Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Russia and rebellion in North America

Russophobia is a paradox in the history of Great Britain. Within the United Kingdom there developed early in the nineteenth century an antipathy toward Russia which soon became the most pronounced and enduring element in the national outlook on the world abroad. The contradictory sequel of nearly three centuries of consistently friendly relations, this hostility found expression in the Crimean War. Yet that singularly inconclusive struggle is the sole conflict directly between the two nations; theirs is a record of peace unique in the bellicose annals of the European great powers.[1]

Fear of Russian motives and ambitions in Europe was a persistent theme of British foreign and colonial policies during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.  Yet, with the notable exception of the Crimean War in the 1850s, there were no hostilities between the two nations while during the twentieth century it was Russian military collaboration with Britain and her allies that played a major role in the defeat of Germany in 1918 and 1945.  Despite this, russophobia, though lacking the stridency of its nineteenth century predecessor, remains a feature of British public opinion largely because of the dismemberment of the Soviet Empire and the uncertainty over what Russia’s aims are today. 

The 1830s saw increasing tensions between Britain and Russia over the changing and declining position of the Ottoman Empire in Europe and the Near East.  [2] Lord Palmerston was Foreign Secretary for much of this period and his foreign policy reinforced certain specific elements of the ‘national’ character that were not confined exclusively to the boundaries of Britain but encompassed its imperial possessions. [3]  This was evident in the colonial press that contained detailed coverage of foreign policy generally drawn from British newspapers.  Foreign policy in the 1830s was explicitly directed in the interests of liberal causes and patriotic interests and had broad support across British society.  For Britain, preserving the European balance of power and protecting its international trade, particularly with India, were key objectives and Russia was perceived as a threat to both.  Russian foreign policy was seen in terms of its desire for westward expansion into Europe something that it sought to achieve by exploiting weakness within the Ottoman Empire.  Russia was also seen as willing to use aggressive diplomacy and military force to achieve this objective. 

Although the Foreign Office sought to play down differences between Britain and Russia in the mid-1830s, Palmerston came in for direct and sustained criticism from David Urquhart, a diplomat with experience in Constantinople who sought to portray Palmerston as a Russian agent. [4]  He was convinced that Russian agents were seeking to undermine Britain and his view gained significant support among working-class groups in northern England in 1839 and especially 1840.  In 1839, while seeking to become a Tory candidate for Marylebone in London, Urquhart met William Cardo, Marylebone’s Chartist Convention delegate. Cardo was impressed by Urquhart introducing him to other delegates who shared with him ‘a plan for simultaneous outbreaks in the long nights before Christmas’ in which ‘a Polish emigrant’ directed ‘military organisation…and was to have command in the mountains of Wales’. Urquhart said that with a few confidants he toured Chartist centres successfully dissuading local leaders from taking part in the rebellion.

Urquhart was critical in fanning fears of Russian aggression and it is possible that these meetings were largely held to promote his ideas on foreign policy. Russophobia can also be explained by widespread working-class support for continental nationalist movements. [5] Cardo, Lowery and Warden formed the core of a Chartist ‘foreign policy’ group and it gained the support of the Northern Liberator. [6] Although Urquhart’s claims only surfaced in the 1850s, reference to a meeting between unnamed Chartists and Urquhart is made in a letter to his friend Pringle Taylor dated 22 September 1839. Cardo, probably at Urquhart’s instigation, went to Newport ten days after the rebellion where he was arrested on 15 November and, because no criminal intention could be shown, he was put on the London mail coach the following day. Local magistrates were clearly puzzled when Cardo informed them that the rebellion was the result of ‘Russian agency’ and identified Beniowski, who they had never heard of, as the agent. Although there may have been talk of sending him to Wales because of his military experience, there is no evidence Beniowski played a direct role in Newport although there were vague reports of a foreigner on the coalfield in September and October 1839.

