“In the Young Ireland disorders of 1848 in Ireland, nine men were captured, tried and convicted of treason against Her Majesty the Queen and were sentenced to death. They were John Mitchell, Morris Lyons, Pat Donohue, Thomas McGee, Charles Duffy, Thomas Meagher, Richard O’Gorman, Terence McManus and Michael Ireland.
Before passing sentence, the Judge asked if there was anything that anyone wished to say? Meagher, speaking for all made the following statement…
“My lord, this is our first offence, but not our last. If you will be easy with us this once, we promise, on our word as gentlemen, to try and do better the next time. And the next time, sure we won’t be fools and get caught”.
Thereupon the indignant Judge sentenced them all to be hanged by the neck until dead, and their bodies drawn and quartered. Passionate protests from all over the world forced Queen Victoria to commute the sentence to transportation for life, to far away wild Tasmania.
In 1874, word reached the astounded Queen Victoria that Sir Charles Duffy who had been elected Prime Minister of Australia, was the same Charles Duffy who had been transported into exile there 25 years before. On the Queen’s demand, the records of the rest of the transported Irishmen were revealed and this is what was discovered.
The Queen’s Record of the Rest of the Transported Irishmen:
- Thomas Francis Meagher: Govenor of Montana
- Terrance McManus: Brigadier General, U.S. Army.
- Patrick Donahue:Brigadier General, U.S. Army.
- Morris Leyne: Attorney General of Australia
- Michael Ireland succeeded him as Attorney General of Australia.
- Richard O’Gorman: Governor General of Newfoundland.
- Thomas D’Archy McGee: Member of Parliament, Montreal, Minister of Agriculture and President of Council Dominion of Canada.
- John Mitchell: Prominent New York Politician. This man was father of John Purroy Mitchell, Mayor of New York at the outbreak of World War I.”