Celebrating the Irish in America (1867/1877) by John Maguire and us for March 2021.


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ArtsPR links AMERICAN PHANTASMAGORIA within this crisis to transform our lives.
My production of John Maguire’s play HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY (1877) won the Irish Institute Award. Subsequently, our VHS was accepted in Theatre On Film archive at the Theatre Collection of Lincoln Center Library and programs by The Museum of the City of NY.
Having just discovered this remarkable essay by I believe John Maguire for Century 21. It is a profound window as was his play in the 19th Century to us.

from The Irish in America (1867) PART ONE TODAYJohn Francis MaguireThe Irish were weighed down by many woes in the nineteenth century, prime among them British dominion and the famine wrought by the potato rot. The weight buried many at home and squeezed others out to find freedom and food abroad. These Irish immigrants, who by 1860 composed the largest foreign-born group in America, faced perhaps the greatest prejudice. John Francis Maguire, looking back on decades of Irish migration, tried to explain why to both Irish and American readers in his book, The Irish in America.* * *Irish emigrants of the peasant and labouring class were generally poor, and after defraying their first expenses on landing had little left to enable them to push their way into the country in search of such employment as was best suited to their knowledge and capacity: though had they known what was in store for too many of them and their children, they would have endured the severest privation and braved any hardship, in order to free themselves from the fatal spell in which the fascination of a city life has meshed the souls of so many of their race. Either they brought little money with them, and were therefore unable to go on; or that little was plundered from them by those whose trade it was to prey upon the inexperience or credulity of the newcomer. Therefore, to them, the poor or the plundered Irish emigrants, the first and pressing necessity was employment; and so splendid seemed the result of that employment, even the rudest and most laborious kind, as compared with what they were able to earn in the old country, that it at once predisposed them in favour of a city life. . . . Then there were old friends and former companions or acquaintances to be met with at every street-corner; and there was news to give, and news to receive—too often, perhaps, in the liquor-store or dram-shop kept by a countryman—probably ‘a neighbour’s child,’ or ‘a decent boy from the next ploughland.’ Then ‘the chapel was handy,’ and ‘a Christian wouldn’t be overtaken for want of a priest;’ then there was ‘the schooling convenient for the children, poor things,’—so the glorious chance was lost; and the simple, innocent countryman, to whom the trees of the virgin forest were nodding their branches in friendly invitation, and the blooming prairie expanded its fruitful bosom in vain, became the denizen of a city, for which he was unqualified by training, by habit, and by association. Possibly it was the mother’s courage that failed her as she glanced at the flock of little ones who clustered around her, or timidly clung to her skirts, and she thought of the new dangers and further perils that awaited them; and it was her maternal influence that was flung into the trembling balance against the country and in favour of the city.
Or employment was readily found for one of the girls, or one or two of the boys, and things looked so hopeful in the fine place that all thoughts of the fresh, breezy, healthful plain or hill-side were shut out at that supreme moment of the emigrant’s destiny; though many a time after did he and they long for one breath of pure air, as they languished in the stifling heat of a summer in a tenement house. Or the pioneer of the family—most likely a young girl—had found good employment, and, with the fruits of her honest toil, had gradually brought out brothers and sisters, father and mother, for whose companionship her heart ever yearned; and possibly her affection was stronger than her prudence, or she knew nothing of the West and its limitless resources.
Or sickness, that had followed the emigrant’s family across the ocean, fastened upon some member of the group as they touched the soil for which they had so ardently prayed, and though the fever or the cholera did not destroy a precious life, it did the almost as precious opportunity of a better future! the spring of that energy which was sufficient to break asunder the ties and habits of previous years—sufficient for flight from home and country—was broken, and those who faced America in high hope were thenceforth added to the teeming population of a city—to which class, it might be painful to speculate.* * *This headlong rushing into the great cities has the necessary effect of unduly adding to their population, thereby overtaxing their resources, however large or even extraordinary these resources may be, and of rudely disturbing the balance of supply and demand. The hands—the men, women, and children—thus become too many for the work to be done, as the work becomes too little for the hands willing and able to do it. What is worse, there are too many mouths for the bread of independence; and thus the bread of charity has to supplement the bread which is purchased with the sweat of the brow.
