« PreviousContinue »
time, greatly augmented by these measures. The militia, the great bulk of whom are Catholics, would, to a moral certainty, abandon their leaders. The spirit of Ireland cannot be calculated from newspapers, declarations of Government, or jury and county meetings, where the gentry only meet, and speak for themselves. The church establishment and tythes are very severe grievances, and have been the cause of numberless local insurrections. The gentry not immediately connected, or dependent upon, Government, nevertheless, support it, thinking it a necessary security for their estates. In a word, from reason, reflection, interest, prejudice, the spirit of change, the misery of the great bulk of the nation, and, above all, the hatred of the English name, resulting from the tyranny of nearly seven centuries, there seems little doubt that an invasion, in sufficient force, would be supported. Arms, ammunition, and money, all are wanting.
Very much, perhaps the whole success of the measure, would depend upon the manifesto, to be published on the landing being effected. It should disclaim all idea of conquest; it should set forth, that they came into the country, not as enemies, but as allies, to enable the people to redress their grievances, to assert their rights, to subvert the ancient tyranny of their oppressors, and to establish, on a permanent basis, the independence of their country. It should promise protection, in person and property, to all who should remain in their houses, and demean themselves as dutiful subjects to the state; at the same time holding out the severest penalties to those who should adhere to the cause of the enemies. It should suggest the abolition of all unjust distinctions and oppressive establishments. Man other topics will naturally suggest themselves, but the present may suffice as a sample.
The force necessary may be not more than 20,000, nor less than 10,000 men. Supposing them 10,000—7,000 should land in the west, and having secured and fortified a landing place, should advance into the middle of the country, at the same time 3,000 should land immediately at the capital, and seize on all the stores, and such persons as might be troublesome. In that event, the North would rise to a man, and so having possession of three-fourths of the country, and the capital, the remaining part, were it so inclined, could make no resistance.
LETTERS AND MEMORANDUMS
Of the year 1795. Memorandum.-February 26, 1795. At a meeting of the Committee. Present MM. Byrne, Braughall, Dr. Ryan, John Sweetman, and Mr. Keogh. Mr. Keogh reported that Mr. Byrne and himself had waited upon Mr. Grattan this morning, and that he had informed them that the determination of the English Cabinet had arrived yesterday; which determination was, that the Catholic bill was to be resisted, and the old Government restored; that, Lord Fitzwilliam intended to appoint Lords Justices, and depart in four days; that the Duke of Leinster, MM. Conolly, Ponsonby, Forbes, &c. were determined to adhere to the Catholic cause, and would never take a part in any administration which should not go unequivocally for the whole measure. That he (Mr. Grattan) would advise the Committee to call upon those gentlemen, to return them thanks for their support, and to hear them declare their sentiments.
MY DEAR TONE: I did not receive yours till yesterday, having been here since term, a good deal indisposed with cough and weakness of stomach. I am very much mortified at not being in town, in order to execute a commission, which would be very agreeable to me, that of sending you down the sort of memorial you desire. I shall not be in town till Wednesday, which I am afraid is your sailing day; but as vessels seldom sail on the day of their destination, I beg you would write to me to Dawson street, to let me know the exact time of your departure, and how any thing could be sent after you. I wish you would write to me from America, and let me know to whom I should enclose mine, as any letters directed immediately to you, will certainly not get unopened through the post office. It gives me great pleasure to find you are so well reconciled to emigration. It is your lot to-day, it may be mine to-morrow; these are times when every man of steady principles, must expect to have them put to the trial, and if your Paineisin has sunk you, my Montesquieuism may not long keep me afloat. So, as I said before, we may meet again. Yours, truly,
GEORGE KNOX. Killaloe, May 30, 1793.
MY DEAR TONE: I have sent you a small parcel, directed to Dr. Macdonnell, which I hope may afford you some entertainment in your voyage. I was afraid of sending any thing cumbrous, as I suppose you have very little room. I beg that you will recommend the Shakspeare particularly to my godson, when he is old enough to understand it. * You will hear soon after your arrival in America, that I have been turned out of my place, dislocated, for such I have some reason to think is the intention of Government. If so, I hope I shall have resolution enough not to turn democrat. Yours, truly,
GEORGE KNOX. June 5, 1795.
