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Daniel O'Connell

Tithes (Ireland); Date, January 15, 1838

Citation Information:Fitzpatrick, W.J., F.S.A., ed. Correspondence of Daniel O'Connell. London: John Murray, 1888.

Letters from O'Connell's private correspondence, 1839-1846. Selected letters about O'Connell's campaign to repeal the Act of the Union. Two are responses to issues about American Negro slavery.


Campaign to Repeal the Act of the Union

To T. M. Ray.
London: Aug. 6th, 1842.

My dear Ray,—I am sincerely sorry that it will not be in my power to be in Dublin before Wednesday, but on that day it is my intention to be there, and to proceed at once to the perfect organisation of the repeal agitation. Have for me an accurate return of the parishes and districts in Dublin, and the rest of Leinster in which any exertions have been made in favor of Repeal since the 25th March last, the date of the renewed exertion for Ireland. The apathy by which the spirit of patriotism is paralysed must soon give way to the conviction that Ireland has nothing to depend on but her own exertions. How foolish it is in the writers of the 'Dublin Magazine' to suggest the formation of a Liberal party in Ireland unconnected with Repeal!—foolish to the last degree. Who, besides the Repealers, are Liberal in Ireland? Some few barristers, who dream of the restoration of Whiggism, of Whiggism that has passed by never to return. It is true that Lord Cloncurry adheres to his opinions of former days, but we have no right to expect activity from him, benumbed as he must be by the wretched Toryism of his son. The house of Leinster may be called 'The Castle of Indolence,' where the son outsleeps the father. Alas! alas! for poor Ireland, she has indeed no friends.

But shall we despair? I will try the thrilling trumpet that has often before caused despair to hope and torpor to be roused into energy. I do not despair, nor does the chill of an ungenial legislature diminish the glow of hope which I derive from the subdued but reviving flame of genuine Irish patriotism. The people of Ireland are true to the heart's core; the clergy of the people are as sincere in their love of fatherland as they are eminent in Christian zeal and fervent piety. I do not despair.

So soon as I arrive in Ireland I will publish my address to my own constituents; all I desire is to make them, clergy and laity, understand the real position of public affairs. I want every Irishman to be convinced of this truth, that there is nothing worth looking for, save the power of governing ourselves, and of husbanding our national resources by the restoration of our domestic legislature.

Have, I repeat it, prepared a list of all the parishes in Leinster, with the names of the clergy of each parish, and of every layman therein, who shall have taken, at any bygone time, an active part in the Repeal agitation. It is by detailed and persevering exertions that public opinion will recover its tone and energy in Ireland.

Believe me, &c.,
DANIEL O'CONNELL. [1]

1 One hundred other letters of a similar spirit and aim might be supplied from the papers of the late Mr. Ray.


To O'Neill Daunt.
Darryane Abbey: 9th Septr. 1842.

My dear Daunt,—I hope you are making arrangements for opening the campaign of agitation. It is time it were done ten times as much for my comfort as the London men. Ten times did I say? There is really no calculation of the difference. Pay him for me if you can.

What a glorious thing the deficiency in the Revenue is! What a blow to our scoundrel enemies! I am just finishing my first vol. It will be out of hands to-morrow. [2]

Believe me, &c.,
Daniel O'Connell

2 A Memoir of Ireland, Native and Saxon. This must be the same book the draft of which O'Connell sent to London five years before. ( See letter of September 18, 1837.) In now submitting it to the Queen, he said that he had little hope of being able to produce any work of sufficient interest to occupy the royal mind, but it was desirable that the Sovereign should be aware of how much the Irish had suffered from English misrule and comprehend the secret springs of Irish discontent.


To Charles Bianconi, Mayor of Clonmel.

Merrion Square: 24 March, 1843

My dear Friend,—What the deuce is Tipperary doing? What the double deuce is Clonmel doing? And especially what is its valiant Corporation doing? Sligo, Drogheda, Limerick, Cork, Waterford, Dublin—all the Liberal Corporation except Clonmel—have either given proofs of Irish patriotism or else have shewn themselves alive to it. What is Charles Bianconi doing? A vivacious animal in himself, but now, seemingly, as torpid as a flea in a wet blanket. So much for scolding you all. And now, my good friend, is it not a crying shame that your noble county should remain in such apathy when all the rest of Ireland is rousing itself into a combined effort for the Repeal? I want a Repeal meeting either at Clonmel or Cashel or Thurles. I want to see from 60,000 to 100,000 Tipperary men meeting peacefully and returning home quietly, to adopt the petition and to organise the Repeal rent. Now you know you must get into motion, there's no use at all in hanging back any longer when you se about it. I know you will do the thing right well.

