Having been in the Antiques business for the last thirty-five or so years I am all to familiar with climbing through attics, basements, and other moldy, dank places. Yes, I am really after those songs that bring a person or event back to life. It seems to me that there is so much more of the Irish emigrant's experience to tell through song. This has also been of great personal value as I am learning so much more about the life experienced by those of my family that have come before me. One of the greatest benefits is understanding where the deep sense of fair play with-in me comes from.
Have you been to the National Canal Society's museum in Easton, PA? They claim to be in possession of many first person accounts. There was no differentiation offered between those accounts of the lock keepers, muleskinners, or barge captains and crew, and those of the navvy's, so I am hopeful that I can find some accounts of the navvy's there. I would even like to find some of the contractor's journals or pay records.
I have been pondering reading Andrew Leary O'Brien's journal. Do you think I would find this helpful?
Lord willing, we will have our opportunity to hoist a jar or two.
Many thanks to all for your time, suggestions, and insight.