His Name was Dennis

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Full Title: His Name was Dennis; or, The Luck of a Green Irish Boy

Author: A. Howard De Witt

Published: New York, December 21, 1906

Description: This dime novel tells the story of a young Irish immigrant to the United States, and follows his misadventures while starting his new life. Among the obstacles he faces are con men on the boat from Ellis Island to New York City, finding a job to support himself, and saving money to pay for his mother’s passage to New York. Dennis lucks out when he is hired as a night guard at a bank; however, the bank is robbed soon after, and he becomes the prime suspect. With a little detective work, he manages to track down the robbers. His story ends happily when he is reunited with his sweetheart from Ireland and earns enough money to pay for his mother’s passage while leaving enough left for the three to live comfortably. Though a dramatic story to say the least, the realities of the Irish immigrant experience shine through, including the risk of scammers when first arriving, saving enough money to send for loved ones back in Ireland, and general distrust and abuse by “native” Americans.