“THE FENIANS ARE COMING… “
The Irish invasions as told by historian Laurent Busseau
For the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Irish invasions on Canadian soil (1866-1870) and after many years of research and writing, historian, Laurent Busseau, presents the story of the battles between the Irish Fenians from the United States and the Canadian defenders of our area known as “The Red Sashes.” Produced in collaboration with the Missisquoi Historical Society, this book is the first in a collection by the Society published with Les Éditions Histoire Québec.
“For three days Missisquoi County was an Irish colony,” says the author Laurent Busseau.
On June 7, 1866, Fenians crossed the border into Quebec under the command of General Samuel Perkins Spear near Eccles Hill. For two days the Fenians held Pigeon Hill and the surrounding area including Frelighsburg and St. Armand without any opposition and intimidated the communities by damaging property. On June 9, 1866, the Fenians received word that Canadian militia was advancing and in response, they retreated to the border where they met U.S. troops who disarmed and arrested them.
“This slice of local history is underestimated,” Laurent Busseau explains. “Without the Irish, there is no Canadian Confederation. The fight between the Canadian militia and Irish insurgents will actually make Canadians realize that they should unite to fight.“
The book is available in English and in French and can be purchased in person at the Missisquoi Museum ($20) or contact the Missisquoi Museum firstname.lastname@example.org 450 248-3153