By Colum Kenny
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Extra info for An Irish-American Odyssey: The Remarkable Rise of the O'Shaughnessy Brothers
Among his fellow lodgers was Albert Johnson. Johnson had arrived in Missouri from Illinois by way of Kansas with a letter of recommendation to the city editor of the St. Joseph Herald. He was put to work straightaway on his arrival, with less than two dollars left in his pocket to find somewhere to stay at the end of the first night’s shift. Johnson would in 1934 gratefully recall what happened next: “A reporter on the paper, James O’Shaughnessy, asked me about 3 o’clock in the morning if I had made any arrangements for lodgings and invited me to go with him to the Ogden House, his boarding house.
The launch with the three officers in it came to the temporary dock at Siboney. I waited at the dock for their coming, and talked with them for some time. . later in the day I learned of the destruction of the ships of the Spanish fleet by those of the United States Navy. 29 O’Shaughnessy had been hearing in the distance an engagement that marked a turning point in the relationship between the United States and Europe. That day the destruction of the Spanish fleet signaled the end of any Spanish pretension to empire and confirmed the United States on a new course of intervention overseas wherever it would deem intervention beneficial to its interests.
O’Shaughnessy filed copy from Cuba, and witnessed the decisive victory 34â•‡ An Irish-American Odyssey against the Spanish at San Juan Hills on July 1, 1898. Two pieces by him were also printed in the Chicago Tribune on the anniversary of the war. Extracts of these are reproduced at some length in an appendix in order to provide an insight into his style of journalism. 26 O’Shaughnessy also noted a command by the Cuban rebel leader, General Calixto Garcia, that no Cubans should act as servants to Americans.