No. 113.
Mr. Lowell to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

[Extract.]
No. 331.]

Sir: Referring to Mr. Davis’ Nos. 316 and 317 of the 10th of February last, and my No. 322 of the 24th of that month, I have the honor to acquaint you that as I stated in that dispatch the information required by the resolution of the House of Representatives is so comprehensive [Page 202] that it will be impossible to furnish it with any degree of completeness until after considerable delay.

* * * * * * *

I presume, however, that what is chiefly desired by the House is information as to the arrest and imprisonment of American citizens in Ireland under what is commonly called the “coercion act.” And I propose in this dispatch to transmit so much of this information as has come to my knowledge with a copy of the correspondence on the subject.

The act entitled “An act for the better protection of person and property in Ireland,” became a law on the 2d day of March 1881. Its most important provision is contained in the first paragraph of the first section, which enacts that:

Any person who is declared by warrant of the lord lieutenant to be reasonably suspected of having at any time since the 30th day of September, 1880, been guilty, as principal or accessory, of high treason, treason-felony, or treasonable practices wherever committed, or of any crime punishable by law committed at any time since the 30th day of September, 1880, in a prescribed district, being an act of violence or intimidation, or the inciting to an act of violence or intimidation, and tending to interfere with or disturb the maintenance of law and order, may be arrested in any part of Ireland and legally detained during the continuance of this act in such prison in Ireland as may, from time to time, be directed by the lord lieutenant, without bail or main-prize; and shall not be discharged or tried by any court without the direction of the lord lieutenant, and every such warrant shall, for the purposes of this act, be conclusive evidence of all matters therein contained, and of the jurisdiction to issue and execute such warrant, and of the legality of the arrest and detention of the person mentioned in such warrant.

The remaining paragraphs and sections relate to the form of the warrant, the treatment of arrested persons, and other particulars for carrying out the provisions of the act and limiting its operation to the 30th day of September, 1882.

It is unnecessary to show that this law is arbitrary and severe and contrary to the spirit and fundamental principles of the British constitution. This is admitted by all, and by none more readily than by the government which framed it and the large majority in Parliament which enacted it. But they assert that the condition of Ireland was such that nothing short of an extreme measure like this could meet the difficulty.

* * * * * * *

I proceed now to give an account of all the cases of arrests in Ireland, in respect to which my intervention has been requested.

As early as the 12th of February, 1881, before the “coercion act” became a law, Mr. M. B. Fogarty, of Knockelly, addressed to me a letter stating he had been imprisoned for two months and fined because, as he averred, he chanced to be in the house of his cousin the previous May, when the sheriff came to evict her. He had then been released. I wrote him on the 15th of February, 1881, requesting him to send me his naturalization papers and the report of his trial. On the 22d he sent me his naturalization papers and certain extracts from newspapers, but no report of his trial at the assizes.

It appeared from the magisterial investigation that Fogarty with others was in the house “at Kilburry, resisting the retaking of possession by the sheriff.”

I wrote him on the 24th that his being an American citizen did not protect him from the consequences of breaking the laws of the country in which he was residing and that the right to a “mixed jury” which he had suggested, if any such institution existed in Ireland, did not apply to his case. I stated also I should not intervene except under [Page 203] the directions of the Department of State. I inclose a copy of this letter.

On the 6th of March, 1881, I received a further letter from Mr. Fogarty inquiring what would be my action in case of his arrest under the “coercion act.” I replied to him on the 8th of March that whenever this contingency should arise I should give the matter my best attention, but that it would be impossible for me to state my opinion upon a hypothetical case. I also forward a copy of this letter. This is the last communication I have had from this gentleman.

The next case was that of Mr. Michael Boyton, about which I have given full information to the Department of State in my Nos. 140, of the 12th of March; 144, of the 21st of March; 147, of the 25th of March; and 154, of the 7th of April, 1881, forwarding a copy of all the correspondence.

My action in this case was fully approved by the Department in its Nos. 138, of the 31st of March, and 166, of the 26th of May, 1881.

The case that followed was that of Mr. Joseph B. Walsh, which was first presented to me by Mr. Barrows, the consul at Dublin, on the 21st of April, 1881, and afterwards by the Department of State. My proceedings and correspondence in this matter were fully reported in my dispatches Nos. 193, of the 4th of June; 205, of 18th of June, and 218, of 15th of July, 1881.

Mr. Hoppin’s dispatch, No. 220, of the 14th November, 1881, announced the release of Mr. Walsh, and forwarded a copy of his discharge.

On the 26th of May, 1881, the Department of State, by a telegram, called my attention to the case of Joseph D’Alton, or Dalton, and afterwards by Mr. Blaine’s dispatch, No. 168, of the 27th of May, 1881. I communicated my action in this matter in my dispatches Nos. 193, of the 4th of June; 205, of the 18th of June, and 218, of the 15th of July, 1881.

On the 8th of June, 1881, Mr. William Simms, the vice-consul at Belfast, wrote to me in relation to Daniel McSweeney, or Sweeney, who was confined in Dundalk prison, inclosing a letter from Mr. John Cormick, another from McSweeney, and the latter’s naturalization certificate. I received these documents on the 10th of June, and on the same day I wrote to Mr. Sims, requesting him to “examine closely into the grounds” of Sweeney’s arrest, and if it should appear to him that he was innocent of the charge, to make a representation to the authorities and request his release or immediate trial. On the same day I wrote to Lord Granville, requesting to be informed of the particulars of the charge against McSweeney, and stating the latter’s assertion of his entire innocence.

On the 17th of June Lord Granville informed me that this case had been referred to the proper department of Her Majesty’s Government. On the 21st of June Mr. Sims sent to me a letter from Mr. Burke, the under-secretary at Dublin castle, stating the grounds of McSweeney’s arrest. I acknowledged the receipt of this on the 24th of June.

On the 28th of June Lord Granville informed me that Her Majesty’s Government, in McSweeney’s case as well as in that of Mr. Walsh, above mentioned, could not recognize any distinction between the liability of foreign citizens and British subjects in respect of unlawful acts committed within the limits of British jurisdiction. I sent a copy of this letter in my dispatch No. 218 of the 15th of July, with the correspondence relating to Walsh’s case.

On the 14th of July McSweeney wrote me a further communication [Page 204] from Dundalk jail, which Mr. Simms forwarded to me in his letter of the 16th, and which I received on the 18th of that month. Immediately upon the reception of this I addressed a private and unofficial communication to a gentleman connected with Her Majesty’s Government, upon whose intelligence and sense of justice I could entirely rely, repeating McSweeney’s assertion, that so far from using language inciting to riot, he had always advised the people whom he addressed to keep within the limits of the law, and I inquired whether if this were true it would not be possible to give a favorable consideration to his case. In answer to this I was confidentially advised that McSweeney’s conduct had clearly brought him within the provisions of the “coercion act,” and that it was not in the power of Her Majesty’s Government to grant his release.

On the 17th of September, McSweeney wrote me again, demanding my intervention in his behalf. As I had received no information from the vice-consul, whom I had desired to examine closely into the grounds of his arrest, confirming his own statements of his innocence, and as it seemed to me clear, from the best examination I had been able to give to the matter, and even from his own admissions, that his case was not an exceptional one, but that it resembled, in its essential particulars, that of the majority of British subjects arrested under the act, I wrote him on the 22d of September, declining to interfere further in his favor. He wrote me another letter on the 27th of September, to which I replied, and another on the 13th of October last, to which I did not think proper to make any answer. I herewith inclose a copy of this correspondence.

On the 17th day of June, 1881, Consul-General Badeau sent me a communication from Mr. E. P. Brooks, the consul at Cork, dated on the 15th of that month, covering a letter from Mr. Henry O’Mahoney, of Bally-dehob, in the county of Cork, of the 12th of June, stating his imprisonment at Limerick jail, under the “coercion act,” and requesting intervention to procure his release as a naturalized citizen of the United States, a certificate of such naturalization being forwarded with the papers.

On the 22d of June, Mr. Brooks wrote to the consul-general additional facts in relation to this case; and on the 15th of July, Mr. O’Mahoney addressed me directly, asking my intervention in his favor. On the 19th of July, the day of the receipt of this letter, I sent my answer, stating my views, generally, in respect to the rights of American citizens arrested under the “coercion act.”

On the 21st of July, Mr. Brooks and Mr. O’Mahoney both wrote again, repeating the latter’s request for my intervention.

On the 3d of August, I wrote to Mr. Brooks, the consul at Cork, referring in particular to the case of Mr. McEnery, to be afterwards mentioned, but by implication to this request of Mr. O’Mahoney, and stating my inability to grant the desired favor.

A copy of this letter was sent to the Department of State with my dispatch No. 235, of the 11th of August, 1881. I inclose herewith a copy of the other letters relating to this case of Mr. O’Mahoney.

