spring forward and place the colors in front. John Hartigan, a member of company H, and only 16 years old, went some distance in advance of the regiment with the colors and waved them defiantly in the face of the enemy.
The whole Brigade gave a cheer that was heard along the lines for a mile, when it advanced up the rising ground and drove the enemy from a strong position"

Thomas Smith, was an Irish-American, he was the last Union general killed in the civil war, at Petersburg, Virginia in April of 1865


James A. Mulligan organized 2,000 Irishmen from Chicago to fight in the civil war on the side of the union. He was killed in one of the engagements at Winchester, Virginia. 
A General in the Union Army during the Civil War, Philip H. Sheridan claimed he was born in Albany New York,  the third child of six by John and Mary Meenagh Sheridan, immigrants from the parish of Killinkere, County Cavan Ireland. Sheridan, who grew up in Ohio, was only 5 feet 5 inches.  A hard drinking, hard living Irishman, he died of heart attack at age 57. He is buried in Arlington. Sheridan Circle in DC is named for him.
In December of 1862, the Union marched 122,000 troops in to Fredericksburg Virginia under the command of the incompetent General Burnside who held command of the Fighting 69th regiment. At midmorning Burnside ordered General Thomas Meagher to his command post and ordered Meagher’s Irishmen to flush the confederate sharpshooters from an impregnable position called Mayres ridge and from the few houses that surrounded it. Burnside was specific in his orders.
The Irishmen were to make a frontal assault on the position. The Brigade attacked the position twenty times and was pushed back each time until five regiments of men were reduced to 200 wounded souls. Burnside suicide order cost him his command.
 Robert E. Lee wrote "Never were men so brave. They ennobled their race by their splendid gallantry on that desperate occasion. Through totally routed, they reaped the harvest of glory. Their brilliant, though hopeless assaults on our lines excited the hearty applause of our officers and soldiers.
The highest compliment for their bravery, oddly enough, came from a war correspondent for the London Times. "After witnessing the gallantry and devotion exhibited by these men, viewing the hillsides for acres strewn with their corpses thick as autumn leaves, this spectator can remember nothing but their desperate courage. Their bodies fell but 40 yards of their object, the best evidence of what manner of men they were who pressed on to death with the dauntlessness of a race which was gained glory on a thousand battlefields, and never more richly deserved it then at the foot of Mayres ridge on the 13th day of December, 1862"
 At the Battle of Fair Oaks, (Henrico County Virginia) the Unions lines retreated in disarray and confusion. Entire regiments turned and ran from the poorly armed, but better organized Confederates. In an effort to stop the retreat General Edwin Sumner rode up to the New York fighting 69th and "In what was probably the only speech of his life" as his aid put it and bellowed "You Irishmen are our last hope. If you fail, we are lost. But I'll go my stars on you boys, I want to see how Irishmen fight, and when you run, by God, I'll run too!" "They responded with a hearty cheer,” wrote Captain Field of the US Artillery "the Irish moved into position with the air of men who were going to stay. A fresh crash (of cannon fire) showed when the struck at the enemy. For a few minutes the fire was deafening then it began to retire. The yells gave way to long continuous cheers, an aid galloped up to order a section of artillery to follow the advancing line of Irishmen the battle of Fair Oaks was won. It was an inspiriting opening of a heroic history and from that day on General Sumner swore by "his Irishmen"
At the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day of the Civil war in eight hours 23,000 men would lay dead or wounded. Captain Edwin Field wrote:
 "It was their crowning glory (The Irishmen had forced the enemy back beyond a sunken road) which had been filled with corpses by an enfilading fire from one of our batteries and presented one of the most ghastly spectacles of war.
Using this lane as a breastwork, they held it to the close of the fight, losing not a prisoner, having not one straggler, but at a loss of life that was appalling.
One Irish regiment lost nearly 50% of it men, another over thirty per cent. The rebels seemed to have a special spite against the green flag, and five color bearers were shot down successively in a short time.
As the last man fell even these Irishmen hesitated a moment to assume a task synonymous with death.
