Historical novels by Michael McCarthy of Irish immigration and life as a first generation Irish American
Michael will speak at iBAM!, Sunday, October 29th at 1pm in Room 109 about the Peter Robinson Settlement Project of 1823 and 1825.
In 1821, Ireland had yet another crop failure and the British authorities did little for their Irish subjects, especially after the Act of Union (1800), which promised to elevate the political and social status of Ireland. This crisis sparked renewed threat of an agrarian revolt centered in southern Ireland. Sir Robert Wilmot-Horton, the British Under-Secretary for the Colonies, devised a relief scheme to emigrate impoverished Irish out of Ireland and relocate to Upper Canada.
This presentation of these little-known projects will describe the political and social ramifications for each country as well as the personal implications for the families. Most of the families stayed in Canada but some settlers moved west or came to the United States. This settlement project was the basis for Michael McCarthy’s first book - From Cork to the New World: A Journey for Survival.
From Cork to the New World
In 1821, Ireland had yet another crop failure and Canadian official Peter Robinson led a relief scheme to emigrate over 2000 impoverished Irish out of Ireland and relocate to them to Upper Canada. This story follows two of those families as they make a
to leave their family, friends and all they know of the world to embark on
and arduous voyage to a remote wilderness clearing in Upper Canada. This story celebrates the joy of new life and love along with the hardship of separation and death as families settle in the New World.
This story follows a young Irish farmer, who must face the reality of no future, starvation, and a corrupt justice system. During his flight from a seemingly hopeless situation, he meets a young woman, who is also fleeing her own personal demons and together they seek to find substance, love and survival in a new and unfamiliar world. Together, they travel to New York and westward on the Erie Canal, where their journey presents a challenge to their personal values, determination and place in the world.
In America, where ethnic and cultural discrimination precede their arrival, 19th century immigrants must face familiar prejudice in a land that promises equality for all.
This presentation will describe some significant and social events that shape the Central and Western New York landscape for these any many immigrants including the Irish.
The Children of Michigan Street
Michael McCarthy’s third historical novel portrays a first generation Irish-American growing up in the Western New York town of Lockport in the 1840’s and 50’s. While his Irish born parents are assimilating into their New World, their eldest son is watching his nation of birth move toward civil war. This compelling story of loyalty, values, and the spirit of adventure clash with the realities of division, contempt and forgiveness.
From the might and natural splendor of Niagara Falls to the struggles of Union prisoners of war in the unforgiving south, the spectrum of human nature is revealed in all its complexities through loyalty, values, and the spirit of adventure as they clash with the essence of division, contempt and forgiveness.
About the Author: Michael McCarthy is a retired Police Investigator from the Rochester Police Department (NY). After his second career, he retired again in June 2013 as the Director of Safety and Security for St. John Fisher College (Rochester, NY) after 15 years of service. Michael has a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development. Currently he is the President of the Irish American Cultural Institute, Rochester Chapter; member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians; and serves on the Advisory Board for the Irish Studies Program at St. John Fisher College.
In addition to his three books, Mr. McCarthy has published numerous articles for NorthEast Colleges and Universities Security Association’s (NECUSA) The Clipboard and the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators’ (IACLEA) Campus Law Enforcement Journal. He also served as the editor for The Clipboard for six years.
Michael McCarthy became interested in writing historical stories after researching his own family history. After discovering the little known but highly successful Peter Robinson Settlement Project of 1825, he decided this story needed to be told and started layering the historical facts with the likely human drama that challenged the poor and destitute families that needed relief from their sufferings. The culmination resulted in his first book, From Cork to the New World published by Borealis Press (Ottawa) in 2009.
Michael E. McCarthy
Web site: www.michaelmccarthybooks.com