Irish Independence in the Crapper? Irish Republican Army Buttons in San Francisco

Author(s): Kari Lentz

Year: 2017


This paper examines two Irish Rublician Army buttons discovered in a privy associated with a late 19th century household in San Francisco in order to elucidate how Irish immigrants became Irish Americans on the West Coast. Archaeologits and historians have studied the Irish Diaspora, this they have largely focused on the Northeast. While the Irish Republican Army is familiar to contemporary audiences, many people are unaware of the organization’s 19th century roots in the United States. The brass military fasteners derive from the uniform of an IRA solider who participated in Canadian Raids waged by the Fenian Brotherhood in the1860 and 70s. The physical journey of the garment from the Northeast to California engendered the object with import. This paper will attempt to answer the questions of who owned this item and why was it discarded by analyzing the remainder of the collection with insight from historical documents. In addition, this paper will examine assemblages from other Irish households in the neighborhood to better understand how Irish ethnicity identity is expressed through material culture.

Cite this Record

Irish Independence in the Crapper? Irish Republican Army Buttons in San Francisco. Kari Lentz. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429739)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17614