Urquhart’s belief that the Chartist March on Newport was ‘fomented by Russian agents’ was dismissed by G. D. H. Cole as ‘the fantasy of a disordered mind’ but there is no denying that his view of Russian ambitions gained widespread support and help explain why rumours that Russian agents were involved in the rebellions in the Canadas in 1837 and 1838 and in Irish nationalist activities in the 1850s were, despite their eccentric nature, given credence in governmental and diplomatic circles.  Russian possession of Alaska until 1867 gave this viewpoint added force: was it, like Ireland in relation to Britain, the backdoor into British North America?  Although Russians may have reached Alaska in 1648, it was not until the early 1740s that traders established hunting and trading posts and a further forty years before these settlements became permanent.  The Russian-American Company acquired the monopoly on Alaska’s fur trade in 1799 and was expected to establish new settlements and establish an expanded colonisation programme. [7] The Russian hold on Alaska was limited to coastal locations and from the 1820s its economic position was weakened by competition from the Hudson’s Bay Company and from American trappers.  It never posed a viable military threat to British North America and at its height Russian Alaska contained barely 700 Russians.  Yet there were Russians on the American mainland and this was sufficient to rouse russophobic fears and those fears could easily give way to rumour. [8]

The second Canadian rebellion occurred in November 1838 with the attack in Lower Canada that was defeated at Odelltown and an assault on Prescott in Upper Canada.  At the same time, rumours of the implication of the Russian government’s involvement began to circulate.  The Morning Herald of New York published an article on 12 November suggesting that the Russians were favourably disposed to the revolutionaries who were trying to overthrow the British Empire.[9]  It also suggested that Russia wanted to create discord along the Canadian-American frontier sufficient to provoke was between the United States and Britain so upsetting its diplomatic involvement in Eastern Europe.  The rumours circulated widely in North American newspapers and President Martin Van Buren told Henry Fox, British minister in Washington that he had heard that Russia wanted to finance the rebellions. [10]

On 24 November 1838, the declaration of a prisoner John Bratish Eliovith,[11] known as the Baron Fratellin fed the suspicions of the British government.[12]  He claimed that an agent of the Russian consul in New York promised to provide him with 5,000 rifles and a sum of $5,000 increasing to $25,000 should the rebellions prove to be a success.  Fratellin added that Mrs Kielchen, the wife of the Russian consul from Boston, was living in Montreal and openly plotting with the Frères Chasseurs.[13]  On 26 November, following these allegations, the Montreal police force searched her residence and found that the consul was with her. [14]  He was immediately placed under arrest and all his papers were seized.[15]

Following this Henry Fox asked the journalist and lawyer Stewart Derbishire to carry out a rigorous examination of the issue.[16]  Derbishire had already reported to Durham in May 1838 that the habitants had ‘no practical grievances’, that it was ‘the malaria of political agitation’ which had produced the rebellion.[17] The malaria, he felt, was still active but his constant warnings during 1838 and 1839 to Durham, Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur of Upper Canada, and Sir John Colborne gave him a reputation as an alarmist. Although Arthur was impressed by Derbishire, Colborne warned that he was ‘very credulous’ and should not be encouraged.  He submitted his report to Fox on 20 July 1839 concluding that, on the basis of the available evidence that the Russians were engaged in a criminal conspiracy against the British Crown and were seeking to create disaffection with Britain in Lower Canada

Derbishire’s conclusions brought together the context of the events in Canada and the somewhat tense relations between the British and Russians with reports, generally based on unsubstantiated assertions, of Russian intrigue.   According to his report, Von Schoultz and Charles Hindenlang,[18] two of the main European rebels involved in events in November 1838 were actually Russian officers who organised the rebel troops in Canada while Russian agents in New York provided the necessary funds. [19] Derbishire also concluded that exile in France provided Papineau with the opportunity to approach the Russian government and that the arrest of the Russian consul from Boston was irrefutable proof of the Russian plot.[20] Although he repeated many of the assertions in Derbishire’s report and came to the same conclusions about the existence of Russian intrigue, Preston was more circumspect recognising difficulties with the available evidence: for instance, ‘the belief prevailed…’, ‘he is reported to have stated…’, ‘this man’s alleged further statement…’, and ‘alleged fact’. 