Happy would it be for the poor in the towns of America, as elsewhere, if the bread of charity were the only bread with which the bread of independence is supplemented. But there is also the bread of degradation, and the bread of crime. And when the moral principle is blunted by abject misery, or weakened by disappointments and privation, there is but a narrow barrier between poverty and crime; and this, too frequently, is soon passed. For such labour as is thus recklessly poured into the great towns there is constant peril.
It is true, there are seasons when there is a glut of work, when the demand exceeds the supply—when some gigantic industry or some sudden necessity clamours for additional hands; but there are also, and more frequently, seasons when work is slack, seasons of little employment, seasons of utter paralysis and stagnation. Cities are liable to occasional depressions of trade, resulting from over production, or the successful rivalry of foreign nations, or even portions of the same country; or there are smashings of banks, and commercial panics, and periods of general mistrust. Or, owing to the intense severity of certain seasons, there is a total cessation of employments of particular kinds, by which vast numbers of people are flung idle on the streets. . . .
The evil of overcrowding is magnified to a prodigious extent in New York, which, being the port of arrival—the Gate of the New World—receives a certain addition to its population from almost every ship-load of emigrants that passes through Castle Garden. There is scarcely any city in the world possessing greater resources than New York, but these resources have long since been strained to the very uttermost to meet the yearly increasing demands created by this continuous accession to its inhabitants; . . .As in all cities growing in wealth and in population, the dwelling accommodation of the poor is yearly sacrificed to the increasing necessities or luxury of the rich. While spacious streets and grand mansions are on the increase, the portions of the city in which the working classes once found an economical residence, are being steadily encroached upon—just as the artisan and labouring population of the City of London are driven from their homes by the inexorable march of city improvements, and streets and courts and alleys are swallowed up by a great thoroughfare or a gigantic railway terminus. . . .
As stated on official authority, there are 16,000 tenement houses in New York, and in these there dwell more than half a million of people! This astounding fact is of itself so suggestive of misery and evil, that it scarcely requires to be enlarged upon; . . .* * *It is not at all necessary that an Irish immigrant should go West, whatever and how great the inducements it offers to the enterprising. There is land to be had, under certain circumstances and conditions, in almost every State in the Union. And there is no State in which the Irish peasant who is living from hand to mouth in one of the great cities as a day-labourer, may not improve his condition by betaking himself to his natural and legitimate avocation—the cultivation of the soil. Nor is the vast region of the South unfavourable to the laborious and energetic Irishman.
On the contrary, there is no portion of the American continent in which he would receive a more cordial welcome, or meet with more favourable terms. This would not have been so before the war, or the abolition of slavery, and the upset of the land system which was based upon the compulsory labour of the negro. . . . The policy of the South is to increase and strengthen the white population, so as not to be, as the South yet is, too much dependent on the negro; and the planter who, ten years ago, would not sever a single acre from his estate of 2,000, or 10,000, or 20,000 acres, will now readily divide, if not all, at least a considerable portion of it, into saleable quantities, to suit the convenience of purchasers. . . .* * *Were I asked to say what I believed to be the most serious obstacle to the advancement of the Irish in America, I would unhesitatingly answer—Drink; meaning thereby the excessive use, or abuse, of that which, when taken in excess, intoxicates, deprives man of his reason, interferes with his industry, injures his health, damages his position, compromises his respectability, renders him unfit for the successful exercise of his trade, profession, or employment—which leads to quarrel, turbulence, violence, crime. I believe this fatal tendency to excessive indulgence to be the main cause of all the evils and miseries and disappointments that have strewed the great cities of America with those wrecks of Irish honour, Irish virtue, and Irish promise, which every lover of Ireland has had, one time or other, bitter cause to deplore.
Differences of race and religion are but as a feather’s weight in the balance; indeed these differences tend rather to add interest to the steady and self-respecting citizen. Were this belief, as to the tendency of the Irish to excess in the use of stimulants, based on the testimony of Americans, who might probably be somewhat prejudiced, and therefore inclined to judge unfavourably, or pronounce unsparingly, I should not venture to record it; but it was impressed upon me by Irishmen of every rank, class, and condition of life, wherever I went, North or South, East or West. It was openly deplored, or it was reluctantly admitted. I rarely heard an Irishman say that his country or his religion was an effectual barrier to his progress in the United States. . . .