In the matter of Mr. McEnery, above alluded to, Mr. Brooks, the consul at Cork, wrote to me on the 30th of July, as to the imprisonment of that gentleman in Limerick jail, inclosing his naturalization papers, and requesting my intervention. On the 3d of August, the day this letter was received, I sent the reply which I have hereinabove mentioned, declining to make any application on Mr. McEnery’s behalf. I communicated this correspondence to the Department in my No. 235 of [Page 205] the 11th of August last, in which I expressed the hope that my action in this case would meet with the approbation of the Department. I beg to say that I have not received any intimation that it was not so approved.

On the 29th of October last Mr. J. R. Tinsley, the United States consular agent at Limerick, addressed a letter to Mr. Barrows, the consul at Dublin, inclosing a communication for Mr. James F. Daly, who was imprisoned in Limerick jail under the “coercion act,” and also his certificate of naturalization, and requesting that the minister should demand for him a trial or speedy release. Mr. Barrows asked for instructions in this matter. Mr. Hoppin, who was at the time in charge of the legation, wrote Mr. Barrows, on the 2d of November last, that if Mr. Daly could show that the acts for which he had been imprisoned were of less gravity and importance than those for which any British subjects had been arrested, and if his incarceration had been due to mistake or misapprehension, Mr. Hoppin would take pleasure in bringing his case to the attention of Her Majesty’s Government, and asking for his speedy release.

No further communication in relation to this arrest has been received at this legation. I inclose a copy of the material part of this correspondence.

On the 9th of December last Mr. Blaine, by his dispatch No. 285, instructed me to bring the subject of the arrest of Mr. Dennis H. O’Connor to the attention of the foreign office, and, upon being informed as to the facts of the case, to take such action, in my discretion, as might seem to be called for by the circumstances.

I received this dispatch on the 23d of December, and on the same day I addressed a note to Lord Granville, to which his lordship replied on the 30th, stating that the matter had been referred to the proper department of the government.

On the 26th of January last Lord Granville wrote to me that the government would consider whether O’Connor could be discharged. A copy of these notes of the 23d of December and 26th of January was sent on the 30th of January, 1882, with my dispatch No. 300 of that date.

On the 2d of February last I received a further note from Lord Granville, acquainting me that Mr. O’Connor could not safely be released at present. I forwarded a copy of this communication with my No. 305 of the 4th of February.

On the 30th of January, 1882, Mr. Barrows, the consul at Dublin, addressed me in relation to the case of Mr. James White, and on the 31st in relation to that of Mr. Philip O’Sullivan. I answered these letters on the 2d of February last, and herewith forward a copy of the correspondence.

The last of these cases which have been brought to my attention was that of Mr. Michael Hart, which was communicated to me by Mr. George B. Dawson, the vice-consul at Queenstown, through the consul-general at London. Mr. Hart did not at that time ask my intervention, but simply desired that the fact of his arrest should be noted. I replied to Mr. Dawson’s letter on the 3d day of February. On the 7th of that month Mr. Merrett transmitted to me a formal application from Mr. Hart for my interference on his behalf. I replied to this letter on the 10th of February.

On the 13th of February last I received your instruction, No. 313, of the 3d of January, in relation to this arrest, and on the 14th of February I requested Mr. Dawson, the vice-consul at Queenstown, to make particular [Page 206] inquiries in regard to this matter; and on the 23d of February I received two letters from that gentleman, dated on the 17th and 18th, accompanied by communications from Mr. Hart himself. Mr. Dawson wrote me again on the 23d, covering a letter of the 22d of February from Mr. Hart. I forward a copy of this correspondence.

On the 7th of February Mr. Consul Barrows wrote to me from Dublin inquiring as to his future action in similar cases, and asking my instructions. I herewith transmit a copy of my reply.

On the 23d of February I received Mr. Davis’s instructions, Nos. 316 and 317, of the 10th of that month, the first directing me to inquire into the circumstances of Mr. McSweeney’s arrest, and the second inclosing a copy of a resolution of the House of Representatives on the general subject.

I have already referred to these instructions, and to my action under the same, in the beginning of the present communication, and in my dispatch No. 322.

On the 3d of the present month I received your telegram, instructing me to report immediately in relation to the cases of Messrs. McSweeney and Hart; and on the 4th instant I cabled my reply, stating the action I had already taken in regard to these gentlemen.

On the 5th instant I received a further telegram from you, directing me to say to Lord Granville that, without discussing whether the provisions of the force act can be applied to American citizens, the President hopes the lord-lieutenant of Ireland will be instructed to exercise the powers intrusted to him by the first section to order early trials in the cases of O’Connor, Hart, McSweeney, Walsh, McEnery, and Dalton, and all other cases in which Americans may be arrested.

I immediately communicated this instruction to Lord Granville, and on the 7th instant I received his reply, dated on the 6th, stating that the subject should receive the immediate attention of Her Majesty’s Government. I herewith inclose a copy of this correspondence. I have up to this date had ho further communication from Lord Granville in relation to this matter.

* * * * * * *

In concluding this dispatch I may be permitted to add that I have had repeated assurances from the highest authority that there would be great reluctance in arresting a naturalized citizen of the United States were he known to be such. But it is seldom known, and those already arrested have acted in all respects as if they were Irishmen, sometimes engaged in trade, sometimes in farming, and sometimes filling positions in the local government. This, I think, is illustrated by a phrase in one of Mr. Hart’s letters, to the effect that he never called himself an American. He endeavors, it is true, in a subsequent letter, to explain this away as meaning American born; but it is obviously absurd that a man living in his native village should need to make any such explanation. Naturalized Irishmen seem entirely to misconceive the process through which they have passed in assuming American citizenship, looking upon themselves as Irishmen who have acquired a right to American protection, rather than as Americans who have renounced a claim to Irish nationality.

Their view of the case is indicated in a question I made in a former dispatch, No 132, of the 26th of February, 1881, from a published letter of Mr. C. S. Parnell, in which he speaks of “the American people” and “the Irish nation in America.”

I have, &c.,

J. R. LOWELL.
[Page 207]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 331.]

Mr. Lowell to Lord Granville.

My Lord: I have the honor to acquaint you that the Acting Secretary of State has transmitted to me a resolution of the House of Representatives, a copy of which I inclose herewith, by which the President is requested to furnish the information therein specified concerning the arrest and imprisonment of American citizens by the British Government.

The Acting Secretary desires me to submit to him a full and accurate report on the subject with as little delay as practicable.

As there are many such cases of arrest and imprisonment, of which I cannot conveniently obtain the particulars, excepting through the kind offices of your lordship, I respectfully ask that you will cause me to be furnished with the information requested by the resolution so far as the same may be properly afforded by Her Majesty’s Government.

I have, &c.,

J. R. LOWELL.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 331.]

Lord Granville to Mr. Lowell.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 24th ultimo, forwarding a copy of a resolution of the United States House of Representatives, calling for information concerning the arrest and imprisonment of American citizens by the British Government.

In reply I beg leave to acquaint you that this matter has been referred to the proper department of Her Majesty’s Government.

I have, &c.,

GRANVILLE.
[Inclosure 3 in No. 331.]

Mr. Lowell to Mr. Fogarty.

Sir: I have received your letter of the 22d instant, with the certificate of naturalization, and the extracts from the newspapers, all of which I reinclose herewith.

You do not send me any report of your trial at the assizes, but it appears from the “magisterial investigation” that you were with others in the house in Killbury “resisting the retaking of possession by the subsheriff.”

The fact that you are an American citizen does not protect you from the consequences of breaking the laws of this country, and the right to a “mixed jury,” if any such institution still exists in Ireland, does not apply in your case.

This is not an occasion, in my opinion, in which I can properly intervene, excepting under instructions from the Department of State.

I am, &c.,

J. R. LOWELL.
[Inclosure 4 in No. 331.]

Mr. Lowell to Mr. Fogarty.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 6th of March, inquiring what my course would be in case you should be arrested under the coercion act; I have to say in reply that whenever such a contingency should arise, and I should be consulted on the subject, I would give to it my best consideration, and do whatever my duty might require. It would be manifestly improper for me to express any opinion upon a hypothetical case.

I am,

J. R. LOWELL.
[Page 208]
[Inclosure 5 in No. 331.]

Mr. Simms to Mr. Lowell.

Sir: I have the honor to inclose you papers in the case of one Daniel McSweeney, a citizen of the United States, who has been arrested, and is now in prison at Dundalk, in the county of Louth, Ireland, on a warrant issued by the lord lieutenant of Ireland, charging the said Mr. McSweeney with inciting persons to unlawfully assemble and to eommit riot and assault. I also inclose letter of Mr. John Cormick, Dundalk. I would thank you to advise me at once in the matter. In reply to Mr. Cormick’s letter, I merely stated that the whole case had been referred to you.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

WILLIAMS SIMMS,
Vice Consul.
[Inclosure 6 in No. 331.]

Mr. McSweeney to Mr. Lowell.

