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The propriety, expediency, and necessity of presenting the subject was conceived by the author ten years ago, while engaged in preparing an article for the Boston "Pilot," relating to the Irishmen of Boston. The work then seemed to be impracticable, by reason of the complex character of unpublished historical data, the long period of time that would be required to unravel the skein and weave the story together.
Within a few years the labor of examining various histories and collecting manuscripts of invaluable interest and worth was commenced. The researches in this direction revealed many surprising events in the colonial, as well as in the more recent history of Boston, wherein Irishmen were active participants; and, strange to say, where the importance of their achievements is mentioned at all, or they themselves are written about, the most meagre information is given.
By careful study and recourse to comparative references many facts, hitherto generally unknown, were brought to light.
An examination of the table of comparative statistics shows an unequalled record of immigration to Boston, to the credit of the Irish nation. Nor were all the early Irish settlers here "hewers of wood and drawers of water."