Posted by: Fr Chris | January 15, 2010

An unknown page of Irish-American history (to me at least)

One of the marvelous things of studying history is the possibility of new discoveries. Archaeology always brings treasures to the surface, by definition, such as the find of a first-century Jewish home in ancient Nazareth. Presumably this will silence some internet critics who claim Nazareth never existed at all and it’s all a Christian fairy tale. Well, here’s a house with its cistern, living proof in solid stones that people lived at Nazareth just as the Bible says. Once again, science and religion support one another.

A new mystery came to me today in the Catholic Historical Review, on page 186 of the first volume for 2010. It’s a brief notice about a book called Mystery of the Irish Wilderness: Land and Legend of Father John Joseph Hogan’s Lost Irish Colony in the Ozarks. Isn’t that a great title? Makes you want to look it up and get a copy if you have any interest in Irish-Americana, Catholic American history, or just a good yarn. Here is a You Tube Video link with lovely footage of the Ozark mountains and forests in which the Irish farmers disappeared during our Civil War:

Now, if you watch the video, you’ll want to get the book even more, eh? Happy reading.


  1. Hi Father Chris – Thanks for sharing information on our book! Sorting out the story of “Mystery of the Irish Wilderness” was a challenging piece of ‘history detective’ work for us – several years of research went into it. Fascinating regional history – Civil War, land use, Irish immigration….

    Also wanted to let you know that we’ve just published a second volume: “On the Mission in Missouri & Fifty Years Ago: A Memoir” – the two personal memoirs of adventurous missionary / revered bishop John Joseph Hogan. He recounts his growing up in County Limerick and coming to America in “Fifty Years Ago”; “On the Mission” covers eleven years (1857-1868) of ministering to Catholics before, during and shortly after the Civil War in remote, frontier areas of Missouri. Now everyone can read these accounts in Bishop Hogan’s own words – and he’s an engaging, articulate writer describing exciting, dangerous historic times. Bishop Emeritus Boland (Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph) has written the introduction. We’ve added several chapters covering Bishop Hogan’s life and times before and beyond these two memoirs. Thanks again for your interest ….
    Crystal Payton,
    Editor/Publisher, Lens & Pen Press

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