Watching the Fenian episode of MAVERICK earlier this week reminded me that one of my ancestors was a Fenian. Nicholas D. Shannon, born in Ireland, moved to America, where he became a Chicago police officer. In his obituary, it says, "He was always an intense Irish Nationalist, belonged to the MacManus Circle, and the company of the Fenian Brotherhood, and went with the Fenian regiment to Canada at the time of O'Neill's invasion in 1866." Their mission was to take Canada by force and exchange it for Irish independence. They tried this three times.
So yeah. That episode wasn't fucking around. The Irish really did try to invade Canada. Weird, huh?
As a side note, his son was also a Chicago cop, and he wound up getting injured severely at the Haymarket Riot. The police report says that he received a "bullet wound in the back, [and] seventeen shell wounds in the lower part of both legs." It caused him pain for the rest of his life, which would turn out to be 12 years.
History is full of surprises like this. You never know what lurks in your family tree. Before this turns into a commercial for ancestry.com, I think I'm going to call it a night. Goodnight, fuckers.