The Irish in Latin America
May 14, 2012 6:42 AM   Subscribe

The website of the Society for Irish Latin American Studies is full of information about Irish migration to Latin America. It's divided into four sections: The Homeland, about the origins of the settlers; The Journey, about how the Irish settlers traveled to Latin America, including the infamous Dresden affair; The Settlement, about the lives of the Irish in Latin America; Faces and Places, which has biographies of a wide variety of people, Mateo Banks, family murderer, Camila O'Gorman, executed lover of a priest, William Lamport, 17th Century revolutionary and Bernardo O'Higgins, Chilean independence leader, who gets a whole subsection to himself. There is also a list of Irish placenames and much else of interest to history nerds.
posted by Kattullus (13 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
British immigrants – and the Irish were British at the time – were highly prized by governments as decent, hard working, God-fearing people who would improve their lot and their adopted land by the strength of their limbs and the sweat of their brows.

The Irish were never British and this entire sentence must be a pun of some sort.
posted by three blind mice at 6:54 AM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

British subjects, yes; but no more British than any poor sod in Bengal during the Raj.
posted by Philofacts at 7:14 AM on May 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

William Lamport -- student, author, fugitive, prisoner-turned-pirate, mercenary, student, military leader, diplomat, spy, author, rebel, immigrant, possible conman, worker's advocate, drug experimenter, revolutionary, social reformer, heretic, prisoner, author, poet, and suicide to piss off the Inquisition -- if he was a fantasy hero, you would think his story too contrived by far....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:17 AM on May 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

I wonder if similar scholarship has been applied to the Welsh presence in Patagonia.
posted by Philofacts at 7:17 AM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Was Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald based on a real person?
posted by acb at 7:50 AM on May 14, 2012

Not to quibble, but Bernado O'Higgins would be better described as a 19th Century revolutionary, no?

Anyway, both Patrick O'Brian and Bernward Cornwell both wrote books featuring O'Higgins, and I'm sure there are more.

O'Higgins also inspired the name of a tasty (and cheap) Chilean wine.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:31 AM on May 14, 2012

Philofacts: Wow, that's a cheap slur.

Yeah, when I first read it I took it to be two unconnected statements, but your reading is persuasive. For what it's worth I think the author, who's Irish as far as I can ascertain, was making a bad joke. But insensitivity and unfunniness are bad enough when they're unconnected, yoked together they're doubly bad.

KokuRyu: Not to quibble, but Bernado O'Higgins would be better described as a 19th Century revolutionary, no?

Lamport was the 17th Century revolutionary. I forgot a comma in the sentence.
posted by Kattullus at 10:57 AM on May 14, 2012

Don't forget Eliza Lynch, unofficial first lady of Paraguay and at one point "the world's largest female landowner." In 1870 she fled to Paris with "more than $500,000 in jewels, gold and cash."
posted by needled at 11:22 AM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

And don't forget Ché Guevara-Lynch! He's still alive and well somewhere! ت
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:55 PM on May 14, 2012

I'm married to an irish-surnamed argentinian. Her dad will love this site. They speak english at home after 5 generations. Thanks!
posted by conifer at 3:00 PM on May 14, 2012

I'm English-argentine!! :0
posted by pixienat at 6:16 PM on May 14, 2012

What did happen to the Celts? I saw a map of the extent of settlement by Celts of about 1500 to 2000 years ago. Celts then extended from Belgium to western Ukraine. Now and for the past few hundred years, major Celtic populations in Europe have been limited to Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and, I think, Breton. Were Celts absorbed by other populations in central Europe? I think they were Latinized in France, but what happened to the others?
posted by millardsarpy at 10:54 AM on May 15, 2012

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