On July 13, 2017, at noon, Mary Lynn Bayliss will deliver a Banner Lecture entitled “The Dooleys of Richmond: Two Generations of an Irish Immigrant Family in the Old and New South.”
Two weeks after their wedding in Alexandria, Virginia, Irish Immigrants John and Sarah Dooley were at home in Richmond when John’s first advertisement for his hat manufacturing business appeared in a Richmond newspaper. Five years later, when John had become one of Richmond’s prominent residents, their second son, James Henry Dooley, destined to become a lawyer and one of the city’s great philanthropists, was born. The story of his family and their devotion to the city and the South, The Dooleys of Richmond sheds new light on the experience of Irish immigrants in the urban South before, during and after the Civil War. James Henry Dooley served three terms in the Virginia House of Delegates before becoming a key figure in the development of the industries and infrastructure of the New South. Maymont, the Gilded Age estate he and his wife created and left to the city of Richmond as a museum and park, is only one of their many gifts to the city.