The story of Abraham Lincoln, the Irish, and the US Civil War has never been fully told until now, in a new book by IrishCentral founder and executive editor Niall O'Dowd. Join us LIVE for a Facebook interview with O'Dowd on telling this overlooked story.
For the first time, the full story of Abraham Lincoln and the Irish is told in Niall O’Dowd’s book “Lincoln and the Irish: The Untold Story," published by Skyhorse Publishing which has had 46 books on the New York Times bestseller list.
Since it's launch this week, the book has shot to #10 on the Amazon bestseller list of Civil War books.
Join us for a Facebook Live interview with O'Dowd, today at 11 am EST.
Lincoln knew the Irish, more than any president other than JFK. He loved their songs like Kathleen Mavourneen and read Emmet’s speech from the dock. He gave to famine relief and eagerly signed onto a House bill condemning the treatment of the Young Irelanders.
His children were raised by Irish nannies, despite the fact that his wife Mary Todd Lincoln disliked the Irish and threatened to support the nativist Know Nothings against them.
Lincoln fought with them as political rivals in Springfield, ending up seconds away from a duel with a remarkable Irishman called James Shields from Tyrone, the only man in history to be selected from three different states as a US senator.
Lincoln called the near duel the lowest moment of his life.
When Lincoln got to the White House he was greeted by the ageless Ed McManus the Irish doorman and a predominantly Irish staff.
He spent so much time with them other jealous staffers referred to them as his “Hibernian cabal.” McManus was said to be the only man who could make the president laugh. Lincoln was even known to affect an Irish accent at times.
The Irish formed the backbone of the Union Army, so much so that Jefferson Davis dispatched a bishop and a famous Irish priest to Ireland to plead with the Catholic Church there to stop Irish emigrants joining Lincoln’s army.
On the battlefield 150,000 Irish fought for Lincoln and democracy in the Civil War, yet historical series like the Ken Burns one hardly mentioned them.
O'Dowd will delve into all this and more, including how he went about constructing this extraordinary historical narrative.