Sir: I am an American citizen, having resided twenty-five years in the United States, twenty of which I spent in San Francisco, Cal. During that time I never was either charged, accused, or even suspected of any crime, nor in fact never was accused of any crime in my life, until on the 2d of the present month my house was surrounded by an armed force and I was forcibly dragged from the bosom of my family and lodged in jail.

The charge against me now is, inciting persons to unlawfully assemble and commit riot and assault. Now, there was no unlawful assembly, no riot or assault committed in the district from which I was arrested, neither was there any incitement to commit such. The government kindly furnished me with a short-hand reporter who carefully took down every word I said in the English or Irish language, and I challenge him, or the government, or all the landlords in Ireland, to prove that I uttered one word which could by any possibility be construed to mean incitement to crime. On the contrary, from every platform I advised the people to commit no crime, to violate no law, but to carefully work within the lines of the constitution.

Now, sir, I want a fair trial; if I am innocent, I want, as an American, to be released; I want to know if my naturalization papers are worth preserving; whether, when an American leaves home his mouth must be sealed, though slavery in its worst form should exist in every country through which he may travel.

Yours, respectfully,

DANIEL McSWEENEY.
[Inclosure 7 in No. 331.]

Mr. Connick to consul at Belfast.

Hon. Sir: I respectfully beg leave to inclose you the naturalization certificate of Mr. Daniel Sweeney, a citizen of the United States, who is now lying under arrest in Dundalk jail. I also beg to hand you his own statement, and a copy of the warrant under which he has been arrested. He has asked me to send his papers to be forwarded to your minister, London, in order to have his case brought to a speedy issue, as it’s a hard matter that a respectable man should be dragged away from his family by an armed force upon mere suspicion. He now asks from your government that protection which every citizen of your glorious republic is entitled to, and only requires that if any specific charge can be brought against him that he will be brought to trial at once and tried as an American citizen, by a jury of half his own countrymen as well as an English jury.

Trusting that the country for whom our sons have fought and bled in the hour of danger won’t abandon their adopted children, and will show by the steps they take that no government will be allowed to violate the liberty of an American subject against whom no crime can be proved,

I have the honor to be, yours, most respectfully,

JOHN CORMICK.
[Page 209]
[Inclosure 8 in No. 331.]

Mr. Lowell to Mr. Simms.

Sir: I have to acknowledge the reception of your note of the 8th instant informing me of the arrest of Mr. Daniel McSweeney, inclosing papers in relation to his case, and asking that I should advise you as to your proper action in the matter.

There seems to be no doubt that Mr. McSweeney is an American citizen. Your duty will therefore be to examine closely into the grounds of his arrest, and should it appear to you that he is innocent of the charge which has been made against him, to represent this to the authorities and request his discharge or immediate trial. You will, of course, do this in respectful terms, and without any suggestion of threats. You will please keep me informed as to your action.

I have to-day written to Lord Granville asking to be informed as to the particulars of the charge against Mr. McSweeney. Will you please inform Mr. McSweeney of the above facts?

I am, sir, &c.,

J. R. LOWELL.
[Inclosure 9 in No. 331.]

Mr. Lowell to Lord Granville.

My Lord: I have to-day received a letter from Mr. Williams Simms, the vice-consul of the United States at Belfast, informing me of the arrest of Mr. Daniel Sweeney, or McSweeney, an American citizen, and inclosing papers in the case. The papers include a copy of the warrant of arrest, a letter from Mr. Sweeney to myself, and his certificate of citizenship. It appears that he was arrested on the 2d instant and lodged in Dundalk jail. In his letter to me Mr. Sweeney denies that he has ever said anything which could be construed into an incitement to riot, and asserts that, on the contrary, he has advised against the commission of crime and violation of law. I should be glad to be informed of the particulars of the charge against Mr. Sweeney.

I may repeat what I said in my note of the 8th instant, with regard to the case of Mr. Walsh, that my government, though anxious not to ignore the just claim of American citizens to protection, has no desire to embarrass the action of a friendly government in dealing with a difficult and delicate domestic question.

I have, &c.,

J. R. LOWELL.
[Inclosure 10 in No. 331.]

Lord Granville to Mr. Lowell.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the l0th instant, requesting to be furnished with the particulars of the charge against Daniel Sweeney or McSweeney, who is stated to be an United States citizen, and who was arrested under the act for the better protection of person and property in Ireland of March 2, 1881, on the 2d instant, and lodged in Dundalk jail.

In reply, I beg leave to acquaint you that I have referred your application to the proper department of Her Majesty’s Government.

I have, &c.,

GRANVILLE.
[Inclosure 11 in No. 331.]

Mr. Simms to Mr. Lowell.

Sir: On receipt of your letter of the 10th instant in reply to mine asking instructions in the case of Daniel Sweeney, I wrote to Dublin requesting that the grounds [Page 210] for Mr. Sweeney’s arrest might he furnished me, and to-day am in receipt of a letter from Mr. J. W. Burke, a copy of which I inclose, which simply states that there were reasonable grounds for suspecting Mr. Sweeney of inciting people to unlawfully assemble together, and to commit riot and assault. I have no means of ascertaining the justice of these charges, and would therefore be glad if you could make any further suggestion to me in the matter.

I am, sir, &c.,

WILLIAM S. SIMMS,
Vice-Consul.
[Inclosure 12 in No. 331.]

Mr. Burke to Mr. Simms.

Sir: I am directed by the lord lieutenant to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 15th instant, and I am to inform you that Daniel Sweeney, of Carrowcannon House, Falcarragh, county Donegal, has been arrested under a warrant issued pursuant to the act for the better protection of person and property in Ireland (1881), being reasonably suspected of inciting persons unlawfully to assemble together, and to commit riot and assault.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

J. W. BURKE.
[Inclosure 13 in No. 331.]

Mr. Lowell to Mr. Simms.

Sir: I have to acknowledge the reception of your note of the 21st regarding the case of Daniel McSweeney, inclosing a copy of a letter from Mr. J. W. Burke in answer to one of yours requesting to be informed of the charge upon which he was arrested.

In reply, I would say that I have not yet received an answer to my note to Lord Granville, asking to be informed of the particulars of the charge against Mr. Sweeney.

I am, sir, &c.,

J. R. LOWELL.
[Inclosure 14 in No. 331.]

Mr. Sweeney to Mr. Simms.

Sir: I am getting somewhat impatient awaiting the action of my government with regard to my release or trial. You stated in your letter of June 18 that you had instructions from Mr. Lowell to make inquiries as to the grounds of my arrest. This could have been done in one day, or perhaps in one hour, for surely the Castle authorities could furnish you with the desired information, and here I am, in jail for over six weeks.

Please answer, and be so kind as to give me Mr. Lowell’s address.

Yours, respectfully,

D. SWEENEY.
[Inclosure 15 in No. 331.]

Mr. Simms to Mr. Lowell.

Sir: Inclosed please find copy of letter from D. Sweeney, Dundalk jail, to myself making inquiries as to the probabilities of his speedy trial or release. I have no further information in the matter, and beg to ask whether or not you have yet heard from Lord Granville.

I am, sir, &c.,

WILLIAM S. SIMMS,
Vice-Consul.
[Page 211]
[Inclosure 16 in No. 331.]

Mr. Sweeney to Mr. Simms.

Hon. Sir: It is now more than three months since I forwarded to you, through the United States consulate at Belfast, my naturalization papers, with a protest against my illegal arrest and detention by the British Government, and claiming, through you, that protection from my own government which I had a right to expect. As I am not aware that any technical point can be raised with regard to my citizenship, and as sufficient time to have my papers sent to San Francisco to test their genuineness has elapsed, and no action taken in my case, I am led to believe that it was overlooked, unless, indeed, that the delay is owing to the continued illness of our beloved President. I am now fifteen weeks locked up in a British dungeon, and my health is a complete wreck. I deny and defy the British Government to show that I am guilty of any crime.

I sincerely hope that your excellency will demand my immediate release, and urge my claim for damages for false imprisonment.

I am yours respectfully,

DANIEL SWEENEY.
[Inclosure 17 in No. 331.]

Mr. Lowell to Mr. Sweeney.

Sir: I have to acknowledge the reception of your letter of the 17th instant.

I have not thought it proper to make any application for your release from prison for the following reasons:

The coercion act, however exceptional and arbitrary, and contrary to the spirit and fundamental principles of both English and American jurisprudence, is still the law of the land, and controls all parties domiciled in the proclaimed districts of Ireland, whether they are British subjects or not. It would be manifestly futile to claim that naturalized citizens of the United States should be excepted from its operation.

The only case, in my opinion, in which I ought to intervene, would be where an American citizen who is in Ireland attending exclusively to his private business and taking no part whatever in public meetings or political discussions should be arrested. Under such circumstances it would be proper to appeal to the courtesy of the government here on the ground of mistake or misapprehension, and ask for the release of the prisoner.

