tv Neal Thompson The First Kennedys CSPAN April 18, 2022 6:35am-8:01am EDT
we really appreciate this. and what a we are so grateful to have this opportunity to explore the earliest years of the kennedy family's life in america with our distinguished guests this evening. much of neil thompson's research took place at the kennedy library archives and we are very pleased to learn more about his work in the lives of bridget and patrick kennedy this evening. i'm now delighted to introduce tonight's speakers. we are so glad to welcome neil thompson to the kennedy library virtually. a journalist and and the author of six acclaimed books. he has written for the new york
times the washington post the wall street journal esquire outside and numerous other media outlets. his new book is the first kennedy's the humble roots of an american dynasty. i'm also delighted to welcome to the library virtually our moderator for this evening christine camille. christine is professor of history and the founding director of ireland's. ireland's great hunger institute at quinnipiac university. she is published extensively on ireland's great hunger and the irish abolition movement. among her numerous awards and honors. she has been named one of the top educators in irish america. and now to help us welcome our special guests. i'm delighted to introduce dr. lisha moore the consul general of ireland new england to stay a few words over to alicia. thank you so much rachel, and i'm really delighted that the consulate is once again working with our good friends in the kennedy library.
a couple of days ago president biden issued a proclamation declaring march to be irish american heritage month and it outlines not just ireland's deep links with america, but also the really vast contribution that americans of irish heritage have made in this country. so i think it is really fitting that today this event explores the humble irish origins of one of america's most prolific political families, and i'm delighted that we're going to hear from author neil thompson about his new and very interesting research on the family's origins and also that we're going to hear from somebody who is we just heard is a renowned expert on on irish history professor pinelli. um, i am very happy that this event marks one of the first of many that the consulate is going to celebrate with our friends
and in you know in new england to mark st. patrick's day, and i'm especially happy that since i first arrived in boston, it will be my first chance to celebrate with many people here in person and this month, but i have to say that this joy is it is tempered by by some heartbreak because of the events that we are witnessing at present and reflecting on irish history for a moment when professor at portland president kennedy visited ireland back in 1963. he remarked that aid of his great grandparents came from ireland and his ancestors left a land of oppression and the connection between ireland and america. it's it's in many ways. it's been the story of america's long support for ireland and it's struggle for self-determination, and i'm just very str. today that we are watching scenes that are truly horrific as another european country. ukraine is struggling for its freedom and its right to
self-determination and you know, ireland as i think many of people watching will know is it's a country that knows from its history the value of solidarity and support from other friends abroad not least from this country. so i do want to take this opportunity to acknowledge in a small way and to express ireland's strong support and solidarity for the people of ukraine. i can get it's fitting, you know, given this discussion and given the the talk that we are going to have this evening on on irish history. so and thank you all very much. thank you very much to the kennedy library and to our speaker and our moderator and everybody who is who has joined us for this special event, and i'm delighted to hand over now to our moderator professor camille. thank you. thank you. thank you very much. liz and rachel of the candy library for hosting this event alicia. thank you for your lovely words, and if i can just follow on by what you're saying because many of the famine emigrants who came to this country in the 1840s and
1850s were economic and political refugees and what will witnessing at the moment is again the flight of political and economic refugees and my heart goes out to them. i hope the situation comes to an end soon, but tonight is a more joyous occasion escape perhaps for 90 minutes, and i want to start off by saying congratulations to neil on this fantastic book. i read it within 24 hours and i literally couldn't put it down a few coffee breaks. and it's beautifully recent it's accessible and it tells the story that deserves to be told and to be better known so i wouldn't say happy saint patrick's month as alicia has already intimated you we no longer can celebrate saint patrick in one day. we need a whole month to celebrate him, but for me, my favorites are saints is of course, saint bridget who until recently has really been written out of history ignored and i'm delighted that this year island
actually celebrated and acknowledge sink bridget state the first of february we're hoping it will be a national holiday and it just seems as we remember saint bridges it brings us full circle to remembering another bridget who has been in some ways written out of history being invisible being overshadowed by the men in her life. and i really want to commend you neil for the fact that you put bridges murphy at the front and center of the early kennedy's and could you perhaps explain why you did somewhat process took you to wanting to learn more about the early kennedys? yeah. thanks christine. thanks for being here with me. thanks for doing this. i wanted to echo my thanks to the staff at the the jfk library to rachel for the wonderful introduction to liz and just an early shout out. i'll probably make others later in the in the program to the staff at the archives at the kennedy library who have been
just heroes to me helped this book enormously and just have a lot of admiration and respect and gratitude for them. thanks. also to lisa for being here and for the kind introduction and then i would second and and support the words from from alicia and from you christine and support of the people of what's happening right now? so as you said christine the irish were you know, they experienced their own crumbling of a country and their own necessary escape to safety and and you know a place where they might find economic means that they weren't able to find at home. this is a story that has spoken to me and nagged at me for more than 20 years. i want to talk about bridget mostly, but i i want to briefly say that this story my interest in this story goes back to 1999 when john f kennedy jr.
