The lawyer, the banker & money to Ireland, fall 1921

A photographer hailed New York banker John J. Pulleyn and lawyer Richard Campbell as they approached the ocean liner that would soon carry them to Ireland. Would they stop for a picture? The pair agreed, Pulleyn removing his hat, Campbell draping his coat over his left forearm.

New York Daily News, Sept. 28, 1921.

In addition to their usual professional roles, Pulleyn and Campbell were treasurer and secretary, respectively, of the American Committee for Relief in Ireland. The day before their Sept. 27, 1921, voyage, they approved a $242,364 disbursement to the Irish White Cross to help relieve suffering in the war-torn country, where an uneasy truce had held since July. The remittance raised to $726,000 the American Committee’s distribution to Ireland in September, more than double the monthly average since the relief campaign began in January 1921.[1]Reports, American Committee for Relief In Ireland and Irish White Cross, 1922. Schedule B, pp. 44-45.

Pulleyn, the son of Irish immigrants, was a 61-year-old widow and president of the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank in New York City. His 24-year-old daughter, Clara, joined him on the Atlantic voyage. Two adult sons remained at the banker’s Upper West Side house, staffed by a pair of Irish maids.[2]1920 U.S. Census, Manhattan Assembly District 11, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1205; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 819, and Nov. 11, 1921 New York Passenger Arrivals, Microfilm Serial: T715, … Continue reading

Campbell, 48, was single. He emigrated from Deerpark East, Glenarm in County Antrim, in 1889, and was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1894. Campbell worked as a journalist, graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in 1899, and soon joined the U.S. Department of Justice in the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt. Campbell later served as U.S. federal judge in the Philippines, then retired from the judiciary in 1916 and opened a private practice in New York.[3]1920 U.S. Census: Manhattan Assembly District 7, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1197; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 551, Nov. 11, 1921 New York Passenger Arrivals, and “From Altmore Street to … Continue reading

By coincidence, the ship that Pulleyn and Campbell boarded was the Lapland, the same liner that Irish leader Éamon de Valera had stowed aboard to America two years earlier.[4]See The other aboard the ‘Lapland’ with de Valera and The ‘striking contrast’ of Dev’s second ‘Lapland’ boarding. The New York City newspapers that morning reported the latest correspondence between de Valera and Prime Minister Lloyd George regarding peace negotiations between Irish separatists and the British empire.

Ireland arrival

In Dublin, Pulleyn and Campbell were honored at a Gresham Hotel luncheon hosted by Lord Mayor Laurence O’Neill and attended by de Valera. Other guests included James G. Douglas, treasurer of the Irish White Cross. He postponed his trip to America so he could meet the two visitors, who assured him of a “hearty welcome” in the United States.[5]”Relief In Ireland Work Of White Cross”, The Irish Press, Nov. 5, 1921. (Subject of a future post.)

Two members of the American Committee also were at the Gresham: Clemens J. France, a Seattle lawyer and brother of U.S. Sen. Joseph I. France, and New York journalist Samuel Duff McCoy. France led an eight-man delegation that assessed conditions in Ireland for the American Committee in February and March. He remained in Ireland as McCoy returned to America, issued the group’s report in April, and lobbied the U.S. State Department on behalf of the relief effort. He later returned to Ireland. 

Pulleyn and Campbell visited Ballbriggan. They observed ruined factories and heard first-hand accounts of the destruction and loss of life during the year-earlier rampage by Black and Tans. They stopped at Wexford on their way to Cork city, where the British military had set devastating fires in December 1920.[6]”Relief”, Irish Press, Nov. 5, 1921.

“It was with regret and pain that we viewed the ruins of a large part of the business section of your city, and it agitated us to think that such unhappy conditions could exist in this age and in this stage of our civilization,” Campbell said at an event honoring the two visitors. “But that pain, that destruction and that regret was mitigated to some small extent by our admiration for the courage and enterprise which you have displayed in resuming again the activities of your businesses.”[7]”Irish White Cross, Speeches at Cork Dinner” The Cork Examiner, Oct. 17, 1921, and “Spectacle Of Cork Ruins Pains U.S. Delegates”, The Irish Press, Nov. 12, 1921.

Campbell also made a visit to his family home at Deerpark. A challenge hurling match was arranged in his honor.[8]”From Altmore Street …” Pulleyn and his daughter also visited some of Ireland’s beauty sights away from the misery of the two-year-old war.

Special letter

The lawyer and the banker remained in Ireland through the end of October. As they prepared to return, a special letter addressed to them thanked the American Committee …

and all those in the United States who have contributed to its funds for the generous assistance sent to Ireland for the relief of the suffering, loss and misery incurred by the Irish people in their struggle for national independence.  … It is not only the material aid that you have organized has been of incalculable benefit, you and your friends have helped to sustain the spirit of our people, and to make them realize that your great nation stood beside them with encouragement, sympathy and hope in the terrible ordeal undergone in the efforts to save their national institutions and the very fabric of their national life from destruction.

The letter was signed by Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins, George Gavan Duffy, Robert C. Barton, and Éamonn Duggan, the Irish plenipotentiaries to the London treaty negotiations with the British government.[9]Oct. 29, 1921 letter in Reports, Appendix C, pp. 84-85. Before Pulleyn and Campbell returned to New York in mid-November, the American Committee cabled another $607,000 in relief to Ireland. The payments continued until June 1922, a total of $5 million.

References

References
1 Reports, American Committee for Relief In Ireland and Irish White Cross, 1922. Schedule B, pp. 44-45.
2 1920 U.S. Census, Manhattan Assembly District 11, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1205; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 819, and Nov. 11, 1921 New York Passenger Arrivals, Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 31.
3 1920 U.S. Census: Manhattan Assembly District 7, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1197; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 551, Nov. 11, 1921 New York Passenger Arrivals, and “From Altmore Street to the Headless Cross” , Glens of Antrim Historical Society, Oct. 17, 2005.
4 See The other aboard the ‘Lapland’ with de Valera and The ‘striking contrast’ of Dev’s second ‘Lapland’ boarding.
5 ”Relief In Ireland Work Of White Cross”, The Irish Press, Nov. 5, 1921.
6 ”Relief”, Irish Press, Nov. 5, 1921.
7 ”Irish White Cross, Speeches at Cork Dinner” The Cork Examiner, Oct. 17, 1921, and “Spectacle Of Cork Ruins Pains U.S. Delegates”, The Irish Press, Nov. 12, 1921.
8 ”From Altmore Street …”
9 Oct. 29, 1921 letter in Reports, Appendix C, pp. 84-85.

2 thoughts on “The lawyer, the banker & money to Ireland, fall 1921

  1. Ed moloney

    Amcomri street in west Belfast was built by money raised by the fund and was intended to house refugees intimidated out of their homes by Loyalists. The street still stands.

    Reply

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