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John Boyle O'Reilly

Editor of "The Pilot", the Boston newspaper that he formed into the official paper of the Roman Catholic Church in Boston. He was an Irishman and Fenian who joined the British Army to foment revolution, was discovered, arrested, transported to Australia, escaped to Boston, became a newspaper reporter and agitator for Irish causes against the English. He later was a sort of political leader (Democrat) who did not become popular because he supported assimiliation rather than continued emphasis on Irish culture and nationalism. He won quite a lot of praise from the Irish brahmins who voted him into literary clubs and gave him prizes. He was a boxer and physical culture advocate. He must have taken up canoeing in the MacGregor craze. A statue of O'Reilly is in Boston's Fenway area, and he has been mentioned in histories of Boston's Irish, but he has largely been forgotten. The chapters I include are from a book that appears to have been published either just after his death or just before--the first half is about boxing and includes a male nude frontispiece; there is also a chapter on Irish weaponry and sport--the canoeing chapters are the last half and I thought them good enough to publish separately.

Interesting guy and interesting writing too, especially the Dismal Swamp piece.

  1. Canoeing the Connecticut
  2. Down the Susquehanna in a Canoe
  3. Down the Delaware River in a Canoe
  4. Canoeing in the Dismal Swamp