I am to be at Rathkeale on Tuesday, the 18th of April, and I could be at either of the three towns I have mentioned upon Thursday, the 20th of April; so now put these things together and set about working. Do nothing without the co-operation of the clergy. I need give you no further advice or instruction.

Though you are a foreigner, you have brains in your noddle, and are able to perceive, even amidst the levity of my phrases, the intensity of my anxiety to bring forward Tipperary, speedily and energetically, but peaceable. What will you do for the cause? You should answer me that. With sincerest regards to your family,

Believe me always,
DANIEL O'CONNELL.


To Daniel O'Connell, M.P.

Sec.'s Office, Four courts, Dublin: 23rd May, 1843.

Sir,—I am directed by the Lord Chancellor [*] to inform you that it is with regret he has felt it his duty to supersede you as a magistrate for the County of Kerry. I beg to enclose a copy of a letter, written by the Lord Chancellor's direction to Lord Ffrench, which will explain to you the grounds upon which this step has been taken.

I have, &c.,
HENRY SUGDEN.

* This was the Lord St. Leonard's. Born 1781, died 1875.

Editor's Text:

The Chancellor dismissed from the commission of the Peace Lord Ffrench and other magistrates who had attended meetings convened to petition for Repeal. The letter concluded with these words: 'To allow any longer such persons to continue in the Commission would be to afford the power of the Crown to the carrying of a measure which her Majesty has, like her predecessor, expressed her determination to prevent. This view of the case, which the step taken by your lordship has forced upon the attention of the Lord Chancellor, will compel him at once to supersede any other magistrates who, since the declarations in parliament, have attended like Repeal meetings. He thinks that such a measure is not at variance with the resolution of the Government, whilst they watch over public tranquillity and oppose the Repeal movement, still to act with forbearance and conciliation, and to devote their best energies to improve the institutions and promote the prosperity of Ireland.'


To Henry Sugden.

30 Merrion square: 27th May, 1843

Sir,—On my return to town from attending four meetings—peaceable and perfectly legal meetings—to petition Parliament for the repeal of the Act entitled 'The Act for the Legislative Union of Great Britain and Ireland,' I found before me your letter of the 23 inst. For the terms of civility in which that letter is couched I owe you, sir, and I hereby offer you, my best thanks.

I would not willingly be exceeded by you in courtesy, and I beg of you to believe that if, in the performance of a sacred duty, I should use any expression of a harsh nature, which I shall studiously endeavour to avoid, it is not my intention to say anything personally offensive. But that duty obliges me to declare that, as the restoration of the Irish Parliament is an event, in my judgement, not remote, I will avail myself of the opportunity afforded by a seat in the Irish House of commons to move for the impeachment of the present Lord Chancellor for presuming to interfere with the subjects dearest and most precious right—the right of petitioning Parliament; a right expressly declared to belong to the people as one of 'the true, ancient, and indubitable rights and liberties of the people of this realm.'

I use the words of the Statute, which, it should be remembered, settles the succession of the crown upon the basis of those rights and liberties of the subject. Her Majesty's title, therefore, to the throne is based upon the right of petition, and the Statute expressly declares, 'That all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal.' The deprivation of the commission of the peace may not be technically a prosecution, but it is intended as a punishment; and punishment without prosecution would make the act of the Lord Chancellor only the more criminal. I mean to insist—and I think the argument will have weight with an Irish Parliament, freely and fairly elected—that the act of the chancellor necessarily endangers the stability of the throne and the security of the connexion between both countries.

The commission of the peace is of very small importance to me, who never acted more than once under that commission, but the principle upon which the Chancellor acts I utterly protest against, as being in its essential nature disloyal and dangerous alike to the throne and the people.

That the Repeal meetings to petition Parliament are not illegal is a proposition admitted in your letter to Lord Ffrench; and really, you must permit me to say, that it is in no slight degree absurd to allege that these meetings 'have an inevitable tendency to outrage!!! Why, meetings have been held, as everybody in Ireland knows, or ought to know, as numerously, aye, and as peaceably, before the passing of the Emancipation Act as during the present Repeal agitation. There have been, within the last three months, more than twenty of these multitudinous meetings to petition without having caused a single offence. How, then, they can have 'An Inevitable Tendency' to outrage, without ever having produced a single outrage, is not within the comprehension of a mere Irish lawyer, although it may be within the sagacity of an English Chancellor!