"Big Gleason" Captain of the sixty third, six feet seven, sprang forward and snatched it up. In a few minutes a bullet struck the staff, shattering it to pieces; Gleason tore the flag from the broken staff, wrapped it around his body, putting his sword belt over it, and went through the rest of the fight untouched. At the brow of the hill the fighting was the severest and most deadly ever witnessed before, so acknowledged by veterans in the service.
Men on both sides fell in large numbers and those who were eye witness to the struggle did not think it possible for a single man to escape. The enemy here first, were concealed behind a knoll, so that only their heads were exposed. The brigade advanced up the hill with a cheer, when a most deadly fire was poured in by a second line of the enemy concealed in the Sharpsburg road, which at this place is several feet lower than the surrounding surface, forming a complete rifle pit and also from a force partially concealed still further to the rear.
The line of the brigade, in its advance up the hill, was broken in the center temporarily by an obstruction the right wing having advanced to keep up with the colors, and fell back a short distance, when General Meagher directed that a rail fence - which the enemy only a few minutes before had been fighting behind- be torn down.
His men, in the face of a galling fire, obeyed the order, when the whole brigade advanced to the brow of the hill, cheering as they went, and causing the enemy to fall back to their second line- which is some three feet lower than the surrounding surface. In this road were massed a large force of infantry and here was the most hotly contested point of the day.
Each brigade of this division was brought into action at this point, and the struggle was truly terrific for more than four hours-the enemy finally however, were forced from their position. The Brigade suffered terribly. General Meagher horse was shot out from under him, and a bullet passed through his clothes. The sixty third regiment of this brigade, always conspicuous for deeds of daring in battle, was particularly so in the battle of Antietam.
The colors were shot down sixteen times and on each occasion a man was ready to spring forward and place the colors in front. John Hartigan, a member of company H, and only 16 years old, went some distance in advance of the regiment with the colors and waved them defiantly in the face of the enemy. The whole Brigade gave a cheer that was heard along the lines for a mile, when it advanced up the rising ground and drove the enemy from a strong position"
During World War Two, when General Anthony McAuliffe, an Irish-American Catholic from Arlington Virginia, (He was born in DC) was surrounded at Bastogne by the German army, they demanded his surrender. Although out gunned, out manned and low on supplies, McAuliffe's reply was "Nuts". He held out and was eventually relieved by Allied forces. He retired to his home in Chevy Chase in 1964 and is buried at Arlington.

John Barry, Franklin Park DC
Father of the American Navy, born in County Wexford, Ireland




CHURCH

St Mary's Chapel (AKA Barry's Chapel) was Roman Catholic parish church, 10th and F Streets SW, Washington, D.C.  (Now covered by the Southwest Freeway) It was demolished in 1806, although its cornerstone was saved and was inserted in the outer wall of the Holy Name Chapel, the Church of St. Dominic. (Designed and built by James Hoban) on Half street west and O street southwest. 
The chapel was the first building erected for Catholic worship in the City of Washington and was paid for, essentially, by James Barry an Irishman from Baltimore and a millionaire who was a close friend and confidential adviser on business matters to Bishop Carroll.
The chapel was better known in its day as Barry's Chapel and served the Catholics...many of them Irish...in the area of Greenleaf’s Point near the present day Navy Yard and Fort McNair.
Just off Connecticut Avenue, across from the Rhode Island Avenue & M Street, NW is a monument called Nuns of the Battlefield, which was commissioned in 1924 by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians to honor nuns who volunteered to care for the sick and wounded of the Civil War.  The Arsenal Monument, another mostly Irish intended monument and Nuns of the Battlefield are the only two Civil War-related monuments in the capital that suggest the role that women played in the conflict.
 The idea for a national monument started with a Rhode Islander with the wonderful name of Dr. Ellen Ryan Jolly who was, at the turn of the 20th century, president of the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, (From 1912-1916) a new but large (56,000 members on its inception) and political powerful organization at the time.
