Anti-Catholic/Irish Presidential Politics 1920
|Why It's Interesting|
This remarkable journal was issued by the Sons and Daughters of Washington, which mostly consisted of an Albany undertaker Jay W. Forrest, though it claimed 500,000 readers among “Americans,” meaning the right sort of citizens. It claims and describes how the Sons and Daughters single-handedly fought back efforts by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy and Eamon de Valera [whom they christened Devil- Era] to get both party conventions that year to add planks favoring a free Ireland–which would, Forrest asserted–have led to war against England. The content and language of this Bulletin is startling, and sheds light on how the Ku Klux Klan, which in the North was substantially anti-Catholic, could have been surging then to a membership of millions. Forrest rejoiced that all 4 nominees of the 2 parties were solid Protestants.
Forrest published at least 7 booklets during the ’20s, all of which are reported by but a single library; he remains remembered today for his 1913 book Tammany’s Treason, which many libraries own, and which remains in print in several editions.
This website seeks to encourage researchers and collectors to discover and study obscure ephemera that document American culture and life. Worldcat reveals that most of the items that I post cannot be found in more than a few research libraries–often none at all. Alternately, research libraries do not bother to catalog ephemeral publications like these. I believe, however, that because these were distributed free, or at nominal cost, to consumers, they were the publications most likely to make their way into homes and be read by large numbers of Americans.
I acquire pre-1960 examples of the kinds of publications that prove so useful when scholars study 19th-Century America. The limited competition that I encounter for them suggests that libraries, which could easily outbid me, have little interest in post-Civil War and 20th-century ephemeral publications in general.
I try to anticipate what materials future historians will find useful. Being an historian first and a collector second, I organized this website to encourage others to do this too—even if this means new competition for me. I am aware that I could be wrong in prizing particular ephemera or even whole classes of ephemera. I may even be wrong to encourage scholars to study obscure ephemeral publications; these may be obscure for good reason.
Ephemerastudies.org will permit me to share with others the information and imagery that I am acquiring, and to benefit from the knowledge, intelligence and experience of other scholars and collectors. Please contact me with your impressions of the site.