How can the Chancellor be of opinion that meetings to petition are not within the spirit of the constitution, when the Constitution itself recognises, sanctions, aye, and enforces the right so to petition? And as to the notion of their becoming dangerous to the safety of the State, the danger to the State would, in reality, consist in suppressing the groans of the people; in compelling them to brood in silence over their wrongs and their sufferings; and a more wronged and suffering people exist not under the face of heaven than the Irish people. The danger to the State would consist in suppressing the expression of popular opinion, in damming up the constitutional channels of relief, and in thereby driving the people to the wild and hideous 'justice of revenge,' instead of leaving them to the fair hopes of relief from the Houses of Parliament and from the throne.

As to the argument used in your letter to Lord Ffrench with respect to the inability of the magistrates attending meetings to repress violence, it bears diametrically the opposite way, for no individual could possibly have so direct and personal an interest in preventing violence and suppressing outrage as magistrates who are parties to, and responsible for, the calling together of such meetings.

With respect to your assertion that Her Majesty has, like her predecessor, expressed her determination to prevent the carrying of the Repeal of the Union, it has filled me with the most utter and inexpressible astonishment. You must know—and, indeed, I much fear you must have known when you made that assertion—that it was utterly unfounded; in fact, Sir Robert Peel has himself admitted the falsity of that statement. Her Majesty, whom the people of Ireland affectionately revere, has made no such declaration; and, indeed, I must say it enhances the criminality of the Lord Chancellor that he has permitted the putting forward (under the sanction of his high name) of a statement so injurious to Her majesty, and one so strongly tending in itself to expose her to the odium and hatred (if that were possible) of her brave, loyal, and attached people of Ireland.

As to the concluding paragraph of your letter, which talks of the forbearance and conciliation of the present Government, and of their desire to improve the institutions and promote the prosperity of Ireland, it is calculated only to move the risible faculties of every light-hearted man and to excite the indignation and sorrow of every thinking being, that you should venture to treat the people of Ireland to such a specimen of ludicrous hypocrisy.

I have, &c.,
DANIEL O'CONNELL.


Editor's Text:

On August 15, 1843, there took place at Tara the memorable mass meeting in favour of Repeal of the Union. Here the ancient kings of Ireland had once sat in council. Moore invested the spot with glowing interest by his lyric, 'The harp that once through Tara's halls,' and in 1798 a battle had been fought on this hill between the King's troops and the rebels, when Lord Fingall, a Roman Catholic peer, helped to rout the latter at the head of his calvary. [3] Vast assemblages had taken place this year at Athlone, Dundalk, and Enniscorthy; and now, in obedience to O'Connell's summons, 750,000 souls—'aye, and bodies too,' as he himself said when correcting the statement—marched to Tara. The Times estimated the number present as a million. Not only the hill, but miles of surrounding lowlands were covered with men. Sir C. Gavan Duffy says that more men were present than possessed Scotland when Wallace raised the standard of independence, or Athens in the days of her world renown. Remembering how Peel and Wellington succumbed before a less formidable organisation, O'Connell, in the excitement of his speech, rashly pledged himself that within twelve months an Irish Parliament would be established on College Green. The Tara meeting was followed by another at Mullaghmast, when 400,000 assembled; but a great meeting which had been convened at Clontarf on October 8 was prohibited by a proclamation issued late in the afternoon of the previous day. Troops occupied the ground with several pieces of cannon [4], and O'Connell and his colleagues received notice of prosecution. [5]

On January 16, 1844, they were put upon their trial, charged with conspiracy. He declared that there was nothing in the case to stain him with that charge; he had acted in the open day, in presence of the Government and the magistracy; nothing was secret, hidden, or concealed. Nevertheless a verdict of guilty was returned. Able men argued a writ of error before his judges, but the verdict stood. Popular excitement increased during the progress of these events, and O'Connell was filled with alarm lest the people should burst through his hands. Moral force prevailed, and the excitement of the country took a safe direction. For the fourteen weeks succeeding the prosecution the Repeal rent amounted to L25,712.

