Author Talk: "Black Powder, White Lace: The Irish Community at Hagley"

Thursday, March 27, 2014
7 p.m.
Soda House Auditorium

This author talk by Professor Margaret Mulrooney will tell the story of the thousands of Irish immigrants and their descendants who lived and worked along the banks of the Brandywine Creek, many employed at the DuPont Company’s Hagley powder yards just north of Wilmington, Delaware. There, in the shadow of the powder mills, they built a vibrant, close-knit community that differed in important ways from popular portrayals of the Irish experience in America.

Learn more about their experiences at Hagley’s Author Talk, “Black Powder, White Lace: The Irish Community at Hagley,” presented by Margaret Mulrooney on Thursday, March 27, at 7 p.m. in Hagley’s Soda House auditorium.

Dr. Mulrooney will tell the story of the Irish immigrants and their descendants who lived and worked along the banks of the Brandywine Creek, many employed at the DuPont Company’s powder yards. Explosives work was dangerous, but the du Ponts provided many benefits, including assisted migration, free or low-cost housing, interest-bearing savings accounts, and widows' pensions. As a result, the Irish remained loyal to their employers, convinced by their everyday experiences that their interests and the du Ponts' were the same. Learn about their vibrant, close-knit community that differed in important ways from popular portrayals of the Irish experience in America.
Mulrooney’s talk will draw on material in the archives of the Hagley library, including oral interviews with many who lived in the Irish communities along the Brandywine.

Margaret M. (Meg) Mulrooney first visited Hagley Museum on an elementary school field trip—just like many other native Delawareans. A graduate of Padua Academy, she received her B.A. from the University of Delaware and her Ph.D. from the College of William and Mary. She presently serves as Associate Vice Provost for University Programs at James Madison University and teaches regularly in the History Department. Her talk is based on Mulrooney’s book, Black Powder, White Lace: The du Pont Irish and Cultural Identity in Nineteenth Century America (2002). She is currently completing a new manuscript called “Deep Currents: Race, Place, and Memory in Wilmington, NC.”

Read more about the upcoming lecture here

The talk begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free. The lecture will be held in the Soda House auditorium. Use Hagley’s Buck Road East entrance off Route 100 in Wilmington, Delaware. If you plan to attend, please contact Carol Lockman at (302) 658-2400, ext. 243, or clockman@hagley.org