Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/196

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Fortune in return; only his loyalty and courage had not changed with years. He entered into the plan with zeal, bringing to the council the best attributes of an American sailor, a warm heart and a cool head.

In the Pilot of May 27, 1876, appeared an editorial entitled, "Who are the Irish Political Prisoners?" It answered that, "There are seventeen Irishmen still in prison for the attempted revolution of '66 and '67. The leaders and organizers of that movement have been long at liberty, pardoned by the British Government. The men still confined were not leaders in the revolutionary movement, and the cruelty of their imprisonment was all the more inhuman when their subordinate position was considered. Thirteen of the seventeen prisoners were soldiers in the English army, and in a few months these men will have completed their tenth year in prison. The other four, Michael Davitt, John Wilson, Edward O'Meagher Condon, and Patrick Meledy, were civilians.

"Of the thirteen soldiers, ten were privates, one a corporal, and two color-sergeants. Five or six other soldiers were condemned but are now free—some by pardon, one by escape from Western Australia, and one by the hand of the great emancipator Death." The article goes on to say that among these soldiers were four especially distinguished. Color- Sergeant Charles Heapy McCarthy, a brave soldier who had served for thirteen years, and wore two medals for bravery in the Indian mutiny; Color-Sergeant Darragh, who was on the rolls for a commission for brave service during the Chinese war, and was a Protestant and an Orangeman; Corporal Thomas Chambers, confined in England, and Private James Wilson, in Western Australia, intellectually the best men of the military prisoners. Patrick Keating, of the Fifth Dragoons, had died in Western Australia.

One hundred and forty members of Parliament, including Mr. Bright, Mr. Plimsoll, Mr. Mundella, Mr. Pawcett, and many others of the ablest men of the House, presented a petition for the pardon of these men on the occasion of