Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh.
Today really isn't about green beer or leprechauns. Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, and here in the States it's a celebration of Irish heritage.
The largest influx of Irish immigrants (well over 1 million) came during the Great Hunger of the late 1840s and early 1950s.
Political, religious, and economic oppression already plagued the people of Eire, but the potato blight truly starved them out of their homeland. If you don't know about it- read up or watch this super abbreviated video from Hip Hughes History. There are too many details to go into here, but they were faced with extreme discrimination and hardship upon their arrival.
(Google "know nothing" party for an idea of the nativist & religious discrimination the Irish famine refugees faced in the U.S. from the majority W.A.S.P. populists. People actually thought the "violent" and "terrorist" Irish would come into the country and then take over the country with papal rule. Sound familiar? All the lolz.)
Another sidenote- The Long Journey Home (produced in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) is an excellent documentary series, but it's many, many hours long. I seriously recommend it, though. Also, call your rep in congress in ask them to save PBS!
For Patrons, the bonus hand drawn sheet is in the next post, and since the Irish immigrants from the Great Hunger have been on my mind this week, this page features potato blossoms.
I also promised a preview of the next printable for the top level supporters.
(The above pics are still wet, w-i-p photos.)Okay, okay, but who's the lady?
I give you-
The most dangerous woman in America.
“Wherever she went,” Sinclair Lewis wrote of Mary Harris "Mother Jones", “the flame of protest leaped up in the hearts of men.”
I read her autobiography and started a couple of little watercolor portrait studies. She was born in Cork, Ireland, 1837 and her family was forced to emigrate to survive the famine. She endured much loss and tragedy, but she forever changed the landscape and raised the quality of life for the American working class. Again- you can watch an abbreviated video, if you want to learn more. Or hit me up. I love chatting Mother Jones. She was just wee bit inspiring. ;)
My point is, you're celebrating with tacky party favors in the U.S. today because Irish immigrants made it here. They celebrate today to honor their heritage and or religion. But we also celebrate child labor laws, and LOTS of other workers' (especially mine and industrial worker) rights, in part, thanks to this lady, an Irish born American, Mother Jones.
Immigrants make America great. 💙
Many songs have been written about Mother Mary Jones, but I'll leave you with this song by an Irish musician from Cork. It's perfect for today.
Love you all!
"Pray for the dead, fight like hell for the living." ~Mother Jones