For one year, Dr. Jolly researched the roles of Nuns in the American civil war and complied enough evidence to bring her case before congress to ask that a monument be built in their honor.   Her campaign was championed by her Congressman, an Irishman named Ambrose Kennedy (A Republican of Rhode and not the Democrat from Maryland who shared his name)
 The Congress, aware of the growing political clout of the Irish-American and Catholic communities, agreed and the monument was commissioned. One member of the House objected to the government paying for the statue, and according to Dr. Jolly, managed to have his objections recorded but not his name. He didn’t show up on the day of the vote saying he would be “away from Washington for the day”  Later, at the unveiling, Dr. Jolly noted with a smile that the Congressman “is permanently away now”. Funding for the memorial was given on St. Patrick’s Day 1918. 
It was unveiled in 1924, while the Hibernians held their second annual convention at the old Raleigh Hotel. (100,000 members showed up including Boston Mayor William Curley).
The unveiling before a crowd of 5,000, was one of three that month in the city. The other two were the First Division memorial by the Old Executive Office Building and the statue of another (although Ulster-orange) Irishman, Francis Asbury, the first Bishop of the Methodist church in America.
The monument shows twelve nuns, representing the different orders who nursed the wounded of both North and south, are depicted in this statue.  The upper inscription reads: They comforted the dying, nursed the wounded, carried hope to the imprisoned, gave in His name a drink of water to the thirsty.” The lower inscription reads: To the memory and in honor of The Various Orders of Sisters who gave their services as nurses on battlefields and in hospitals during the Civil War.
The monument was intended to be placed in Arlington Cemetery but the war department objected (Too religious) and the piece was plopped down in front of Saint Mathew’s cathedral, to the objections of its sculptor Jerome Connor.
Connors, like his earlier counterpart Lot Flannery, was a quick-tempered Irishman with a tendency to sue those who annoyed him. As an example, he sued the Ancient Order of the Hibernians for allegedly never paying him.
Jerome Connor was born on February 23, 1874 in Coumduff, Annascaul, Co. Kerry, Ireland, the sixth and youngest child of Patrick Connor and Margaret (Currane) Connor who operated a small mountainside farm even though his father was experienced as a stonemason.  In about 1884, the family moved to Holyoke Massachusetts, where an elder son, Timothy, was already settled.
Two years after the family arrived, Jerome’s father died unexpectedly and Jerome, at age 16, found work as a sign painter, a stonecutter, bronze founder and machinist. “My father” he wrote “was a master of four trades, and it was the inheriting of those tendencies, along with a little extra will all my own, that enables me to do this work. I am self-taught…when I was a boy I used to steal my father's chisels and carve figures on the rocks in Kerry."
He worked as an assistant in the manufacturing of bronzes statues including the Fountain of Neptune bronzes at the Library of Congress. He also made his living as foundry-man, professional prizefighter, machinist, sign painter and stonecutter and served as a Japanese intelligence officer in Mexico.
The Nuns of the Battlefield tablet made his career and, heavily influenced by the work of Irish American sculptor Augustus St Gaudens, Connor returned to Ireland in 1925 and opened his own studio in Dublin with a substantial advance sum to create a work for the memorial committee in New York to sculpt a memorial to the dead of the Lusitania. He disappeared with the money and was not heard from for another 18 years.  On August 20, 1943, Connor, at age 67, was found deathly ill in his slum apartment and brought to the Hospital in Dublin where he died the following day of heart failure. His friends formed a committee to have his work completed by another sculptor in order to "save Ireland's honor."

There were virtually no Irish (Catholics) living in Fairfax County until about 1848-1850, when an Irish community sprung up in what is now Fairfax Station. St. Mary's church was built as a mission to serve their needs.

Saint Peter's on the corner of Second and C streets S.E. was the second parish church in the District. Daniel Carroll of Duddington had given a tract of land where church sits, to his brother the Bishop.  A  Nicholas Young contributed an entire square for a cemetery. The corner stone was laid bv Archbishop Mareschal in 1817 and the first Mass was said on October 4, 1821. The first pastor was Rev. James Lucas of Cavan Ireland.
