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Chief O'Neill's Sketchy Recollections of an Eventful Life in Chicago
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Chief O'Neill's Sketchy Recollections of an Eventful Life in Chicago (Hardback)

£31.95
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Synopsis

This remarkable memoir of immigration and assimilation provides a rare view of urban life in Chicago in the late 1800s by a newcomer to the city, the Midwest, and the nation as well. Francis O'Neill left Ireland in 1865. After five years traveling the world as a sailor, he and his family settled in Chicago, just shortly before the Great Fire of 1871.As O'Neill looked back on his life, writing in Chicago at the age of 83, he could give first-hand accounts of the Pullman strike of 1894, the railway strike of 1903, and the packinghouse strike of 1904. He could also reflect on the corruption that kept him at the whim of powerful aldermen who transferred him from station to station to prevent his advance as a member of the Chicago Police Department. Despite these obstacles, O'Neill eventually rose to be chief of police. In addition to his professional success, O'Neill is also remembered and beloved for his hobby, preserving traditional Irish music.O'Neill's story offers perspective on the inner workings of the police department at the turn of the twentieth century. His memoir also brings to life the challenges involved in succeeding in a new land, providing for his family, and integrating into a new culture. There were opportunities in America for ambitious, hardworking people, and Francis O'Neill serves as a fine documentarian of the Irish immigrant experience in Chicago.

BiographyBiography: generalBiography: historical, political & militaryBiographyMemoirsHistory & PoliticsHistory: specific events & topicsSocial & cultural history Publisher: Northwestern University Press Publication Date: 15/02/2008 ISBN-13: 9780810124653  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Francis O'Neill was born to a farming family in County Cork in Ireland in 1848. He left home in 1865 and died a true Chicagoan in 1936. Ellen Skerrett is currently writing a history of Loyola University Chicago. She is the co-author and editor of a number of books on Catholicism and Chicago. Most recently she edited At the Crossroads: Old St. Patrick's and the Chicago Irish. Mary Lesch is Francis O'Neill's great-granddaughter. She is now retired and divides her time between Chicago and Harbert, Michigan.

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