died, and i was a newspaper reporter at the time. i was covering that story for the baltimore sun magazine. i went up to hyannis for it and staked out the kennedy compound there and with a bunch of other reporters and was in a bar when they found the wreckage and the bartender who had given me jameson that i was sipping when the news came that they had. record she burst into tears and said she felt like she had lost a family member. and you know, i i so i've i'm half irish, i grew up irish catholic 16 years of catholic education. i'm not unfamiliar with the kennedys and bits of their history, but i never necessarily had an interest in writing a book about them or going deeper into their history or understanding more never knew about bridget until i started this project. but that incident with john f kennedy jr. which was followed by my drive south to my home in baltimore,
and i passed through my home state of new jersey and came within a couple of miles of the cemetery where my irish immigrant grandparents bridget and patrick are buried and something about that. contrast between between the kennedys who were at that time so famous so beloved. so tragic such a mythic epic saga around that family and then my poor grandparents. something something got triggered in me and i started to appreciate more deeply my irish roots and heritage started to develop a deeper curiosity about my grandmother's history where she came from what life was like for her when she came to america, i would later learn that she was a maid just like bridget kennedy was bridget murphy kennedy. but i couldn't quite figure out. that point forward for many years exactly how to find a way into a story about the early kennedys what i wanted to
understand was where did they come from who came to america first what was life like for them when they got here, you know, i know we're not always the most welcoming country to incoming immigrants. we say we are many of us believe we are and should be but it's not always the case and it wasn't the case for the incoming irish. so i wanted to find a story that told many stories. in fact, i wanted to explore the origins of the kennedy. family in america. i wanted to understand irish immigration in america. i wanted to understand life for irish immigrants in the 1800s, which is when bridget came here. other books kept getting in the way and it wasn't until 2016-17 when we started having very different more aggressive more angry conversations about immigration immigration in this country where i realized i have to figure this story out. i have to go deeper and at some
point along this long journey, i discovered that, you know, bridget murphy oh came here in the during the potato famine met and married patrick kennedy and decided that's how i want to start my story. i want to bring bridget murphy kennedy to life and show it life was like for her and the slums of east boston. we're trying to raise her kid in a atmosphere that hated her kind. hated the irish hated the catholics. how did she do it? what was her life like and how did she create a life in a family that gave us the kennedy's that we know today? so that's where it all began. as far as finding bridget and deciding i had to do whatever it took to bring her to life. okay, so almost two tragedies one the death of young kennedy and then the second the tragedy of the famine and as you said that was the trigger for so much
emigration. we know between 1846 and 1856 approximately two million people left island. and what makes ireland irish immigration remarkable is increasingly more women than men left island. that is very very unusual market bridget remarkable. so we're just one of those women the fact you found her. so would you like to take us back to wexford were in a sense bridget began and her story that leads her to take that decision in 1848. yeah. yeah. she she was born and raised on a small family farm in a little village called cluna in county works for and like many of these small family farms. they had very little, you know, they all lived in one or two buildings, you know, whitewashed stone. called huts if you will in some cases and what i think i think it's interesting you raise that point about more irish women coming to america than the men
because i think it says a lot about what life was like for them in ireland. if she had if the pet if the famine had not happened life would not have been great for her. anyway, you know, and she might have wanted to escape anyway, you know her prospects were stay on the family farm and work for her parents if if one of her siblings, you know married first and the dowry went to one of her sisters or find some man in town and maybe become a farm wife the rest of her life. that was you know, i described life and in ireland at that time, it was peasant life if you lived in the country, which she did so the prospects weren't great and then the famine hits and it devastated that country, you know this more than anyone you've written about it more eloquently and beautifully than anyone and and i'll and i'll in confess when i started this project. i thought well, how am i going up to? books like yours and and uh
research and and achievements like yours. there's been so much written about the famine, but i really wanted to find a way to tell the story through bridget's eyes. so i think her family didn't suffer as much as some others. they were tenant farmers. they didn't own their land. they had to pay rent to it absentee english landlord who actually owned the land that they were on was the case for many many, you know thousands of not millions of irish farms and farmers so they had to grow crops to pay their landlord and then they subsisted on potatoes primarily that was the made up the bulk of their of their source of food when the famine hit and devastated all of those crops. it just ruined that country economically and culturally and in other ways. so at some point bridget, we don't know exactly how the decision was made who made the decision. i like to think that bridget raised her hand and said, okay, i'll go you know, i think you
see in the tenacity that we see in her character later that she was probably someone who was willing to make this take this risk and take on this adventure to cross the atlantic to go to a new land to set up a sort of a beachhead of sorts for her family and start things anew knowing no one over there. there were some cousins who were going over around the same time, but you know, i think it speaks to her character and the character of many of the other irish women who went numbers as you said more so than the men. going to a new country alone on these incredibly dangerous ships as you know, they were called coffin ships because they sank they burned they were full of disease. there wasn't enough food to go around. maybe they would take four to six weeks to cross the atlantic. maybe they would take and eight to ten weeks depending on whether it was a treacherous dangerous often deadly journey.
i describe one emigrade writing in his journal about the dead bodies that were thrown overboard splash splash splash all day long. so that was her. the beginning of her adventure was escaping ireland crossing this making this deadly crossing and then showing up in a country that didn't really want her. so remarkable character incredibly strong and ambitious and tenacious, but she gets to america and then her journey is only just begun from that point. it's you know, as we as we discover in the book and and we'll talk about it more. she had hardship at every turn and overcame those hardships. okay, and you've talked about the coffin ships, which were very famous. perhaps could you talk more about the journey because most people went to liverpool it wasn't even a direct journey. we know most of the voyages were unregulated and then when we know when people got to boston they were often isolated.
they were treated. i mean an antagonistic way. could you talk more about the journey itself though? yeah, it was terrifying and there's a lot of material that's available about what other irish emma grace experienced during that journey many of them went to as he said liverpool england first, that was their first stop. they took a smaller ship got there waited for their larger ship to prepare to leave or in many cases. they didn't have a ticket to cross so they would end up in liverpool which was overwhelmed by tens if not hundreds of thousands of irish refugees trying to find a ship to take them west in most cases to the us primarily but also to canada and liverpool is a also a dangerous and deadly place, you know, full of disease and these sub-sub street basement apartments that were available for rent for a few days or a lot of scammers on the prowl trying to trick the irish into buying a ticket that was expired or to
give them their money to exchange it for currency and they would lose all their money and not be able to buy their ticket to go to america. i mean there were trip wires every step and so she navigated that treacherous scene in this giant smoky city of industry. that was you know hundred times larger than the village that she grew up in and she was almost instantly surrounded by you know, many hundreds of times more people than she came into contact with on a given day. it's just astounding to think of the shock to that. it must have been to her to end up in this seating teaming city of will and try and find her way to the ticket office and find her way to the docs where the ship was leaving and then as you said and you've written about the crossing itself was was horrific the british ships were more dangerous and less regulated than the american
ships. you know, i'll call out that we don't know with a hundred percent certainty which ship she was on and i explained this in the book bridget and murphy were two of the most common names island. so even though there are records showing passengers on many of these ships and we in the book i narrow it down to it two ships that were probably one of one or the other that she crossed on both of them had a history of wreckages and deaths and tragic crossings. so regardless of which ship she was on we know it was it was a risky dangerous journey, you know, women gave birth during the the crossing which could again four to six or more weeks many women lost their their newborn children on those crossings and the babies were wrapped into sail cloth and tossed overboard often there wasn't enough food. there wasn't enough water. the people the immigrants were
