Charitable Irish Society of Boston

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The Charitable Irish Society of Boston was founded in 1737 and is the oldest Irish organization in North America. [1][2] Its early charitable efforts focused around providing temporary loans and assistance in finding work to Irish immigrants.[2]

The society was incorporated in 1809 and established a constitution in 1810.[2]

Involvement in the first St. Patrick's Day[edit]

The society organized the first observance of St. Patrick's Day in the Thirteen Colonies.[3]

Surprisingly, the celebration was not Catholic in nature, Irish immigration to the colonies having been dominated by Protestants.[4]:8 The society's purpose in gathering was simply to honour its homeland, and although they continued to meet annually to coordinate charitable works for the Irish community in Boston, they did not meet on 17 March again until 1794.[4]:8 During the observance of the day, individuals attended a service of worship and a special dinner.[4]:8

Notable Members [2][edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Emigrant Aid Societies". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Charitable Irish Society Records". The Massachusetts Historical Society. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  3. ^ John Daniel Crimmins (1902). St. Patrick's day: its celebration in New York and other American places, 1737-1845 ; how the anniversary was observed by representative organizations, and the toasts proposed. The author. p. 15. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c Mike Cronin; Daryl Adair (14 February 2006). The wearing of the green: a history of St. Patrick's Day. Psychology Press. ISBN 9780415359122. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 

External links[edit]