Quinn to discuss the Irish in Civil War-era Newport

Dr. John Quinn, professor in the Department of History, will discuss “Divided Loyalties: The Irish in Civil War Newport” as part of the McKillop Library’s faculty lecture series. The talk will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17 in the library’s atrium.

When the Civil War began, most Newporters responded with apprehension. While they wanted to support the Union cause, they knew that their city’s economy had been supported for years by Southern visitors – planters from Charleston and Savannah who would while away their summers in Newport.

The Civil War was especially hard on the city’s Irish residents, who were mostly recent immigrants and did not feel that they had much of a stake in the war. Still, after the fall of Fort Sumter, many Irish Newporters enlisted and fought bravely for the North. Over time though, the city’s Irish grew disillusioned and were less willing to shed their blood in what seemed to be a war without end.

Quinn holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and master’s and doctoral degrees in history from the University of Notre Dame. His research fields are Irish history and American ethnic and religious history.

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