3 Lord Fingall is frequently mentioned in the earlier letters of this collection.

4 Commanding Clontarf, and nearly surrounded by water, is the well-known Pigeon Fort House, the gun of which ominously pointed to 'Conquer Hill', the site of the advertised meting. Lord Cloncurry published a letter in which he denounced the action of the Government as a 'projected massacre'.

5 He owed this to his old foe, Blackburne.(See note to letter of November 17, 1834).


Two days previous to his conviction O'Connell addressed the following letter to the most influential of the bishops:—

Merrion Square, Dublin: 10th February, 1844.

Most reverend and venerated Lords,—It is with some difficulty, and after much consideration, that I take the liberty of addressing you, with a respectful confidence that, although you may not approve of my doing so, you will attach a kind estimate to the motives which prompt me to trespass on your attention.

You may deem my anxiety excessive, but you will readily forgive that excess which arises from my extreme desire to prevent the slightest violence or breach of the peace in any part of the country.

I have not the presumption to think that anything emanating from me would be needed to stimulate the zeal of your Lordships, or the revered clergy at large, for the preservation of the most perfect public peace and tranquillity. Those who know you best are familiar with the fact that the quiet of the country is principally attributable to your unbought, successful, and most pious exertions to cause all the population of most districts, and as many of the people as possible in every district, to be obedient to the law and dutifully submissive to temporal authority.

What I respectfully submit to your Lordships is merely this—that perhaps it may be useful to take measures for allaying any tendency to excitement that might be produced by the result of the Crown Prosecutions, and for securing on the part of the people a continuance of the same profound tranquillity that has prevailed since the trials commenced. You agree with me, my Lords, that it is of the most emphatic importance that there should not, at the conclusion of the trials, be the smallest outbreak or violence of any kind whatsoever. I know that every exertion for maintaining the public peace will have your Lordships' sanction and active assistance. But, perhaps, that assistance is the more necessary now, inasmuch as the prosecution has had a sectarian color given to it by the conduct of the prosecutors in striking out all the Catholics from the jury list, in addition to the fact of the 'dropping out' from the jury panel of no less than thirty -five Catholics!

It is to prevent any irritation springing from this violation of their religious feelings that I, with profound humility, suggest to your Lordships the propriety of directing the clergy of every parish—and no directions were ever obeyed with greater alacrity than yours would be by the universal clergy of the second order—to take care that not the least particle of anger or irritation should exhibit itself among the Catholic people; to stifle every expression of sorrow or of wrong in the recollection that prudence as well as duty—personal safety as well as religion—imperatively require that every part of Ireland should remain in the most perfect order and tranquillity, and in the most profound and undisturbed quiet.

If there be presumption in this Address it is concealed from my own view, and I express my sincere sorrow if it should be so. My object is to have an additional opportunity of enforcing on the public mind the fact that, if this crisis passes over—as pass over I am sure it will—without riot, violence, tumult, or outrage of any kind, the success of our efforts for the Repeal will be rendered certain, and the attainment of our Domestic Legislature will be secured.

—I have the honor to be, with profound respect, &c.,
DANIEL O'CONNELL.

Editor's Text:

The National party, which O'Connell had long led, was now divided by a sharp schism. Old Ireland, holding the principles of moral force, remained attached to O'Connell; Young Ireland, led by Smith O'Brien, Meagher, Mitchell, and Duffy, weary of delay, formed the Irish Confederation, preached the doctrine of physical force, and drifted into revolution. Two or three priests followed O'Brien. The Liberator witnessed the disruption with feelings akin to Napoleon's when he beheld his Old Guard give way. Various efforts were made by the veteran leader to re-form their ranks, but without effect. He proposed a conference, and that his friend Mr. (afterwards Lord) O'Hagan should take part in it. O'Hagan replied in complimentary terms, but added that his opinions on the question of Repeal were not in accordance with O'Connell's or with those of the men who had seceded from the Association, and he felt that he could not consistently intervene to help in making political arrangements which might involve the recognition of principles antagonistic to his own.


To T. Devin Reilly.

Merrion Square, Dublin: 12th December, 1846.

Sir,—I return you the resolutions which you sent me, unsought for on my part. I return them lest by retaining them I should be supposed to acquiesce in the gross inaccuracy they exhibit of the real state of the question touching the conference proposed by me.

In one of these resolutions you speak as of a matter of doubt whether any legal question would arise at the conference.

