Finley Peter Dunne created Mr. Dooley, a fictional Irish immigrant bartender. Dooley was the subject of many Dunne columns between 1893 and 1915, and again in 1924 and 1926. The essays are in the form of conversations in Irish dialect between Dooley and one of the fictional bar’s patrons.
About Mr. Dooley in brief
Finley Peter Dunne created Mr. Dooley, a fictional Irish immigrant bartender. Dooley was the subject of many Dunne columns between 1893 and 1915, and again in 1924 and 1926. The essays are in the form of conversations in Irish dialect between Dooley and one of the fictional bar’s patrons. They became extremely popular during the 1898 Spanish–American War and remained so afterwards. Dunne detailed the daily life of Bridgeport through Dooley’s lips, painting a portrait of ethnic urban life unparalleled in 19th-century American literature. The pieces are not widely remembered, but originated lasting sayings such as “the Supreme Court follows the election returns”. Dunne was born on July 10, 1867, in Chicago, the son of Irish immigrants; he added the first name “Finley”, his mother’s last name at birth, in his early twenties. He wrote for several Chicago papers, gaining in salary and responsibility, and by 1888 at age 21 was city editor and a political writer for the Chicago Times. He first signed his name to Irish dialect pieces in the second half of 1890, in a series about real-life Colonel Thomas Jefferson Dolan, a small-time Democratic hanger-on. The early 1890s saw an increasing use of dialect in Chicago’s newspapers, sometimes to mock but more often to give voice to the immigrant communities that filled Chicago’s neighborhoods. By 1892, Dunne, who was still only aged 25, was editorial chairman of the Chicago Evening Post, which had a smaller-size Sunday edition to compete with the large Sunday papers.
In December 1892 Dunne wrote a piece in Irish Grover Grover’s visit to New York to see the new president, Frank Grover, awarded a plum plum to be awarded by the new Cleveland president, Grover Lawler. The piece was published in the Sunday Post’s new periodical, Cleveland’s New York Post, on December 4, 1892. It was the first time Irish dialect had been used in a major U.S. newspaper. The writer of the Quinn pieces uses unneeded Irishisms, and his spelling is often awkward. In the piece, a policeman digs up a suspicious footprint in the snow. He means to take it to the station but is sidetracked at a saloon, emerging several hours later to find the evidence melted. He meant to take the evidence to the police station, but instead went to the saloon and spent the next few hours in the same place as the footprints. The story is told from a single perspective, as well as painting a detailed portrait of the Irish-American scene. The first four years of the weekly column made Mr. Dooley popular in Chicago but little noticed elsewhere. Dunne had increasing trouble finding time and inspiration for new columns, and they ended in 1915, except for a brief resurrection in the mid-1920s. Both the columns and the books collecting them gained national acclaim.