[From John Francis Maguire, The Irish in America, 4th ed, (New York: D. & J. Sadlier & Company, 1867), pp. 215–19, 240, 252, 281–84, 333–37.]View your commenthttps://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/13/movies/sophia-loren-the-life-ahead-netflix.html#commentsContainer&permid=110138539:110138539
danielpquinn | Newark, NJ 11/14/20
Uncle Joe could be The Miracle Worker for 2021. Waking up America and letting it see his compassion. Like that of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller. He could make a difference in peoples lives and The White House for all Americans.View your comment
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Louis Bamberger, my Mother and me 1921-2021.

Bamberger’s was a division of Macy’s.

My archive of Bamberger’s World War II era photo’s from my Family. My Mother was a Hosiery buyer there for 17 years. My Aunt Jo Basso began in the Cashiers office and became Head of Payroll and worked there for 54 years. My other Aunt’s also worked there briefly during the Depression in the Bakery and the selling floor.

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Group photo at Washington and Halsey St., corner outside the loading docks with Newark Red Cross volunteers in the 1940’s.

My Mother performing as soloist at a Mother’s Day program. WOR-Radio originally broadcast from Newark at Bam’s.

Streetcars in Downtown + 1970 in Newark, NJ.

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Christmas at Bam’s on Market St. circa 1970.

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Daniel P Quinn has been working 40 years in the Arts. It is a continual search for funding. Our ArtsPR special community programs went cyber in 2020. Now we are planning for 2021/22 new work that was postponed by Covid-19.

Programs would include Madison Arts Center; Teddy Roosevelt Museum; Lincoln and us; Book signings or backstage stories from Milan to Dublin, Rome, LaScala; Meryl Streep; to Off-Broadway in 2021/22.

EINPresswire.com/ — Daniel P Quinn

Daniel P Quinn’s writing has appeared in “Short Plays to Long Remember”; The Italian Tribune; The Herald News; Audiophile Voice; Sensations; Theatre Journal; Italian Voice; Performing Arts Journal; and Local Knowledge. Covid-19 gave him a chance to write and publish over 250 letters and blogs via The New York Times.

“Daniel P. Quinn takes readers on a guided tour of his prolific career as an actor, director and producer through “a series of journalistic snapshots in a scrapbook of theatrical adventures.” The Montclair Times.

Special programs could include book signings with backstage stories from Milan to Dublin, Rome and NYC. Books include : Newark, Italy + Me in 2019 (Lulu Books); “organized labor” (Author House); and his plays in Short Plays to Long Remember or American Phantasmagoria.

Lively articles, letters and other documents MERGE into a personal narrative, Exits and Entrances constructs a detailed, behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and successes Quinn experienced as he managed to create 25 years of working off-Broadway and beyond from 1981-2021.

Quinn’s career has spanned the productions of such notable shows as the U.S. premieres Edward Bond’s plays Stone, Derek and other works by British playwright; Sacco & Vanzetti by Daniel Gabriel, Away Alone by Janet Noble, and Two and Twenty by Paul Parente, and revivals of The Women of Trachis by Sophocles, and works by Seneca, John Maguire (1877), the controversial Black Jesus Passion Play in 1997 and 1998, and composers such as Stephen Foster, Hanns Eisler, Louis Morreau Gottschalk, Kurt Weill and Hector Berlioz.

Quinn also received The Short Play Festival Award for his work as producer on Two and Twenty, The Irish Institute Award for Honesty Is the Best Policy and Diary of a Madman received a Best Actor OBIE as well.

He is also the author of “organized labor” which achieved notable coverage on The Morning Show with Bonnie Grice on WLIU-FM Radio. Other media with The Coast Star, The Bergen Record, Irish Post, and The Italian Voice.

“organized labor’ has been called “poignant and alive,” “wonderful,” and refreshing.”

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The best compliment you can give me is forwarding this on to a friend.

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Daniel P Quinn in a Special program and talk for Madison Arts Center in 2021 that was postponed by Covid-19.

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Celebrate Forty years Off Broadway 1981-2021 while trying to raise money in quarantine for 2021/22SACCO&VANZETTI: BURN !!! was Finalist for Beyond the Curve International Film Festival, in Paris, FranceDaniel P Quinn’s short film on SACCO & VANZETTI is an official selection for Paris Film Festival.View All Stories From This Source

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danielpquinn | Newark, NJ 1/10/21
Thank you Mr. Kristof as you clarify our don in wonderland irreality. The people in the capital were filled with rage and indignation spouted by a fool propped up as a prezident. The people who died were a tragic loss. But enraged they were. But even more unsettling was the complicity of elected officials and police officers.
I still dread what might happen next; sorry.
View your comment:https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/09/opinion/sunday/trump-mob-capitol.html#commentsContainer&permid=111013443:111013443

American PhantasmagoriaBy Daniel P Quinn,Designed by Kevin Kramer.Now on sale Lulu Books (2020).$45.00 (now 10% off).Includes 3 plays and an essay on World theatre, Covid-19 and us. .
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ArtsPR programs,blogs and cyber outreach for 2021.

daniel p quinn

daniel p quinnJan 5·3 min read

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Lincoln’s ongoing legacy in Newark and NJ from 1861–1961 in 2021.

Abraham Lincoln appeared in Newark on the way to his Inauguration in 1861. We found a trove of newspaper clippings and the amazing footnote that Lincoln’s Great-Grandfather had a Farm in South Jersey. There were 5 variants of the address Lincoln gave in Newark by various reporters. Lincoln’s visit was again memorialized again by a new batch of 1916. Those articles on the 50th anniversary of his visit also included an amazing story on the widow of the owner of Ford’s Theatre who relocated to NJ.

