Author Talk: Margaret Mulrooney

Author Talk: Margaret Mulrooney

NEXT DATE:   |  7 p.m.  |  
category: Academic Programs, Author Talks, Conferences, Research Seminars, Adult Programs  |  location: Library, Soda House

On March 9, Margaret Mulrooney will return to Hagley to discuss her book—Black Powder, White Lace: The Du Pont Irish and Cultural Identity in Nineteenth-Century America—and reflect on how it has stood up since its 2002 publication. She will trace the lives and legacy of over 2,000 Irish emigrants who relocated to northern Delaware for steady employment in du Pont black powder yards.

Explosives work was dangerous, but the du Ponts provided a host of 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 of their shared interests with the du Ponts. Employing a wide array of sources, Mulrooney describes the worksite as well as their community, showing how powder mill families asserted their distinctive ethno-religious heritage at the same time as they embraced what American society had to offer.

Mulrooney is senior associate vice provost for academic programs and equity at James Madison University. Copies of the book’s second edition will be available for purchase and signing by the author. The library has created an accompanying website at 

Registration is free and required to attend.

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