Alexander Turney Stewart

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Stewart, Alexander Turney, a wealthy New York merchant and capitalist, was born near Lisburn, 12th October 1803. He lost both parents before he was many days old, and was placed under the guardianship of Thomas Lamb, a member of the Society of Friends. The death of his grandfather interrupted his studies at Trinity College. He emigrated to the United States, and supported himself by teaching until he was of age, when he returned to Ireland, to receive his fortune of £2,000, with which he opened a drapery shop on Broadway, New York. His clear head, straightforwardness in business transactions, and his rule of never misrepresenting the quality of goods made him successful from the first, and after some changes he established his business in a splendid marble structure, occupying a full "block" on Broadway.

He had agents for the purchase of goods in the leading European markets, and branch establishments in several minor cities and towns of the United States. His yearly sales are said latterly to have amounted to £10,000,000. During the Irish famine he sent an entire cargo of provisions for the relief of his suffering fellow countrymen. One of the most important of his permanent benefactions was the erection of an extensive residence in New York for working women. Mr. Stewart was strongly identified with the Republican party and the Federal cause during the war with the Southern States, and contributed largely to the Sanitary Commission. He was one of the United States representatives at the Paris Exhibition of 1867. In March 1869, he was nominated by President Grant for Secretary of the United States Treasury, but was found to be ineligible because of being engaged in business on his own account. He died in New York, 10th April 1875, aged 71, leaving his fortune of some £15,000,000 almost entirely to his wife.


37a. Biographical Dictionary—American Biography: Francis S. Drake. Boston, 1876.

233. Manuscript and Special Information, and Current Periodicals.

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My Lady of the Chimney CornerMy Lady of the Chimney Corner

A memorable and moving story of the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity. In 1863 the author, Alexander Irvine, was born into dire poverty, the child of a 'mixed' marriage. His parents had survived the ravages of the famine years, but want and hunger were never to be too far away from their door. Irvine was ultimately destined to leave Ireland for America and to become a successful minister and author. He learned to read and write when he had left his home in Antrim far behind, but he came to realize that the greatest lessons he had received in life were at his mother's knee. My Lady of the Chimney Corner is the depiction of an existence that would be unthinkable in modern Ireland; but, more than that, it is the author's loving tribute to his mother, Anna, who taught him to look at the world through clean spectacles. ISBN 978-1-910375-32-7. USA orders. The book is also available as a Kindle download (UK) and Kindle download (US).

Popular Rhymes and Sayings of IrelandPopular Rhymes and Sayings of Ireland

In Popular Rhymes and Sayings of Ireland (first published in 1924) John J. Marshall examines the origin of a variety of rhymes and sayings that were at one time in vogue around different parts of the country, including those which he recalled from his own childhood in County Tyrone. Numerous riddles, games and charms are recounted, as well as the traditions of the ‘Wren Boys’ and Christmas Rhymers. Other chapters describe the war cries of prominent Irish septs and the names by which Ireland has been personified in literature over the centuries. The book is also available as a Kindle download.


Annals of the Famine in Ireland

Annals of the Famine in Ireland

Annals of the Famine in Ireland, by Asenath Nicholson, still has the power to shock and sadden even though the events described are ever-receding further into the past. When you read, for example, of the poor widowed mother who was caught trying to salvage a few potatoes from her landlord’s field, and what the magistrate discovered in the pot in her cabin, you cannot help but be appalled and distressed.

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».

Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger

Ireland’s Welcome to the Stranger

This book, the prequel to Annals of the Famine in Ireland cannot be recommended highly enough to those interested in Irish social history. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, travelled from her native America to assess the condition of the poor in Ireland during the mid 1840s. Refusing the luxury of hotels and first class travel, she stayed at a variety of lodging-houses, and even in the crude cabins of the very poorest. Not to be missed!

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».

The Scotch-Irish in America

The Scotch-Irish in America

Henry Ford Jones' book, first published in 1915 by Princeton University, is a classic in its field. It covers the history of the Scotch-Irish from the first settlement in Ulster to the American Revolutionary period and the foundation of the country.

The ebook is available for download in .mobi (Kindle), .epub (iBooks, etc.) and .pdf formats. For further information on the book and author see details ».


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