John Ross Browne

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Browne, John Ross, traveller and author, was born in Ireland about the year 1822. Of his early years little is on record, beyond the fact that he was taken to America in childhood, and that he passed his youth in the State of Kentucky. When eighteen, he qualified himself as a shorthand reporter, and went to Washington with the view of earning money with which to travel. After a few months, not being successful, he shipped before the mast on a whaler bound for the Indian Ocean, and was absent eighteen months. On his return, he published his first work, Etchings of a Whaling Cruise.

In 1849 he went to California, and was employed in reporting the proceedings of the convention which drafted the State Constitution. He then made the tour of the south of Europe, and the East. Returning, he settled in California — travelling from time to time in various parts of Europe and America, and recording his experiences in sundry books of travels, and in numerous articles in Harper's Magazine, written in a graphic and humorous style, and illustrated with clever sketches from his own pencil. In 1866, and again in 1868, having been commissioned for the purpose by the Government, he drew up valuable reports on the mineral resources of the States and Territories west of the Rocky Mountains. In 1868 he was sent as United States' minister to China, where he remained two years. On his return, he built a residence near Oakland, California, and devoted himself to the care of a numerous family, and to the promotion of various industrial schemes for the development of the resources of the country.

He died rather suddenly, at Oakland, 7th December 1875, aged 53. He is described as singularly versatile and keen-witted, a delightful companion, genial in manners, possessing a graceful, fluent, and often brilliant style, good powers of observation, and a fund of quiet humour.


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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