Ireland’s War of Independence (1919-1921) made regular headlines in U.S. daily newspapers and the Irish-American press, including key people and events in the United States. This centennial series explores aspects of that news and opinion coverage, including Éamon de Valera’s 18-month U.S. tour to raise money and political support for Ireland.
This page is divided into three sections:
- Centenary year “revisited” posts.
- Special projects: American journalists Ruth Russell and Harry Guest, who reported from Ireland in 1919 and 1920, respectively. English novelist and journalist Wilfrid Ewart traveled through Ireland from mid-April to early May 1921. His dispatches for London newspapers were later collected and revised in the book, A Journey in Ireland, 1921.
- Sources & links, including Irish-American newspapers and period books and reports.
Guest contributions, suggestions, and comments are welcome. Reach me via the website or @markaholan. MH All content © 2021.
War relief to Listowel and North Kerry, 1921, Listowel Connection
A Journey in Ireland, 1921, Revisited (See Special Projects below.)
Ireland & the 1920 U.S. presidential election: Part 2 (Democratic National Convention, San Francisco, July 1920)
Ireland & the 1920 U.S. presidential election: Part 1 (Republican National Convention in Chicago, June 1920)
An American Reporter in 1920 Ireland (See Special Projects below.)
Ruth Russell in Revolutionary Ireland, The Irish Story
When an Irish Rebel Had His Portrait Drawn in Louisville, Filson Historical Society Blog
Ruth Russell in Revolutionary Ireland (See Special Projects below.)
Original research by Mark Holan. © 2021
Ruth Russell in Revolutionary Ireland
Chicago journalist Ruth Russell reported from revolutionary Ireland in 1919, followed by a year of activism for its independence. This five-part monograph explores her life before, during, and after the period. I presented this research at the 2019 annual conferences of the American Journalism Historians Association, Dallas; the Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland, Belfast; and the Irish Railroad Workers Museum, Baltimore. The sixth post details my effort to add her name to the gravestone where she is buried in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
- Ruth Russell remembered in stone … 57 years later
An American Reporter in 1920 Ireland
Harry F. Guest of the New York Globe spent January and February 1920 reporting from revolutionary Ireland. Upon his return to America, he wrote two dozen stories based on his interviews and observations, which were syndicated to U.S. and Canadian newspapers from March through May 1920. This series was researched entirely from online sources in April 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine. I hope to followup with additional library and archive research after the crisis.
A Journey In Ireland, 1921, Revisited
Novelist and journalist Wilfrid Ewart traveled through Ireland from mid-April to early May 1921. His dispatches for London newspapers were later collected and revised in the book, A Journey in Ireland, 1921. Though Ewart was English, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to revisit aspects of his journey at its 100th anniversary.
- An introduction
- Dublin arrival
- In Cork
- Twice detained
- Murdered mayors
- Ulster attitude
- Rising & Partition
- Mysterious Mr. X.
- Ewart reviewed
- Final thoughts
The series taps coverage in the mainstream American press and several Irish-American publications:
- The Irish Standard, published from 1886 until mid-1920 in Minneapolis, Minn.
- The Kentucky Irish American, published from 1898 to 1968 in Louisville.
- The Irish Press, a short-lived (1918-1922) Philadelphia weekly with direct political and financial ties to revolutionary Ireland.
- The Gaelic American, “a journal devoted to the cause of Irish independence, Irish literature, and the interests of the Irish race,” published in New York City from 1903 to 1951.
- News Letter of the Friends of Irish Freedom, a Washington, D.C. newsletter published from mid-1991 to 1922.
This is an evolving list of articles and books. Individual posts may cite sources that are not listed below.
American Commission on Irish Independence
- Report on Condition in Ireland … , June 1919
- Correspondence, Ireland’s Claim for Independence, August 1919
American Commission on Conditions in Ireland, 1920-1921
American Committee for Relief in Ireland, 1921-1922
- A Summons to Service, March 1921
- Distress in Ireland, April 1921
- Reports of ACRI & Irish White Cross, 1922
Callihan, Susan Bennett McGinnis, “From Ireland to Louisville: The Story of Limerick, 1850-1913.” Dissertation, University of Louisville, 1996.
Carroll, Francis M., “The American Commission on Irish Independence and the Paris Peace Conference of 1919,” in Irish Studies in International Affairs, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1985, pp. 103-118.
- ” ‘All Standards of Human Conduct’ : The American Commission on Conditions in Ireland, 1920-1921.” in Eire-Ireland, Vol. XVI, No. 4 (Winter, 1981), pp 59-74.
- “The American Committee for Relief in Ireland”, in Irish Historical Studies, Vol. 23, No. 89 (May, 1982), pp. 30-49.
Clark, Dennis, The Irish in Philadelphia: Ten Generations of Urban Experience. Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1973.
Crews, Clyde F., ed., Mike Barry and the Kentucky Irish American: An Anthology. University Press of Kentucky, 1995.
Davis, Troy D., “Eamon de Valera’s Political Education: The American Tour of 1919-20,” in New Hibernia Review, Vol. 10, No. 1, Spring 2006, pp. 65-78.
Doorley, Michael, Irish-American Diaspora Nationalism: The Friends of Irish Freedom, 1916-1935. Four Courts Press, 2005.
Ewart, Winfrid, A Journey in Ireland, 1921, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1922. (Also, “Introduction” by Paul Bew and Patrick Maume in 2009 University College Dublin Press edition.)
Golway, Terry, Irish Rebel: John Devoy and America’s Fight for Ireland’s Freedom. St. Martin Press, New York, 1998.
Hackett, Francis, The Story of the Irish Nation. Albert and Charles Boni, New York, 1922.
Hannigan, Dave, De Valera in America: The Rebel President and the Making of Irish Independence. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2010.
Kenneally, Ian, The Paper Wall: Newspapers and Prapoganda in Ireland 1919-1921. The Collins Press, 2008.
McCartan, Patrick, With De Valera In America. Brentano, New York, 1932.
McCullagh, David, De Valera, Rise 1882-1932, Gill Books, New York, 2017.
O’Doherty, Katherine, Assignment America: De Valera’s Mission to the United States. De Tanko Publishers, New York, 1957. Via HathiTrust Digital Library.
Ousley Jr., Stanley, “The Irish in Louisville.” Dissertation, University of Louisville, 1974.
Russell, Ruth, What’s the matter with Ireland?, Devin-Adair Co., New York, 1920.
Street, Major John Charles, under the pseudonym “I.O.”, for Information Officer. British military/government side of events:
- The Administration of Ireland, 1920, E.P. Dutton & Co., New York, 1921.
- Ireland in 1921, Phillip Allan & Co. London, 1922
Struggle of the Irish People, The, Address to the Congress of the United States, by Dail Eireann, May 1921
Tansill, Charles Callen, America and the fight for Irish freedom, 1866-1922, an old story based on new data, The Devin-Adair Co., New York, 1957.
Walsh, Maurice, The News From Ireland: Foreign Correspondents and the Irish Revolution. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2008.
Whelan, Bernadette, United States Foreign Policy and Ireland: From Empire to Independence, 1913-29. Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2006.