The Rev. Jeremiah O'Sullivan also served as rector of the church in about the 1870s. O'Sullivan was born in Kanturk, County Cork, to John and Mary (née Ahern) O'Sullivan. He arrived in the US in 1863, and entered St. Charles College in Ellicott City, Maryland and finished his theological studies at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Martin John Spalding on June 30, 1868.
His first assignment was as a curate t St. Peter's Church in Rockville and was later moved to Westernport, Maryland for nine years and was then sent to f St. Peter's where he served as pastor.  On June 16, 1885, O'Sullivan was appointed the fourth Bishop of Mobile, Alabama, by Pope Leo XIII. O'Sullivan died at age 54, and is buried in the crypt of Immaculate Conception Cathedral.
John Joseph Keane, (September 22, 1839 – June 22, 1918) later bishop of Richmond, was the first rector of Catholic University. Keane was born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Ireland, to Hugh and Fannnie (Connolly) Keane.
He was one of five children, and the family immigrated to the United States when he was seven years old. He was educated at Saint Charles College, Ellicott City, Maryland, and at Saint Mary's Seminary, Baltimore.  He was ordained on July 2, 1866. He served as a curate, for 12 years, of St. Patrick's Church in D.C. While in DC, he helped form the once powerful Catholic Total Abstinence Union of America and the Catholic Young Men's National Union in 1872, and the Carroll Society in 1873.
On March 28, 1878 Pope Leo XIII appointed Keane as the fifth Bishop of Richmond when Keane was 38 years old.  Irish-American Bishops John Joseph Kain of Wheeling and Thomas Patrick Roger Foley of Chicago, were the principal co-consecrators.
Keane was known as "Sugar" due to his kind and generous nature.
Keane was appointed as the first rector of The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., in 1886 while he continued as Bishop of Richmond. (He was relieved of his responsibilities in Richmond a year later so he could focus his attention on establishing the new school.) However, Keane’s popularity faded in Rome due to his due to his outspoken support of the controversial Knights of Labor and the speedy Americanization of immigrants.  In 1896, the Pope requested Keane to step down as the schools director and moved to Canada and Rome.  He was sent back to DC in 1899 to raise funds for the Catholic University, which was facing bankruptcy. Afterward, in 1900 Pope Leo XIII moved him to Dubuque, Iowa.

ANTI-IRISH
The Know Nothing party would, as John F. Kennedy pointed out, give the American Irish the odd distinction of being the only group of Americans to have a political party formed against them.
 The Know Nothings were founded in New York City in 1853 by a former dry goods store owner named James W. Barker under the name The Supreme Order of the Star Spangled Banner. It was supposed to be a super-secret organization that was dedicated to keeping foreigners, naturalized citizens, and above all else, Catholics, out of political office. In the organizations prime years (1850's -1860's) all of those things, foreign and Catholic, meant the Irish who made up 45% of the country’s foreign born.
 On June 1, 1857, a Know Nothing sponsored group of thugs calling themselves the Plug Uglies arrived by train from Baltimore to disrupt the local  municipal elections. Armed with a cannon, rifles, pistol and clubs, they marched to Northern market then the cities commercial district and quickly took control of the voting booths. They beat Irish citizens who tried to vote and threatened to burn down Irish and African American ghettos.
The city's mayor was William Beans Magruder (1810–1869) was a prominent physician who served as Mayor from 1856 to 1858. Although born in Montgomery County, the family moved to Georgetown where Magruder was raised and educated. He set up his medical practice there in 1831. A year later, when a cholera epidemic broke out.  Magruder was placed in charge of the Western Hospital and his heroic actions during the epidemic made his reputation as an important physician in the city.
Magruder is the subject of a now famous anecdote that once, while attempting to talk a small boy into taking a dose of castor oil, he promised the child that the medicine was very sweet, when the boy replied, "Well, then, if it's so good, why don't you take some yourself?"