I have communicated these views to the Department of State, and I have received, so far, no instructions in a contrary spirit.

It does not appear to me that the reasons above given for intervention exist in your case so far as I understand it.

I am, sir, &c.,

J. R. LOWELL.
[Inclosure 18 in No. 331.]

Mr. Sweeney to Mr. Lowell.

Sir: A letter bearing your signature, dated from the legation of the United States, London, of the 22d instant, is received by me in my prison cell in Dundalk. I am unwilling to believe that this letter is the production of an American gentleman, much less the American gentleman representing the United States Government at the court of St. James. I cannot believe that an American gentleman would treat the appeal of an American citizen in prison with contempt, therefore permit me to presume that you signed the letter in question by mistake, but as your signature is attached to it I may be permitted to analyze it and if possible ascertain your meaning.

The reasons which you say influence you in not making an application for my release are not, in my opinion, good and sufficient reasons. But I will quote your own words and leave the public on both sides of the Atlantic to judge.

“The coercion act, however exceptional and arbitrary, and contrary to the spirit and fundamental principles of English jurisprudence, is the law of the land.”

[Page 212]

That the coercion act is the law of the land no one will dispute, but many will be inclined to the belief that the absence of coercive measures would be exceptional.

“It would be manifestly futile to claim that naturalized citizens of the United States should be excepted from its operation.”

Here we learn for the first time that there is a distinction between naturalized and native-born American citizens regarding their right to claim protection abroad; but. it is evident that you are laboring under a misapprehension with regard to my claim. I did not claim to be excepted from its operations; my claim is based on the fact that I did not violate any law.

“The only case, in my opinion, in which I ought to interfere would be when an Americas, citizen who is in Ireland attending exclusively to his own business and taking no part whatever in public meetings or political discussions should be arrested, it would be proper to appeal to the courtesy of the British Government for the release of the prisoner.”

So that, in your opinion, the only right which an American citizen could claim abroad would be an appeal to the courtesy of the government who might deprive him of his liberty. Bat should an American be so imprudent as to take part in a public meeting, say a prayer-meeting, or engage in any political discussion with a Frenchman, a German, or even a Zulu, according to your opinion, he would forfeit ail claim not only to protection, but even to an appeal to courtesy. This throws new light on the question of American citizenship.

“I have communicated these views to the Department of State, and I have received no instructions in a contrary spirit.”

Of course not; I can now understand why I and other American citizens are suffering imprisonment for five or six months. But, sir, instead of communicating your views to the Department of State, of my case, why not communicate its facts, viz: That the British Government seized and cast an American citizen into prison and sentenced him to sixteen months’ imprisonment, without trial by judge or jury; they refused to give any reason for his arrest; that the said American had committed no crime; that the fact of his having taken part in public meetings and political discussions did not involve any crime, as there was no law known in England at present, or until another coercion act was passed, which prohibited or declared it criminal to attend and engage in such public meetings; that the American dared the British Government to show that he was guilty of any crime; that he demanded his release from prison and claimed damages from the British Government for false imprisonment.

These, sir, are the facts in my case. I placed you in the possession of these facts immediately after my arrest, and had you communicated these facts to the authorities at Washington, and had they ignored my claim and decided that I forfeited my right to even an appeal to the courtesy of the British Government, the question of American citizenship was settled once for all.

Please return my naturalization papers and copy of the warrant under which I was arrested. I intend to preserve both as heir-looms, as, according to your views, one is about as valuable as the other.

Yours, truly,

DANIEL SWEENEY.

P. S.—Through courtesy to an American gentlemen, premising that it was possible there was some mistake about your signature, I refrain from giving this correspondence to the press for a few days.

[Inclosure 19 in No. 331.]

Mr. Lowell to Mr. Sweeney.

Sir: I have to acknowledge the reception of your letter of the 27th instant, and in compliance with the request therein contained, I herewith inclose the certificate of your naturalization and the warrant of your arrest.

So far from treating your appeal for release “with contempt,” it is proper for me to say that on the 10th of June last I addressed a note to Lord Granville, stating your American citizenship and your denial that you had ever incited any people in Ireland to riot, but, on the contrary, had advised against the commission of crime and the violation of law. I also stated that I should be glad to be informed of the particulars of the charge against you.

Lord Granville, in his reply of the 28th of June, declined to recognize any distinction between the liability of foreigners and British subjects in respect of unlawful acts committed within the limits of British jurisdiction. He added that the government [Page 213] had no reason to believe that there was ground to suppose that American citizens had met with exceptional treatment.

And, in another note, dated the 8th of July last, he stated, in regard to my request to be furnished with particulars as to the unlawful acts alleged to have been committed by Mr. Walsh, that the government could make no distinction between foreigners and British subjects, and that in the case of the latter the only information that could be given was that contained in the warrant.

Under these circumstances, and in the absence of any information showing that your case was different from that of the great majority of others where parties were arrested under the coercion act, I did not think it proper to intervene any further in your behalf.

I am, sir, &c.,

J. R. LOWELL.
[Inclosure 20 in No. 331.]

Mr. Sweeney to Mr. Lowell.

Sir: Your letter of 30th September, inclosing my certificate of citizenship and copy of warrant of my arrest, was duly received.

If you have not treated my appeal with contempt, permit me to believe that your efforts for my release from prison are, in my opinion, unsatisfactory, and your reasons for non-intervention in my behalf still more so. From your correspondence with Lord Granville it would appear that you did appeal to the courtesy of the British Government, but that the government refused to be courteous. In answer to your note of June 10 the noble lord refused to give you any information. You stated that an American citizen was in prison in Ireland, who denied having committed any crime, and you requested to be informed of the charges against him. To this his lordship answered that he could make no distinction between the liability of foreigners and British subjects respecting unlawful acts committed within the limits of British jurisdiction. Mark, the noble lord affects to believe that I had committed unlawful acts. Here your efforts ceased as far as I was concerned.

Certainly, sir, this was not a very strong effort on your part to plead the cause of a fellow-citizen who was deprived of his liberty. You were in possession of the facts in my case, and in my opinion you should renew your appeal to the courtesy of the British Government. You were aware that an American citizen was in prison and that he should be presumed to be innocent until proved guilty. You should, also reply to his lordship respecting the liability of foreigners committing unlawful acts, that I had committed no unlawful act, and that I defied the British Government to prove that I had. It would appear that you made another appeal to the courtesy of the British Government to obtain information respecting the particulars of the charge against Mr. Walsh, who, I presume, is also an American citizen, but you were equally unsuccessful.

The noble lord, in his reply of July 8, declined to give you any information whatever beyond that contained in the warrant of his arrest. So much for appeals to the courtesy of the British Government.

Under ordinary circumstances an accredited minister of a great and free country should not have been discouraged at these uncourteous replies, but rather have been stimulated to renewed exertions on behalf of his fellow-countryman who was held in chains by a foreign power.

Surely, sir, if you believed that Americans had any rights which England was bound to respect, you could have used stronger arguments than mild appeals to courtesy. You appealed to the courtesy of the British Government for the particulars of the charges against American citizens who were in prison and condemned without trial, and the noble lord replied in effect, and said, “We have Americans in prison in Ireland; we refuse to give you any information respecting the charges against them; we refuse to give them trial by judge or jury; some of our spies suspected them, and we promply sentenced them to eighteen months’ imprisonment.”

One would naturally expect that a gentleman intrusted with the important mission of United States minister at the English court should at least make a dignified reply to what some gentlemen occupying a similar position might consider an insult. But on the contrary, sir, you seem to have given up the fight, which, in my opinion, could not have been a very determined one, and you sent me a message to my prison cell, where I have been confined for over four months, and where I have to pass eighteen hours each day in a space 6 by 12, and you tell me that you have abandoned me to my fate; that you would not intervene any further in my behalf. It will not be clear to the public that you did intervene very far.

In the concluding paragraph of your courteous letter you say: “Under these circumstances, [Page 214] and in the absence of any information showing that your case was different from the great majority of others arrested under the coercion act, I did not thikn it proper to intervene any further.”

Here, sir, we have your reasons for non-intervention; one the circumstance of the refusal of the British Government to give you any information respecting the charge. Now, that of itself would be hardly considered a good reason, but looking at it from my point of view from a British dungeon, the question in my mind is whether I am not still justified in believing that you have treated my appeal “with contempt.” Your other reason is the absence of information showing that my case is different from the great majority of others arrested under the coercion act. It is undoubtedly true, sir, that my case does not differ from that of the great majority of others arrested under the coercion act in Ireland. The great majority of the gentlemen in prison are as guiltless as I am; they are gentlemen incapable of committing crime; they are not in prison for crime, but for their political opinions. But, sir, you must remember that they are Irishmen, and that they have no government to appeal to for protection. My case is not exceptional. But with equal justice you say to an American who should happen to be captured by some savage chief of the Cannibal Islands, and sentenced to be eaten, “Oh, sir, your case is not exceptional; there are others to be devoured as well as you. I do not think it proper to intervene.”

