Published on January 12, 2014 by Carol
Book title: The Irish of Portland, Maine: A History of Forest City Hibernians (American Heritage)
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Author: Matthew Jude Barker
The Irish have influenced the city of Portland since it was first established in the seventeenth century. Today’s vibrant Catholic community owes its origins to Irish immigrants in Portland’s earliest days, when beloved leaders like Father Ffrench provided solace to souls far from home. The church helped them adapt and adapted along with them, affecting the city in many ways. Portland’s Irish faced discrimination, especially in the years before the Civil War, when anti-Irish sentiment surged and burnings and violence erupted, like the June 1855 Rum Riot. Despite this, many Portland Irish took up arms for the United States in the Civil War, and their participation in this conflict helped them become assimilated. Join local expert Matthew Jude Barker as he explores the triumphs and challenges of the Irish of Portland before the twentieth century.