New Ireland is a mountainous Pacific island in the Bismarck Archipelago some 230 miles long and heavily forested.A Dutch explorer discovered it in 1616, and in 1767 it was named New Ireland by a British Commander. In 1884 the island was annexed by Germany and renamed New Mecklenburg.
Then, when World War I began in 1914, Australia siezed the island and administered it under a League of Nations mandate.
During World War II Japanese troops occupied the island from 1942 to 1945. Since 1976, New Ireland has been a province of independent Papua New Guinea.
Jailbird to playwright
American lawyer and author Joseph Bartlett, born in Plymouth, Mass., went to London after graduating from Harvard in 1782.
Bartlett's adventurous life there landed him in debtors' prison. While serving his time, he wrote a play - which he claimed was the first American play produced in Britain - and paid his debts.
Returning home, Bartlett resumed his law studies in Boston and later served as a senator in the Massachussetts legislature. He published numerous political writings and was the author of a satiric poem, "The New Vicar of Bray," in 1823.