John O'Connell and General Jackson - The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps)

John Mitchel
Author’s Edition (undated)

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Such a character, of course, was desperately excited about negro slavery. But he was also a zealous Repealer; and he even seemed to have associated together in his mind (by some logical process which I have not learned) the cause of "Abolition" with the cause of Irish independence. Mr Haughton, accordingly, was sorely scandalized by Robert Tyler's sympathy, and even by the money which authenticated it. And he wrote a public letter, from which I here extract a few sentences:—

"I believe in my soul that Robert Tyler is one of the greatest enemies of Irishmen and of Irish liberty on the face of the earth. He knows that our countrymen have much political power in America; he is anxious to gain their suffrages for his party; these are cheaply purchased by a few hollow-hearted and fiery speeches in favour of Irish independence, and by a willingness to contribute to our Repeal fund. I unite with the Liberator in repudiating all such unhallowed sympathy and assistance."

O'Connell afterwards followed up this by rejecting and sending back, with contumelious words, some money remitted from a Southern State in aid of his Repeal Exchequer. In the September of this year, '45, John O'Connell, in Conciliation Hall, thus deals with the subject,—and it will doubtless be mortifying to American readers to learn that this gentleman felt it his duty to pass a censure upon General Jackson:—

"No one could admire all that was worthy of imitation in General Jackson's character more sincerely than he (Mr J. O'Connell). He was unquestionably a man of great firmness, and of undaunted courage in carrying out his views; and there was this feature in the history of his life which it was not likely many in that Hall would revere his memory the less for—namely, that he had given a capital good licking to England. (Loud and vehement applause). That seemed to cover a multitude of sins. (Hear, hear). He would not—the more particularly as the man was dead—be found to indulge in any lengthened attack upon him. He spoke only to vindicate himself, and to vindicate those—and he believed they were a majority of the Irish people—who abhorred negro slavery, and who could not allow any palliation for those who tolerated it. (Cheers). It was for this reason he adverted to the subject, and no matter how high General Jackson might have stood in the estimation of the world, he would not for a moment have it supposed that the Irish people were admirers of all parts of his character. (Hear). It was a blot upon General Jackson's otherwise bright name, that he was a steadfast and inveterate supporter of the accursed system of slavery."

So far, the Premier's plans were successful in breaking up the Repeal movement. Religious disputes were introduced by ...continue reading »

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