1823 – May 4, 1885)
John George Adair, sometimes
known as Jack Adair, born in
County Laois, he attended Trinity College Dublin where he trained
for the diplomatic service. His family who were of Scottish descent
owned extensive tracts of land in Ireland, including the large Glenveagh
Castle estate, he is famed mainly for the evictions of forty-seven
families in Derryveagh, County Donegal, which incited the Donegal
poet William Allingham to write the
poem The Eviction.
Adair's temperament was not
suited to the diplomatic service instead he must have initially
pursued a military career
Adair made much of his fortune
in the United States where he supplied the capital for a ranch in
the Palo Duro Canyon of the Texas Panhandle. In its peak year in
1883, the JA Ranch encompassed 1,335,000 acres (5,400 km2) in portions
of six Texas counties and boasted 100,000 head of cattle.
In 1860, Adair went hunting
on land he had rented to tenants in violation of the rental agreements.
When the tenants objected, an irate Adair threatened them. A year
later, in April 1861, with the force of the law behind him, he removed
forty-seven families from forty-six houses in Derryveagh in County
Donegal, Ireland. The evictions were part of Adair's efforts to
beautify the land about the castle. More than 150 screaming children
and their parents were ordered off the property. Adair cleared twelve
thousand acres. Many of the evicted had no idea where they might
find shelter; some relocated to Australia.