British subjects took part in public meetings and political discussions in the United States during the slave troubles. Had the American Government cast them into prison and sentenced them to a term of imprisonment without trial and refused to give the British minister at Washington any information respecting the charge against them, what would the British minister do “under these circumstances?” Fold his arms, take the matter good-naturedly, send a message to the British subjects in prison that he “did not think it proper to intervene,” or demand his passport?

Yours, respectfully,

DANIEL SWEENEY.
[Inclosure 21 in No. 331.]

Mr. Brooks to Mr. Badeau.

Sir: About two weeks ago I received a “personal” letter from Mrs. Bridget O’Mahoney, of Ballydehob, county Cork, Ireland, informing me of the arrest of her husband, Mr. Henry O’Mahoney, under the coercion act, and requesting interference on my part to secure for him a speedy trial, &c., on the ground that he is an American citizen.

I treated this communication, and several others that followed from the same source, as personal and unofficial, and explained to Mrs. O’Mahoney that no interference by me could possibly effect the result she sought. At the same time I offered any assistance I could properly and legally render in the premises. In due course she forwarded to me a certificate of her husband’s naturalization to be a citizen of the United States, a copy of which is inclosed herewith.

Meanwhile I made inquiries in a private way regarding O’Mahoney’s status, from which I am led to infer that he possibly went to the United States last year for the purpose of taking out the naturalization papers referred to. I think it quite probable that very soon I will have positive proof of the truth of this inference. Of course, any further inference as to O’Mahoney’s proceedings must be based upon whatever additional proof I may obtain regarding his intentions in renewing his citizenship in the United States after the lapse of sixteen years since his alleged service in the American Navy.

I add that he was one of the most popular of the Land League leaders in his country-side, and that during the “famine” of 1880 was very efficient in relieving the distress of his neighbors.

From this stand-point he was most assuredly a reputable person, and one of whom every one in the locality of his “home,” as he calls it, at Ballydehob, speaks in terms of highest praise.

On the other hand, or viewed from the stand-point of the police authorities, he appears to have been a very violent, unscrupulous, and dangerous agitator.

This statement is the result in brief of my personal and unofficial investigation of the case, during which I have carefully avoided saying or doing anything calculated to commit myself or the Government of the United States. Now, however, I am in receipt of a letter, a copy of which is inclosed, from Mr. O’Mahoney in person, asking an interview with me, which I have promised to give him on Tuesday next under permission of the authorities.

I have addressed this to you for the purpose of giving you the earliest information in the premises, and of enabling you to apprise the legation in London of all the facts [Page 215] in the case, if in your judgment they are of sufficient importance to he laid before Mr. Lowell.

Awaiting instructions, I am, sir, your obedient servant,

E. P. BROOKS,
Consul, &c.
[Appendix to Inclosure 21.]

Certificate of naturalization of Henry O’Mahoney.

State of New York,
Erie County:

——— Court.

Present, Hon. W. W. Hammond.

—— —— } Justices of sessions.
—— ——

Personally appeared in open court Henry O’Mahoney, late of Ireland, and made application upon his petition to be admitted a citizen of the United States of America; and it appearing to the satisfaction of this court that he, the said applicant, is of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, and that he did, on the 19th day of October, 1864, enlist as a soldier in the Navy of the U. S., on board of the U. S. S. Sybil, in the service of the United States of America, for the term of two years;

And it also further appearing by competent proof that on the 20th day of August, 1885, the said applicant was honorably discharged from the service of the United States; and this court being satisfied by the oaths of James Moylan and John Furck, well known by this court to be citizens of the United States, that the said applicant has resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for one year and upwards previous to his application as aforesaid;

And it further appearing to the satisfaction of this court that during that time the said applicant has behaved as a man of good moral character, and attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States of America, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the same; which said proof being satisfactory evidence to this court of the said fact, they permitted the said applicant to take and subscribe the following oath, viz:

I, Henry O’Mahoney, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States of America, and that I do absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty whatsoever, particularly to the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, to whom I now owe allegiance.


HENRY O’MAHONEY.

J. E. Ewell, Deputy Clerk.

[Stamp.]

Whereupon it is ordered by the said court that the said applicant be admitted to all the rights and privileges of a citizen of the United States.

State of New York,
Erie County,
}
ss:

I, Charles R. Durkee, clerk of said county and of the courts thereof, certify that the above is a true copy of the original proceedings as recorded in the records of the courts of said county; and further, that I have compared the same with the original, and that it is a true transcript of the whole thereof.


[l. s.]
J. E. EWELL,
Dp. Clerk.
[Inclosure 22 in No. 331.]

Mr. O’Mahoney to Mr. Brooks.

Hon. Sir: As you are already aware, I was arrested at Ballydehob, in this county, on the 4th instant, as being reasonably suspected of shooting at with attempt to murder. The circumstances connected with my arrest I need not detail here, as I suppose you have seen it in the public press, and all I ask of you, through the great government [Page 216] which you have the honor to represent, is an impartial trial. I ask it as United States citizen, and only about four months after arriving home. An early reply, or an interview, will much oblige,

Yours, &c.,

HENRY O’MAHONEY.
[Inclosure 23 in No. 331.]

Mr. Brooks to Mr. Badeau.

Sir: In the matter of the application of Henry O’Mahoney, political prisoner, now in Her Majesty’s jail at Limerick, in this consular district, for assistance or protection based upon the claim that he is a citizen of the United States, I have to report the following additional facts:

On Tuesday, the 21st instant, with the permission of F. McG, Eager, esq., governor of the prison, I had a very lengthy interview with O’Mahoney in the governor’s office. I had previously intimated in a personal way to Mr. Macarthy, president magistrate at Limerick, the time and purpose of this interview, and had invited him to be present at it as a representative of Her Majesty’s Government. He was not present, however, until the interview had been nearly concluded.

The purport of O’Mahoney’s statements was, in brief, as follows:

He was discharged from the United States Navy in the fall of 1865, and had lost his discharge papers. Subsequent to his discharge he remained in the United States, living in Kansas, Missouri, and the Mississippi Valley until 1874, when he returned to Ireland. During this period, in 1866, he made application to the county court, Caddo Parish, Shreveport, La., for his naturalization papers, basing his application upon his service in the Navy. The papers were not issued; the reason for which failure to issue he did not state.

His return to Ireland in 1874 was occasioned by the “hard times” then prevailing in the United States, and because he had lost money by bank failures as well as failures of contractors for whom he had worked as a subcontractor in the erection of saw-mills. He remained in Ireland two years, and returned again to the United States in 1876, but returned to Ireland soon after. He was married in Ireland in 1875, and in October of that year obtained a license under the local laws to keep a “public house;” i. e.,, as a retailer of liquors, spirits, &c., &c. This house and license his wife has kept and used at Ballydehob ever since, and still keeps and enjoys the same. In 1879 he returned to the United States and went to Lockport, N. Y., and from thence to Buffalo.

In February, 1880, he applied for and obtained naturalization papers in Lockport, a copy of the certificate of which was forwarded inclosed in my dispatch to you under date of June 15 instant.

In January, 1881, he returned to Ireland, for the purpose, as he most emphatically declared, of disposing of his property in Ballydehob and going with his family back to Lockport, where, he says, he now owns a small property. After his last arrival at Ballydehob he took part in the then prevailing political agitation, and being a ratepayer (tax-payer and voter), was urged by his neighbors to stand as a candidate for poor law guardian. He objected to this, but was finally duly nominated, elected, and qualified, after which he entered upon and discharged the duties of his office up to the time of his arrest and incarceration.

He added that he knew the orifice of poor law guardian was one of important trust if not of emolument, and that the discharge of its duties involved the assessment and levy of taxes (striking rates), and the practical administration or execution of the laws of this country.

To the qnestion, “What demand or claim do you wish to prefer or ask of the United States Government?” he answered, “I demand and claim protection the same as the British Government gave to its subjects in New York during the draft riots in the late war. I am an American citizen, and want to get out of this country. I want a fair trial; I want justice and a speedy trial, and I want the protection of the American Government to secure these things to me.”

To the further question, “Suppose the British Government were to permit your release from prison upon condition of your immediate return to the United States, would you accept such terms?” he replied. “I cannot promise that, for it would take a year to close up my affairs here and sell out my property; but I do not want to stay in this country, and am willing and anxious to leave it as soon as I can.”

O’Mahoney further explained that the foregoing statement of dates or years may not be technically correct, and that he gave it from memory, to the best of his recollection and belief.

[Page 217]

In conclusion he repeated his request for the immediate interference of the United States authorities in his behalf.

To conclude the record in O’Mahoney’s case it is necessary to state that he stands committed under the so-called “coercion act” as a suspect, on suspicion of having been implicated in an assault with fire-arms, with intent to kill, upon Mr. George Henry Swanton, justice of the peace, Gortnagrough, Ballydehob.