crammed below decks into these, you know stacked multiple cots high and squeezed two two people to one to one bad sharing like two feet of space for two people four weeks and weeks at a time. so it was a terrible way to escape a tragedy that was be following your country and it says a lot about what she wanted next in her life that she was willing to take that risk and take on that terrible journey and then show up in this place on the other side where i describe one of the refugees stepping off the boat at the docks in east boston and seeing a early teeming seeding seen the same as back in liverpool just muck in the streets and animals everywhere and poverty everywhere and looking around and saying this is america. this is what i came here for and i think that's what greeted bridget on the other side was what did i get myself into this
is going to be hard and it was okay, so in your book you imply that bridget had two advantages. well, she had many but apart from being resourceful. she seemed to speak fluent english and we know a lot of the immigrants who went with irish because they had no english or little english and also you imply that she was literate. she was able to read so that would give her a great advantage but like many women she went that pathway of becoming a purchased a maid. so again you want to talk about you that process and why she would have chosen that pathway. yeah. yeah, and it's hard to know if if she shows that path or if it was chosen for her, you know as as you say she ended up working as a maid fairly soon after arriving in america, but as i described in the book, that was that was almost what was expected of the irish women who showed up in boston in particular, but in other other cities as well, they didn't have
skills that translated easily into jobs that existed in a big city. and in fact, i i quote frequently from the boston pilot the catholic newspaper in boston at the time and remarkably still going strong today. they the editors of the boston pilot would plead with the incoming immigrants go west. don't stay in boston. it's dirty here. it's dangerous. there aren't enough jobs to go around get on a train go west where they're green or pastures and you can start a farm can find land and i find it incredible that the irish and again many of these first incoming irish were women said no, we're gonna stay right here. stay put figured this out in the case of the women the really the jobs that were available to them were as servants as domestics domestics to the point that the name bridget and made became
interchangeable, right, you know, boston families would refer to my bridget or my biddy bitty being a you know, a nickname for bridget. i mentioned earlier my grandmother who was born bridget agnes when she came to america. she changed her name to della because she didn't want to be known as an irish bridget even though that's the job she took on just like bridget murphy. she worked as a maid, but i think that connotation with you mentioned saint bridget and i describe her briefly in the in the book and and how she's the patron saint of those in need. there's a long list of those for whom she is the patron saint and it's and it's a remarkable list, but she's she speaks to those who need some need help because she was a strong figure in ireland and i think it's incredible that i think it was leisha who mentioned that there's now more official recognition of saint bridget's day as a national holiday, but
that connotation that was affiliated with the name bridget in ireland in america was gone in america the affiliation of the name. bridget was a poor irish servant, but she did that and she worked hard at it i find found. i had a lot of fun exploring the letters of other irish maids in america writing back home. and newspaper stories of the day and what what comes through about these women bridgit murphy and others is how resilient and sassy and uncowed and strong-minded that they were and i think in many cases they drove their employers crazy. they weren't the boston, you know, boston was very proper and protestant and puritanical and brahman city and and hear these
irish made show up kind of full of themselves. really, you know, they weren't frightened which i find incredible they would show up to a job interview and say okay. i'm interested in this job, but i need sunday's off for mass and i want thursdays off thursday night's off for a dance and if they didn't get what they wanted they'd walk out and so as i learned those stories of other bridgets other maids coming to boston and trying to make their way. i kept bridget in mind. she didn't leave behind her own letters. so we had to sort of get at her character from other similar those who experience similar circumstances, but i picture her the same way not taking any gulf from anyone and and i think you see that show up later as she decides. i'm not going to stay as a maid. i'm gonna become a hairdresser. i want more i deserve more they defended themselves. they defended each other. there was a strong sense of
sisterhood and community among the irish women who came and among the sort of the sister maids working together and then seeing each other at mass on sunday and talking about their employers. i think that sense of helping one another and community and support and empathy for one another was fascinating remarkable period of time where they're experiencing hardship, but they are going out of the way to help one another and not you know step on each other to get to the next level up. okay, so at this point, i'm just going to remind people you can ask questions. please put them in chat. we will get to the questions later. so neil you talked about, you know, the advice go west and the church the catholic church actually had that advice especially from young women. they felt that young women in the cities would be corrupted would be exposed to certain things including handsome young men. so that brings me to patrick kennedy. how do these two meet?
probably through family. there's some evidence that they may have even been very distantly related back in ireland again back to my point about bridget's name being the most common at that time in ireland. patrick also the most common name in our so it's there are some challenges to pinpoint certain things in their genealogy and their relationships to one another but we know that patrick kennedy who also came from a small farm a little bit bigger than the murphys but a farm in county wexford worked at a brewery in the town of new ross also in county wexford any worked alongside another i should say patrick kennedy was a cooper a barrel maker made whiskey and beer beer barrels, which i think says something about him too. he didn't just want to stay on the farm like his brothers. did you wanted something else and got out of the arm and started working in the slightly
bigger town of new ross up the road and developed a skill a barrel making while he was there at this brewery. he met another fellow cooper named patrick barron who is related to bridget cousin and her mother's side. we know that the barons came to to america to boston. probably just before right around the same time as bridget. so somewhere in there the the barons and the murphys and the kennedy's connect in this in this new land possibly with the help of the boston pilot that used to run these ads where people were searching for family friends and relatives. they would post an ad saying, you know, bridget murphy seeks patrick barron came to america and such and such so we don't know exactly how they met. what we do know is by september of 1949. they had fallen in love. to whatever extent that means at that time. we don't know the details. they married in late september
of 1949. excuse me, and they end up settling in east boston. it's the island across from downtown boston and within a couple of years start start a family. okay, so i want to go on to the family book for i do i just want to ask about the political condition that met them when they arrived in america you alluded to it that it america has not always been friendly to immigrants to refugees. so what was the situation that made the 1840s the 1850s particularly hostile? yeah, i was i was astounded to learn how. opposed many in america were at that time to the irish and to immigrants. i had a general sense of it, but the details that i'll tick some of them off in a second kind of shocked me or maybe they shouldn't have shocked me given, you know our history of our ups and downs with our relationship
with immigrants at that time during i should say during the potato famine itself when words spread across the globe that the irish were suffering and starving many bostonians and others throughout america raised money sent food and supplies and and donations to help the irish. so there was a brief sense of support and empathy for the irish. then they started showing up here in very large numbers in overwhelming numbers in the view of bostonians. i think 1848 boston saw 25,000 irish immigrants alone. just that year possibly more. and you know over time in the millions. so their attitude changed and i feel like that the fact that they were being inundated by such large numbers. it triggered something that had always been there. it's almost like some recessive
thing came back up to the surface and and you saw people lashing out at the irish into the 1850s in particular, you know, i'll leap ahead and describe the no-nothing party there were there were political parties that organized around that time and developed a wide following and a very popular and for a brief period very powerful the native american party one of them called themself that later became the american party there were different versions. there were clubs there were organizations that were brotherhoods that all sort of clustered around the same idea of let's keep them out. you know at times literally using words that we've seen in recent years build a wall send them back. we don't want them. they're bringing their crime. they're going to take your jobs. i mean, these were headlines in american newspapers in the 1850s and from that you see the rise of what was lumped into the know