Magruder entered public office in 1835, when he became a member of the Washington Board of Health. Two years later, he was elected to the city's Common Council, then to the Board of Aldermen in 1843, where he served until 1856.
 John Thomas Towers, a Know Nothing had been mayor before Magruder. Towers, born in Alexandria to English immigrant parents, was trained as a printer and ran several book and printing shops in Washington until 1852 when President Millard Fillmore appointed him superintendent of printing at the U.S. Capitol.
(The position was the forerunner of the modern Government Printing Office.)  The Know-Nothings put Towers up for mayor against incumbent John Walker Maury in 1854.
Maury was born in Caroline County, Virginia to a prominent family. His great-grandfather, Reverend James Maury, had founded the Maury Classical School for Boys at which Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe were students. His grandfather was headmaster of a school in Williamsburg; his great-uncle, "Consul" James Maury, was the United States' first consul to Liverpool, England, appointed by George Washington; and his uncle, Matthew Fontaine Maury, was a famous and accomplished oceanographer.
He moved at 17 to Washington City (as DC was then called), where he established a law practice. As mayor, Maury (and the philanthropist William Wilson Corcoran) convinced Congress to appropriate funds for the Government Hospital for the Insane, now known as St. Elizabeth’s. He also oversaw the start of construction of Washington's public waterworks. Additionally, he appropriated the money to pay sculptor Clark Mills to complete the statue of Andrew Jackson that stands in Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House.
The year 1854 was the political peak for Know Nothings all across America that year, and the party elected mayors in most of the major US cities, including DC and John T. Towers defeated Maury.
 As mayor go, Towers was a disaster.  In 1856, Towers declined to seek re-election. In his place, the Know-Nothings nominated Silas H. Hill to succeed him as mayor. However, the city's Democrats, Republicans, and remaining Whigs banded together as the "Anti-Know-Nothing Party" and nominated Magruder. After one of the fiercest campaigns in the history of Washington, Magruder won the mayoral election by a mere 13 votes.
As mayor, Magruder worked to build the city's infrastructure, in particular building an archway over a stream that then ran near L Street and frequently overflowed, damaging the city streets.
 The Plug-Uglies turned away anti-Know-Nothing voters with rocks, guns, and knives, until some citizens brought weapons of their own and the violence grew into mob rule. When the rioters reached levels of over 1,000, Magruder, commanding a force of less than 56 full time Police officers most of whom had abandoned their posts in the face of the pending violence, was forced to close the polls and appeal to President Buchanan, one of eleven children of poor Ulster Irish parents, for help.  (Of those eleven children, three died in infancy and only one o lived past the year 1840) However, before soldiers arrived, the rioters had stolen a Federal cannon and Magruder pled with the mob to abandon it and surrender until Navy Marines arrived and dispersed the rioters.
 Buchanan also knew a thing or two about the Know Nothings. In fact, in 1856, former president, Millard Fillmore's Know-Nothing candidacy helped Buchanan defeat John C. Fremont, the first Republican candidate for president.
 Buchanan ordered marines from the nearby Capitol Hill barracks to restore order. General Archibald Henderson (January 21, 1783 – January 6, 1859 75) the so-called "Grand old man of the Marine Corps" hailed from Colchester (A former wealthy tobacco port, it is an unincorporated town on the Occoquan River) in Fairfax County. Henderson would be the longest-serving Commandant of the Marine Corps (over 38 years) and had served on the USS Constitution during her famous victories in the War of 1812.
He went into the field as Commandant during the Indian campaigns in Florida and Georgia during 1836 and 1837, and was promoted brevet brigadier general for his actions in these campaigns. Tradition holds that he pinned a note to his door that read, "Gone to Florida to fight the Indians. Will be back when the war is over."
Henderson is credited with thwarting attempts by President Andrew Jackson to combine the Marine Corps with the Army in 1829. Instead, Congress passed the Act for the Better Organization of the Marine Corps in 1834, ensuring the Marines would remain part of the United States Department of the Navy.  A  sword presented to Henderson after the end of the Mexican-American War read "From the Halls of Montezuma, to the Shores of Tripoli" giving the opening words to the Marines' hymn.
