About James McHenry

James McHenry, the son of George McHenry and Mary Smiley, was born in Lame in 1785, and witnessed the fighting in the town between the United Irishmen and Royalist troops during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. He would go on to become a medical doctor, a novelist, poet, playwright, editor, reviewer and in the latter stages of his life, a diplomat.

In 1817 he moved with his family to the United States and in 1824, he wrote the first American novel to be set in the north of Ireland, O’Halloran, or The Insurgent Chief. Best known in his lifetime for his prose, he was heavily involved in American politics. Initially a supporter and personal friend of Andrew Jackson, (whose father had been born in Carrickfergus, the neighbouring town to Larne), McHenry would later become a staunch “anti-Jacksonite” and a keen advocate of President John Tyler, who, in recognition of his support, appointed Dr James McHenry as US consul at Derry, Ireland.

Serving back in his native Ulster from April 1843, James took ill on a trip back to his hometown and died there in Stewart’s Hotel on the 21st July 1845. In an effort to bring James McHenry and his books into focus for the current and perhaps future generations of Larne-yins, Latharna Press is delighted to be able to re-publish his ground-breaking novel, O’Halloran, in this, the 225th anniversary year of The ‘98.

Books by James McHenry

Republished by Latharna Press

Twenty-Twenty Hindsight by Tim Hind


by James McHenry

James McHenry