nothing party many members of these different organizations and political parties it evolved from them if they were asked what they believe they would say, i know nothing so that phrase came to be a catch-off for many of these anti-immigrant particularly anti-irish organizations and political organizations and leaders. they rose to power in massachusetts in 1855. the governor most of the state legislator legislature the state senate local offices in boston. we're all held by no, nothing candidates because people i think they freaked out you know, i think as i said earlier, it was a very proper and old school and puritan and protestant and very english-minded. city in boston and and they didn't know what to make of these irish and in particular they were opposed to their religion. that's what most of these
political candidates in the opposition. the political opposition was to the catholicism and laws were enacted to attempt to prevent the irish from holding office prevent them from voting prevent them from learning bits of their own history forcing them to learn sort of protestant versions of history in english-centric versions of history. keep them out of keep them from becoming actual citizens, you know those one strong effort in massachusetts to require 21 years of living in the country before you could be considered considered for citizenship, which didn't pass but you see these efforts continue from that point. forward it wasn't new and it wasn't gone. i find it remarkable that within a generation. you see the irish. sort of take control of the politics of boston and and start to represent their own kind which will take us to pj kennedy in a minute. but you know, that was a that
period was had to be terrifying there were riots people stomping down the streets of each east boston where bridget and patrick lived and their kids throwing bricks through irish families windows. bumping them on the head with that and bricks and stuff. they were they weren't wanted. and they knew it. and you talk about convents that were attacked churches that were set on fire. so it was vicious. it was absolutely vicious and you make the point very well that the irish escaped one form for-pression to just come into the cauldron of another form of oppression. absolutely and i think that relates very well and you to me it's interesting boston is the center of abolition. but as you say some abolitionists who were so progressive for also known nothing anticatholic anti-immigrant anti-irish, but one political party that gave them a home was the democrat party which ironically that stage was also and antih abolition. so again, maybe when you tell pj's story you can speak about
that. so this is a good point now to talk about the children the family and if you could talk about the mortality of the children because i think it was like turn the pages. it's you even as a historian. i found it shocking there was so much death especially amongst children. it was shocking to me too christine. i mean, you know you i knew i had a sense that that life was hard in general terms, but when i realized that for example at the time when bridget was starting her family the the life expectancy of first generation child of a irish immigrant, the life expectancy was five years. and bridget experienced that herself. she and her husband patrick had three daughters and two daughters and then had their
first son named john who lasted 20 months before he died of a condition called in phantom color and phantom or some summer disease summer diarrhea could have been related to diet or bad milk or so. we don't know but he was one of scores and scores of kids that summer of believe it was 1855 when john died who died of that disease and then scores who died of other diseases the death rate among these kids children of irish immigrants was terrifying. i mentioned john john was the first kennedy to die on american soil in the first to be buried there. i found it remarkable back to the opposition to the irish in the catholics bridgend patrick couldn't even bury their son john in the city of boston. there were there was one catholic cemetery. full none of the others
catholics. yeah, the other cemeteries were available to them. they were banned from bearing a catholic child inside the city limits of boston. so they experienced the tragedy of losing their their firstborn son, and they have to travel west to cambridge along and not easy route at that time to bury their child and this is the experience of many other irish immigrants at that time. it was just horrible disease in the air, you know, they were just crammed into these apartments tenement buildings, you know, bad bad air bad water. they would just surrounded by filth and and disease in the air and and you see that effect that family from that point forward later on as bridget's own daughter start having their kids. i describe how her daughters i think it was of 22 eventual
grandchildren for bridget. a dozen survived past age five, so 10 of the others died a very young it was it was it was it was rough, of course patrick? yeah, so then patrick again bridget facing one tragedy after another one hardship after another her husband patrick in 1858. they the two of them have second child a second, son whom they call pj patrick joseph. he's born in early 1858 but at the time patrick was already sick he was suffering from from consumption. hmm, which was how tuberculosis was how it was called at that time. terrible disease that sometimes took a long time to manifest itself some people recovered but many didn't especially poor
irish immigrants living in bad conditions and and not be able to afford a doctor or or great food. so pj kennedy is 10 months old later in 1858 when patrick kennedy his finally dies leaving bridget. with three daughters and a son all alone widowed in the slums of east boston working as a maid and as i say in the book, that could have been the end of the kennedy family right there. and that was for many other families like like theirs and i think it's remarkable that it's and it's almost as if from that point forward. bridget i don't want to say bloomed or blossomed. i wasn't that she was waiting for patrick to die, but something clicked and she she was awakened and it was soon after that that she made this steady progression step by step
out of the muck into higher wage jobs and in time to opening her own business, which it was i find just extremely remarkable for a woman who was widowed and left with these children to raise on her own to become a business woman and actually a community figure at that time. yeah again, i found it remarkable. she sort of discovered her agency. i think after patrick dies, right right good way to put it exactly determined to survive. and again, maybe just very briefly talk about her role as a hairdresser and as a grocer, i mean again things you wouldn't traditionally think of for irish immigrant women. yeah. no many of them stayed in the job that they seemed destined for which was to work as a maid and bridget. i think it says a lot about her character that she wasn't willing to to stay at the bottom. she wanted something more. she had some ambition that drove her to figure out how to take a step up and up at some point early in the civil war or just
before the civil war began. she took on another maid's job, but at a nice hotel in east boston called sturtevant house also known as maverick house and i think there she must have made some other connections that led to her next job. which was working as a hairdresser at the jordan marsh department? in downtown boston beloved institution eventually, but at the time it was just starting to expand and become. departmentalized it was one of the first that that kind of created these different departments the children's department toys shoes and then the women's department and in the women's department bridget worked as a hairdresser and there are different histories of jordan marsh that describe that the rise of that that institution and how strong of a leader and employer edmond jordan. one of the co-founders was who really believed in his employees
and helped them in turn sometimes open their own business, so we don't know exactly how long bridget worked there, but it was clearly long enough to have learned enough about running a business dealing with customers understanding commerce understanding what the people of boston wanted. they wanted to spend their money on and at some point she decided to go out on her own and take a chance and open her own grocery store. the first one was in maverick square in east boston, the shop moved a couple times over the years, but it seems as if sort of late 1870s as when she gets established and finds a home for her grocery store on border street in east boston, and it stays there for the rest of her life, and i find it not just remarkable that a woman at that time and irish immigrant widow could do that because not only was she facing these forces of
discrimination, you know, women weren't supposed to be running businesses at that time in boston just like they weren't supposed to be running for office because they couldn't they couldn't vote there were many things that they were prevented from doing and in fact if she had still been married she would have been required to get a woman. married woman doing business license from the city and permission from her husband to open that grocery store because she was a widow and didn't have a husband. she was able to open it on her own without someone's permission and i think all of these little tidbits say a lot about her not caring what anybody thought doing her own thing deciding. this is what i need to do for myself and my family and i'm going to do it. so that brings us nicely to pj who is her son who never meets his father and who as you say has his mother's spirit of entrepreneurship from what you say. he seems to be very charming.
