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Virtual Lecture - The Fighting Irish: Ireland and the American Revolution

Date: Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Location: Zoom Virtual Lecture

Time: 7 pm

With St. Patrick’s Day upcoming, Dr. Richard Bell shares the contributions of the Irish in the American Revolution. 

Giving testimony to the British Parliament in 1779, Joseph Galloway estimated that Irishmen composed perhaps one-half of the Continental Army. Five years later, after Washington’s army won the war, another expert witness told Parliament that “the Irish language was as commonly spoken in the American ranks as English” and that Irish valor “determined the contest.” While exaggerated, those claims contained an essential truth: that men of Irish heritage played crucial roles in fighting the American Revolution. Irish-Americans sided with the patriots against the British Army in overwhelming numbers and shouldered muskets at every significant military encounter over the eight long years of war. Their numbers included general, colonels, thousands of enlisted men, and even spies such as Hercules Mulligan, a major character in Hamilton: An American Musical. At the same time, people in Ireland faced their own choice: whether to join the British in the fight to preserve the empire, or find ways to undermine it and perhaps even assert their own independence on that side of the Atlantic. Join University of Maryland historian Dr. Richard Bell as he explores the Revolution from the perspective of both the Irish and their Irish-American cousins.  

Registration required.

Cost: $15 per household for General Admission; $10 per household for HA Members and Volunteers


This lecture will be offered virtually by Zoom, an online video conferencing platform. Upon registration, you will be sent the link for the video conference to join on the evening of the lecture. If you do not receive your confirmation email after you register, please check your Spam folder, or email Carolyn Currin at To learn more about Zoom and to download the app to your computer, visit the Zoom website.

20210216-VL-Dr-Richard-BellAbout our Presenter: Dr. Richard Bell is Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He holds a PhD from Harvard University and is author of the new book Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home, which is shortlisted for the George Washington Prize and the Harriett Tubman Prize. He has won more than a dozen teaching awards, including the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest honor for teaching faculty in the Maryland state system. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Historical Society, as an elected member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.    


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