Patrick K Murphy was the son of Famine Irish. As such, he didn’t have the land that many of the Irish who’d first come to Tejas but still his father had done well and they had a small ranch west of Derry in northern Tejas. When he’d been a young man it was still common to have Comanche raids come south out of the American’s Indian Territory, and he had a limp from a wound he’d sustained in one of those raids as a young child. Or so he told people. It was actually from getting his foot caught in a stirrup when he fell escaping a raid, but that was close enough to the truth for him. Although he’d not served as a member of the Irish Volunteers, he’d covered their exploits for the local papers, in all three languages spoken in Derry. The Irish Volunteers were not all Irish. In fact only about half of them had been, the rest had been a mix of free Negros who had escaped into Tejas, Mexicans who had come north from Central Mexico, and a smattering of the Poles and Czechs who’d already arrived in Tejas. They had marched from Fort Derry north to the Red River Valley and then eastward into Louisiana, freeing slaves and killing protestant land owners all the way to New Orleans. As they closed in on New Orleans they began to encounter Catholic slave owners and eventually they had decided that such people were to be spared. Impoverished but spared. The land had been divided evenly between the freed slaves and the Church.
The Irish who had settled Tejas, from San Juan Island on the coast up the Trinity River and spread across the eastern region had come there to escape the English and then to escape the Famine. Nearly 1/3 of the island had come to Mexico or to a lesser extent the United States or Canada. Most had settled on Mexico because of its history of accepting Irish refugees, its being an officially catholic nation, and its opposition to slavery. When Allende had defeated the Spanish forces in 1816 the Catholic Republic had inherited a vast area away to the north that was officially there’s but sparsely populated by comparison. Rather than risk the land being impinged on by the Americans the Mexican government had decided to open the land to settlement by the Irish, and by other oppressed Catholics from across northern Europe. It had even outfitted six ships to transport families to San Juan in eastern Tejas. Most of the Irish had taken one look at the pestilential island and decided that they would rather live further inland. The government had provided them with muskets, a few horses, a handful of cannon, and a five year garrison split between San Juan and what came to be called New Dublin.
Murphy looked up when he heard the telegraph begin to chatter in the next room. As publisher and owner of the largest newspaper company in Tejas he had had the automated telegraph installed to be able to receive news from the rest of Mexico as well as the United States for inclusion in late editions as needed. Sticking his head into the bullpen he asked what the wire was.
“Apparently there has been a volcanic explosion in Nicaragua. It has sent a soot cloud miles into the air, and lava is flowing from a huge gash along its eastern side.”
“Eruption, the word is eruption. That must be near where the Americans are constructing their canal. This will have implications across the continent.”
“I know the word is eruption, but the telegrapher in Nicaragua seems to feel its explosion.”
“Right, must be a translation issue. Anyway, get a single sheet out, it’s important enough to cover, but too soon to speculate.”