he didn't start off too. well, but he really yes. i chose the right path. would you like to talk about pj? yeah, and and that's a good sort of introduction to how the book is structured. it is kind of to halves the first half of the book is is bridget and her story coming from ireland to america and getting settled and facing all these hardships and and finally making her way to a place of agency and and control over her own destiny as a independent business owner and an entrepreneur just a remarkable trajectory and then the second half of the book picks up with her son pj and shows largely shows how through bridget's influence on his life. he also made something of a similar trajectory as you said he had a rough childhood fatherless kid roaming the streets of east boston getting in trouble. the schools weren't well set up to teach irish kids at that time there weren't parochial schools
yet. they were just getting started in different cities, and it was just too early for pj to benefit from that so he didn't go to school for very long. he ended up briefly at a house of detention on deer island here in boston. probably for truancy, although the records don't show exactly what he was charged with nor how long he spent there. but clearly he had a difficult childhood and then once he gets to his late teens he's working on the docks of east boston's where his father used to work as a long shoreman just hauling cargo on and off ships like many irish men did at that time either immigrants or first first generation. that was the kind of work they did. you know manual labor digging ditches building the railroads or hauling cargo on and off ships. pj though similarly had some sense of aspiration and ambition and decided to get into business
for himself opened his own saloon in south boston and bought it probably borrowed money from his mother it seems and probably one of his sisters who was working at the grocery shop with bridget. i think they helped get him started in the saloon business and then it's almost like a switch was flipped. he discovers something new in himself his own capabilities. and what is interests. are he opens another saloon and another one after that and and i've retail liquor business and at the same time that his businesses growing and his business sensibilities are sort of evolving. he's getting involved in local ward politics for the democratic party, which is where sort of the next phase of his career takes him, but interestingly, it's very tightly entwined with his career as a saloon keeper and a liquor man, and i love to christine the sort of the sense
that his father was a barrel maker made whiskey barrels and and beer barrels. his mother was a grosser who almost certainly sold whiskey on the side because many of the irish groceries did made more money that way and that's what the customers wanted. so whiskey and his parents side and then you see pj getting involved in the whiskey business and then that later transfers into some of its father his son's business enterprises down the line, but pjs are remarkable character and i'll pause there very like, well, i have to say i like to my lot and yeah the spirit business in island they have what they used and spirit groceries. so again, the closest spirits and i think just when i think about bridges as a dresser and pj is the bomb on they are too professions with people confide in you you so it must have had lots of secrets and lots of you information through those i think it tells you something about their personalities that they worked in those trades
professions, but you talk about the spirits the whiskey and we know that boston also is the center of temperance and there were many attempts which i hadn't realized to introduce prohibition on a small scale on a large scale in america before prohibition and even though you say pj was probably moderate house was bridget in the drinking habits. it was something for obvious reasons. they're resisted. could you just maybe talk a bit about prohibition? it's history in america. yeah. i mean again it was this interesting bit of tension in pj's growing career to to learn that there were these forces aligned against him. just like there were forces aligned against his mother the prohibition party. there was a political party again was very strong in massachusetts and and did their their best. to prevent businessmen like pj from thriving. i mean what they really wanted
was just to ban all liquor sales period and you know in time that succeeded but there were ups and downs and i didn't know this either christine that in the state of massachusetts because that's where my story takes place the political party had its ups and downs and so one year, they would ban liquor sales and parts of boston are all of boston would go dry or only allow beer sales and then a couple years later the political leadership would shift a little bit and suddenly liquor sales are allowed again. there was a period where they required that meals are served and you had to be seated in a bar like pjs. there was no vertical drinking in boston and what they wanted to prevent was saloons and bars where you know in their view the irish were were hanging out too drunk, which sure that was probably case in a lot of places, but it was a communal space. it was for the irish a place
again. they clusters not the right word, but they they ended up living in an urban environments and they wanted to be near each other and so the places where they could be together were the grocery store the saloon and church and and i i think it's remarkable that both pj and bridget sort of provided that service that space where their people could get together talk about issues. just have fun be with one another and i think in pj's case that's where he developed his political skills because he would hear directly from his constituent from other irish people from neighbors what was going on and what they needed and in turn he applied that to how he could help once he got into elected office and then these increasing positions of or as a political leader in boston okay, and again you talk about you the success of the irish
immigrants in politics, and i sometimes think it's because even before they arrived in america irish people were fact highly politicized largely because of daniel o'connell the mass meetings the use of propaganda of media etc. so i think they were already very sophisticated in terms of being political activists. so it's interesting, but can you tell us more about pj is character and maybe his relation with honey fits. yeah. i love that relationship. so i think as a as a as a character behind the bar, there's one scene in the book where i describe him serving drinks. he was a quiet man. he was pretty reserved and thoughtful. he wasn't boisterous or or blustering he liked to listen more than he did to speak if it was quiet at the bar. he buries his head in a book or a newspaper. so i think he was pretty reserved and thoughtful, but more than anything. i think he liked here what
people were thinking and what they needed and then figure out a way to help i'd say this is probably a good point to call out one of the resources that helped me enormously and bringing pj to life and these are the pj kennedy papers that are at the john f. kennedy library archives. they were just opened. i think it was 2021. i'm forgetting these were papers that i was aware of for years and had many conversations with the archive staff at the library saying are they ready yet? are they ready yet? are they ready yet? and then finally they were processed. it was a long time coming for them to process. these old crumbly letters of pjs, but i wanted to make that call out because the library was incredibly patient and generous with me and helping me access those and they helped bring pj to life. those letters said a lot about pj both the bar and as a politician because all he wanted to do was help.