During the 1961 Centenial of Lincoln’s visit he received major feature coverage again in NJ. My program would display all these documents and a personal archive on Ford’s Theatre. When I lived in Washington, I saw shows and returned to Ford’s Theatre numerous times. My lifelong interest in Lincoln also includes a a collection of articles by Herbert Mitgang over decades at The New York Times.

We will also talk about Gustav Bourglan who appears in my book Newark, Italy and me (Lulu 2019). We could drive to see Bourghlan’s Lincoln and the site where he spoke after our program and discussion including the Ward Coffee Company that opened in the 1860’s in Newark. as well. Our program will also include a view of the Newark Memorial to James Kearny in Military Park. There was also a wildly unexpected article that the City of Newark was opposed to the Civil War for economic reasons.

We will also see the site where Dutch Schultz was gunned down in Newark, and enjoy the ambiance of the former St. Frances Hotel from 1912 as a National Landmark and now Tryp Newark.

  1. Lincoln’s Funeral Train also came through Newark in 1865 as a nod to the Citizens of Newark that greeted him (that Lincoln himself noted on Broad St in 1861).

Join us as a donor or patron in Oradell, Madison, Newark, Paterson or Manhattan.

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ArtsPRunlimited,Inc | 351 Broad St, B1702, Newark, NJ 07104daniel p quinn

Blogger in The New York Times (2020/21), AMERICAN PHANTASMAGORIA (Lulu 2019); “organized labor “ 2005 (Author House) Herald News; Performing Arts Journal.

Get daniel p quinn’s stories in your inbox

You cannot subscribe to yourself

More from daniel p quinn

Blogger in The New York Times (2020/21), AMERICAN PHANTASMAGORIA (Lulu 2019); “organized labor “ 2005 (Author House) Herald News; Performing Arts Journal.Jan 4

Eyes open and wide shut 2021

Close your eyes and you will see clearly. Cease to listen and you will hear Truth. Be silent and your heart will sing. Seek no contacts and you will find…Read more · 1 min read

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Jan 2

Bamberger’s was a division of Macy’s.

Read more · 2 min read

Jan 2

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Read more · 2 min read

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Jan 2

Puccini, Maria Jeritza and me.

3 worlds meet QUEEN V. in AMERICAN PHANTASMAGORIA (Lulu Books ) 2021.

daniel p quinn

Thinking of the space
the haves
and the have nots.

the announcers
snicker through a newscast.

Editorializing the notion of
as if a joke


an in-joke
to be



laughed at.

The world

in the studio,
the world

from the studio
and my world.

Would 3 piece suits

be torn to shreds

in the third world ?

Three generations and mine

and our ascendancy.

As il papa traveled

through Brazil,

El Salvador or Nicaragua.

The 3rd world is transformed/transforming

our notion(s) of reality.

Would 3 piece suits

still be banned


is it time

for that

third martini ?

Would such voices of reason

still be dismissed…


our living rooms

were filled with reason

rather than


from the TV

tube ?

© 2011/21 by Daniel P. Quinn

Irish Institute Award, Short Plays to Long Remember (TNT Classics) 2010; Exits & Entrances, 25 years Off-Broadway (2007–8) and “organized labor”, (AuthorHouse) 2005.

Yours sincerely,
Daniel P Quinn,Producing Director, ArtsPR.973-482-0747

“Mediocrity has prevailed in the arts” Library Director said in (2021) .

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“When mediocrity has prevailed in the arts for 50 years, it is no wonder that the power brokers do not recognize genius when they see it.” 
Library Director in 2021.

Newark, Italy and me (Lulu 2019):
“Great stuff. You should be appointed by the mayor of Newark as the go to historian.
Of everything to work past present and future. Your work is fabulous,”

Since we joined Fractured Atlas, 60 friends and colleagues have made 205 charitable gifts for ArtsPR since 2015. Many give more than once. Others read my posts but have not yet made a donation. Both exemplify support, but in this Covid-19 pandemic I have had to rethink what I am doing internally. This includes rejected grant applications, my writing here and in The New York Times. My writing efforts have redoubled for WordPress and Medium as well as here.
We are trying to reach out to those who have not donated in thus far. We need you too in this profound metaphysical time via COVID-19. We need you to help us keep open as we plan for 2021 and 2022.Your comment has been approved!
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danielpquinn | Newark, NJ 2/5/21
Hello all.
Having managed to live on an income below $15,000 a year and paid $10,000 in yearly rent; can we talk ?
Have been on a de-facto Senior “Housing list” for 5 years and told last year that I was on the wrong list !View your commenthttps://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/04/opinion/biden-stimulus-package.html#commentsContainer&permid=111446235:111446235