It is, perhaps, my duty—at all events it is my inclination—to inform you that the primary, if not the exclusive, object of the proposed conference is to ascertain and define matters of law. In truth the affair stands thus:—

First, the Repeal Association is, beyond any shadow of doubt, a lawful assembly, not impeachable for any breach of the law. My proof is this. The Repeal Association has stood the ordeal of the State Trial, not only without any prosecution, but without any officer of the Crown, or any one of the Court, intimating against it the slightest charge of illegality.

The Repeal Association is a legal body because it disclaims any use of force or violence to achieve the Repeal of the Union Statute. Because it disclaims the use of physical force to achieve the Repeal of the Union, every member of the Repeal Association is at present perfectly safe from any prosecution.

Would the members be equally safe if it were to admit any intermixture of the physical force principle as part of the means for obtaining such Repeal?

I am decidedly of opinion that the members would not, in such a case, be safe from a well-founded prosecution.

I take these propositions to be clear in law:—First: ; That any assembly admitting any species of physical force as part of its means of obtaining a repeal of an Act of Parliament is an unlawful assembly, liable to be dispersed by any magistrate, and its members punished by indictment.

Secondly: That any such assembly is not only unlawful, but that any acts done by it in furtherance of its objects constitute a treasonable fact, rendering the members liable to conviction and execution for treason.

This opinion, in point of law, I have at repeated public meetings proclaimed.

On one occasion, in the Association, I brought down the legal authorities and quoted them, chapter and page.

It is observable that, often as I have repeated this legal doctrine, no one has had the hardihood to deny its accuracy.

It follows, if I be right, that the seceders cannot safely be admitted into the Repeal Association unless upon the fullest and most explicit disclaimer of resorting to any physical force means to achieve the Repeal of the Union.

In order to be enabled to receive the seceders into the Association again it should be ascertained whether, beyond a doubt, I am right in pint of law or not.

At former periods in my struggles for advancing the popular cause my judgement in matters of law was found eminently useful, and my opinion of the state of the law was trusted to with implicit confidence. And I have the comfort to know that such confidence was never regretted, nor shown by any fact to have been misplaced.

Now my most anxious desire is to lay the foundation of perfect conciliation; or, if that be refused, to have the universal people understand who it is to whom the continuance of the dissension is justly attributable.

I stand altogether upon the law. My sole difficulty rests upon the legal objection to the admission of the seceders.

What, then, is to be done? Is it not the wise course to ascertain, beyond a doubt, what the law is upon the subject? If the law will admit of any relaxation, I am quite ready—of course I am—to give the seceders the full benefit of that relaxation. I repeat the question. What is to be done? My answer is ready, and I propose to do the thing—that is, to hold an amicable conference—to ascertain, in the first instance, the state of the law.

This should be a preliminary inquiry. It would be idle to talk upon the terms upon which the seceders should be readmitted, if we are prevented by the law from re-admitting them except at the peril of our lives

It was with a view to ascertain, thus amicably, the law of the case that I proposed the conference. I selected the most unexceptionable persons to be members of that conference, including even myself, for I named before name Mr. Smith O'Brien. I also selected four barristers—three of them more eminently successful in their profession than any gentlemen of their standing in the British dominions; the fourth possessed of talents equally entitling him to a success which, I believe, ought not to be far distant. The four are: Sir Colman O'Loghlen, Mr. O'Hea, Mr. O'Hagan, and Mr. Dillon.

It is not likely that any man will be found to dispute the accuracy of their conjoint legal opinion. If that opinion be identical with mine, there are many of the secede4rs who will acquiesce and submit to the law, and join the Association once more in its struggles for Irish nationality. If the law be declared otherwise than I thank it is, then I shall at once acquiesce and admit my error. But, in either case, no question of terms can arise until the law is ascertained, and fully and unequivocally submitted to. There can be no paltering in a double sense. The law must be the rule of all our actions; nothing else would be just, nothing else would be wise nothing else would be safe.

The conference cannot do any harm; it may, and must, I think, do good. It will show that I am ready to carry out conciliation to the full extent of law. It will also show who they are who would prevent reconciliation; or, at tall events, not avail themselves of its influence.

I am bound to say that I have not been met with a spirit corresponding to my own in the desire to put an end to dissention.

A most respectable clergyman, of the mildest conciliatory demeanour and a high order of intellect—

Such men as he Give grace to holy ministry—

Took the trouble of going down to the County Limerick to Mr. Smith O'Brien with my message of peace. He had, alas! His journey in vain. I have his authority for saying that Mr. Smith O'Brien decidedly rejected the conference. [6]

I regret it extremely; but it makes it only the more imperative duty upon me to redouble my exertions for the sole remaining object of my political life—the Repeal of the Union Statute.

