HISTORY OF THE IRISH INSTITUTE 1948 TO 1984
By Paul O'Dwyer
THE IRISH EXPERIENCE IN THE UNITED STATES DATES TO THE EARLIEST DAYS OF EUROPEAN COLONIZATION -
Some had come with the Spanish and French settlements in the South and Southwest. Some had escaped from penal servitude in the Caribbean Islands. Others were seafaring men coming from Liverpool and Irish ports. The greatest number, however, came in immigrant ships. They were members of the Established Church, Presbyterians/Methodists, Quakers, and other small Christian groups, but Catholics made up the largest part of the immigrant population.