Throughout the 19th century, Missouri’s population swelled with the arrival of Irish immigrants. By 1860, economic and political forces within and outside of Ireland prompted more than 43,000 Irish emigrants to relocate to Missouri. Nearly 70% of these immigrants settled in St. Louis, where many established enclaves and a shared identity tied to their Irish-Catholic background.
This invitation to the 112th Annual Celebration of Robert Emmet in St. Louis is a relic of this period of immigration and represents Irish immigrants’ influence on the city. Robert Emmet, an Irish Nationalist, was the leader of an uprising against British rule of Ireland in 1803. Although Emmet never stepped foot in the United States, his legacy remained important to Missourians with Irish roots as they organized social societies and events in his honor. The celebration, slated for March 1890, came after seventy years of immigration from Ireland. Nearly three generations of Irish-Missourians may have attended and sat in the crowds of onlookers and listeners.
Subject: Irish in America
Contributing Institution: Missouri Historical Society
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Region: St. Louis Metro