MF – 1866.05.19 – Fenians – Campobello – #148 – F12251
Fenians! Fenians!! With the Anti-Responsible Government party now it is all Fenians and Fenianism. You look in vain in their papers for any defence of the Governor, or of the men who are responsible for the Governor’s conduct – if Responsible Government is not dead, – or for any argument in favour of Confederation on any terms. Al these they have abandoned. Beaten completely in argument, they try it no longer, but fill their columns with abuse of Mr. Smith, whose pure patriotism and generous, self-sacrificing conduct are so hateful to them, and of Mr. Anglin, whom they would represent as a monster, and of other persons whom they regard as obstacles in the way of their fell designs against the liberties and rights of the people. These they endeavour to crush under a mountain of lies and misrepresentations, and beside this you get nothing but Fenianism. They seem to imagine that the people of this Province will not only do their duty and repel and punish any attempt at invasion, should it be made; but that they can be persuaded to destroy its very existence by their own hands, and surrender all their rights and liberties by their own act, in order to prove how much they abhor Fenianism, by doing precisely what the Fenians themselves are said to wish and work for.
The Globe of Tuesday evening, reviewing a manifesto published by Col. O’Mahony in defence of his conduct, shows from it that the late movement on our frontier was entirely the work of Mr. Killian, the quondam partner of Mr. D’Arcy M’Gee. The Globe concludes: –
“If the object of Mr. Killian’s expedition was to assist Confederation, he worked it up admirably, and it was not a failure. His speeches on the border, and his presence there, have been made capital of to a great extent by the Confederation party.
“The most remarkable thing in the whole affair is this. O’Mahoney in his document begins thus (we quote from the Journal’s reprint): “ ‘ During the session which commenced on the 17th of March last, a joint meeting, composed of the C. C. and the chiefs of the bureaus, an expedition to Campobello was proposed by B. Doran Killian, and warmly advocated by Mr. P. A. Sinnett * * * The Majority of the Central Council and myself were opposed to the raids made upon Campobello as an isolated movement, though in favor of it as a movement co-operative with a descent upon Ireland and the launching of privateers. It was, also, the unanimous opinion of those present that no movement should be made until after the arrival of James Stephens, then and still daily expected on these shores. General Wm. C. Halpin, who had recently landed from Ireland, most forcibly insisted upon this point. So did Messrs. Rogers, Kavanagh, Col. Downing, and Captains Tobin and McCafferty. A resolution to this effect was actually passed before the Council adjourned.
“Yet on the 10th March, just one week before the Central Council met, and before the attack on Campobello was proposed to that Council, the editor of the Colonial Presbyterian announced in his paper that a Fenian attack was contemplated on that Island, and he has since stated that the information came from the British Consul at New York or the British Minister at Washington, or both. On the 16th March the day before the Council met, and before an attack on Campobello was agreed to, by that body, the Governor of New Brunswick, also acting on [advices] said to be received from persons in authority, asked and received from the Legislature the whole revenues of the Province for defence purposes, and he had, it was understood, previously made some communication to his Council on the same subject.
“How is it then that between the 10th and 17th of March, when the idea of attacking Campobello had not been broached by the [Fenians leaders] and when they had not discussed it, or agreed to it, and when they might never agree to it, – how is it, we ask, that the informants of the editor of the Colonial Presbyterian and of the Lieutenant Governor were in possession of the knowledge that the attack was to be made? Why was it that after the Central Council had agreed to make the attack, but decided [to] put it off until the arrival of James Stephens, that the mysterious somebody (who can be no other than Mr. Killian) called out the ‘fighting material and precipitated the whole thing, determined that it should come off according to previous agreement?
“We should like to, be enlightened on these points!”
The Journal makes no attempt to shed the necessary light.