O'CONNELL AND EX-SHERIFF RAPHAEL.
TO THE ELECTORS OF THE COUNTY OF CARLOW.
Darryuane Abbey, 10th November 1S35. a Hie niger cut, hunc to Romane, caveto " Fellow Countrymen-Whilst I was waiting for that permission from Mr. Vigors which I was certain I should receive, to publish the entire of the transactions between Mr. Ex-Sheriff Itaphe el and us. I amused myself with thinking of the various shapes in which the enemies of civil and religious freedom-who are, blessed be God! my ene- mies, and ever shall be so-will distort Raphael's composition, for the purpose of calamniating me. I know how vaiu it is, as fir as such persons are concerned, to de- monstrate that there is not one shadow of foundation tor such calumny. That is no inconvenience to them. Be it so. I consent by anticipation to every lobe statement and to every fraudulent insinuation my calumniators may pour out upon me. During the civil wars of 1611, and the subsequent years, when Renuncioi, the Pope's Nuncio, contrived, with the aid of a few mistaken men, to obtain is supreme control over the " Confederate Catholics" at Kilkenny, the army was managed by means of ecclesiastical censures. One day the army were excommunicated for marching without clerical orders. and the next day they were excommunicated for not marching. Affairs were thrown into utter confusion. The enemy had all the advantage. Nor was there any prospect of success until General Purcell got together another army, ready to obey him in all perils, spiritual as well RS temporal, and who were, as he expressed it. " ex- communication proof" For my part, fellow countrymen. I have thus become calumny proof: I care nothing for calumny, and, beyond oue momentary flash of indignation, I feel neither sturise nor anger. All 1 require is, that the calumny should be false, and ca able of bet 'tame to be Si, h ta ...y sincere inquirer into the bath. I should, therefore, pass a- Sheriff Raphael aul his commentators over without a reply, hilt diet I e w • it to that estimable gentleman. Mr. Vigor,. and to yoo, to give such a detail of the lids as agt et once demonstrate to the satisfaction of every just and impartial penton that the la- cubrations or Raphael prove nothing but the mercenary and mean malignity of a dis- appointed miser. who expended meney for the indulgence of the vanity of teem; La Parliament-n vanity winch has chanced to be ungratified. The question is, whether there was any thing illegal. improper, or in any respovt an- tecomi'ig in that expenditure : that seems to me to be the question which, the Ex-Sheriff has raised-at least that is the substanttn1 question. If that question were answerer' In the affirmative, lie would be equally blameable with us : that is just the fortunate situation in which a libeller of his description places himself. But if the question he answered in the negative, as most assuredly it ought, and I frarlessly add, will be an- swered in the negative by every caudid man, then Raphael should understand that he: has the double turpitude upon him ; first, of falsely traducing others; and secondly. al blackening himself for the bad purpose of gratifying a sordid, an unprovoked, but im- potent vindictiveness. Before I enter into the question or whether there was any thing illegal, improper, or in any respect unbecoming in the application or expenditure of Raphael's money, let, me premise these two facts touching myself. which, are really out of all controversy First. That I had not the slightest pecuniary or personal interest in Raphael's 20001.. not to the extent of one single farthiug. I was merely the depositary ; and this fact results (even without the all of any assertion of mine) from the entire letter of the Ex-Sheriff' himself. It results even from the false account he gives (out of his own pure inveution) of the manner in which, as he alleges, I paid it over. Every candid Min Will carry this undoubted fact with him. I had no pecuniary interest in the money. eren to the amount of half alarthing. Let my calumniators chew the cod upon that fact at their good leisure. Secondly, That I void over that sum of 20001, lei the person for whose use it teas depositei with me, namely. Mr l'igors, precisely as he called for it and to his entire satisfletion. I not only paid him the 20001. to the last farthing, but, having in my hurry made a mis- take against myself, I actually paid him 15/. more thau I tetelit. I got 2000/, for hire. I gave him in all 20151. lie discovered the mistake and reetaled it. I have vouchers for every penny of the money. Every candid man will also carry this second undoubted fret with him, that I paid over to the last farthing every penny I received. The two farts will he recollected by every just and impartial 1111111, It is material to the disembarrassine my mind of all solicitude on this subject that I should repeat them. 1st, I hfol tett the slightest pees- near!) or pers, nal interrst 1.71 the money ; 24, I paid ore r the money to the last flirt/tray to the person entitled to it. I may be deemed tedious by this repetition but pzefer ing so to having the pos- sibility of evaeion or doubt upon thus to me impoltat t ind.