Dock walloper; (1933) ,PDF book by Richard Joseph Butler

Dock walloper; (1933) by Richard Joseph Butler 


Richard Joseph Butler
Dock walloper


A real autobiography of an Irish immigrant, Richard Joseph Butler, who had extremely bad luck in his early life.

Excerpt:

I was born into strife and poverty and for half a century I've been fighting to get away from it all. I'm still short of my first million, but I've got my health and my memories, and far be it from me to complain. The Butlers were kings in Ireland, so I've been told, but I guess every Irishman was a king at one time or another, just like every Mexican soldier used to be a general.

The Irish are great people for looking up their family trees, sometimes when they'd better let the dead alone. I remember my father was proud of his ancestry and of the Butler crest, with its six cups, three feathers, and a crown and the words "Comme Je Trouve," which are supposed to mean, in French or Gaelic, that the Butlers take things as they find them. Imagine a longshoreman with a coat of arms! 


That was my father for you. Let old Tom Butler have his crest, and a mug of mulled ale and a tin flute to play Irish jigs on, and he was happy as a lord, whether in the back room of a pub or in front of the fireplace at home. He was a fine, upstanding working man with a big beak of a nose and a flowing walrus mustache that almost hid the flute he was playing. 

 My mother, Margaret Holleran Butler, was a good-looking little woman, with a full share of nose and chin and a pair of sharp blue eyes that could laugh or scold. She had a pronounced cockney accent until the day she died— and she lived to be one hundred years old. I, Richard Joseph Butler, was born within the sound of London's Bow Bells, and the saying is that everybody born within earshot of those chimes is a cockney. How- ever, I've never had much of an accent of any kind; I suppose the Irish brogue fought with the English cockney and both lost out. My family on both sides came from Tipperary when the potato crop or the poteen failed. I was born too late to see my grandparents, and I wasn't fated to have my father for long. 


Father was one of seven children. I was one of two; brother Bill was born three years after me. Seven's been my lucky number, so I had seven boys of my own, and added three girls for good measure. The Butlers were one of the largest clans in Ireland and I did my best to spread their numbers in America. It was in July 1875, that I arrived on the scene. London's East End where the Butlers held forth was something like Manhattan's West Side waterfront, with poor dock workers living in squalid shacks and hovels. Our family occupied a plain two-room cottage on Park Street, along the river Thames, near Peckham Rye and the old Kent Road and not far from London Bridge and the Tower, Limehouse and the West India Docks, and the foreign colonies of Irish and Jews. Our street was about as wide as an alley, and we had a community dustpan at the foot of the street instead of individual ashcans in front of the houses. Tom Butler worked on the Thames docks, loading and unloading ships. He was a capable man, but work was scarce; he was paid by the ships and not enough ships came in to keep him busy every day. His earnings averaged about two pounds a week.

Contents of the book:

...
1. Irish in London 3
2. Longshoremen on Parade 11
3. Father and the Vanderbilts 21
4. Romance in a Beer Garden 32
5. Politics and Big Bill Devery 47
6. Rough Stuff and Tammany 65
. 7. The Gay Assemblyman 77
8. How to Open a Saloon 84
9. Racketeers in Labor 98
10. The Wicked Tenderloin 110
11. The Ethics of Grafting 129
12. The Becker-Rosen thai Murder Case 140
13. Kidnapping Harry Thaw 153
14. A Fugitive with Thaw 165
15. On Trial with Thaw 177
16. War— German Spies— Bribes 193
17. The Big Strike 205
18. Al Smith— Whitman— Miller— Gaynor—
Curry-T. R. 222
19. Courts and Fixers 237
20. Man-About-Town 250
21. The Kaiser's Yacht— My Ship Comes In 259


Author: Butler, Richard Joseph, and Driscoll, Joseph
Publication Date:1933
Updated

Download PDF book 9.5 MB

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