Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/178

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CHAPTER VIII.


His Public Life—Editorial Condemnation of Bigotry—He Speaks for the Indian and the Negro—"Songs of the Southern Seas"—Death of Captain Gifford—Poem on the Death of John Mitchell—Controversy with Dr. Brownson—His Poem for the O'Connell Centenary—O'Reilly Becomes Part Owner of the Pilot.


EARLY in February, 1873, the Orangemen of Boston, with the flexible loyalty which has ever distinguished the order, became suddenly and vociferously American, and announced their intention of celebrating Washington's birthday by a parade. Whether they paraded or not is a matter only of small-beer chronicles. O' Reilly, true to his principles of tolerance and conciliation, wrote:

Last year the Orange and Green were twined on the Pilot building, on Franklin Street. Will the Orangemen carry both colors in their precession? Come, now, that's the way to kill bad feeling. Don't let a few sore-headed bigots keep us apart. No matter if we do differ in religious belief: that is no reason why we should be enemies and ready to fly at each other's throat. The best Irishmen in our country's history were North of Ireland Protestants. Twine the flags—they are both Irish. The Orange is the oldest national color. Let us be sensible, friends on both sides, and not carry our island bickerings into the view of America's friendly cities.

He was just as prompt to condemn the introduction of foreign issues into American politics by Catholics as by Protestants.

Announcements had been made in various papers that a convention of a proposed "Irish" party would be held at Cleveland, O., in July of the same year. Quoting these announcements O'Reilly commented:

We do not know the men who have originated the idea, or those who have called this convention; we do not know their purposes, save what we learn from such notices as the above. But we know that, whoever