a sampling of those letters just send says volumes about who pj was because he would write a letter to a politician or an employer or a priest and say hey this poor kid, so and so needs a job. can we help him out or i'm just become aware of this political candidate. they've been so helpful in our community and i really think they deserve our support. can we help them out? he was always trying to help. later, joe kennedy, his son would say he went too far. he gave away too much of his money helping other people loaning money to incoming irish or business owners who needed to leg up. i think he was just generous to a false and i love that about him. i think he was just a good guy a good man but to your question, i find it fascinating that alongside that character is honeyfits remarkable guy just like lively love to dance his jigs and sing sweet adeline at
political rallies and when he was campaigning they both were american born sons of irish immigrant grocers. they had very similar upbringings and lives as boys and i describe in the book how they should have been friends. they could have been soulmates and instead one. they both got involved in politics. they became rivals and stayed that way for much of their careers. there were times where they worked together and they worked with each other because they were part of this small over outman irish democratic party trying to rise to power in the late 1800s into the early 1900s, but they didn't like each other. they tried to keep their sons and daughters apart. joe kennedy ends up marrying rose fitzgerald despite the best efforts of their parents, but there's one scene in the book that i described where honeyfits as he was known is elected to
congress part of this rise of irish democratic political leaders in boston, and eventually nationally. and if it's always charging always working always giving speeches and and always moving. he's a fascinating character to get sick with consumption the same disease that killed pj's father and his doctors. tell him you have to take a break you have to go somewhere and relax and rest. so they send him south he chooses, asheville, north carolina as his place to rest at a spa and he invites pj to come with him and help him recoup and get back in shape and and then come back to washington and pick up where he left off. so the relationship between the two is strange intense and kind of weirdly beautiful in a way i think. you know, this is beautiful image for them on horses yeah yeah from the from the kennedy library. they have this beautiful photo of them. yeah, they have that. okay, so we're coming up to
question time, and there's a lot of questions. please send more in but let's skip over joe, but let's talk about pj as a grandfather and obviously grandfather to somebody famous. so that one more time and pj as a grandfather and relationship between pj and his grandchildren. yeah. yeah, you know again back to the kennedy library. they have some wonderful images. i think many of them available digitally online that people can see of pj as he gets older. he loved being a grandfather and he loved all of his kids, you know, joe and jack first born and then rosemary thing came next i might have it out of order but as he started whining down his business his political career. dj and his businesses and in particular when prohibition finally went into effect and he had to sell his saloons. he was in he was in the liquor business with his wife mary
right to the very end. i found a liquor license application in 1919, so they were hopeful right to the very end, but finally that prohibition goes into a fact and he starts to scale back his his work and semi-retire and from that point forward like through the 1920s. he loves spending time with his grandkids. they're just some wonderful photos of him with the the grandkids at the beach. they weren't at hyannis at that point. i can't remember the name of the beaches that they would visit but he was a devoted grandfather. he would show up with bags of toys he would but it's interesting that he also was john kennedy jfk later described him as kind of and kind of reserve. he wasn't playful necessarily. he jfk makes a comment about you couldn't even wink in front of papa. he thought that was to playful.
so there was a love for these kids, but also some sense of teaching them to take life seriously and not goof around too much and and there's this message that he also conveyed to his son joe about like do the right thing. don't get in trouble, you know do right by your people. i think you i think he had integrity. and he tried to pass that on to his son. not sure. we can talk about that some other time, but his there are other things that he transferred onto other members of that family that they did latch onto and and you see it in their own lives in terms of how they represented others and how they embraced the empathy for for those who in need and those who are discriminated against knowing what it was like for pj and bridget before maybe and then we'll move on to listen
this questions just the reconnection with ireland. how did that come about? pj's reconnection. yeah, yeah. latent life he well his first trip was i think early 1900s? he was hit his wife. mary always thought he was working too hard and always would tell him you're going on a trip. i'm not telling you where i'm gonna pack your bags and he would find out sort of the day before where she was sending him. and that seems to have been the case when she finally said you're going to ireland. hmm. so he goes on this european tour. he visits on the back end ireland and meets with his ancestors and spends time there riding around on a buggy toad behind a horse. he meets extended family members. he comes home with a notebook. that was his father's from when he is brief time in school and he just loved it and admired all
these people but it triggered. you know, he he looked back on his political career and he commented of times about how influential the plight of the irish was on his own political career and one of when he first got started in politics, he was deeply involved in land league organizations groups that were trying to raise money to send back to ireland to help tenant farmers, you know pay for back rent including his own family his father's family. so he i think he knew that he owed something to his homeland because they inspired him to protect his people here in america while he was also trying to help folks back in ireland. so i think that was a wonderful trip for him and it connected to him to his mother who had been dead dead at that point for i think 30 years. she died in 1888 later when his wife mary dies. he goes back to ireland for a second time.
so he had a deep connection and i think that connection was picked up by some of his grandchildren too and at the tail end of the book how john kennedy in particular really embraced. his irishness went back to that country many times famously just months before he died went back to new ross and met with his family and and talked about his grandfather the barrel maker who you know came from these shores and came to america. so that that trajectory i think is just wonderful of bridget and pj and then he goes back to ireland and then jfk goes back to ireland and it you know, it just ties into this epic and tragic saga of this family coming from crumbling place and coming to a land that didn't want them but making it their own and and having such a incredible impact on our politics and our culture and who we are remarkable.
okay. thank you. that's great point now, let's go to questions and i know we have people who've joined us from all over the world and particularly america canada islands, so we won't say you're all very welcome. so there's quite a few questions and one of them is were any of the children grandchildren descendants named bridges or was that name to association with being a servant and therefore derogatory. there were none that i found, you know, the the family as we know was very large, you know with nine kids by joe and and rose and i forget if it was 11 or 12 by bobby and eunice and so there might be extended family members name bridget, but none in the sort of core family descended from joe and rose and john and bobby and their siblings and i think some of that comes from joe kennedy.
who? unlike pj didn't embrace his irishness and it makes sense, right? so pj needed to be an irish-minded person because he was still in the muck with this his fellow irish trying to become politically active and influential by the time joe is raising his family and getting into business and trying to make money he wanted to become american he no longer wanted to have any sort of affiliation with the old saud and and where he came from. i can't say he rejected it entirely, but he didn't embrace his irishness or his roots in the same way that others throughout that family did and so, you know, you see the the names in that family john robert theodore eunice. there is a patricia, which is my mother's name kathleen. so, you know, no bridget.
