Thomas Francis Meagher: The Making of an Irish American


John M. Hearne & Rory T. Cornish

This monograph is an important addition to nineteenth century trans-Atlantic community studies and Irish studies generally.

ISBN: 9780716528135 Categories: ,


Romantic Young Irelander, republican revolutionary, father of the Irish tricolour and political exile, Thomas Francis Meagher became a citizen of the United States and a leading ethnic spokesman in his adopted republic. The first commanding general of the famed Irish Brigade during the American Civil War and post-war de-facto governor of Montana Territory until his mysterious death in 1867, Meagher’s career remains as controversial today as it was during his own lifetime. One of the finest republican orators of his day, Meagher has recently been honoured by a new heroic statue in the city of his birth, Waterford, Ireland. In this new academic study scholars from three continents fully chronicle the various aspects of Meagher’s often colourful and mercurial career. In tracing his ancestral origins from the sixteenth century Irish midlands to his present day descendants in California, this original study vividly portrays the Irish, Australian and American influences on Meagher’s career, a career marked by frustrated hope and unfilled ambition. If something of a glorious failure, Meagher helped shape the destiny of his adopted republic and changed forever the perception on the Irish in the New World.

From the Series: The Irish Abroad

This series aims to publish short biographies of Irish men and women who made their mark outside their native country.  Accounts of those who settled permanently overseas will be published along with the life stories of temporary residents and involuntary emigrants.

About the Editors

John M. Hearne, constitutional lawyer and diplomat was born in Waterford in 1893. He received his early education at Waterpark College, Waterford, and later at University College, Dublin. After his University days he attended St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, with the intention of becoming a priest but, realising that he did not have a vocation to the priesthood, he left there to enter King’s Inns to become a lawyer. He became an authority on constitutional law and he was appointed the legal advisor to the Irish delegation at the Imperial Conferences in 1926, 1929 and 1930.

Rory T. Cornish is a retired Professor of History at Emeritus, Winthrop University, South Carolina. uthor/editor of three books, he was a contributor to many joint publications, including the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2002). His main area of research has been in British politics in the era of the American Revolution though since 2000 he has become Increasingly interested in the Irish participation during the American Civil War.

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