Michael Scanlon (poet)

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Michael Scanlon (10 November 1833 – 6 March 1917) was an Irish nationalist, editor, poet and writer. He was known as the "Fenian poet" and is remembered as the author of stirring Irish ballads such as the "Bold Fenian Men" and "The Jackets Green".[1]


He was born in Castlemahon, County Limerick. He emigrated to the United States at fifteen years of age and with his brothers, John and Mortimer, settled in Chicago. They started a sweets (candy) business which became very successful. Scanlon joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood and wrote articles and poems for a number of newspapers.[2]

He supported the Fenian invasion of Canada (31 May 1866), following the leadership of William R. Roberts, and was a member of a body known as the Senate.[3] After the failure of that enterprise he was appointed editor of a new newspaper, the Irish Republic, and he continued writing for Irish and American newspapers. He later became a senior official in the American administration in Washington. In 1887 he was appointed chief of the Bureau of Statistics in the State Department. He retired in 1912.

He died, aged eighty-four years, in the hospital of St. Mary of Nazareth in Chicago, after having been ill for a week. He was survived by a son, Judge Kickham Scanlon, and two daughters.[2]


  1. ^ "Michael Scanlon". Ricorso (Princess Grace Memorial Library). Retrieved 2013-06-21. 
  2. ^ a b Obituary in Gaelic American, March 1917
  3. ^ "Fenian Convention at Cleveland". Washington DC. The National Republican. 5 September 1867. Retrieved 2013-06-21.