Fenian Raids


Fenian Raids
   The Fenian Brotherhood is said to have been formed about 1858 in Ireland and the United States, the object being to liberate Ireland from its connection with England, and establish a republic. A history of the movement in Ireland will be found in McCarthy's History of our Own Times, and in O'Leary's Recollections of Fenianism. Early in 1866 the American branch of the Brotherhood planned an invasion of Canada. The Canadian militia was called out, but the invasion was postponed. In April, the New Brunswick border was threatened, and troops marched to the defence of St. Andrews and St. Stephen. The Fenians thought better of it. Late in May another party, under one O'Neil, crossed from Buffalo to Fort Erie and advanced to Ridgeway, where they were driven back. In 1870 the same O'Neil led his followers into Quebec, but was again repulsed. In 1871 he made a similar attempt in the West, but a detachment of United States troops from Fort Pembina followed, arrested him, and dispersed his followers. An aftermath of the earlier Fenian Raids was the murder of Thomas D'Arcy McGee (q.v.) in Ottawa, 1868.
   Index: Md Claims for damages, 166-167; claims withdrawn, 175-177; irritation in Canada, 176; Imperial government assumes responsibility for their settlement, 177; gives Imperial guarantee of loan for public works and defence in Canada, 178, 196. T Influence on Confederation, 98; history of, 99, 105-107; referred to in address in Assembly, 102. BL Feared by Metcalfe in 1843, 186. B Threatened in 1866--influences New Brunswick electorate towards Confederation, 188. C As an argument for retaining British troops in Canada, 92; Cartier's speech on, in House, 1872, 110.
   Bib.: Somerville, Narrative of the Fenian Invasion of Canada; Campbell, The Fenian Invasions of Canada of 1866 and 1870; Dent, Last Forty Years; Correspondence relating to the Fenian Invasion, Ottawa, 1869; Trials of the Fenian Prisoners at Toronto Who Were Captured at Fort Erie, C. W., in June, 1866, ed. by George R. Gregg, and E. P. Roden; McMicken, Fenian Raid on Manitoba(Manitoba Hist. and Sc. Society, 1888); Hannay, History of New Brunswick; Macdonald, Troublous Times in Canada; Denison, Soldiering in Canada and The Fenian Raid on Fort Erie.

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