Seumas MacManus (1868-1960)
Seumas MacManus was born in Mountcharles, County Donegal, Ireland on 31 December 1868 (although his tombstone reads 1869). He was the son of Patrick MacManus and Mary Anne Molloy.
At the age of twenty he became a teacher at the Glencoagh National School and remained there for almost a decade.
He began writing in The Shamrock, a weekly story paper from Dublin. Upon hearing of better wages for story writers in America, he packed his bags and headed to the New World, steerage class. Upon arrival he was quite successful in selling stories and made enough money in less than a year to return home and buy some property he had had his eye on. This was just the beginning of his literary business partnership with America. He returned several times with new stories to sell. Eventually these magazine “stories” graduated into books and Seumas became a prolific published author.
In 1901 Seumas married fellow writer Anna Johnston (pen-name Ethna Carbery) and her death on 21 April 1902 was a terrible blow for Seumas. It took him over a decade to complete her Memoir.
His second wife was Catalina Violante Paez, the grand-daughter of a former Venezuelan President. They were married on 9 March 1911 in Manhattan, NY. They had two daughters: Marquita Paez MacManus, born in 1912, and Patricia MacManus, born in 1914.
Seumas was an ardent Irish nationalist. His written work focuses mainly on Irish mythology and folklore.
Seumas MacManus died in 1960 after falling from an upper story of his New York City Nursing Home. He was ninety-two. Seton Hall in New Jersey houses the MacManus Irish History and Literature Collection.
The UPEI Provenance copy of the book Top o' the Mornin' by Seumas MacManus includes the following inscription:
To Father Kelley of Lapeer with fond remembrance Seumas MacManus. October 1920
UPEI Provenance also houses the Seumas MacManus book A Lad of the O'Friels. On the inside cover we read:
Please return to Francis Herbert Hogan. 321 Archibald St., Moncton N.B.
It appears someone did not follow this request.
“Seumas MacManus." In The Junior Book of Authors, ed. Stanley J. Kunitz and Howard Haycraft, 244-5. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1935.
“MacManus, Seumas, Family Collection." Georgetown University Archival Resources, accessed October 16, 2015.