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The Birth of the Fenian Movement
American Diary, Brooklyn 1859

James Stephens (author)
Marta Ramon (author)
Paperback / softback,
Publication date:
18th February 2009

Author Biography

James Stephens (1825-1901) was born in Kilkenny. He founded the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the Irish branch of the Fenian movement, in 1858. Stephens can be ranked among the best political organisers of the nineteenth century, but he was also arrogant and dictatorial about the means to attain his ends. Marta Ramon is the author of A Provisional Dictator: James Stephens and the Fenian Movement and an occasional lecturer and tutor for NUI Maynooth and Oscail.


James Stephens' "American Diary" is one of the most important documents of early Fenianism. It uncovers the difficulties facing the movement's founders, and offers an insight into mid nineteenth-century American life and the Irish-American community. It also provides a unique first-hand impression of James Stephens' striking personality. It is one of Stephens' scarce full-length pieces and one of the best written, although it has not previously been published in its entirety.