little more americanized than than irish. i think some of that goes a little bit back further to pj's wife mary mary hickey mary augusta hickey who haven't talked enough about who when joe was born decided. he's not going to be a patrick or a pj no more patrick's in this house. he's going to be joseph. so i think she influenced that sense that we're american now, we're gonna become, you know an american family. so no more bridget from that point forward as far as we know. okay now we'll bridget so patrick's for now, right? yeah. how did you find out about pj's papers? and what was the most interesting aspect of them? mmm? i think i first became aware of the pj papers at the kennedy library around 2016 2017, and i not too long ago. i was looking at my emails and there are many many of them to the archive staff saying me again, are they ready? what's going on? can i come look at them and i
learned over that the process is not that these were old onion skin papers, very delicate fragile needed a certain type of processing to digitize them. they also needed to be digitized fully and then presented because it's a federal institution presented at one time to everyone that couldn't just give me a side door access to them. despite my best efforts, but 2017 is when i learned more about them and a little bit what was in them and it took years of being patient and staying in touch with the archive staff and in late 2019 the process had begun in full there was funding for this and they were starting the process and then into 2020. we know what happened everything shut down, so i was terrified that this what i hoped was a potential gold mine for a researcher was maybe not going to be available to me for this
book to their great credit the staff stayed with it. they ended up working at offsite and managed to process. i think it was the first two thirds of the papers. they're not fully processed yet, but i got this wonderful wonderful email one morning. hey neil good news. we did this many this percentage of the papers and here they are and in one lump i had access to hundreds of pages of pj's business documents and personal letters and it was it was christmas for a research or you know what that feeling is like christine to like be find this trove of just like primary source original words written in pen and ink by pj in his own hand. it was just fascinating and thrilling and it helped me bring him to life a little bit more so than i would have because you heard him thinking out loud you heard him doing the business of
trying to help other people in his community. i can't think of one letter in particular that was you know more moving than any other but i there was a theme throughout every page of this collection and the theme was i'm pj, i'm in a position to help and i want to help how can we help this other person? it's remarkable. yeah. it is fantastic. so one question asks did the early candies have any other european connections? european connections um the early kennedys as in bridget and patrick, do you think that's what they mean none that i know of bridget never went bridget never went back to ireland as you know, patrick died at 35 ish in in east boston. i know they stayed in touch with their relatives in ireland because he bridget's sisters start to come to america in the 1870s and and on forward her
sisters and nieces mostly women again coming first and they live with her or end up working with living near her. they helped out at the grocery store grocery shop. so she stayed in very close contact with her family in ireland and with her then dead husband's family in ireland as well, but i'm not aware of any other connections elsewhere. and just the early generation they seem to have into marriage with other irish people. okay, very typical, right? good point. yeah. yeah. they did. they married their own kind, you know even wexford, you know, even that level of they have the same county right question asks, i did any of the current county family assist you with your research. yeah, that that's an interesting question because i did reach out to as many current family members as i could and tried to make them aware of this project and let them know i would love to. get their thoughts on it and a
few of them responded and the theme interestingly was, you know, we love that you're doing this and we don't know. you know, we just don't know enough to offer any any help here. and i got one nice note from maria shriver saying i wish i could help. i look forward to your books so i can learn more about my family. and i think that was the case and it sort of goes back a little bit to that other question about sort of the americanization and the lack of bridgets in that family line. they became very american and and moved on from the experiences of bridget and patrick and i think you know not that he wants to blame for this. you know, we all i i don't know my own history going back that far, but i think that's why bridget's story got lost a little bit, you know the story of the kennedys and the 20th
century is is a big story, you know, we're still in fascinated by that piece of the legacy and the mythology of camelot all of that. interested in going back and finding the details of what was actually happening before that and what was happening with bridget. so the families helpful and cooperative to the extent that they could be and gracious but just didn't know. much okay. well they will now as a result of your research, which is great and one question asks were british and patrick documented or undocumented but we know there were no such things as being done such things. would you like to talk about a bit more or just yeah, and i'll preface it by saying, i don't know. i'm not as well versed in the laws of the land as it relates to immigrants at different periods of time, but i will say when bridget and patrick came there were no laws that
prevented them from coming and that's what triggered many of much of the animosity and antipathy toward immigrants was that there was nothing to stop them from coming in there the there was a immigration act of 1798 maybe but again, i don't want to bungle this but really if you showed up and you were able to find a job and live here. nobody could stop you later. i think inspired by the reaction to the waves of irish who came because that was really the first big wave of immigrants for many other country. they've been trickling in from around the world for you know, since the very beginning of the american experiment but the waves of irish immigrant put that experiment to the test for some people and that's when you started to see new laws being proposed to restrict immigration against certain areas and
certain populations. you see the chinese exclusion act 1882. i believe that specifically said, whoa, we need to slow down the the flow of immigration from china the gear react a decade later, which emphasized that 1917 i think was the the immigration act of 1917 that started to pull together some of the nativist ideas around. let's slow this down. let's create a literacy test for people coming into the country. they have to you know be able to write or speak the constitution or something like that so you didn't see any real laws to to require document. patient or no documentation for a long time that evolved over over time, but it was i think initially triggered by the first waves of irish. okay, so neil, you can't see yourself. maybe you can't maybe you can't but you're surrounded by a beautiful golden glow and one of
the questions is where are you? i'm actually glad someone asked that because just a few hours ago. i was in a my hotel room here in boston where i'm here talking at different locations about the new book and the wi-fi went down. and in a panic i called friends here at the massachusetts historical society. that's where i am in downtown boston. i was here a couple nights ago to give a talk and i asked them. can i please come there and do my talk with the jfk library at your at your facility and they quickly and graciously set me up in this room. it's one of it's the library. i think it's the to help that library and so these are old books behind me, and i'm so grateful to them from allowing me to come pick up some space and that's them right there. okay. thank you and interesting question about religion.
