John O’Neill’s “White Whale”

Thanks to Damian Shiels of the excellent Irish in the American Civil War web site for running this piece I wrote about John O’Neill, who repeatedly led a series of Irish-American invasions of Canada known as the Fenian Raids. Canada was O’Neill’s “white whale.” I’m convinced that at the time of his death, O’Neill had not given up the idea of attacking Canada even after humiliating failures. What I’m less sure of, however, is whether O’Neill was a figure worthy of a Shakespearean tragedy or a comic opera.

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