Boycott!: Louise Imogen Guiney and the American Protective Association

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Irish-American poet and author Louise Imogen Guiney endured anti-Catholic discrimination in Boston during the 1890’s. Well known to contemporary Bostonians as both a writer and the daughter of an Irish Roman Catholic Civil War officer, Guiney was appointed postmaster in Auburndale in January 1894. She initially liked the job’s duties, pay, and stability. However, many residents of Auburndale, including those associated with the anti-Catholic American Protective Association, boycotted the post office by not buying stamps there. As a result, in October 1894 her salary was cut. Guiney’s friends subsequently led a counterattack that resulted in stamp purchases coming to Auburndale from Roman Catholics nationwide. Despite her reappointment to the postmaster position in 1897, Guiney’s ill health and dislike for the long hours of the job led to her resignation on 5 July 1897. In 1901 she moved to England, where she lived for the remainder of her life.

Original Citation

Fanning, P. J. (1999). Boycott!: Louise Imogen Guiney and the American Protective Association. Historical Journal of Massachusetts 27(2), 166-180.

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