•ed I think the only lamer- tint, part of the case. I have nothing to vindieate myself from ; and I never will agent cendescend to say one word upon these two facts. which are thus concluded. But I do admit, I readily admit, that having thus rte.ceed myself front all possibility of blame thus far, there remaine behind the 'principal quest ion-tonehing the propriety of the expentlitme of money. t'ere we, for I at once involve myselr in the question, were we warren led in getting 20001. of Raphael's money, and expending it in the man- ner in which it was exeentled ; and, before all, has Raphael any cause to complain um that sublet. t ? Now. in outlet fully to discuss this cmcstion properly. it will be useful to undetstand these facts relative to the county of Carlow. They are known to you, my friends ; but Raphael has made it necessary that they should be placed befttre the puhIie e.ye. First, At the general election hi January last, the county of Carlow e as relinquished. I will not sae, abandoned, by its former Members, and by all popular candidates. Their resignat hill was not known until the very day of the election. Second, On that day, the iwople feeling themselves deserted, started two unexpected candidates. 'The one Mr. Cahill, a young gentleman of talent and respectabitity. and of moderate though independent property. The other, my eldeet son, Mr. Maurice O'Connell, who was tiot present, and hail already been rettirued tor the borough a Tralee, lie was proposed as a popular wimp. Third, 1:Wer all the disadvantages of want of preparation, the 'eviller candidates wouthl lciye been returned if there had been time t. ;eel out the county; Ind the agents of Bruen and Kavanagh practised so successfully delay, that these getutlemen were re- turned. Fourth, The expenses of that contest were borne prineip illy by Mr. Cahill; the residue fell, of course, ou the most active partisans of tire popular party, who were nut well able to bear it. Fifth, The consequence of the undue election W:13 a petition at; dust the. Members returned ; and the trial of that petition ran to great length. u' iii of eteirse created great expense. That expense was borne by Mr. Vigor. oh suereeded in onscatimt tho Mernbers at a pecuniary loss to himself; svItielt can be duly estimated by those only who have had the fatal expedence of au Election Committee.
Sixth, Mr. Vigors lind just susteined a coutested eleet ion fur the town of Carlow, the entire expeuee uf w hide of course, fell upon hint; and in that contest he was do- teated.
Seventh, The county of Carlow 11:1,1 been represented in the last Perliainent by Re- formers. It made a difference of f ■Iir votes to the popular int rreet in Ireland to have the two Oranee-Toties, Bruen caul Kzevanagle represent that county ; and tlw Refiwas party in the Howse of Commons could at that time trolly allied that numerical lose. Under these circumstances it was that lite writ iv us issued immediately on the ve- cancy being declared. Mr. Vigors, of course, hia.1 exhausted some part of his iaclina- thin to spend rrn ney to vindicate the popular interest ; anti could not, in justice be himself, take all the expenses of another contest. Mr. Cahill refused to stend again. It becente tiecessary to find somebody who would pledge himself to Reform and to the support of the Ministry. who would share With al r. Vigors in the expense. l'he time pressed ; there were but a tew days to look out for a second Reform candi- date. Raphael had been long urging me to assist hint in canvassing for a seat in Par- liament. lle had been making the warmest professions of Li:aria:le purity. Ile assailed me in conversation, lie besieged nte by letter. Indeed it would be anmsing to Con- trast his then disgesting flattery eith his present contemptible nualignity. e. friend of his hail corresponded with me at the general election respecting the coeuty.of Carlow. I'lider these circumstances, I talked nit h him on the subject of the then vaeancy for that county. Ile had an interview with Mr. \leers on the same subject. Bet, as the election approached, Mr. Vigors was tinder the necessity of tomiug off to Ireland, and Ire gave me full authority to make any arraugement with Raphael I