Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/229

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FOUR OF THE FAMILY.

the woods in the direction of the coast. Accompanied by my generous and courageous-hearted friends, I reached the sea-shore on Monday afternoon at a point where a boat was in readiness to receive me. I jumped from my horse, got into the boat, put off to sea, and beat about there for a few days until the ship came up which, thank God, bore me at last to a free and hospitable land. In plain words these are the plain facts of the case, as I have written them here. They were written by one of my friends at the house where we changed horses on our way to the coast. The manuscript containing them was forwarded the next morning to the editor of the leading journal of the colony, and bore the names of my friends, written by their own hands in attestation of the truth. The men who vouched with signatures for the truth of the statement they made, and now repeated, are men of considerable property and highly creditable position in the colony, and no one there would be rash enough to speak a single word derogatory of their honour."

Of the little group of illustrious Irishmen who were exiled to Tasmania forty years ago, there is now but one remaining in the land of the living. Dr. O'Doherty, still hale and vigorous, continues in the practice of his profession at Sydney, and, by the unanimous wish of his Australian countrymen, holds the office of president of their National League. The stern and unbending Smith O'Brien died whilst travelling in Wales; Mitchel returned to his native land after an absence of a quarter of a century, and expired just after having been elected to the House of Commons by the men of Tipperary; he was followed to the unseen world in a few days by his old friend and fellow-sufferer, John Martin; General T. F. Meagher, with conspicuous bravery, led the Irish Brigade through the great American civil war in defence of