Tag: Immigrants: Irish

Joseph Banigan

Joseph Banigan (1839-1898) and his parents were part of a wave of Irish Catholic refugees who fled the Potato Famine in Ireland. Arriving in Rhode Island in 1847, he attended school for one year before becoming a full-time worker at age nine. Over the next fifty years he employed the “pluck and luck” characteristics of

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James Hanley

Hanley, James, 1841-1912 James Hanley was born in Roscommon, Ireland and came to America with his parents as a child in 1846 during the Great Famine migration. He rose from poverty to prominence as Rhode Island’s leading brewer. Hanley’s first important step into the world of business came in January 1862, at the age of

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Mayor Patrick J. McCarthy

McCarthy, Patrick Joseph, 1848-1921 Mayor Patrick J. McCarthy was the only immigrant ever to serve as mayor of Providence. Born in County Sligo, Ireland in 1848, his family fled the Potato Famine in 1850 only to be quarantined on Deer Island in Boston Harbor. Both his parents died there. “PJ”, as he liked to be

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U.S. Rep. George F. O’Shaunessy

O’Shaunessy, George Francis, 1868- George Francis O’Shaunessy was born in Galway, Ireland on May 1, 1868. His parents came to America when he was a child and settled in New Jersey. George was educated in New York City parochial schools and received a law degree from Columbia University in 1889. Thereafter he acquired a reputation

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Bishop George Berkeley

Eighteenth-century Rhode Island’s most famous scholar was Irish clergyman George Berkeley (pronounced Barkley), an Anglican essayist and philosopher, who renovated and resided at the beautifully preserved Whitehall Farm in present-day Middletown during his eventful stay in America from 1729 to 1731. Berkeley was born in Dysart Castle in County Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1685. He was

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Congressman Thomas Davis

Thomas Davis was born in Dublin, Ireland, on December 18, 1806. He attended private schools in Ireland and migrated to America in 1817, settling in Providence. Becoming a pioneer in Rhode Island’s jewelry industry, he amassed sufficient wealth to enable him to finance a variety of political, civic, and reform endeavors. Little is known about

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Frances Harriet (Whipple) Green McDougall

“A Rhode Island Original” is a description used by Sarah O’Dowd to title her biography of Frances Whipple. It aptly describes one of Rhode Island’s most significant mid-nineteenth-century writers and reformers. Frances was born in Smithfield in September 1805, but the exact date is unknown. She was the eldest of the four children of George

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