I have to add that before I left the prison I was informed that two or more prisoners were anxious to see me for the purpose of preferring claims similar to those of O’Mahoney’s. In response to this information, I declared my willingness to take cognizance of their cases upon proper application in due form.

As I have received no instructions up to date in O’Mahoney’s case from the legation or other source, I shall, unless otherwise directed, permit the matter to drop here.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

E. P. BROOKS,
Consul, &c.
[Inclosure 24 in No. 331.]

Mr. O’Mahoney to Mr. Lowell.

Dear Sir: As I am a suspect here for some time, I forwarded my papers of citizenship about the 18th of June to Ed. P. Brooks, United States consul at Queenstown, and demanded protection, and he said he would attend to it; and in a note from a friend from Queenstown to-day he (Mr. Brooks) requested that I should write to the ministry at St. James in reference to my application for protection. I arrived in this country about the last of January for the express purpose of collecting a lot of money due to me here, and was fully intended to go to the States this fall in order to get into the apple trade. I certainly say that during my time at home previous to my arrest I was never guilty of any offense punishable by law, and I respectfully ask if I cannot be protected in this country long enough to collect my debts, and by obeying the laws, such as I always have, to allow me as many days as possible in preparing to depart for America; and although it is very hard on me to go without collecting my debts, yet I shall receive it as an everlasting favor done me under the circumstances. An early reply will much oblige,

Yours, respectfully,

HENRY O’MAHONEY.

P. S.—The crime that I am suspected with I can furnish plenty of evidence that I had no connection with.

H. O’M.
[Inclosure 25 in No. 331.]

Mr. Lowell to Mr. O’Mahoney.

Sir: I have your letter of the 15th instant. I am waiting instructions from home before taking action in such cases as yours.

It is my opinion, however, and in this I shall probably be sustained by the Department of State, that the fact of being an American citizen cannot of itself operate to exempt any one from the penalties of a law which he had violated, and that it will be necessary to show that some exceptional injustice had been practiced in any particular case before the American minister can be called upon to intervene.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

J. R. LOWELL.
[Inclosure 26 in No. 331.]

Mr. Brooks to Mr. Lowell.

Sir: I have recently had several personal applications from friends of Mr. Henry O’Mahoney (political prisoner now in Her Majesty’s jail at Limerick, and claiming to [Page 218] be an American citizen) for information regarding the result of his application through me for your intervention in his behalf. To these inquiries I have replied, promising to communicate with you again.

O’Mahoney himself has written to me, giving a brief supplementary statement, in effect that he is desirous of going back to America for the purpose of engaging in the exportation of apples and other fruits to this country.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

E. P. BROOKS,
Consul, &c.
[Inclosure 27 in No. 331.]

Mr. O’Mahoney to Mr. Lowell.

Dear Sir: I quite agree with you when you state that an American citizen should not be exempt from the penalties of a law which he violates and that it would be necessary to show that some injustice had been practiced before your intervention, and I respectfully submit the following facts for your kind consideration:

1st.
That I am arrested charged with a crime.
2d.
That I am detained in prison without a shadow of evidence against me.
3d.
That I am debarred of the right of proving my innocence in connection with the crime that I am suspected of. Therefore all the favors I ask (and I think I should claim it as a right) from the United States Government, through you, is a trial, in order that I may show that there is exceptional injustice practiced in my case. Therefore I respectfully ask your intervention to grant me a trial, and by so doing I will not only be able to prove myself innocent of the charge that I am accused of, but of any other crime punishable by law, except being a member of the Land League, an organization which the prime minister himself declared to be perfectly constitutional.

An early reply will oblige yours, respectfully,

HENRY O’MAHONEY.

P. S.—Kindly let me know if you can demand an impartial trial for me; if not, I shall ask for no other favors.

H. O’M.
[Inclosure 28 in No. 331.]

Mr. Daly to Mr. Tinsley, consular agent at Limerick.

Sir: I beg to inform you that I, James F. Daly, a citizen of the United States, have been arrested by the lord lieutenant’s warrant and detained here at his will on a charge which “I challenge him to prove against me.” Will you be so kind as to come and see me as quickly as possible, and forward my naturalization papers to the American minister to demand for me a trial or speedy release.

I beg to remain, yours, respectfully,

JAMES F. DALY.
[Inclosure 29 in No. 331.]

Mr. Tinsley to Mr. Barrows.

Sir: I received the inclosed letter this morning and soon after called upon the writer at the county jail. I had an interview with him, and he requested me to forward his certificate of naturalization as an American citizen to the United States minister at London, and to request respectfully his excellency’s interference in his behalf.

I send inclosed his letter and certificate that you may take such action in the matter as you may deem proper.

I have, &c.,

JOHN R. TINSLEY,
Consular Agent.
[Page 219]
[Inclosure 30 in No. 331.]

Mr. Barrows to Mr. Lowell.

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a letter from United States Consular Agent Tinsley, of Limerick, relating to the case of James F. Daly, recently arrested under the coercion act, and now confined in Limerick jail.

I inclose Daly’s naturalization papers and his letter to Mr. Tinsley, and respectfully ask for instructions.

I have, &c.,

B. H. BARROWS.
[Inclosure 31 in No. 331.]

Mr. Hoppin to Mr. Barrows.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 31st ultimo, addressed to the minister of the United States, covering another from J. R. Tinsley, esq., United States consular agent at Limerick, which inclosed a communication from Mr. James F. Daly, and his certificate of naturalization as a citizen of the United States.

It appears that Mr. Daly has been arrested under the so-called “coercion act,” and is now detained at Limerick jail. He desires that the minister should demand for him a trial or speedy release, and you ask for instructions in this matter.

Mr. Lowell went to the continent upon a leave of absence more than three weeks since and will not return until early in December.

In a communication which was addressed to you on the 1st of September last, in relation to the case of Mr. Walsh, Mr. Lowell stated the reasons why, in his opinion, he should not intervene on behalf of American citizens arrested under the coercion act, unless under extraordinary and exceptional circumstances. I have good grounds to believe that these reasons are not disapproved of by the Department of State.

I fully agree with Mr. Lowell in this view of our diplomatic duties. If no distinction has been made to the disadvantage of the prisoner on the ground of his nationality, and if British subjects are being imprisoned for no more illegal acts than those which he has committed, it seems that, however arbitrary and despotic we may consider the coercion act to be, we are nevertheless obliged to submit in silence to the action taken under it by the authorities, even against our own fellow-citizens.

So long ago as the year 1848, when certain citizens of the United States were arrested and confined in Newgate prison, Dublin, under the law suspending the habeas corpus, Mr. Buchanan in his instructions to Mr. Bancroft said, “If this law, arbitrary and despotic as it is, had been carried into execution in the same impartial manner against the citizens and subjects of all foreign nations this government might have submitted in silence.” It was the fact that a distinction was made to the disadvantage of American citizens that was the ground of intervention in that case.

It is useless for us to apply to Her Majesty’s Government for a statement of the dates, places, and other details of the specific acts alleged to have been committed by Mr. Daly, upon which the warrant for his arrest was issued. We have already asked for similar information on other occasions, and have been told that Her Majesty’s Government consider that no distinction can be made in these circumstances between foreigners and British subjects, and that in the case of the latter the only information given is that contained in the warrant. We have, therefore, to look elsewhere for such information.

If Mr. Daly can show satisfactorily that the acts for which he has been imprisoned are of less gravity and importance than those for which any British subjects have been arrested; that he has been attending exclusively to his private affairs in Ireland, without taking part in political meetings or party disturbances, and that his incarceration is due to mistake and misapprehension, I shall take great pleasure in bringing his case to the attention of Her Majesty’s Government and asking for his speedy release.

I herewith return Mr. Tinsley’s and Mr. Daly’s letters, and the latter’s naturalization certificate.

I am, sir. &c.,

W. J. HOPPIN,
Charge d’Affaires ad interim.
[Page 220]
[Inclosure 32 in No. 331.]

Mr. Barrows to Mr. Lowell.

Sir: On the 23d instant James White applied to me by letter for protection as an American citizen, he having been arrested under the coercion act and confined in Naas jail. I wrote White on the 25th, asking him to produce proof that he was an American citizen, and this morning received his naturalization paper, which I have now the honor to transmit, together with two letters written me by White.

Awaiting your instructions,

I have, &c.,

B. H. BARROWS,
Consul.
[Inclosure 33 in No. 831.]

Mr. Barrows to Mr. Lowell.

Sir: I have the honor to forward a letter from Mr. Philip O’Sullivan, dated Naas prison, 30th January, 1882, with certificate of naturalization referred to therein, claiming protection from the United States Government, and respectfully request I may be favored with instructions in the matter.

I have, &c.,

B. H. BARROWS,
Consul
[Inclosure 34 in No. 331.]

Mr. White to Mr. Barrows.

