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You are by the foreign aid of England, stronger in Ireland than we are. We will choose another residence more congenial to our principles, and to secure to you that we shall not pass into an enemy's country, we consent to your having a negative on the place of our choice; but we must have an equal negative on yours, to protect us against the effects of your resentment. Both parties, however, agreed on the same jilace, and the departure of the emigrants would have been the voluntary result of a compact.
Here is no judicial banishment.
The republicanism of the emigrants, however it might hare been looked upon by the British government, and may at this day be looked upon by Mr. King, is certainly no crime against the laws and government of the United States. That spirit that did not crouch to a corrupt monarchy, but that dared to resist absolute power and flagrant injustice, would only render its possessor the better citizen of a republic, and is not foreign to the genius of this constitution.
Unsupported by the law of nations, condemned by the constitution, Mr. King disappointed the assurance given by the congress of 1775 to the Irish nation, with a prophetic view of the consequences of British tyranny, that the fertile regions of America would in time afford them a safe asylum from oppression. An unfortunate opportunity occurred of proving the sincerity of that pledge; and if we were to judge by his conduct only, it woulcl appear an insincere and hollow artifice to procure temporary assistance; but the honour of America is not tarnished by his acts—it is preserved in other hands.
It seems as if this interference, for which Mr. King acknowledges he was without authority,* had originated altogether in
* Vide letter to Mr. Jackson,
London, and that the motive must have been very urgent which did not allow him to commit the Irish state prisoners to the mercies of the Adams administration, and to the hospitality of the alien law. It was quite nugatory to apply for the consent of his government, in a case where it had none to give or withhold. The President, 'tis true, was empowered to send out of the country all such aliens as he should judge dangerous to the peace and safety of the Union; but he had no authority to prevent any man from coming into these stater, where security of his residence was left to depend on the correctness of his own demeanor. The law did not proscribe through precaution, nor condemn before the fact, and it were well if the minister had been as impartial. The British government, however, found more advantage in the part he performed: his refusal furnished a pretext for violating the faith that had been pledged to the state prisoners, and the odium of this perfidy was to be removed from the English minister. The treaty with them not proving as useful as was expected, the Anglo-Irish government grew more than ever incensed, and gratified its rancour thro' the interference of Mr. King. As a matter of self-defence, therefore, those whom that gentleman already injured were justified in preventing, as far as they might, his having an opportunity of injuring them again. He had unequivocally taken part with their oppressors, and, for any thing they knew to the contrary, he continued still in the same disposition. As republicans too, it was no recommendation to their confidence, that he wanted sympathy for the struggles of an enslaved people endeavouring to break from bondage.
One of the offences charged upon the Irish, and one among the many pretexts for refusing redress to the catholics, is, that sixteen thousand of them fought on the side of America. That many more thousands are ready to maintain the declaration of independence,. will be their second offence; nor is it perhaps less true, that the abettors of British maxims of government in this country, will be always desirous to exclude them from its hosom.
Some, even of those republicans whom Mr. King presumed to preclude from the United States, found an asylum in Portugal, and there was no remonstrance on the part of the minister of that despotic country. It was reserved for the envoy of a republic to take that ungenerous step, unauthorized by the law of nations, contrary to the first law of America, and hostile to the practice and policy of her government.
But in order to justify this unwarrantable act of Mr. King, the United Irishmen are defamed by his partizans, who attempt to establish that a resistance to George the Third should be ait exclusion from America ; who brand with the name of crime the most just and necessary opposition to oppression, if that monarch be the oppressor. What sort, then, of Americans are they who call it crime to rebel against tyranny? How much fitter such beings for crawling in the servitude of monarchies, than for being members of a free community, the rights of which they hold but to betray. So long as they avoid giving any precise explanation of their political principles* with respect to this government, the secret articles of their faith cannot, perhaps, be better ascertained than by remarking the opinions they form on the events that take place in other countries. Let it then be remembered that Mr. King and his supporters claim the confidence of the republicans in America, by declaring their adherence to the British enormities in Ireland, and by calumniating all those who were opposed to them.
What calumny, what abuse was not employed by the British government and its agents to sink the fame and sully the character of the leaders in the American revolution! If these slanders were to be evidence with posterity, the cause of fre«
B dorr* dora would be called faction, the rule of despotism would be named order, vice and virtue would change appellations, George the Third would appear a beneficent sovereign, and Warren a seditious damagogue. Would that lung's proscription of Washington as a rebel and traitor, be good evidence that Washington deserved to be hanged? Would the abuse of Franklin by one of bis cabinet ministers, be sufficient to convict the illustrious philosopher of America of the worst offences? Then what is to sanctify evidence from the same tyranny against men, who strove to emulate the example of those patriots in a cause equally just, and more necessary?
Do those who are oppressed^ owe allegiance to the tyranny that grinds them? A people conquered by force and fraud, held in subjection by the sword,-and cruelly treated in .their servitude, have nothing to consider but the means and season of resistance. It is for them a calculation, of prudence, and not at al). a question of moral duty. The Irish had seen that French ■armies, French fleets, French treasure were solicited and obtained by America, and that this succour had powerfully contributed to her independence. In similar circumstances, they solicited, and were promised similar aid; but the promise remaining yet unperformed, Ireland is still in bondage.
As, however, the power of England had been humbled, her tyranny avenged, in the instance of these United States, through the co-operation of France, though afforded by an absolute prince from motives of self-interest, it was perfectly congenial iwith the views of a country aiming at emancipation, to court her alliance again, and more confidently, after she became a republic.
Yet a league so natural and necessary, is impudently imputed as a crime to the United Irishmen, who are called agents of France, when they are in reality the truest friends of their
i. country. country. It is nonsense to talk of threefourths of" the population of a great nation being the agents of a foreign power. A' faction may betray a people, but a people can scarcely betray* itself. The Orangemen sacrifice Ireland to the views of Britain, and their own emolument; but the United Irish seek the independence of their country, and are too numerous to be7 otherwise benefited than by her welfare. The absurd accusation of their being agents of France, is uttered by those tories only who condemn every thing that tends to promote the independence and freedom of Ireland. , I
Such also was the cry of' the traitor Arnold when he joined the English against his native country. He alledged, to justify himself and criminate the American rebels, that they had formed a league with France. While consummating his treason against the independence of-the states, he affected to reprobate the co-operation that prevented their returning as enslaved colonies under the British yoke. In the same way, the monarchists and British hirelings accuse the alliance of the United Irishmen with France, exactly because that alliance is necessary to the emancipation of Ireland; exactly because the domination of England, through her army, through her gold, through the traitorous adherence of' the faction of loyalists in her pay, can. not be removed- by the unassisted efforts of the Irish. The perfidious recommendation of these advisers is to have recourse to any means but such as would be effectual;
Nevertheless it is a fact historically proved, that Ireland obtained no redress of grievances but such as was extorted from her oppressor, and that, in some measure, through the dread ofr Franee.
Until the difficulties of the American war beset the Britishthrone, and lesssened its sense of security at home; until the powerful alliance of- France helped to withdraw the colonies
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