On this July 7 (the anniversary of the Battle of Southwark, 1844), I confess to an error on page 222 of The Fires of Philadelphia.
Introducing Captain John Colahan, I wrote that in 1844 he “had connections to Protestant circles, having married Mary Dorothea Zell, daughter of a prominent Quaker merchant.” I based this claim on Charles Morris, ed., Makers of Philadelphia, an Historical Work Giving Sketches of the Most Eminent Citizens of Philadelphia from the Time of William Penn to the Present Day (Philadelphia: L. R. Hamersley, 1894), 70. Morris writes, “Soon after his advent to this city [Colahan] he married Mary Dorothea, daughter of Thomas Zell,” and I took “soon after” to mean less two years after Colahan shows up in Philadelphia in 1842.
Soon after the book was published, Professor Andrew Dinan of Ave Maria University, who is writing about the Kenrick brothers, alerted me to a letter from Francis Patrick Kenrick to his brother Peter, written on July 10, 1844, and noting that Colahan was considering studying for the priesthood. This dates his marriage to some time after July 1844, though I have not pinned down the date.
I am grateful to Professor Dinan for noting this error, and I ask that if anyone else spots a mistake they alert me as he did.