Sir: I hereby beg to inform you that I am at present undergoing imprisonment in the above-named jail, under a warrant of the lord lieutenant, issued by virtue of the powers vested in him by the act for the better protection of person and property in Ireland, commonly known as the coercion act.

I am a fully naturalized citizen of the United States, and now claim the protection of my government. It is not pretended by the authorities that I have violated the laws of this country. No attempt has been made to prove such a violation against me. I am denied the right of a trial, although fully conscious of my innocence. I can hardly believe that the government of the country in which I resided for fifteen years will permit its citizens to be cast into prison by the arbitrary will of an English official in defiance of all constitutional and international rights, and, therefore, claim as my right that you shall interfere to protect my interest.

I am, sir, yours, very truly,

JAMES L. WHITE.
[Inclosure 35 in No. 331.]

Mr. White to Mr. Barrows.

Sir: As requested by yours of the 25th instant, I herewith forward certificate of naturalization, which I have just received from my friends.

I believe that, according to the theory even of British law, I am illegally detained here, as the warrant under which I was arrested was issued for John White, whereas my name is James White, and notwithstanding I protested at the time I was arrested tinder it and since detained.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

JAMES L. WHITE.
[Page 221]
[Inclosure 36 in No. 331.]

Mr. O’Sullivan to Mr. Barrows.

Sir: I beg to inform you that I am a fully and duly naturalized citizen of the United States; in testimony whereof, please find herewith my final certificate of naturalization.

I am now and have been for the last twelve weeks confined in the above-named prison, convicted of no crime, guilty of none, not even charged with any offense against English law. I am merely, in the words of the warrant under which I was arrested, “reasonably suspected of being guilty.” My warrant was issued “by his excellency’s command,” and signed “W. E. Foster, chief secretary to the lord lieutenant.”

I now, sir, through you, claim with confidence the protection of my government, asking that you would demand that I be either at once sent to trial or immediately released from my imprisonment.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient and faithful servant,

PHILIP O’SULLIVAN.

P. S.—Kindly return my naturalization certificate when you have no further use of it.

P. O’S.
[Inclosure 37 in No. 331.]

Mr. Lowell to Mr. Barrows.

Sir: I have your letter of the 30th ultimo in relation to the case of Mr. James White, who is confined in Naas jail under the so-called “coercion act,” and inclosing his certificate of naturalization and two letters written by him to you on the 23d and 28th of January last.

I have also your letter of the 31st of January in relation to the case of Mr. Philip O’Sullivan, who is confined in the same prison under the same act, and inclosing his certificate of naturalization and a letter from him to yourself, dated on the 30th ultimo.

Both of these gentlemen claim protection on the ground of being citizens of the United States, and you ask me for instructions in their cases.

In a communication which I addressed to you on the 1st of September last, in relation to the case of Mr. Joseph B. Walsh, I stated my opinion to be that the fact of being an American citizen confers upon a person no immunity from arrest and imprisonment under the “coercion act,” and that the only occasions on which I could properly intervene in behalf of such persons would be:

  • First. Where such person, being in Ireland in the prosecution of his lawful private business, and taking no part in political meetings or partisan disturbances, has been arrested by obvious mistake; and
  • Secondly. Where a distinction has been made to the disadvantage of the prisoner on the ground of his American nationality.

If British subjects are being arrested for no more illegal acts than those which the prisoner is charged with having committed, or of the intention to commit which he is justly suspected, it seems that, however arbitrary and despotic we may consider the “coercion act” to be, we are, nevertheless, bound to submit in silence to the action taken under it by the authorities even against our own fellow-citizens.

It should be observed that this act is a law of the British Parliament, the legitimate source and final arbiter of all law in these realms, and that, as it would be manifestly futile to ask the government here to make an exception on behalf of an American who had brought himself within the provisions of any law thus sanctioned, so it would be manifestly unbecoming in a diplomatic representative, unless by express direction of his superiors, to enter upon an argument with the government to which he is accredited as to the policy of such a law or the necessarily arbitrary nature of its enforcement.

I must repeat, therefore, in the cases of Messrs. White and O’Sullivan, the substance of what I wrote to you in the case of Mr. Walsh, that unless these gentlemen can produce to me satisfactory proof that they have been arrested under an evident mistake of the facts, or have been treated with exceptional severity on account of their being American citizens, I must decline to intervene on their behalf.

I herewith return their certificates of naturalization and the accompanying letters.

I am, sir, &c.,

J. R. LOWELL.
[Page 222]
[Inclosure 38 in No. 331.]

Mr. Dawson to Consul-General Merritt.

Sir: Mr. I. Hart, of Carrigtwohill, near Queenstown, called on me to-day and stated as follows:

His brother, Michael Hart, is at present under arrest in Clonmel jail under the inclosed warrant. He is a naturalized citizen of the United States, and has sent me his certificate of naturalization for inspection.

I. Hart is anxious to have his brother released, and asked for my advice. I recommended him to get his brother to write to the chief secretary, Dublin Castle, stating that he is a citizen of the United States, and that if freed from arrest that he will conduct himself properly and peaceably while in this country and will conform to its laws. Hart thought it advisable to notify the nearest consul of his being in jail, in consequence of having seen a paragraph in a newspaper that the President of the United States had been requested to ascertain the number of Americans under arrest in Ireland.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

GEO. B. DAWSON,
Vice-Consul
[Inclosure 39 in No. 331]

Mr. Lowell to Consul-General Merritt.

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 1st of February instant, covering two communications from B. H. Barrows, esq., the United States consul at Dublin, addressed to me, and also a letter to yourself from G. B. Dawson, esq., the vice-consul at Queenstown, the letter in relation to the case of Michael Hart, who is imprisoned in Clonmel jail under a warrant which accompanied Mr. Dawson’s letter.

I herewith inclose my reply to Mr. Barrows’s letters, with the request that you will be kind enough to transmit it to that gentleman.

In regard to Mr. Hart’s case neither he nor the vice-consul asks for any intervention by me on his behalf. They address you in order that the fact of Mr. Hart’s being an American under arrest in Ireland may be communicated to the Government of the United States. In case I shall be directed to send a list of such persons I shall not fail to include Mr. Hart’s name.

I consider the advice given to him by Mr. Dawson most just and proper.

I herewith return Mr. Dawson’s letter with the warrant for Hart’s arrest.

I am, sir, &c.,

J. R. LOWELL.
[Inclosure 40 in No. 331.]

Mr. Dawson to Consul-General Merritt.

Sir: I duly received your favor of 4th instant, informing me that you had sent my letter with copy of warrant in reference to Mr. Michael Hart to his excellency the United States minister at London.

I beg to inclose a note received from Michael Hart this morning. I also send his certificate of citizenship.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

GEORGE B. DAWSON,
Deputy and Vice-Consul
[Page 223]
[Inclosure 41 in No. 331.]

Mr. Lowell to Consul-General Merritt.

Sir: I have to acknowledge the reception of your letter of the 8th instant, in relation to the case of Michael Hart, now imprisoned in Clonmel jail, and its inclosures, viz, a letter from Mr. Dawson, United States vice-consul at Queenstown; one from Mr. Hart to Mr. Dawson, and Mr. Hart’s certificate of naturalization.

Mr. Hart has been arrested under the so-called “coercion act,” and he appears to think that the fact of his being an American citizen entitles him to immediate release.

This is not, however, my opinion. The principles upon which I have based my action in all cases of applications like that of Mr. Hart’s are those upon which our government has acted and in case of need would act again.

I think it important that all such persons should be made to understand distinctly that they cannot be Irishmen and Americans at the same time, as they seem to suppose, and that they are subject to the operation of the laws of the country in which they choose to live.

The vice-consul at Queenstown should inform himself of the facts in Mr. Hart’s case, and ascertain whether there be any peculiar hardship in it which would make it an exception, calling for immediate and energetic protest. In that case it would be necessary for him to send me a full statement of the case, with whatever confirmatory or illustrative evidence it is possible to obtain. But if his case is like that of the ordinary “suspects,” I see no reason why I should intervene.

I return Mr. Hart’s and Mr. Dawson’s letters, and Mr. Hart’s certificate of naturalization.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

J. R. LOWELL.
[Inclosure 42 in No. 331.]

Mr. Lowell to Mr. Dawson.

Sir: You will have received from Mr. Merritt a copy of my letter to him upon the subject of Mr. Michael Hart’s imprisonment in Clonmel jail. Since the date of that letter I have instructions in relation to this case which make it desirable that I should ascertain the particular facts and circumstances which led to his arrest. Will you, therefore, be kind enough to inquire and report to me what you can learn about this matter? Has Hart been conspicuous in any way in using his influence to prevent the payment of rent? What has he done that he should be selected for arrest? It is hardly possible that it was a purely arbitrary proceeding. It is unnecessary for me to suggest that these inquiries should be conducted with all proper discretion.

