What It Means to Be American
A National Conversation

Identities

The Irish-American Social Club Whose Exploits in Their Homeland Sparked a New Understanding of Citizenship

In 1867, the Fenian Brotherhood Was Caught Running Guns to Ireland, Precipitating a Diplomatic Crisis

by Lucy E. Salyer

On October 30, 1867, John Warren, a grocer and newspaper man from Charlestown, Massachusetts, entered the dock at Green Street Courthouse in Dublin, Ireland, to stand trial for treason. The Irish attorney general rose to accuse Warren of leading a wicked international conspiracy to overthrow Queen Victoria’s rule in Ireland.

Warren, described by journalists as “squat” and with thinning auburn hair, didn’t look the part of a dangerous revolutionary. But as a member of the Fenian Brotherhood, a transatlantic organization …

Event
Journeys

Why Don’t More Americans Remember the 1897 Massacre of Pennsylvania Coal Miners?

The Mostly Eastern European Victims Were Forgotten Because of an Ensuing Backlash Against Immigrant Workers

by Paul A. Shackel

At the western entrance of the coal patch town of Lattimer, in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, sits a rough-cut shale boulder, about 8 feet tall, surrounded by neatly trimmed bushes. A bronze pickax and a shovel are attached to the boulder, smaller pieces of coal rest at its base, and an American flag flies high above it.

Locals and union members sometimes refer to the boulder as the “Rock of Remembrance” or the “Rock of Solidarity.” Still others call it the …