This weekend: historians recount the Fenian raids

Above: Historians in Fenian uniforms from an event last fall. Photo courtesy of Sam Levitt.

For those who have never heard of the Fenian Raids, a piece of little known Irish history, they will be recounted this weekend at the Old Stone Fort Museum Complex in Schoharie.

The Fenian Brotherhood, an Irish republic organization in North America held attacks on British Army forts in Canada between 1865 and 1870 to protest the British control of Ireland.

The following scenario will be presented at the event:

Historians, portraying civil war veterans will meet, in what is supposed to be 1865, to discuss the Fenian Brotherhood and their split from Irish leaders in Dublin.

Volunteer and event organizer Sam Levitt said this scene is a pivotal moment in the history of the Fenian Brotherhood.

“Not only did this weaken their effectiveness, which would diminish by the year until only the most die-hard were left,” Levitt said. “But it also marks a significant beginning of when Irish Americans began to view themselves separately from the country of their heritage or birth”

Levitt said audiences will have the chance to participate in the re-enactment and feel a part of the scene.

Historians will present in the first person, Levitt said, conducting drills, discussing the history of the fenian brotherhood and engaging the public to join their debates with questions like: Should the Fenians go and recognize their counter parts in Ireland as the leadership or should they command their own liberation?

The camp at the museum, 145 Fort Road, Schoharie, opens on Saturday, June 21 at 10 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. It will be open again at 10 a.m. on Sunday and closes at 2 p.m. More information can be found at the Old Stone Fort Museum Complex website.