I am, sir, &c.,

J. R. LOWELL.
[Inclosure 43 in No. 331.]

Mr. Dawson to Mr. Lowell.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your dispatch dated February 14.

I proceeded this morning by car to Carrigtwohill, which is distant from here about six miles, and called on the head constable at the police station. He said that it would be contrary to rules to give me any information as to the cause of Michael Hart’s arrest, and advised me to see the sub-inspector of police at Middleton, four miles beyond Carrigtwohill. I then drove to Middleton and had an interview with Mr. Creagh, sub-inspector of the district. I told him my object in calling was to get some information about Michael Hart, who was arrested by him at Ballintubber, near Carrigtwohill; that Hart had applied to me for advice and protection, and in consequence I wished to know the cause of his arrest. Mr. Creagh said it was not his duty to give any information on such a subject. I replied that I did not want or expect him to put me in possession of any facts that would be improper or injudicious to give, but it was my duty when a citizen of the United States applies for advice or protection to inquire [Page 224] fully into the circumstances. I then mentioned that I had already advised Mr. Hart to give an undertaking to conduct himself in conformity with the laws if released. I asked Mr. Creagh if Hart had taken a prominent part at land-league meetings, or if he had been inciting people not to pay rents. I also mentioned that I had received from Mr. Hart a copy of the warrant under which he was arrested, also his certificate of citizenship, and had sent both to you, and that it was your desire to be made aware, as far as possible, of the actual causes which led to Hart’s arrest.

He then told me that Hart had been the cause of much trouble in the neighborhood of Ballintubber by inciting people to withhold rents, and that he seemed to be under the impression, because of his being an American citizen, that he might advise and incite his neighbors to disobey the laws of this country. He further said that Hart would not have been arrested unless sufficient proof had been given that he was guilty of the charges specified in the warrant.

I then asked if he thought the authorities would grant Hart’s release provided he would give the undertaking which I have previously mentioned. He replied that the district is now quiet and the farmers are paying their rents, and he fears that Hart’s return may again cause trouble, but if he would give a proper undertaking for his good conduct, or return to the United States, that the police authorities would not put any impediment in the way of his release.

Mr. Creagh considers Hart to be a worthless, troublesome, and dangerous person. He is also of opinion that Hart has been concerned in other matters of perhaps even a more serious nature than that for which he is now imprisoned.

I called upon the parish priest of Carrigtwohill, but he was unable to give me any further information.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

GEO. B. DAWSON,
Deputy and Vice-Consul.
[Inclosure 44 in No. 331.]

Mr. Datvson to Mr. Lowell.

Sir: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a letter received to-day from Mr. Michael Hart. I also send copy of a second letter, which, I presume, is intended as a supplement to the first.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

GEO. B. DAWSON,
Deputy and Vice-Consul.
[Inclosure 45 in No. 331.]

Mr. Hart to Mr. Dawson.

Sir: I received your letter of the 14th instant, together with my certificate and copy of letter for his excellency, and you want to know is there any special or peculiar hardship in my case. Well, I maintain that my conduct was always peaceable and in accordance with the laws of the country, and I think no greater hardship could be done to me than to ram me into prison without showing cause for same. Because a certain man in my neighborhood did not get as much rent-money as formerly, he satisfies himself by taking my liberty away and sending me to goal.

I think Mr. Lowell mistakes when he says I can’t be an Irishman and: American at the same time. I never pretended to be an American, and I am not ashamed to be born in Ireland. I do think the main cause of the majority of suspects is for taking part or being members of an association called the Land League, which was proclaimed illegal here some time ago, and I want Mr. Lowell distinctly to understand that I never became a member of that assiociation, neither did I ever contribute one penny towards it, and until it is proved in some shape or form that I at any time did do any act contrary to the law of the country I am living in, I will maintain that a greater injustice was never done to any man.

If Mr. Lowell thinks he has no right to intervene in my case he is at his own option to do so. As far as my humble opinion is, the charge laid against me in warrant is not a charge punishable by the law of his country. When the constitution was suspended here in Ireland, I was not surprised to get an order from Dublin Castle, for I knew perfectly well some of the landlord class in this country have a terrible hatred towards America, or any one who had ever been there, and I had no alternative but to [Page 225] sacrifice my expenditure and business, and clear out to America or be at their mercy, and I choose the latter rather than show cowardice, and am prepared to sacrifice my prospects and health in preference to my principles. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

MICHAEL HART.
[Inclosure 46 in No. 331.]

Mr. Hart to Mr. Dawson.

Sir: I think it useless for you to be forwarding any statement of mine. It’s hardship enough to be imprisoned without showing cause for same, and not be going into detail about special hardship. In my estimation the United States minister do think we are after committing some great breach of the law, and I really think if the truth of his mind was known he have very little sympathy for me or any one like me. However, I leave the matter in your hands and to your own discretion.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

MICHAEL HART.
[Inclosure 47 in No. 331.]

Mr. Dawson to Mr. Lowell.

Sir: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a letter received to-day from Mr. Michael Hart.

On Sunday last Mr. Hart, of Carrigtohill, brother of Michael Hart, called on me. I Informed him of the fact of my having had an interview with the chief of police at Mi die ton, and that I was under the impression his brother would be released provided he would sign the undertaking which I advised him to offer.

From what I could gather, Michael Hart is not disposed to sign any such undertaking. He evidently values the opinions of his friends in this country more than his liberty, and he also “thinks it would be cowardly to sign any pledge for his future conduct or to accept release, except unconditionally.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

G. B. DAWSON,
Deputy and Vice-Consul.
[Inclosure 48 in No. 331.]

Mr. Hart to Mr. Dawson.

Sir: In a letter from my brother he tells me you don’t understand my letter or know what I am going to do. If I have said in my letter to you that I was not an American, and did not mean to be one, I was referring to the copy of his excellency’s, where he said he wanted me to understand that I could not be an Irishman and an American at the same time, and perhaps that is how I said I did not mean or pretend to be an American, and my motive in making that remark was I never meant to be an American born, or went under the pretense of being one, and that I was not ashamed to be born in Ireland. But, though being a foreign-born citizen of the United States, I think I have a right to claim all the rights and protection while in a foreign country which is accorded to native-born citizens; and as to informing you what I was going to do I don’t know that myself. If my health will permit, when released from here, my stay will be very short in this country, and I think it’s hardship enough to be put behind bar and halt in an English prison when pursuing my daily avocations in a law-abiding manner, without showing further causes of hardship.

I return you my sincere thanks for the interest you are taking and the trouble you have given yourself in my case.

Your obedient servant,

MICHAEL HART.
[Page 226]
[Inclosure 49 in No. 331.]

Mr. Lowell to Mr. Barrows.

Sir: The principles upon which I have based my action in all cases of applications to me from naturalized citizens now imprisoned in Ireland under the coercion act are those upon which our government has acted, and in case of need would act again. I think it important that all such persons should be made to understand distinctly that they cannot be Irishmen and Americans at the same time, as they now seem to suppose, and that they are subject to the operation of the laws of the country in which they choose to live.

You should inform yourself of the facts in each case as it arises, and ascertain whether there be any peculiar hardship in it which would make it an exception calling for immediate and energetic protest. In that event it would, of course, be necessary to send me a full statement of the case, with whatever confirmatory or illustrative evidence it was possible to obtain. In all other cases, it would be enough if you report to me names, dates, and charges in each case, and guide yourself in your answer to applications for protection by the instructions already received from this legation, being careful always not to vary from the language therein employed.

I am, sir, &c.,

J. R. LOWELL.
[Inclosure 50 in No. 331.]

Mr. Lowell to Lord Granville.

My Lord: I have the honor to acquaint you that I received yesterday from Mr. Frelinghuysen a cable dispatch, of which the following is a translation:

“Referring to the cases of O’Connor, Hart, McSweeney, Walsh, McEnery, and Dalton, American citizens imprisoned in Ireland, say to Lord Granville that, without discussing whether the provisions of the force act can be applied to American citizens, the President hopes that the lord lieutenant of Ireland will be instructed to exercise the powers intrusted to him by the first section, to order early trials in their and all other cases in which Americans may be arrested.”

In transmiting this dispatch to your lordship, I venture to hope that, considering the importance of the matters to which it refers, it may receive the early attention of Her Majesty’s Government.

I have, &c.,

J. R. LOWELL.
[Inclosure 51 in No. 331.]

Lord Granvilte to Mr. Lowell.

Immediate.]

Sir: I have the honor to state to you that I have lost no time in communicating to the proper department of Her Majesty’s Government the letter you have addressed to me this day, communicating a telegram you have received from your government relative to the case of citizens of the United States who have been arrested under tho protection of person and property (Ireland) act, 1881.

In reply, I beg leave to assure you that this matter will receive the immediate attention of Her Majesty’s Government.

I have, &c.,

GRANVILLE.