The Irish position "is one of shame and poverty. 'My master is a great tyrant,' said a Negro lately. 'He treats me as badly as if I was a common Irishman.'"
-an Irishman writing home, 1851.
"I am sorry to find that England is right about the lower class of Irish. They are brutal, base, cruel, cowards, and as insolent as base...my own theory is that St. Patrick's campaign against the snakes is a Papish delusion. They perished of biting the Irish people."
-a prominent New Yorker, 1863.
"If you lived in this place, you would ask for whisky instead of milk."
-an Irishwoman in a New York tenement, 1868.
"Thousands of my countrymen at this time fill with dignity and invulnerable fidelity, various situations of trust and emolument in the land of their adoption."
-a traveling Irish author, 1864.
"Scratch a convict or a pauper, and the chances are that you tickle the skin of an Irish Catholic."
-the Chicago Post, 1868.
"Of all the tricks which the Irish nation have played on the slow-witted Saxon, the most outrageous is the palming off on him of the imaginary Irishman of romance."
-George Bernard Shaw, 1896.
"Anyhow 'tis a good thing to be an Irishman because people think that all an Irishman does is laugh without a reason an' fight without an objik. But ye an' I, Hinnissy, know these things ar-re on'y our divarsions. It's a good thing to have people size ye up wrong, whin they're got ye'er measure ye're in danger."
-Finley Peter Dunne, 1919.
EDWARD WAKIN, professor of communications at Fordham University, combines writing and academic careers. In addition to articles for magazines he as written more than 20 books. Dr. Wakin holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and has specialized in writing about minorities, religion, and education. Formerly a prize-winning editor at the New York World-Telegram, he has also worked for the Wall Street Journal and has been education editor for WCBS-TV News.