Friday, March 17, 2006

Erin's Seed Always Takes Root

In the young Ireland disorders, in Ireland in 1848, the following nine men were captured, tried, and convicted of treason against her majesty, Queen Victoria; and were sentenced to death: John Mitchell, Morris Lyene, Pat Donohue, Thomas Mcgee, Charles Duffy, Thomas Meagher, Richard O’Gorman, Terrence Mcmanus, and Michael Ireland. Before passing sentence, the judge asked if there was anything that anyone wished to say. Meagher, speaking for all, said; “My lord, this is our first offence, but not our last. If you will be easy with us, this once, we promise, on our word as gentlemen, to try to do better next time. And next time, sure – we won’t be fools to get caught.” Thereupon, the indignant judge sentence them all to be hanged from the neck until dead, then drawn and quartered. Passionate protests from all over the world forced Queen Victoria to commute their sentences to transportation for life to the far wilds of Australia.

In 1874, word reached the astounded queen that Sir Charles Duffy, who had been elected Prime Minister of Australia was the very same Charles Duffy who had been transported 25 years before. The queen inquired as to the records of the rest of the men, and this is what she was told:

Thomas Francis Meagher became governor of Montana; Terrence Mcmaus was a brigadier general in the U.S. Army, as was Patrick Donohue; Richard O’Gorman was governor general of Newfoundland; Morris Lyene was attorney general of Australia, in which office he was succeeded by Michael Ireland. Thomas D’Arcy Mcgee was a member of Canada’s parliament from Montreal, Minister of Agriculture and President of the Council Dominion of Canada; and John Mitchell was a prominent New York politician, who was the father of John Purroy Mitchell who became mayor of New York at the outbreak of World War One.

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