I am, Sir, your obedient Servant,
DANIEL O'CONNELL.

6 O'Brien in a subsequent letter wrote: 'I am not aware that I left him under the impression that I was averse to private accommodation.' For O'Connell's private opinion of O'Brien, : To the Very Rev. Dr. Costello, V.G.,P.P. [7]
London: 16th May, 1839

My respected friend, — What are you to do with Smith O'Brien? In asking the question I have no personal resentment or personal feeling to gratify. All I want to know is, what do you think best for the county in particular and the country in general? I easily forgive his foolish imprudence towards myself. The question remains, What is best to be done with him? He is an exceedingly weak man, proud and self-conceited; and like almost all weak men, utterly impenetrable to advice. You cannot be sure of him for half an hour. But are you in a condition to get rid of him, and have you a candidate to supply his place? The answer to these two questions ought to be decisive as to the mode of proceeding, and to you I apply for such answers and for suggestions as to the steps which ought to be taken. It would be, at all events, most desirable that he should be pledged not to oppose the present Ministry. I am happy to tell you that, if we were free from desertion in our own camp, the Tories would not have the least chance of resuming power. Indeed, my own opinion, is that we are quite safe; but then it is the part of wise men to make, if they can, assurance doubly sure. We should I think address the Queen on her escape from the Tories, and pray her to come to visit Ireland. We will set about these things when I arrive in Dublin.

Yours very faithfully,
Daniel O'Connell

7 An influential priest of Limerick. O'Brien represented the county.


On Slavery

To Richard Barrett.
Merrion Square: 23rd March, 1843

My dear Barrett,—I saw with great surprise in the last Pilot a paragraph which you certainly took from some other newspaper, headed 'O'Connell and Dickens,' and purporting to be a quotation from an alleged letter of mine to the editor of a Maryland newspaper, published at Baltimore, and called the Hiberian Advocate. The thing is from beginning to end a gross lie. I never wrote a letter to that newspaper, nor am I in the habit of corresponding with the editors of American papers.

I am surprised that you did not take notice that this forgery was published in a slave-holding state—a state in which there is that moral contamination about the press which, I think you ought to know, would preclude me from having any communication with it.

Hiberian Advocate! Oh, miserable wretch, you are, indeed, fit to circulate fictitious documents, for even your very name must be a forgery.

Few people admire more the writings of Dickens, or read them with deeper interest, than I do. I am greatly pleased with his 'American Notes.' They give me, I think, a clearer idea of every-day life in America than I ever entertained before. And his chapter containing the advertisement respecting negro slavery is more calculated to augment the fixed detestation of slavery than the most brilliant declamation or the most splendid eloquence. That chapter shews out the hideous features of the system far better than any dissertation on its evil could possible produce them, odious and disgusting to the public eye.

But I cannot help deploring one paragraph in the work. It is one full of the ignorant and insolent spirit of infidelity respecting the rigid Order of Benedictine Monks—I say, of infidelity, because surely no Christian man cold place upon an equality the duellist murderer with the ascetic servant of the Cross of Christ!

Believe me to be, &c.,
DANIEL O'CONNELL.


To James Haughton [8]
Merrion Square: 4th February, 1845.

My dear Friend,— I beg your pardon for not having sooner acknowledged your in sending me Charles Spear's admirable work on the abolition of the Punishment of Death. May I beg of you, when you write to that gentleman, to present my respects, and to assure him of my gratitude for his kind present of the work, which I admire very much. There may be some shades of difference between him and me on certain principles enunciated in his book, none at all upon the practical abolition of the punishment of death, totally without reserve. With respect to the principles of President Tyler on the subject of negro slavery, I am as abhorrent of them as ever I was; indeed, if it was possible to increase my contempt of slave - owners and the advocates of slavery, my sentiments are more intense now than ever they were, and I will avail myself of the first practical opportunity of giving utterance to them, especially in connection with the horrible project of annexing Texas to the United States. But at the present moment the public mind is so engrossed by other topics of local interest, that an Anti-slavery speech would excite no such attention as it ought. I will, however, avail myself of the first favourable opportunity to express my indignation on the subject, so as to give my sentiments circulation in America.

Very faithfully yours,
Daniel O'Connell

8 Irish philanthropist, 1795-1873