Henderson, then 74-years-old and dressed in a civilian suit (He had been in church when the call came in to the Marines barracks on 8th Street just after noon) ordered  Maj. Henry Tyler to march two companies of marines from their Barracks to down town. Also in command were Capts. Jacob Zeilin and William Maddox. (Of Charles County, the USS Maddox is named for him) Henderson rode at the front of the men; armed with an umbrella (Others say it was a cane)
The two companies marched to the District’s city hall, where Major Tyler discussed the situation with Mayor Magruder and then carried on towards the polling headquarters at what is now 5th and K streets.
The marines took the voting booths back from the mob and ordered the rioters to disband. Instead, the Plug Uglies turned their Cannon on the General and threatened to shoot if he and his men did not withdraw. Henderson, riding on horseback and dressed in civilian clothes, instead stuck his umbrella into the Plug Uglies Cannon and turned his back on the mob defying them to shot. "Give my men due cause to impose the wrath of God" (Another version says the generals words were “Men, you had better think twice before you fire this piece at the Marines.”)
At that point, a squad of marines that included Henderson’s son, rushed into the Plug Uglies line and wrestled the cannon away from the gangsters (The term gangster rose out of another massive street gang of the time, in Detroit)  
Again, Henderson ordered the mob to disperse and then ordered his marines to march into the mob, Bayonets fixed. The plug Uglies responded by firing into the oncoming Marines with pistol shot, killing one and injuring several more. The Marines charged the mob.  In the next several minutes, 12 people fell severely wounded. Eventually the marines managed to push the mob back to the B&O railroad station where the Plug Uglies where reinforced with a contingent of Know Nothings brought in from Baltimore. In the next 24 hours, five more people lay dead and scores more were wounded before the Marines could not retake the city streets from the Nativist's.
Mayor Magruder did not receive the Anti-Know-Nothing nomination for mayor in the 1858 election, and the coalition's new candidate, James G. Berret, came to office. Magruder ran again as an independent candidate in 1860 but lost to Berret. After leaving office, Magruder continued to practice medicine until dying from a stomach infection in May of 1869.
John Walker Maury died one year after leaving office. He is buried at the Congressional Cemetery in DC. The Maury Elementary School in upper northwest was named in his honor.
Know Nothing mayor John Thomas Towers also died in 1857, one year after leaving office and was interred in Congressional Cemetery.
 There is a bronze and granite memorial in Meridian Hill Park in DC in honor of President Buchannan. It was designed by Baltimore architect William Gorden Beecher and sculpted by Maryland artist Hans Schuler. Commissioned in 1916 but not approved by the U.S. Congress until 1918, and not completed and unveiled until June 26, 1930. The statue of Buchanan is between the classical figures of a male and female which represent law and diplomacy, with the engraved text reading: "The incorruptible statesman whose walk was upon the mountain ranges of the law," a quote from a member of Buchanan's cabinet, Jeremiah S. Black.
General Henderson is buried in the Congressional Cemetery.  Henderson Hall Barracks on 8th Street SE is named for him
 Capt. Zeilin, one of the two officers that led the marines against the Plug Uglies, was later promoted to Brigadier General and served as the seventh Commandant of the United States Marine Corps from 1864 to 1876. It was Zeilin who officially approved of the design of the "Eagle, Globe, and Anchor," as the emblem for the Marine Corps. He died in D.C but is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In the late 1840s, the Washington National Monument Society, a private civic-minded organization, was raising funds to build the nation’s first monument to George Washington.
The group was successful and by 1862, the base of the Washington Monument had been completed by mostly Irish laborers with imported Italian Marble, much to the annoyance of local Maryland quarry owners who felt that the Monument should have been constructed in Maryland marble. (The monument is made of not only marble but also granite, and sandstone)
 The Architect was Robert Mills who also designed the Department of Treasury building and several other federal buildings in D. C. including the U.S. Patent Office Building. Mills died in 1855 and was buried at the Congressional Cemetery.