It was not until 1937 that the question of Russian involvement in the rebellions was subjected to detailed analysis.  Stavrianos considered the available evidence, or rather lack of it pointing to the inadequacies of Derbishire’s conclusions. He demonstrated, for instance, that Von Schoultz, who had fled to the United States after the Polish revolution of 1831 and Hindenlang who sought refuge in New York by 1838 were, in fact, simply revolutionaries not Russian agents and that they simply wanted to help the Canadian people to break free from British domination.[21]  He also suggested that if Russia had really controlled certain rebel activities that agents of Canada and the United States would have informed their superiors of this.  As there is no known correspondence at this level, it is impossible to confirm the charges against the Russian government.  President Van Buren’s hint to Fox, something that had some credence given the tense diplomatic relations between Russia and Britain may have been an attempt to divert the British government’s attention and was not entirely unfounded. If successful, it could have given the Chasseurs far greater freedom of action.[22] 

It is difficult to see what benefit Russian support for the rebels could have achieved.  The second rebellion in November 1838 had been disastrous largely because it lacked support among French-Canadians and where there was support, it was without effective military organisation imploding when faced by better trained militia and regular British troops.  However, Bodisco, the Russian minister in Washington, toyed with the idea of aiding the rebellion and did meet Papineau, O’Callaghan and Robert Nelson in his home on 10 December 1838 that he reported in a letter addressed to count Nesselrode. Papineau sought political support but it was clear that Russia did not wish to intervene in the conflict despite the sympathy of the Russian consul for the Canadian cause. [23]  Nesselrode’s response to Bodisco made it very clear that under no circumstances should he become embroiled in the rebellions.[24]  Although rumours of such meetings were widely known at the time, they were officially denied by authorities in Canada, Russia and Britain.[25]

The idea of an alliance between the Russian government and the Canadian rebels is difficult to maintain. The Patriotes openly supported the independence of Poland from Russia and often drew parallels between the Russian system of government and the British colonial system when denouncing the abuses of the latter. Despite the arrest of the Russian consul in Montreal, no incriminating evidence was found.  His wife’s visit to Montreal was to collect her two daughters who attended school there though he planned to leave his son Peter to finish his schooling. [26] It is clear why the rumours of Russian involvement were taken seriously in Canada and in London especially after the Kielchen affair and Van Buren’s unfounded insinuations but it is clear that the rumours were never translated into practice. 

Concerns about Russian intrigues resurfaced in the 1850s when tension between Britain and Russia led to war in the Crimea.  This was, for instance, evident in the widespread coverage of the conflict in the Australia press from late 1853.[27] War in the Crimea finally broke out in March 1854 and when news reached the colonies two months later, it raised the question of their vulnerability to Russian attack. [28] A Russian naval presence in the Pacific led Australians to realise that they needed British protection.  Individuals who had, the previous year, raised the possibility of a republic now reminded Britain of her obligations to protect Australia if Russia decided to make sorties into the southern Pacific. [29] On this occasion, Edward Hawksley, editor of the People’s Advocate, misjudged the colonial mood when he wrote that the war:

…will be a great stroke in our favour and we cannot doubt that our people will take advantage if it… [it will be] the signal for us to demand our freedom.[30]

In the newly established colony of Victoria, the Argus that had threatened independence in 1852 now attacked Britain for leaving ‘the greatest of her colonial possessions’ and its gold defenceless against a Russian onslaught. [31] Fear of war and perhaps more importantly the threat to Australian trade, for the moment, ended any imminent possibility of a republic.