pleased. RaphavEs account of' the fact is, iit every respect, inaccurate. It is one made up for the senseless purpose of reproach. The natural arrangement would have been, that Vigors and he should have paid each half of the expenses of the election, and of any subsequent petition. But he had ex- perienced nlreatly two contested elections; ono for Evesham, and the other, as I recol- lect, Pontefract ; the complaint was, I know not how truly, that he hail been iuvolved in each in an expenditure much beyond what he expected or was promised. I had no notion of peddling with him : my authority from Vigors was unlimited; MT time was over occupied ; I settled with turn briefly but explicitly, that he was to risk but 10001, in the event of an unsuccessful contest. Vigors was ii. that event to pay all the rest-a second 1000/. if lie was returned : in no event was he to be hound to pay any more. If he paid one shilling beyond the 2000/. it must be of his own free-will lull perfect choice. If only one of the popular candidates was to be returned, lie was to be the persor.oe %rigors acceded to this, as he acceded to every thing else I agreed to. Nigors also consented that, no matter o hat the expenses of the election might be, the second 1000/. was to be altwether applied to the expense's of a petition, in case the, re- turn should be pet Rimed against. 1 settled the matter with Raphael in less time than it has taken me to descoiee the facts, lie called On nie for an engagement that Mr. Vigres would perform his part of lho egreement. I complied at once ; and Wrote him, is it hont a moment's delay, auff hastily, the letter of the 1st of June, which he has published in violation of all lie obseryances of private communication. Tins was his bargain : be was happy to pay 2000./ One half at once to defrayoo much of the legal expenses of the contest ; the other halt' when returned. These sucus I stipulated that Vigors should receive; sums incomperable sheaf of half the expenses. See what an excellent bargain this most discourteous Gentile made ! The election for the county it was known would last six (lays, as in fact it did last -one day for nomi- nation and five days polling ; anci his moiety of the expenses was to be paid for 10001. 1 beg of any person who was ever engaged in a contested election for a county to esti- mate what the one-half of the expenses of five days' polling really amounts to, in- cluding expenses of every description. Why, no usurer ever 'Dade so good a bargaia as this man due No man ever was sahjected to a worse bargain than that which, in his absence, I made for Mr. Vigors, but which he at once adopted and ratified. Tioitsttoda. show mwft,.r we were from desiring that this man should pay more than he ought to refer to one expense only' that of printing his address. The Duelin Evening Post, an excellent authority on thispoint, states that the payment made to that rust alone for the ublication of ita lad's addreet an l mine ou his behalf ta the electors. was were thou 301., and that the expenditure for such publication in the ether newspapers unnt have amounted to from 3001. to 4001. Now I hate thesedetails. Surely it is only necessary to say, that no man ever yet had a five days' poll for a county w ho would not rejoice at Imo lug but 10001. to ray his moiety of all, all expenses—Slierili. Sub-Sheriff, booths, Poll-Clerke, deputies, agents, inspectors, books, 'apes, printing, advertising, carliage of voters to the Assize town. with a tremendous train of et creteras.
I dwell too much on these subjects. If there should be no petition. I agreed on the part of Mr. Vigors, that the greater part of the second 10001., more than one half of it, whatever might be the amount of the election expenses, should be applied to commence the formation of a fund to indemnify the voters. and their friends and relations, from that persecution which the Carlow landlords then threatened anti have since exercised. 'The plan Raphael not only approved of. but tleclared Ile would augment that fumi and purchase an estate in Carlow, to enable him to give protection to that class of persons. Strange to say, that favourable as the arrangement was to him, it was scarcely con- cluded she,, he shuffled and equivocated. and sought to have the benefit of all that was useful to him without performiug his part. I concluded the arrangement with him on the 31st of May ; yet until the 10th of June lie did nut lodge the first 10001. I had more trouble with him than I ever hail with any man. Again, so soon as he was re- turned, he shuffled and equivocated again ; and I was compelled ugain to he very peremptory with him to make him fulfil the second stipulation.
