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In this frame of mind I continued for some time, waiting for the lawyer who was employed to draw the deeds, and expecting next Spring to remove to my purchase, and to begin farming at last, when, one day I was roused from my lethargy by the receipt of letters from Keogh, Russell, and the two Simms's, wherein, after professions of the warmest and sincerest regard, they proceeded to acquaint me that the state of the public mind in Ireland was advancing to republicanism faster than even I could believe; and they pressed me, in the strongest manner, to fulfil the engagement I had made with them at my departure, and to move heaven and earth to force my way to the French Government, in order to supplicate their assistance. Wm. Simms, at the end of a most friendly and affectionate letter, desired me to draw upon him for £200 sterling, and that my bill should be punctually paid, an offer, at the liberality of which, well as I knew the man, I confess I was surprised. I immediately handed the letters to my wife and sister, and desired their opinion, which. I foresaw would be that I should immediately, if possible, set out for France. My wife, especially, whose courage, and whose zeal for my honor and interests were not in the least abated by all her past sufferings, supplicated me to let no consideration of her or our children stand, for a moment, in the way of my engagements to our friends, and my duty to my country ; adding, that she would answer for our family during my absence, and that the same Providence which had so often, as it were, miraculously preserved us, would, she was confident, not desert us now. My sister joined her in those intreaties, and it may well be supposed I required no great supplication to induce me to make one more attempt in a cause to which I had been so long devoted. I set off, accordingly, the next morning (it being this time about the end of November) for Philadelphia, and went, immediately on my arrival, to Adet, to whom I showed the letters I had just received, and I referred him to Rowan, who was then in town, for the character of the writers. I had the satisfaction, contrary to my expectations, to find Adet as willing to forward and assist my design now, as he seemed, to me at least, lukewarm, when I saw him before, in August. He told me, immediately, that he would give me letters to the French Government, recommending me in the strongest manner, and, also, money to bear my expenses, if
necessary. I thanked him most sincerely for the letters, but I declined accepting any pecuniary assistance. Having thus far surmounted my difficulties, I wrote for my brother Arthur, who was at Princeton, to come to me immediately, and I fitted him out with all expedition for sea. Having entrusted him with my determination of sailing for France in the first vessel, I ordered him to communicate this, immediately on bis arrival in Ireland, to Neilson, Simms, and Russell, in Belfast, and to Keogh and M'Cormick only, in Dublin. To every one else, including, especially, my father and mother, I desired him to say that I had purchased, and was settled upon my farm, near Princeton. Having fully instructed him, I put him on board the Susanna, Capt. Baird, bound for Belfast, and, on the 10th of December, 1795, he sailed from Philadelphia, and, I presume, he arrived safe, but, as yet, I have had no opportunity of hearing of him. Having despatched him, I settled all my affairs as speedily as possible. I drew on Simms for £200 pounds, agreeable to his letter, £150 sterling of which I devoted to my voyage; my friend Reynolds procured me Louis d'ors at the bank for £100 sterling worth of silver. I converted the remainder of my little property into bank stock, and having signed a general power of attorney to my wife, I waited finally on Adet, who gave me a letter in cypher, directed to the Comite de Salut public, the only credential which I intended to bring with me to France. I spent one day in Philadelphia with Reynolds, Rowan, and my old friend and fellow-sufferer James Napper Tandy, who, after a long concealment and many adventures, was recently arrived from Hamburgh, and, at length, on the 13th December, at night, I arrived at Princeton, whither Rowan accompanied me, bringing with me a few presents for my wife, sister, and our dear little babies. That night we supped together in high spirits, and Rowan retiring immediately after, my wife, sister, and I, sat together till very late, engaged in that kind of animated and enthusiastic conversation which our characters, and the nature of the enterprise I was embarked in, may be supposed to give rise to. The courage and firmness of the women supported me, and them too, beyond my expectations; we had neither tears nor lamentations, but, on the contrary, the most ardent hope, and the most steady resolution. At length, at four the next morning, I embraced them both for the last time, and we parted with a steadiness which astonished.