 It so happened that at certain sections of the Monuments interior in scripted stones from various heads of state were to dot the walls, including one stone sent by the Pope,  Pius IX.  Pius had gone to Rome as a very young man to become a pontifical guard, however, epilepsy kept him out of the legendary Swiss Guard. It was Pius who convened the First Vatican Council in 1869, which decreed papal infallibility in church matters.  He also defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, meaning that Mary was conceived without original sin and that she lived a life completely free of sin.
 The Pope had been invited by the US government to contribute the memorial stone. He sent a black marble block measuring approximately three feet long, 18 inches high, and 10 inches deep, that had been taken from the ruins of the ancient Temple of Concord the western side of the Roman Forum., and had it inscribed “Rome to America”. The stone arrived in DC in October of 1853.
 At that time, anti-Catholic-anti Irish sentiment in the US was enormous and soon a rumor spread, not only across the city, but across the country, that the monument was not to be in honor of the Americas first President, but instead, it was to be dedicated to Pope in Rome, as a symbol to the nation’s growing Irish- Catholic population. There was even a bestselling pamphlet by John F. Weishampel entitled Rome to America: the Pope’s Stratagem! An address to the Protestants of the United States against placing the Pope’s block of marble in the Washington Monument.
 On the night March 5, 1854, members of the Know Nothing party (Reports ranged from five or six thugs to as many as 750) attacked the work site, overpowered it guards and set about destroying monument as best they could. (At the time it stood only 153 feet in the air)  The so-called Pope’s stone, together with monumental blocks from other countries, was stored in a shed. Upon finding the offending stone, they flung it into the nearby Potomac River. (The rover had not yet been redirected and was only several yards away from the monument)  That Stone has never been found.
Appalled at the attack, the Washington National Monument Society appealed to Congress for assistance in completing the monument and Maryland Representative Henry May (May was born in DC and graduated from the Columbian College, which is now GW University) had all but arranged a federal appropriation of $200,000.
The following year, in 1863, the Know Nothings took control of the committee set up to complete the Washington Monument. Under Know Nothing Control, work on the monument came to a virtual standstill.  At the end of the civil war, the monument was completed, this time with Maryland Marble. The difference in the stones can be seen today about midway up the Statue.
The capstone was set on December 6, 1884, and the completed monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885. (A day before Washington’s Birthday) It officially opened October 9, 1888.
 Upon completion, it became the world's tallest structure, a title previously held by the Cologne Cathedral. The monument held this designation until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris, France. It remains the world's tallest stone structure, the world's tallest obelisk and the tallest building in Washington, D.C (There is a popular misconception that the law specifically states that no building may be taller than the Washington Monument, but in fact, the law makes no mention of it)
Among those who spoke before the crowd of 800 was Ohio Senator John Sherman, (Brother of William Tecumseh Sherman who led the military procession that day, it was John Sherman who wrote the Sherman anti-trust act) William Wilson Corcoran of DC, (Of the Corcoran gallery of Art fame) Thomas Lincoln Casey of the Army Corps of Engineers. Casey headed the Office of Public Buildings and Grounds for the then federally run District of Columbia.  He built the State, War, and Navy Department Building (now the Eisenhower Executive Office Building) and completed the Washington Monument. He also worked on the Library of Congress building, which was nearly completed when he died suddenly on March 25, 1896.
 President Chester Arthur was also present and Representative John Davis Long read a speech given 37 years before at the laying of the monuments cornerstone. The final speech given Virginia Governor John Warwick Daniel, a lawyer, author, and politician from Lynchburg. A major in the Confederate Army, Daniel was an important staff officer for Major General Jubal A. Early in several campaigns, including Gettysburg. He was permanently disabled in the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864

Despite being unable to walk as a result of his war wounds, Daniel’s enter law school and was admitted to the bar in 1866. He established his practice at Lynchburg and then entered politics.  It was Daniel who planned the Virginia Memorial on the Gettysburg Battlefield.

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