Irish Immigrants in Michigan: A History in Stories

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To leave or stay was the question for the Irish in the nineteenth century. In Ireland, people suffered persecution, poverty and famine. America offered freedom and opportunity. For those who left and came to Michigan, the land’s abundant natural resources encouraged them to become loggers, miners, fishermen, traders and farmers. Others became rail workers, merchants, lawyers, soldiers, doctors and teachers. Governor Frank Murphy advocated for civil rights. Sister Agnes Gonzaga Ryan administered schools and hospitals. Charlie O’Malley provided generously to suffering Irish people. Lighthouse keeper James Donohue never let physical disability deter him. Prospector Richard Langford discovered iron ore and then left others to mine its wealth. Authors Pat Commins and Elizabeth Rice share one story from each Michigan county about Irish immigrants or their descendants.
ISBN: 9781467146319
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: Michigan
Series: American Heritage
Images: 40
Pages: 224
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Pat Commins was born in Ardee, County Louth, Ireland. He is a retired teacher and administrator who studied in St. Mary’s College, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, London, and University College Dublin. Pat has traveled widely throughout his career. He is a student of Irish history, which he has shared through many presentations given to various groups in Michigan. Pat lives in Dublin, Ireland. Elizabeth Rice is a retired teacher who lives in Michigan. Elizabeth graduated with a BA from Albion College. She earned an MA from the University of Michigan. She has a keen interest in people and their stories. Elizabeth listened to family stories from a young age, which inspired her to become a writer. She is captivated by learning life lessons from simple experiences, people she meets, nature and unexpected encounters.
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