Page images
PDF
EPUB

will require. The fact that a number of them have violated their engagements made last year, and have appeared again in the midst of the late excitement, has contributed to weaken the confidence felt in the value of any similar promises in future. Were it not for this obstacle, I have little doubt that nearly all would have been released before this. The attempt to keep up the agitation in America, too, the newspaper reports of which are constantly transferred to the Dublin journals, contributes to delay their liberation. Even as it is, however, many are quietly released, and are finding their way back to America. I doubt not that the authorities here are quite as desirous to get clear of them as they are $0 0.

Lg)ne serious difficulty is experienced here from the very vague ideas many of

them have of their citizenship. They construe residence, military service, or a declaration of intention, as giving them a right to protection. Neither do the friends of the parties in America take sufiicient care in their representations to the department to be accurate in regard to these points. They frequently write to these prisoners, raising their hopes of interference merely on the fact that they have made such representations. It might, perhaps, be well that they should be made aware that the first and most indispensable step is clear proof of birth ornaturalization. After which it might not be amiss to add as much evidence as practicable of freedom from participation in hostile movements. » -_ I may be permitted to express the belief that no case which has been presented, either by the department or directly by the parties in Ireland, giving reasonable proof of national character, has thus far failed to receive every practicable attention.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

No. 2049.] _ DEPARTMENT or STATE, ' iVaskingl0n, August 30, 1867.

Sin: We, have hoped that the condition of society in Ireland would be such, before this time, as to satisfy her Majesty’s government that it might safely rescind the suspension of the habeas corpus, which is attended by so many cases of irritation and annoyance. There is one peculiar hardship which seems to require attention, if the practice of arbitrary arrests in that country is to be continued. The authorities in Ireland, properly enough, deny to the United States consul the right of intervention in cases of arrest, except where the person arrested is a native or naturalized citizen of this country. At the same time it is understood that there is no law or regulation in force in Ireland which requires the exhibition of passports by foreigners visiting that country. It has happened several times that American citizens, travelling without passports, have been arrested in Ireland and denied the good offices of the United States consul until they could procure evidences of citizenship to be sent from the United States.

Our own experience taught us, during the war, that in whatever case the kabras corpus was suspended, prudence, in regard to foreign relations, required us, at the same time to give notice that passports would be expected from foreigners coming within the region where the writ was suspended.

Will you have the goodness to mention this subject to Lord Stanley?

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

No. 1438.] LEGATION or THE UNITED S'r_A'rEs,
London, September 3, 1867.

SIR: In connection with your despatch No. 2032, in regard to the case of Colonel John Warren, I have the honor to transmit a Dublin newspaper containing what purports to be two letters written by him from Kilmainham jail. Colonel Warren has not yet established proof of his naturalization; but, relying on his own affirmation of the fact, the necessary representation has nevertheless been made on his behalf. It is much to be regretted that, by an act of this kind, done in contempt and without the knowledge of the authorities, he makes it still more difficult for us to serve him successfully. It is quite apparent to me, that one great object of these parties is to attempt to excite public feeling in America so far as to force the two governments into a conflict on the questions thus raised by them on their arrest and imprisonment. Wliatever'may be the sympathy of our fellow-citizens with Ireland, it can scarcely be so great as to induce them to fal into such a trap with their eyes open. I have reason to believe that the continuance of the detention of most of the persons now held in prison is owing to the distrust created by the gathering of more or less of the suspected class from America in Liverpool, and other places, as if they were still meditating plans of insurrection. The government is generally so well informed in America about these movements, that it rarely acts without a strong basis of presumption to sustain it. I shall persevere in my efforts to be of use to all citizens of the United States, and especially to those who may suifer unjustly from this arbitrary system; but our own indignation is too fresh yet in America against people from here who yielded assistance to our insurgents, for me to entertain great sympathy with similar attacks made from our side against the public peace of this kingdom. '

Lhave the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
‘ CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of State, lVashingl0n, D. C

[From the Dublin Weekly News, August 31, 1867.]

A voice from the dungeon.——A question for the A marican people.

The following important and able document having reached our hands, we lose no time in laying it before the public, whose attention it fully merits. \Ve mist our numerous American exchanges will insure for it in the Ulflted States a circulation that will bring it home to the consideration of the people to whom it is more particularly addressed, and whose interests and honor are deeply involved in the question which it propounds and argues in so masterly a manner. The principle involved in thecase of Colonel Warren is one that the American government is bound to look to, if it does not mean to forfeit its duties towards its adopted citizens and lower its character in the eyes of the world.

KILMAINHAM PRISON,
Dublin, Ireland, August, 1857.

To the Irishman in the United States .'