By the early 1850s, calls for Repeal and devolution had been largely discredited as the dominant form of Irish nationalism.  It no longer seemed possible that demands for peaceful change could quickly deliver greater Irish autonomy.  The approach, advocated forcefully by John Mitchel, that Ireland could only achieve autonomy through physical-force appeared also to have been defeated in 1848.[32] A combination of often disillusioned migrants fleeing the Famine, the arrival of escaped leaders of the 1848 rising, the nativist reaction across North America and Britain’s foreign difficulties especially the revival of mistrust of Russia and then France, historically regarded as Ireland’s opportunity, ensured that anti-British feeling and the goal of Irish independence did not disappear and, by the mid-1850s, created conditions in which radical, republican nationalism revived and sought Russian support. [33]

In the early 1850s, the United States and especially New York became a magnet for political exiles and for those Young Irelanders who had been released or had escaped from Van Diemen’s Land. [34] They revitalised Irish-American nationalism and led between 1848 and 1857 to the formation of organisations such as the Silent Friends, the Irishmen’s Civil and Military Republican Union, the Irish Emigrant Aid Society and especially the Emmet Memorial Association, all of which intended to send military aid to Ireland in one form or another. The Young Irelanders, including John O’Mahony, [35] Michael Doheny, Thomas Francis Meagher and John Mitchel were seen as political martyrs and feted as heroes on their arrival in the republic.  Through their varied propaganda efforts, they sought to sustain a revolutionary nationalism grounded in an almost pathological hatred of England.

John Mitchel became the leading republican ideologue after his arrival in the United States in 1853 through the Citizen, his newspaper that first appeared in New York early the following year.[36] His rhetoric was splenetic; his cause Irish independence; his method, physical-force.  Mitchel was prepared to condemn Britain’s empire as often as possible and to spell out to Irish-Americans their responsibility to liberate their native country from British dominion. Shortly after the publication of the Citizen, on 13 April 1854 Mitchel helped to establish the Irishmen’s Civil and Military Republican Union.  The group was open to members of militia companies as well as other Irish societies and organisations and sought to raise funds to aid other nationalist groups struggling for Irish independence. 

With the outbreak of the Crimean War in March 1854, Mitchel went from New York to Washington to meet Baron Stockl, the Russian minister to seek funds from Russia for an Irish revolution. [37]  Stockl recognised and Mitchel admitted that it was Mitchel’s hatred to England and love of Ireland rather than his love for Russia that motivated the request for support.  Mitchel argued that the Irish in Ireland and the United States were ready to attack England and could do so with Russian aid.  Ireland needed munitions as well as the diversion that Russia could provide. Although Stockl admitted that England could be attacked through Ireland but he questioned how, with the Baltic and Black Seas blockaded by English and French navies, Russia could transport arms to Ireland. [38] The Irishmen’s Civil and Military Republican Union did not long survive this setback and Mitchell concluded that revolution in Ireland was, at least in the short-term, no longer possible and this, in part, explains his later suspicions of some Irish-American nationalist groups especially their use of secret tactics.

Unlike Mitchel, John O’Mahony escaped abroad after the collapse of the attempted rising in 1848 initially to Paris leaving France for the United States in December 1853.  Although the immediate needs of the Irish-American population tended to overshadow the distant utopia of an independent Ireland, Irish America proved a fertile source of support for conspiratorial associations committed to providing an expeditionary force of liberators for Ireland.  The Irish Military and Civil Association, founded in New York in February 1855 succeeded Mitchel’s organisation as the leading Irish-American revolutionary society. Its military branch, known as the Emmet Monument Association, was organised into companies of single men who drilled in preparation for the invasion of Ireland and was led by O’Mahony and Michael Doheny.  Its goal was to erect a monument honouring Robert Emmet who had been executed after an abortive rebellion in 1803.

The Association spread quickly throughout the major cities of the Union and it was composed of more than three thousand men in New York City alone.  Like Mitchel, its leaders entered into secret negotiations with the representatives of Russia in Washington and New York to launch an invasion of Ireland but Russia’s defeat in the Crimean War ended any hopes of assistance from their new ally. [39]  Whether there was ‘a large element of fantasy in their talk of launching an invasion of Ireland’, O’Mahony believed that there was the ‘strongest hopes’ of Russian aid. [40]  Negotiations certainly went further than Patriote appeals for Russian help in 1837-1838 but with no greater success than Mitchel’s earlier attempt.  In the aftermath of this failure, the Emmet Monument Association too was dissolved but its leaders first formed a permanent committee, consisting of thirteen men, representatives of the several divisions of the Association with the power to revive the organisation if necessary at a later date. After two years, the committee concluded that it was time to prepare for a new Irish revolutionary movement.

