MF – 1866.01.20 – Is the Governor a Fenian – #131 – F12251

Is the Governor a Fenian?

This is a strange question surely, yet such is the question that very religious, pious, moral paper the Intelligencer now gravely discusses under the heading “Strange Intimation.” It says:

“STRANGE INTIMATION! – An esteemed friend in Dorchester – and one who is, we believe, a very staunch supporter of the Hon. Mr. Smith – in a letter recently forwarded to us, adds the following postscript: ‘I don’t think the Governor is a Fenian. The Intelligencer mildly assures its esteemed friend that the Governor is not suspected of Fenianism in this part of the Province:

“What our friend means by this, we can only guess, as he gives no explanation; but it would seem as though some foolish and erroneous reports, or intimations are in existence in Dorchester relative to his Excellency. We can assure our friend that no intimation of the kind, nor a thought that his Excellency favored this desperate and wicked anti-British and anti-Protestant movement, has been made or conceived in this part of the Province.”

But then it admits – perhaps sorrowfully – that the Governor has done very foolish or very wicked things which it insinuates may seem to afford grounds for such a suspicion, and – lying boldly when it speaks of us – it says the FREEMAN has given some provocation for the calumnies, and falsehoods, and all the nonsense about Fenianism in this Province, manufactured and circulated by the Intelligencer and its fellows:

“It is true that some have intimated – whether correctly or not we cannot tell – that his Excellency lent his official dignity and character to his Executive, on the occasion of his speeches in St. Stephen and Woodstock, to compliment the Roman Catholic population of the Province, and to praise and laud their loyalty! while his reference to Protestants was of a very doubtful character. It is also true that Dr. Connolly, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Halifax, has written a letter to his excellency, ‘emphatically to thank him for his speech, and the fearless and outspoken manner in which he had so effectively expressed the bare truth on our {Roman Catholics} behalf; and that this letter was first published in the Evening Globe a semi-Roman Catholic paper and Government organ – by the mutual consent, as the Globe intimated of his Excellency and the Archbishop. That the whole affair has been of a very anti-Protestant character is quite certain, and will have a much greater tendency to stir up class against class, and race against race, than a score of mere newspaper paragraphs or articles. It may be that his Excellency considered the great body of Catholics in this Province worthy of being vindicated from the character naturally attached to them in consequence of the well-known disloyal and Fenian sentiments of their tri-weekly organ, and the annexation proclivities and sympathies of its protégé. But whatever may have induced his Excellency to volunteer this rather questionable defence of Catholic loyalty, coupled with rather dubious intimations relative to some Protestants – whether as a thank-offering on behalf of the Government; a defence from calumny, provoked by the Freeman and Boston Pilot, which circulates largely among Provincial Catholics; or as a tribute of his Excellency’s respect for the position they occupy in opposition to the wishes of the British Government on the subject of Confederation – it is quite certain that no person attaches any other than sincere motives to him, however much they may regret what might be liable to be construed into weakness or partiality.”

And this is the loyal man par excellence, who thus insults the Queen’s representative, using a sham defence of his character for loyalty forsooth to utter calumnies and falsehoods so gross.