Category Archives: Fenian Flag

Fenian Head Centre James Stephens Arrives in New York – May 1866. Both Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper and Harper’s Weekly depict this event in their publications.

Fenian Head Centre James Stephens arrived in the US in May 1866. He had been on the run from his English prison, then a journey to France. Stephens came to the United States to help settle the differences and attempt to unite the O’Mahony and Roberts factions as well as raise money for a upcoming raising.

It’s interesting to compare how competing illustrated newspapers from New York covered the same story and included artist sketches for their readers as well as article’s of the event.

The first illustration is from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, May 26th edition of Stephens’ New York City arrival on May 10th, 1866. The next two sketches are of the same event by both Frank Leslie and Harper’s Weekly at the Fenian gathering at Jones’s Wood on May 15th 1866. Both of these newspapers were ironically published on June 2nd 1866, the same day the Robert’s Wing of the Fenian Brotherhood invaded Canada West and the Battle of Ridgeway.

At this Jones’s Wood rally, there was an estimated 10,000 Irish who turned out to listen to national speeches for action. Along with these speeches also came copious amounts of drinks being sold, which helped lubricate the hands to dig into the pockets for donations and purchases of the newly issued Fenian Bonds to fund the Fenian Republic cause.

The Robert's $10 Fenian Bond of 1866.

What ever happened to the Fenian Arms taken aboard the USS Michigan after the Fenian Raids?

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The arms and Fenian flag turned over by US Authorities to the Fenians in Buffalo.

The Dec 5th, 1866 edition of the Buffalo Commercial Newspaper details the turn over of the Fenian arms and the Fenian Flag which were taken by US Authorities on board the USS Michigan.

The Article is packed with interesting Fenian information, from:

o Whatever happened to the Fenian Property taken onboard the USS Michigan,

o The specific military equipment carried, confiscated and inventoried as well as the details of the return of those items, 

o The officers and companies of the 7th Buffalo Regiment, Irish Republican Army,

o The solidarity the Fenians still had toward the US and the crew of the Michigan and a show of there was no resentment to what happened,

o What was to happen to the arms once given back to the Fenians (auctioned off)

o And most importantly, the flag of the 7th Buffalo Regiment made by the Fenian Sisterhood.

This Fenian flag did go on display the following day at a rally and one of the speakers points to it, stating it was at the battle of Ridgeway and had a few bullet holes in it, but was never sullied by the touch of an Englishman.