FnLLow-CDUNTRYMEN: In calling your attention to my case, I do it not on personal grounds. My case is your case. Business or pleasure may any day bring you_here, and it is well you should know positively if you are still subjects of her Britannic Majesty, amenable to her laws, or if citizens of the United States and entitled to her full protection. While in my adopted country my highest ambition was to obey and protect her laws, never dreaming nor. in fact, acknowledging that it was obligatory on me regard or respect any English law, whose allegiance I indignantly renounced at my first opportunity. Was there an effort for freedom the world over—a spark, a glean1—every American freeman sympathlzed with it; and when the infant Cretan rose against the powerful Turk, America. true to her repub

lican doctrines and right of self-government, was the first to sympathize; and when lately . ' the accumulated wrongs of poor Ireland tortured her into a premature outbreak, the Catos and Ciceros of the Ameticau House of Representatives nobly avowed their appreciation of the allant movement. Under such an influence, such an inspiration, how can the Irishman whose political ideas are moulded in America, inde endently to his love of native country, do otherwise than sympathize with Ireland? An I do hold it is the duty of America to immediately protect an citizen whose liberty is assailed for giving expression to opinions in America. favorable to t e spread of republicanism and self-government. From the forum, press, and council chamber comes forth the spirit of freedom: we imbibe it; it is contagious. The American Constitution is the teacher—the minister; we are only a portion of the congregation. If our opinions and aspirations in favor of freedom are wrong, the teacher is wrong. If we are to be imprisoned, without appeal, for expressing and promulgating these teachings, why, the teachers should be locked up in Fortress Monroe, to prevent the spread of a heresy and a pernicious doctrine—all provided that no foreign law is violated.

This, my i'ellow~countrymcn, is my position. ’Tis true I sympathize with all who aspire to self-government. It is also true that I have violated no English law, and it is doubly true that if circumstances could prove that I conspired against British dominion, on British soil, or were I found in arms fighting for freedom, no word of mine would be used to save me from the gibbet. But here, prompted by the dictates of a God-inspired love of my old home, to revisit old and dear scenes, full of hope, ambition, coufiding—proud to meet my old companions as a modern Roman, at freeman, an American citizen—I neared these old loved scenes and companions and relations, when, without any cause. I am arrested, and cast into a dungeon, and for more than two months am treated as an ordinary prisoner, reduced toflhe equal of the murderer and robber, in solitude and silence. Unaccountable are the ways of the Lord, and great is the fall, and blighted the hopes, from the mud position of the modern Roman, and love’s heartful hope of an immediate meeting with t e old friends, to the position of an ironed felon and a dungeon; but conscious of never having willingly injured any one, in peace with my God, I will bear it as becomes an Irishman and a Christian. I have said my case was yours. In proof, on your arrival here you may be supplied with a passport, and consider yourself perfectly safe ; but he careful—you may have brought an Irish bond, or, in your exuberance and excitement of the moment, you may have thrown hat at a meeting where some head-centre was belaboring John Bull, or you may have looked at No. 19 Chatham street, or l69 Broadway, as you went by ; this is quite possible. \Vell. you arrive: you wear a good coat and avillainous moustache, and you have acquired a habit of standing erect and dashing ahead, swinging your hand, and, your re ublican barbarism, if you meet a lord you don’t take your hat off; you look him right in t e face; you don’t get nervous; in fact, you care as little about him as about a common man. You wear the murdering square-toes, (the man who introduced that fashion has bagged more Americans than Corydon ever will ;) all go to prove that your education is dangerous; that you don't worship monarchy; that you’re a republic-au—a. freeman. You’re pounced on; you get indignant; what right have the mercenaries of En land to interfere with you, an American citizen’! But now you have spoiled it. If you h kept your mouth shut you might have had some chance. A little of the brogue is left; you are an Irishman ; your goose is cooked. Well, you wax warm ; you shake Andy Johnson at them; you tell them you will have him to send to Connecticut, the land of wooden hams and nutmegs. and get a big wooden spoon made, and come over here and spoon the G—d d-—n kin dom into the Atlantic. Bluster away, old fellow, ’tis no use. On go the darbics, and sue a‘ sight! \Vhy, tear-an-uuns, your mother would not know you, now, man ; for there are soldiers, and policeman. and lancers, and governors, and deputies, and detectives, and crown prosecutors, and turnkeys—such a sight! It beats Finnigan’s ball out and out. Forward ! On you go, on route for Dublin, and the only bright spot in the whole scene are the maledictions cast by the old women on the peelers as you go along, with an occasional old shoe or a stone thrown at their heads, and the prayers of the said old women for you. You get to Dublin; the darbies are taken ofl'; you are in your cell; God’s lightjust peeps in through a small, heavily-grated window. Place your back to the wall, and if you feel like hitting out, a la Ileenan, you can strike the wall at the other side. Sit down and meditate. Are you not in a tight place. Mr. Jonathan’! There you are, though ; you can apply to the United States consul; you have your passports ; he will attend to your case. If youdid not have this, you have to wait till the next mail was going to America. Write for your naturalization papers; write to this dignitary; he comes when he gets ready, and calls at the castle in your case when it is convenient. But wake from your revery—’tis 9 a. m. There is a noise at your door; a little door is pushed one side, when, for consolation, a grulf voice summons you to appear and pick up, Mr. Republican, your breakfast, a. dipper of stirahout; but never mind this ; there are hundreds of good men in Ireland who are not sure of this same. Now sit down and eat. Don’t you feel lonesome for your cocktail? Ten o’clock. The bell rings; stand in your door and fall in four paces from each other with the crowd, who are to be exercised in the bull-ring. The hullring is a closely-confined yard. and the only difference between exercising or ox driving and the exercise, or American-citizen driving, is, that the ox is a quadruped, or four-footed animal, and is driven at the point of a stick, while you are a biped, or two-footed animal, and are driven at the point of the bayonet, and with loaded revolvers in the hands of soldiers and