After the Crimean War, Russia pursued cautious and well-calculated foreign policies until a further Balkan crisis almost caused war in the late 1870s.  The 1856 Treaty of Paris, signed at the end of the Crimean War, had demilitarised the Black Sea and during the 1860s and 1870s Russian foreign policy sought to regain their naval access.  Russia viewed Britain and Austria-Hungary as opposed to that goal, so foreign policy concentrated on good relations with France, Prussia and the United States.  This, and the need to sell Alaska to the United States in order to provide much-needed funds to develop its interests in the Far East, may explain why there is no evidence of any Russian involvement in the Fenian incursions into Canada in 1866, 1870 and 1871.  Russian attitudes to Britain also contributed to this stance.  Although Russian expansion into Central Asia continued in the 1860s with the conquest of the Bukhoro Khanate in 1868, the territories directly bordering Afghanistan and Persia were left nominally independent to avoid alarming British India.  [41]

Russian diplomatic and military interests subsequently returned to Central Asia, where Russia had quelled a series of uprisings in the 1870s, and Russia incorporated hitherto independent emirates into the empire. Britain renewed its concerns in 1881 when Russian troops occupied Turkmen lands on the Persian and Afghan borders and almost erupted into open warfare after the capture of Merv in 1884.  This made the North-West Rebellion led by Louis Riel in 1885, important to Russia and, like the rebellions in 1837 and 1838, it was widely covered in the strictly censored Russia press.  One Russian magazine referred to Riel as Canada’s Garibaldi and suggested that the almost simultaneous events in the Sudan with General George Gordon’s death at Khartoum, China and Canada were shaking the entire British Empire with Canada singled out as Britain’s ‘Achilles heel’. [42]

One thing missing from previous discussion of the Russian dimension in the rebellions of 1837 and 1838 is how the fleeting links between rebels and diplomats fitted into Russian foreign policy and particularly how the logic of putting Britain’s imperial possessions under pressure linked to Russia’s broadly continentalist ambitions.  Destabilising British power in Canada or in Ireland could have strengthened Russian status within the European Concert.  When this is taken into account, Papineau’s plea for Russian political support in 1838 and the attempts by John Mitchel and John O’Mahony to obtain Russian aid for rebellion in Ireland during the Crimean War can be seen in a new, less eccentric light.  In both 1838 and in the 1850s, it was particular circumstances that resulted in a diplomatic dead-end.  By 1838, Russian diplomats rightly surmised that there was no realistic prospect of Patriotes raising a further rebellion in Lower Canada while defeat in the Crimean War meant that there was no longer any reason to support rebellion in Ireland.  Rumour of Russian support for rebellion in Canada was rather more than contemporaries admitted or historians have recognised.

[1] J. H. Gleason, The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain: A Study of the Interaction of Policy and Opinion, (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press), 1950, p. 1.

[2] K. Charles Webster, The Foreign Policy of Palmerston, 1830-1841: Britain, the Liberal Movement and the Eastern Question, 2 Vols. (London: G. Bell & Sons), 1951, Vol. 1, pp. 259-320, and Vol. 2, pp. 527-777, remains the most detailed analysis.  For a more recent account see, Brown David, Palmerston: A Biography, (Yale University Press), 2010.

[3] David Brown, Palmerston and the Politics of Foreign Policy, 1846-55, (Manchester: Manchester University Press), 2002, pp. 3-4.

