Introduction


The Fenian Graves Association has been established for the purpose of keeping the memory of our Irish American Fenian heroes and heroines alive by recording their deeds on behalf of Irish freedom as well as their many sacrifices for their adopted homeland, America.

Over the centuries tens of thousands of Irish men and women who fought for freedom and liberty in Ireland and in America lie in unmarked graves throughout this continent. We do not know their names nor the moment or manner of their deaths; we can only surmise that they died believing that one-day Ireland would be free and that their efforts would somehow hasten that day.

Down through the centuries they came to the Americas to escape the clutches of tyranny. Many of them had fought British armies in Ireland before arriving here. Some were forced to flee Ireland to avoid capture and certain death; others arrived having escaped British prisons and slave camps in Australia and elsewhere. Still, others who came were victims of the many avoidable famines that plagued Ireland owing to the indifference and greed of the British authorities and their landlords who
laid claim to the livestock, wheat, oats and barley that otherwise would have fed the people.

Not all of our Fenian heroes and heroines were born in Ireland. Some were born in the Americas while others were born elsewhere throughout the world. Still, all of them shared a common belief that Ireland was entitled to its rightful place in the company of free nations. They worked hard and sacrificed much for that belief.

Many of those who came to America fought in its Revolutionary War to help secure its freedom from Britain; the same enemy laying claim to their homeland. Those of later generations who came here joined the ranks of Irish regiments and various other regiments that fought so gallantly in America's Civil War in both Union and Confederate ranks.

Not all of those, whom we strive to honor, took up arms to answer the call of freedom. Some took up the pen to expose the cunning, cruelty and inhumanity of the British and other foes of liberty. We are also mindful of others who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to provide the support needed to wage war on Britain; the foe of Irish unification and freedom.

  1. 1.     The individual must have lived for part or all of his/her life in the Americas. (Irish born individuals who later returned to Ireland and died there or, whose remains were returned there for burial, will be eligible)

  2. 2.    In keeping with the Fenian tradition, the individual, once committed, remained forever faithful to the cause of Irish freedom and;

  3. A.    took a prominent role in the struggle for Irish freedom at great risk to his / her own freedom or;

  4. B.     was an unsung hero/heroine who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, in both good and bad times, for the cause of Irish freedom or,

  5. C.     was a member of the Fenian movement who fought with distinction for America's freedom and unity or;

  6. D. was a lifelong, reliable and able defender of activists in legal jeopardy for activities related to the cause of Irish freedom.

 


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