Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/154

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more frank and daring was his criticism of some of his countrymen in the matter of the Orange riots in New York a month later.

On the 12th of July, the Orangemen of that city held a picnic, and paraded the streets with insulting flags and music, to which they added, on entering the Irish quarter, delicate shouts of, "To hell with the Pope," "Croppies lie down," etc. The natural, if not justifiable, consequence ensued; and some three or four men were killed and several others wounded. It is almost impossible for an American to understand the bitter anger with which Irish Catholics resent these taunts from the party of Protestant ascendency, or the tragic memories of two hundred years of persecution which they evoke. O'Reilly was born on the banks of the Boyne, ill-fated scene of Irish disaster; he had suffered every insult, torture, brutality, that his enemies could inflict, as punishment for the crime of patriotism. If any man would have been justified in feeling the bitterness of party spirit to the uttermost, it would have been he.

Instead of extenuating or defending the action of those Irish Catholics, who had resented the insults of the Orangemen, he looked upon the whole affair with the eyes of a patriot, ashamed of the disgrace which his countrymen of either class had brought upon their name. In the Pilot of July 23, he wrote this strong and scathing rebuke:

Events have at intervals occurred in the history of this country which have justly called up a blush of shame on the faces of patriotic Irishmen; but we doubt if they ever have received so great a reason for deep humiliation as during the past week. On the 12th of July the "American Protestant Association,"—in other words, the Orange Lodges of New York, had advertised their intention of celebrating the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne. Accordingly on that morning, with colors flying and bands playing, they paraded to the number of 3000, and marched to the scene of their celebration, Elm Park. On the line of march they lost no opportunity of goading to intensity the bitter feelings of their Catholic fellow-countrymen whom they passed. This resulted in a general banding of the laborers of the vicinity, who set upon the Orangemen with sticks and stones, which were answered by