Fair and Funeral

Henry O’Clarence McCarthy and the American Fenian Years
  • Jack Morgan
Part of the New Directions in Irish and Irish American Literature book series (NDIIAL)


The American Fenian Henry O’Clarence McCarthy is buried, or presumably so, in St. Louis’ Calvary Cemetery, north of Interstate 70, near Lambert airport. Though well-maintained, like the older Catholic graveyards of many American cities, this one is surrounded by derelict areas now, but testifies to a time when American monetary currency had gravitas and many nineteenth-century German, Italian, and Irish immigrants were buried beneath what, compared to today’s meager markers, were “polished white mansions of stone” as the song “Maggie” put it. Opulent memorials abound and a variety of Victorian grave motifs — mourning sculpted angels and forlorn stone dogs brood over the departed of one hundred years ago. One climbs marble stairs and enters the pillared building near the main gate to inquire after the McCarthy burial site. The office’s computer brings up: McCarthy, Henry O’Clarence, interment September 3, 1865, and the lot number — he is buried beside his mother, Isabella McCarthy. The staff provides a photocopied map, the relevant plot circled, and the route in red traced along the Way of Nazareth, the Way of the Penitent, the Way of the Good Shepherd, and so on, to Section nine.


Funeral Rite Irish Immigrant Chicago Tribune Catholic Bishop American Organization 
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Copyright information

© Jack Morgan 2011

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  • Jack Morgan

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