Thomas Francis Meagher was one of Ireland’s great patriots and a leader of Irish Americans. After fighting for Irish independence, for which he was condemned to death, then had his sentence commuted to exile, Meagher escaped to America, where he became a leader of the Irish community. He commanded the Irish Brigade during the Civil War. After the war, President Andrew Johnson appointed Meagher acting governor of the Montana Territory. In 1867, while serving in that office, Meagher, under mysterious circumstances, disappeared on the Missouri River. His body was never found.
His widow, Elizabeth Townsend Meagher, who converted to her husband’s religion of Roman Catholicism while he was still alive, lamented, to her dying day, that her husband had no final resting place. She is interred at historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, a 478-acre cemetery that was established in 1838 and is now a National Historic Landmark.
We would like to install a fitting memorial to this Irish American hero at Green-Wood. Ron Tunison, the internationally-renowned sculptor who created the bronze portrait of General Meagher for the Irish Brigade Monument at the Antietam Civil War battlefield, is the sculptor of the bronze relief of Meagher that we would like to place at Green-Wood. We need your help to make this a reality.
Won’t you help us honor this great Irish hero? For organizational donors of at least $3,000 and individual donors of $500 or more, your name will be inscribed on the monument in recognition of your support. You also will be an honored guest at the reception here at Green-Wood for the unveiling of the memorial. In addition, you will receive a certificate that documents your support and proclaims one of Meagher’s most famous statements: “They who have lived to serve their country – no matter how weak their efforts may have been – are sure to receive the thanks and blessings of its people.” It is time for Thomas Francis Meagher, “Meagher of the Sword,” to receive the thanks and blessings of his people.