to Mr. Frelinghuysen.
London, May 3, 1882. (Received May 18.)
Sir: I have the honor to report that since my last dispatch on the subject of the persons claiming to be naturalized citizens of the United [Page 235] States now Imprisoned in Ireland, I bad an interview, by appointment, with Mr. Forster on Friday, 21st April, the results of which I have already communicated in substance by telegram. I assented that he should try the experiment of offering their release to all the so-called American suspects on condition of their going back within a reasonable time to the country they claim to have adopted, but I distinctly informed him that I was not authorized by my government to accept anything less than unconditional liberation, On my part I promised to have the prisoners informed, on my own responsibility alone, that “in case they should be released” forty pounds sterling should be at the disposal of each to pay his passage across the Atlantic. I accordingly instructed Messrs. Barrows and Wood, consuls respectively at Dublin and at Belfast; and Mr. Tinsly, consular agent at Limerick, to visit the prisoners and make known to them the offer. Two of them, McInerny and Slattery, were allowed three days to consider whether they would accept or not; the others, O’Mahoney, Gannon, and McSweeney, refused to be liberated on any terms whatever. Under whose advice or orders they were acting is a matter of very probable conjecture.
Meanwhile it is nearly certain that all the suspects, except those charged with crimes of violence, will be very shortly set at liberty, thus rendering nugatory the most effective argument in favor of disorder and resistance to the law. * * *
I inclose a copy of the correspondence.
I have, &c.,