what did the irish do to hold on to their faith? and if you could then relate it back to the kennedy's please. yeah, that's a good one because we haven't talked about it yet and and faith was such a an important factor for the irish even though it was the thing that caused them to face down the discrimination that they faced you church was vital to them. i describe in the book the kennedy's the places where they lived and and worked all sort of circulated around their parish and their and their and their church saint nicholas church was the small church where they first started began worshiping in east boston, and then that was later expanded into a cathedral and so the priests in their life or were incredibly influential and important. i found a remarkable collection of research about the the history of the archdiocese of
boston. it's a huge to think three volume. history of that and it introduced me to some of the priests and and archbishops who were in involved deeply in the kennedy's lives. we know that they were that that they were churchgoers. we know that they all they had all their children baptized at the local church, and he's each bought east boston. and so i think faith was was vital to them. i think it you could argue that that's probably what helped get bridget through some of the more tragic and challenging periods of her life and and then pj and his wife were extremely devout. in fact one they and toward the end of their life pj's wife. mary died in 1926 late. she had a small altar in their house where she would kneel and pray and they were very close with their priests as well. so, yeah, i think they were i think faith and and the catholic church meant a lot to the early kennedys.
you know just as you said ballrooms gave a sense of community so did church going i think community identity security so i think it was very important especially for the early immigrants. so one question is sort of follows on from that you talk about east boston. when did the irish migrate to south boston? um, they started there too when they when they came to ireland they ended up in different pockets. i've been talking a lot about east boston because that's where the kennedys ended up but a lot of immigrants settled in in south boston in the north end, which is where the fitzgerald family ended up the west end, which was actually a pretty strong african-american community for many years, but then the irish kept moving their way in as they did in other parts of boston and sort of pushing people out of their own community. so the the irish took over many many corners of boston and i
find it interesting that over time you see southeast south and and others other communities becoming remaining strongly irish east boston changed over time from irish to italian and i was walking through there just last year. are one last time before the book came out and found it remarkable that it's it's still an immigrant community brazilian central american south american. you see these little grocery shops bodegas and latin markets on the street corners the same way, you know many decades earlier you saw the irish grocery shops on the corners so that that community remains sort of a starter community for for new immigrants in america and you see their starter businesses hopeful inspiring businesses just like pj's saloon and bridget's grocery store. okay, so we have a question from somebody who's doing that family history and they say do you have
any best kept secrets? are there any sources you would advise people that they should use when they're doing research? um, i'm assuming that means their own family research and one of the things i ran up against with this book like many authors and researchers like we all did was covid and i was pretty far along in the research and writing when covid hit but there were many little gaps i needed to fill in in the story and relied on the internet and was pretty shocked to learn. how much i had? access to at my fingers tips through a number of different sources and in the back of the book, i cite them all. so if anyone's curious you could just go through the end notes. i think i have like 40 pages of end notes where a lot of these sources are listed but a couple of them include ancestry.com you know, the church of latter-day
saints is as digitized. literally billions of pages of records ship manifest records and birth records and court records you name it and so through and ancestry.com i was able to really get a glimpse into the genealogy of the extended kennedy family where they started in ireland and where they end up in the us another one. those newspapers.com incredible, i mean the you know you pay for these most of them. there are others my family dot. familysearch.org and myheritage.com again, you'll find them in the book summer free some are paid but newspapers.com was probably my favorite. i'm a news fox newspaper reporter. so it was a thrill instead of having to go to a library and i love going to libraries and
archives and digging through files and folders and working with the staff and getting their input on my research going through microfilm, even though it's probably why i need glasses now, but the newspapers.com experience because i was forced to adapt to that was remarkable. i can go to the 1880s and just flip through the daily newspaper the boston globe page after page after page and get a sense of what was happening around bridget and pj and their families at that time, so that that was remarkable and just fun and also interesting way to sort of research your own family and your own past. yeah, i think newspapes are a great underlooked resource. you never know what you'll find and it becomes addictive because you it's so easy to do the search and suddenly that takes you into a different direction. you haven't thought about and then you see an advert or circus and you get like john lennon. what's the circus being for the benefit of mr. kite? it just takes you all over the place. so yeah, that's i get a very
much. yeah, how wonderful use any rabbit holes, right? yeah. absolutely. so we are nearing the end of this wonderful talk. so we've cuffed a lot of ground. we've covered a lot of geography, but is there anything you think we haven't talked about that you would like to you bring to our attention in regard to the early kind of days. hmm. i i don't think so. i'll take just a pause to thank you christine for your great questions and for being so thoughtful and generous with your time. it's it's a thrill because you've written a lot about some of this era that i ever and i remember being nervous in the early stages thinking this has been done by other academics like yourself and always tried to find my way into a a narrow space that maybe hadn't been explored as much as others before me had explored it. and i guess in sort of in summary. that's what i hope comes out of.
this is a sense that we think we know the kennedy family, but but this little piece of their past hasn't been fully explored and and that there are some important characters in in the history of that family that deserve more not just attention but credit then they have previously received and and my in my view that's bridget and and her son pj, you know, there are many others obviously, but i i chose to focus in on those two for this this my version of the kennedy story and i think it's it's remarkable and i i also add i guess my hope has been that and telling their story and the story of the early kennedys and the story of irish immigration and the 1800s. ideally it tells us more about who we are is a country who we were then who we are now the similarities between the two are kind of remarkable and i think we can learn a lot from some of the low points of the 1800s in
terms of how we treated immigrants and how we think of immigrants today, you know, if you think about it the the bridget kennedy the matriarch of the kennedy family. as i call her that woman could be working in a as a maid in east boston now and so this sense of the strength of the are acceptance of the immigrant experience here in america? it's it's vital. it is who we are, you know, we the net determination of immigrants is i i think tricky because we aspire to that but we don't always live up to that ideal being a true nation of immigrants. it's my hope that this book reminds us of the power of that aspiration. it's very powerful. thank you. my great friend, dr. jared moore and always says you we have eight million immigrants from the famine onwards to america and we have eight million
different stories, and i think what you've done is tell us very eloquently very poignantly one of those really important stories. so it's not just about the kennedy's it's about irish immigration to america. it's about women's resilience. it's not what it means to be a refugee. so it's much bigger than the kennedy story. so for that i thank you. i thank our hosts at the library. i thank the console general of boston and i sound everybody who's joined us tonight. happy saint patrick's mom. thank you. happy saint patty's month. thher schedule was grueling almt
as tough as her husband's yet. threw it. all rosalind remained an earnest and gracious campaigner. people ask me every day. how can you stand for your husband to be in politics and everybody know everything you do and i just tell them that we will born and raised as still live in planes, georgia. it has a population of 683 and everybody has always known everything. i did and jim has never had any yeah, i'm scandal in his personal life. i really believe he can restore that honesty integrity openness confidence and government that we so soul in
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