» _pr1son oflicials. Walk on, old fellow, keep bobbing around ; you must not stop to speak or

look at any one for two mortal hours. Twelve o’clock. You are relieved in the bull-ring; and return to your cell. Here you amuse yourself, which can be profitably and concisely done, (the prospects and scenery are all within 8 by 10 feet,) till 3 o’clock, when your small door is again opened, and your dinner—-a junk of bread and a can of milk—is pushed in to you. Your memory immediately ruminates, and you think of Delmonico, Legett, Crook, and in your magnanimity you even think of the cofi'ee and cake man. Keep up your spirits. Four o’clock. Your door is again opened and a powerful gaslight is lit, which burns, by the doctor’s orders, all night for the good of your eyes, and, if the nimble-h0pping enemy attack you, to get at him with your eyes open. Five o’clock. You stand at your door to be inspected by the governor and some of the officers of the garrison, after which you are shut up for the night. This is a good time to meditate. Just think of your coming home from business and meeting a happy family. Think of your hot flap-jacks, your doughnuts and chops. Oh, don’t ; ’tis murder! But think of vengeance, retribution! your God ! Such, my countrymen, is the position into which any American is liable to be thrown if he visits England, Ireland, or Scotland. There is nothing to prevent his arrest: nothing to prevent a Massey or a Corydon to swear he saw him at a public meeting in America, saw an Irish bond hanging up behind his counter, or saw a name to correspond with his published through the press as having spoken or written in favor of republicanism. In some cases proof may be easily obtained, and the party released. In others it may take a month, two, or three; but the very idea of the myrmidons of England being permitted, for one moment, to touch an American citizen and imprison him for presumed acts done in Aiflrica. should rouse the indignation of every American citizen, and demand that England should be made immediately and significantly to understand that no American citizen is amenable to her laws for acts committed within the jurisdiction of the United States. If England pointedly understood this, she would never attempt to prosecute American citizens as she does. Why, it is only a few days ago since an American from Nashville, Tennessee, a. man who actually did not know General 0’Neill, who lives there, was arrested in London and confined in Kilmainliam for amonth, sub'ected to the treatment above described, because he looked like Colonel W. R. Roberts. If {England were to know this she would not hold me an hour in custody. It is possible I may be released by the interposition of my government in some time; but where is my redress for my sufferings and probable loss of health, and the loss and suiferin of my family by my being unable to provide for them, and greater still, for the indignity, t e insult, the national wrong, the defiance offered to our common country every day by the arrest of her citizens, both native and adopted? Your bed, Mr. Republican, is democratic enough. It is apiece of canvas nailed on to two flat pieces of board, just big enough to get into. The covering has done its turn well, and has in its day

enveloped the murderer, the robber, and the pickpocket without being sufiiciently abused,