[4] On Urquhart, see the elegant essay by A. J. P. Taylor, ‘Dissenting Rivals: Urquhart and Cobden’, in his The Trouble Makers: Dissent over Foreign Policy 1792-1939, (London: H. Hamilton), 1957, pp. 37-61. Shannon, Richard, ‘David Urquhart and the Foreign Affairs Committees’ in P. Hollis, ed., Pressure from Without in early Victorian England, (London: Edward Arnold), 1974, pp. 239-261, and Miles Taylor, ‘The old radicalism and the new: David Urquhart and the politics of opposition, 1832-1867’ in Eugenio F. Biagini, and Alastair J. Reid, eds., Currents of radicalism: popular radicalism, organised labour and party politics in Britain, 1850-1914, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 1991, pp. 23-43, are useful essays. See also, Gertrude Robinson, David Urquhart: Victorian Knight Errant, (Oxford: Basil Blackwell), 1920.

[5] Geoffrey Claeys, Imperial Sceptics: British Critics of Empire 1850-1920, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 2010, pp. 25-26.

[6] Joan Hugman, ‘A Small Drop of Ink: Tyneside Chartism and the Northern Liberator, in Owen R. Ashton, Robert Fyson and Stephen Roberts, eds., The Chartist Legacy, (London: Merlin Press), 1999, pp. 24-44.

[7] Ilya Vinkovetsky, Russian America: An Overseas Colony of a Continental Empire, 1804-1867, (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 2011, pp. 6-73, is a recent study of its development and demise.

[8] For a contemporary view of Russian intrigues see, T. R. Preston Three Years’ Residence in Canada from 1837 to 1839, 2 Vols. (London: Richard Bentley), 1840, Vol. 1, pp. 229-244.  Preston concluded that, given ‘Russia’s alleged intrigues in British India, a strong degree of plausibility, to say the least, must be attached to the actual prevalence of similar alleged intrigues in British America.’  He also commented: ‘…various suspicious circumstances transpired, calculated to leave but little moral doubt—positive proof being, of course, in such cases almost impossible—of Russia having individually lent herself to aid the schemes of those who were plotting and endeavouring to wrest the Canadian provinces from British sway.’

[9] L. S. Stavrianos, ‘The rumour of Russian intrigue in the rebellion of 1837’, Canadian Historical Review, Vol. 18, (1937), p. 367.

[10] Stavrianos, ‘The rumour of Russian intrigue in the rebellion of 1837’, p. 368.

[11] Alain Messier, Dictionnaire encyclopédique et historique des patriotes 1837-1838, (Montréal: Guérin), 2002.p. 195.  Fratellin was an adventurer who passed for a gentleman and a baron of Hungarian origin; arrested in November 1838, he was imprisoned in Montreal from November 1838 to March 1839.

[12] Archives nationales du Québec: E17, Ministère de la Justice, Evénements de 1837-1838. His first deposition (2958) dated 24 November 1838, printed in Georges Aubin and Nicole Martin-Verenka, eds., Insurrection: Examens volontaires, Vol. 2: 1838-1839, (Montréal: Lux), 2007, pp. 177-179; a second deposition (2961) dated 13 December 1838, printed pp. 179-180.

[13] Stavrianos, ‘The rumour of Russian intrigue in the rebellion of 1837’, p. 371.

[14] Ibid, p. 368.

[15] Russian archival documents on Canada: diplomatic correspondence from America, 1812-1841, (Ottawa: Centre for Research on Canadian-Russian Relations), 1997, p. 8.  See also, Joseph L. Black, The Peasant Kingdom: Canada in the 19th-Century Russian Imagination, (Newcastle, Ontario: Penumbra Press), 2001, pp. 75-77.

[16] Michael S. Cross, ‘Stewart Derbishire’, Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. 9, pp. 201-202.

[17] Norah Story, ‘Stewart Derbishire’s report to Lord Durham on Lower Canada, 1838’, Canadian Historical Review, Vol. 28, (1937), pp. 48-62

[18] Hindenlang wrote two letters to Fratellin just before his execution on 15 February 1839.

[19] Stavrianos, ‘The rumour of Russian intrigue in the rebellion of 1837’, pp. 368-369.

