Monday, August 25, 2008
From the proposal for Old Smoke: A Tale of Pugilism, Power and Politics
Morrissey’s is the quintessential 19th Century American tale of pluck and perseverance. Born into poverty in Ireland he literally fought his way to the American dream of wealth, power and popularity. He was involved in the iconic events and institutions that shaped the country and still haunt our imagination—the immigration of the Irish, the gangs of New York, bare-knuckle boxing, the California gold rush, Tammany Hall politics and the birth of the gambling industry. By the end of his life he had made a fortune and had been a two-term United States Congressman and state senator. When he died, all the state offices in New York closed for the day and flags were flown at half-mast. 20,000 mourners attended his funeral.