me. On the 16th December I arrived in New York, and took my passage on board the ship Jersey, Capt. George Barons. I remained in New York for ten days, during which time I wrote continually to my family, and a day or two before my departure I received a letter from my wife informing me that she was with child, a circumstance which she had concealed so far, I am sure, lest it might have had some influence on my determination. On the 1st January, 1796, I sailed from Sandy Hook, with nine fellow passengers, all French, bound for Havre de Grace. Our voyage lasted exactly one month, during the most part of which we had heavy blowing weather; five times we had such gales of wind as obliged us to lie under a close reefed mizen stay-sail; however, our ship was stout. We had plenty of provisions, wine, brandy, and, especially, what I thought more of, remembering my last voyage, excellent water, so that I had no reason to complain of my passage. We did not meet a single vessel of force, either French or English ; we passed three or four Americans, bound mostly, like ourselves, to France. On the 27th we were in soundings, at 85 fathoms; on the 28th we made the Lizard, and, at length, on the 1st of February, we landed in safety at Havre de Grace, having met with not the smallest accident during our voyage. My adventures, from this date, are fully detailed in the Diary, which I have kept regularly since my arrival in France.
LIFE OF THEOBALD WOLFE TONE,
Previous to his Mission to France.
THIS Appendix comprises a selection amongst such of his Memorandums, Notes, and Letters, as we have been able to recover, and deemed illustrative of the character of the author, or of the times in which he lived. They were written with the utmost carelessness, and destined for the perusal of only one or two friends. As my father and his friends had the habit of designating each other by mock names, drawn from any trivial circumstance, the following key will be necessary to understand the fragments of his Journals.
Mr. Hutton, or John Hutton-means Mr. Tone.
Mr. Wm. Sinclair
United Irish leaders The Tanner, Mr. Robert Simms
Mr. Edward Byrne, United Irish leaders
of Mullnaihack in Dublin. Gog,
Mr. John Keogh Magos,
Mr. R. M Cormickt
• Dean of Trinity College.
Fragments of Memorandums previous to 1791.
June 21, 1789. Fitzgibbon's want of temper and undoubted partiality will let in his resentments and his affections to bias his decisions. But Lord Earlsfort is an ignorant man, and a stupid man, and a corrupt man.
Mem. The committee for drawing up the address to the Chancellor, being headed by Egan and Tom Fitzgerald, were said by Curran to be more like a committee for drawing a wagon, than for drawing up an address.
Mem. When the Chief Baron, at the time of the King's illness, went over to London, his companions were Curran, Egan, and R. Barrett; on which Fitzgibbon remarked, that he travelled like a mountebank, with a monkey, a bear, and a slightof-hand man.
June 20, 1790. My idea of political sentiment in Ireland, is, that, in the middling ranks, and, indeed, in the spirit of the people, there is a great fund of it, but stifled and suppressed, as much as possible, by the expensive depravity and corruption of those who, from rank and circumstances, constitute the legislature. Whatever has been done, has been by the people, strictly speaking, who have not often been wanting to themselves, when informed of their interests by such men as Swift, Flood, Grattan, &c.
Mem. Michael Smith went six years round before he made half a guinea. Downes, in the year 1783, received his first brief in a record, by the joint influence and procurement of Dudley Hussey, Dennis George, and Michael Smith; but they engaged him in every cause on that circuit, and he had merit to sustain the recommendation.
Mem. Wolfe is the Chancellor's private tutor in legal matters. Fitzgibbon has read Coke and Littleton, under his papa; he has a very intelligent clerk to note his briefs; he has Boyd to hunt his cases; and he has some talents, great readiness, and assurance; and there is Fitzgibbon.
Mem. Erskine, who, in England, is not looked upon as a very sound lawyer, knows more law than the twelve Judges of Ireland, plus the Chancellor.
August 4, 1790. Wogan Browne, Esq. foreman of the grand jury of county Kildare, sent down this evening to the bar-room