DEAR Tone: I embrace with great pleasure the idea and opportunity of renewing our old habits of intimacy and friendship. Long as they have been interrupted, I can assure you that no hostile sentiment towards you ever found admittance into my mind. Regret, allow me the expression, on your account, apprehension for the public, and great pain at being deprived of the social, happy, and unrestrained intercourse which had for so many years subsisted between us, were the sum of my feelings. Some of them, perhaps, were mistaken, but there can be no use now in any retrospect of that kind. It is not without a degree of melancholy I reflect that your present destination makes it probable that we may never meet again, and talk and laugh together, as we used to do, though it is difficult to determine whether these jumbling times might not again bring us together. In all events, I shall be most happy to hear from you, and write to you, often and fully, and to hear of your well being, wherever you may be. If I had known your departure was to have been so very immediate, I would not have suffered you to slip away without a personal meeting. I shall hope to hear from you as soon as you get to America. I formerly had friends there.The unfortunate death of my brother you have probably heard of ; perhaps, however, I may still have some there who might be useful to you. Let me know where, and in what line you
*I keep it yet.--Note of the Editor. Voj. I-36
think of settling, and, if any of my connections can be of use, I will write to them warmly.--I beg you will give my best regards to Mrs. Tone, and believe me, dear Tone, with great truth, your friend,
W. PLUNKET. May 29th, 1795.
MY DEAR Tone: Though you have not written to me, I hear, from an accidental quarter, of your having some idea of a trip across the Atlantic. I have made some American acquaintance here, who are both opulent and respectable. One of whom, Dr. Edwards, a person of immense landed property, is about making an Irish tour. I have, therefore, given him a letter to you, which he will deliver in Dublin. He is a great farmer, and I have gathered from him that he is very desirous to carry away from Ireland, a cargo of Irish families, farmers as well as manufacturers; and, from my conversation with him, he appears honest, intelligent, and spirited. That his acquaintance, and, possibly, a connection with him, may be serviceable to you, was the very first idea which occupied my mind, and I therefore immediately offered him, as favors conferred upon him, letters to my friends in Dublin, Mr. Sweetman and Counsellor Tone; you will then have an opportunity of sounding him, nearly or more remotely respecting yourself, from these documents I write you. He is a great admirer of the North of Ireland. He was, by his own confession, a great Aristocrat in America, and changed principles from conviction. He is a doctor of laws and physic, and, I believe, is a Judge in Philadelphia. He loves the French, and detests the combination against them. He is very gentle and frank in his manners, and grateful for every attention. With affectionate regard to Russell, I remain your faithful friend,
WM. TODD JONES.
P. S. I have spent another day with my American companions and learn that Edwards is a Judge of the Common Pleas at Philadelphia, is possessed of large tracts of territory, and requires settlers. I have puffed you off to him at no very merciful rate of flattery; so pray act up to my picture.—God bless you. Love to Russell.
MY DEAR FRIEND: I have just this instant heard from Simon M'Guire that you leave town to-night. I can scarcely believe that you would entirely break yourself away from this country, and from me, amongst the rest, without calling on me, or even writing a line. You know, and I trust will always be convinced, that my friendship and affectionate regard for you is most undiminished. It is not of that nature to shake by adversity, which God knows how soon it may be my lot to undergo. Wherever you are, you shall always command a steady friend in this country, as long as I reside here. Write to me, at least, when you reach your destination, and as often as may suit your convenience. Perhaps your letters may be useful to me for regulating my future settlement in life. God bless you. Give my most affectionate compliments to Mrs. Tone, and believe me, very sincerely, your's,
T. A. EMMET.
Extracts of Letters to and from America. DEAR TONE: Our internal politics are not much altered since you left this. Grattan and his party have been engaging the Catholics to address his Majesty, jointly with their fellowcitizens, for final emancipation. This they have refused, unless reform be added to it, and that the party of Grattanites should take a lead in the business. Reform does not accord with these gentlemen's views, and they are not yet able to swallow such a pill, but still they continue the intercourse, and I am inclined to think they would concede. The last meeting was on Friday, and the next will be on Tuesday. The result of it shall be communicated to you the first opportunity. At present I think all meetings of the kind are futile, I mean aggregate meetings for addresses and declarations, and that it would be much wiser for us calmly to await the issue of another campaign or two.
R. S. BELFAST, 12th July, 1795.
DEAR TONE: The newspapers will inform you of the French affairs, and you will, I doubt not, have felt the same hopes and fears that we did respecting peace. We are now, however, in