with soap to change its plumage. Sleep, sleep. But you are uneasy. You kick at imaginary something; you again think of home, mother, wife, and children. But compose yourself; you have one inseparable luxury which the miscreant informer cannot take from you’, and which he, wretch, never will possess—a clear conscience. Sleep, sleep, and dream of home. Five o’clock. The bell rings; get up. The scriptural phrase, “Take up thy bed and walk,” won’t apply, but “ make up your bed and sling” it up to the wall. The next order is “Take arms,” shoulder, and present yourself at your door, chamber ornament in hand ; next, “ march” by the closet to the wash-room, where stalls are built for the American animals, but, by a recent magnanimous act of Parliament, they have dispensed with putting the halters on. Wash—driven, as a matter of course; don’t look or speak to any of the other animals; return to your cell; and thus ends one day and begins another in Kilmainham. Let us see what the United States consul is doing in your case in the mean time. ’Tis 3 o’clock. He is after his dinner and feels well. He walks forth as proud as a peacock. He knows he is admired; the people love him because he is a representative of freedom.’ He walks to the castle; even here he must be respected. In the course of conversation with some of the oflicials on the result of a game of billiards they had the night before, it incidentally occurs to him he may as well inquire into your case. “ What progress?” he inquires. He is told those congenial assistants of the'Crown, Messrs. Massey and Corydon, are at present engaged in another part of the country in pursuit of their profession, and would not be able to come to Dublin for some weeks yet. He calls again and again. gets no satisfaction, and, after months, refers that case to the minister in London. Let us look in there and see what are the prospects. There is Mr. Adams himself, as stiff and starch as a lord. He is sitting at his desk, and in turning a lot of papers yours (you’re lucky) fortunately turns up. He reads, turns to a clerk and instructs him to write to the castle in Dublin for a copy of documents and papers connected with your arrest. He receives an answer that they will be furnished at the earliest opportunity. He is satisfied. Diplomacy! And thus it is, Mr. Republican, between the diplomacy and the red-tapeism and the toadyism and the fiunkeyism, the hubeus corpus suspension acts may have expired, and you crawlinto existence again, broken down in health, business ruined, with a cauldron of vengeances burning in your breast, and no increased love for your own government.

I repeat again, my countrymen, that my application to you is not personal. It is general, and seeks the removal of and redress for a general insult. You have entered into a sacred compact with the American government. You have renounced all former allegiance and

have sworn to obey and protect her laws. By your industry, by your manual labor, by your intellect, by your capital, by your devotion, by your blood on the battle-field, you have, 1n proportion to your number, done more than any other class of citizens to raise your adopted country to the proud position which she holds to-day. You are a producing class. You are the material from which, in case of internal or foreign war, the fighting element is to come. You, in case of a draft, seek not money exemption; you refer to take your position in the field. You are the faithful sentinels on the outpost, guar ing with a jealous, with a vengeful eye the sacred approaches to republicanism and freedom from the insidious salleys of Englishmen and monarchy. While you have done and are doing all this, you are neglecting a sacred duty to yourself, to your children, to posterity, to the aspirations of freedom,

and to generations yet unborn, by, without remonstrating, permitting England with impu

nity for one hour to hold in imprisonment an American citizen for presumed acts committed in

America, thereby defiantly ignoring your citizenship, and consequently the right of the United States to confer it. I seek no organized or organization interest in my behalf. I will fight my own battle while there is a rule left; I know my rights and will seek them; and if I have not in the ordinary walks of life made friends suflicient to see justice done to me, now let my case go. I am only an humble individual; but protect the sacred right of citizenship. I

have placed my case on the desk of the President, as will be seen by the subjoined letter.

I have in a true and independent style stated my case. It is short. I am a United States

citizen. I have violated no English law. I am falsely imprisoned and seek his protection;

and I am sure that that independence of character which marked his noble conduct on the occasion of the patriotic osition which he took in his-native State. when native enthusi‘-s, instigated by material ai and still further promises from England, nearly pulled down the temple of liberty, will, on the occasion of this encroachment on the Constitution of the United States and abuses of her citizens, when properly placed before him, rouse his old Hickoryism again, and in discharge of his grand mission he will independently notify John Bull that now and forever more no citizen of the United States is to be touched for acts committed in the United States, and as an indication of what he is goin to do and what he will do, he will despatch, “Drop that Irishman, Warren, you have in 0. 17 Kilmainham. The keeping of him 24 hours longer won’t be conducive to your health.”

I am, fellow countrymen, as ever, no better or worse,
J OHN WARREN.

Letttr to the President.

' ' KILMAINHAIH Parson, -
. Dublin. Ireland, August 3, 1567.

~ DEAR SIR: I most respectfully call your Excellency’s attention to my case. By birth an _

Irishman, by adoption an American citizen. Here is a member of the press, collecting notes, coupled with the desire to see the old scenes, and to meet the old friends of my boyhood, and near and dear relatives. I was arrested on the 1st of June, and have since been closely confined in silence and solitude. I have violated no English law. No evidence has been advanced against me. I have repeatedly demanded my release, or an immediate trial; and now, as an American citizen and a freeman, ask your Excellency’s interposition in my behalf, to obtain a. right (my freedom) which England has no power to take, and which claims your Excellency’s protection. My friends will place my case more fully before your Excellency. I am your Excellency’s faithful friend, JOHN \VARREN,

_ Citizen of the United States. His Excellency Axnnnwv Jonnson,

Presillmt of the United States, America.

[merged small][ocr errors]

SIR : I transmit herewith a copy ‘of a proclamation by the President of the United States, which was issued on the 3d day of September, instant, and it is made my duty to enjoin upon you an observance of the requirements of that proclamation for an earnest support of the Constitution of the United States, and a faithful execution of the laws which have been made in pursuance thereof.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

Gnsmss Farmers Anmvrs, Esq., ea, &c., éc.

« PreviousContinue »