[20] Ibid, p. 369.  Preston, Three Years’ Residence in Canada from 1837 to 1839, pp. 233-234, suggested that Papineau had gone to Paris to make it easier for him to be conveyed ‘in a quiet way’ to St. Petersburg to meet Tsar Nicholas II.

[21] Stavrianos, p. 369.

[22] Ibid, p. 370.

[23] T. H. Leduc, ‘That Rumour of Russian Intrigue in 1837’, Canadian Historical Review, Vol. 23, (1942), p. 399.

[24] Ibid, p. 400.

[25] Tishkov, V. A., ‘Rossiia I vosstanie 1837-1838’, Amerikanski ezhegodnik, (Nauka), 1977, pp. 283-299.

[26] Black, The Peasant Kingdom: Canada in the 19th-Century Russian Imagination, p. 75.

[27] Between October 1853 and April 1854, the Sydney Morning Herald, for instance, published 141 articles on Russia and Turkey, many based on newspaper reports from London.

[28] ‘The Declaration of War’, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 June 1854, p. 3.

[29] For instance, ‘How should Sydney be defended?’, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 October 1853, p. 3.  See also John D. Grainger, The First Pacific War: Britain and Russia, 1854-1856, (Woodbridge: Boydell), 2008.

[30] People’s Advocate, 31 December 1853.

[31] ‘A Russian Fleet; Destination Unknown’, Argus, 19 May 1854, p. 4.

[32] On Young Ireland and the failed 1848 rebellion in Ireland see, Christine Kinealy, Repeal and Revolution: 1848 in Ireland, (Manchester: Manchester University Press), 2009, and Richard Brown, Famines, Fenians and Freedom, (Southampton: Clio Publishing), 2011, pp. 187-200, 210-218.

[33] Fenianism was an umbrella term that generally referred to the IRB, founded in Dublin in 1858, the Fenians Brotherhood established in the United States and then Canada and finally the Clan-na-Gael, initially formed in 1867.  The term ‘Fenian’, widely used in nationalist and anti-nationalist rhetoric after 1858, encompassed those Irish organisations committed to ‘physical force nationalism’.

[34] For the ‘men of ‘48’ and their experience in Van Diemen’s Land, see Brown, Richard, Famine, Fenians and Freedom, pp. 494-504.

[35] Desmond Ryan, ‘John O’Mahony’, in T. W. Moody, ed., The Fenian Movement, (Blackrock: Mercier Press), 1968, pp. 63-76, provides a good summary of his life.

[36] Bryan P. McGovern, John Mitchel: Irish Nationalist, Southern Secessionist, (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press), 2009, is particularly useful on the ambiguities of his exile in the United States.  See also William, Dillon, Life of John Mitchel, 2 Vols. (London: K. Paul, Trench & Co.), 1888, and O’Hegarty, Patrick, S., John Mitchel: An appreciation, with some account of young Ireland, (Dublin: P. S. Maunsel & Co.), 1917, pp. 119-124.

[37] McGovern, John Mitchel: Irish Nationalist, Southern Secessionist, p. 105.

[38] His account of the meeting is contained in Mitchel to James Cantwell, 1 March 1855, reprinted in Thomas Connors, ‘Letters of John Mitchel, 1848-1869’, Analecta Hibernica, Vol. 37, (1998), pp. 287, 289-305, at p. 298.

[39] Joseph Denieffe, A Personal Narrative of the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood giving a faithful report of the principal events between 1855 and 1867, (New York: The Gael Publishing Co.), 1906, pp. vii-x, provides an account of the Emmet Association.

[40] Brian Jenkins, Irish Nationalism and the British State: From Repeal to Revolutionary Nationalism, (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press), 2006, p. 257.

[41] Dietrich Geyer, Russian Imperialism: The Interaction of Domestic and Foreign Policy, 1860-1914, (London: Berg), 1987, pp. 86-101, 186-187.

[42] ‘Epizod iz vozstaniia v Kanade’, Vokrug sveta, no. 20, (1885), p. 306.  For the reference to Garibaldi, see ibid, no. 45, (1885), p. 716.

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