The Committee was struck : unfortunately it was a Tory Committee. Since I have been in Parliament I have never known a Tory Committee decline to find reasons for giving the victory to the Tory party. My opinion, from the moment the Committee was struck, and especially after their first decision, was, that it was hopeless to contest the matter further. But Mr. Vigors performed his part of the compact to the letter. Every shilling of the second 10001. was expended in the defence of the petition. This, indeed, is, in substance, admitted by Raphael himself. Ile attributes to me the em- ployment of Mr. Baker. Ile knows that I did not employ him, and that lie was the agent of Mr. Vigors. Ile attributes to me the payment of the second 10001. to Mr. Baker. This is pure invention. He knows that I paid the money to Mr. Vigurs, and that he expended that money to the last farthing in defending the petition.
The meeting of the 4th of August was held at the instance of Mr. Vigors. It was held that Mr. Vigors might, in my 'presence, announce to Raphael that so soon as the Lest of the 10001. was expended, he would abandon the contest. We discussed the matter fully. It was finally arranged by Raphael, that Vigors, adopting, as he always fully did, my contract as binding on him, was bound not to relinquish the seats as long as they could possibly be contested ; but ho soon admitted, that although Vigors was bound to pay all the expenses as long as he saw any prospect of a successful issue, he was not hound to cont iflue the contest after expending the 10001.. and that when he had no adequate motive to expend more money, he Watt under no obligation to go further. If Raphael afterwards employed an agent and counsel of his own, he did so upon the most explicit understanding that he had no claim upon any person for his voluntarily choosing to do so. Such were the facts of the case. If I were disposed to act as harshly towards this man as he deserves. I could point out in his publication totally instances of utter falaelmods or gross perversions of fact ; but I may content myself with recalling to your recollection the paragraph I quoted in my first letter ; a paragraph of six lines, coutaining one dozen of what I call fhlsehoods. A word of one syllable would be more appropriate.
But I cannot conclude without protesting against time treacherous practice of pub
Balling letters written in that careless and confidential way which results from the be- lief that what oue writes can never meet the public eye. It is only In cases of crime that it is permitted to use such letters, and then only by third persons. But where Can this man Cud an excuse for his depravity of publishing my note of the 21st of June, telling him of his return, and adding, " my commu,deation is from a Cabinet Mini-4er. but this is prirate" I That note, making no part of any charge, accusation. or even insinuation against Inc. he publishes, although it is expressly said in it this is pr;eate. Is he ever again to be admitted into civilized society ?
But he has no feeling of a gentleman to restrain him; and I notice the publication of that letter, not to bring a blush of shame into his cheek, which would be impossible, Lot to account fur the accident by which I sas informed of the return by a Cabinet Minister.
The '21st of June Was Sunday : of course no private letters were delivered that day ; but I was aware that the returns of the officers of Police from all the counties in Ire- land in w hich any disturblinee or excitement existed, vi ere received at the Irish Office on Sunday I happened to meet one of the Ministry, with whom I was acquainted long la tine he seas in the Cabinet, and continued to have that 'moons while I was in violent opposition ; I asked him it there were a Police Repot that day frem Carlow, and u het her it mentioned the state of the election. Ile said there was; and that it stated that Raphael and Vigor,: were returned. I then wrote the riewe note to Raphael, which lie has published; and thereby, as be intended. excited the calumnious comments of the Tory press. amen of Carlow—honest and patriotic Men of Carlow—I again implore you, portion for having recommended such a man to your favour. Ile has exhibited a malignant meanness which makes me deeply deplore ever having entertained even a neutral opi- nion of him. We will forget him for ever.
fired I sae that his object ha calumniatiug me is obvious. but a ill be disappointed ? I he has exhausted his prospects on the side of Liberal opinions, and lie wants to qua. lily himself fur the 'fury rinks; but he is mi.:Aiken. They haie faithless and lalse beings enough (it their ow n—he is not wanted.
I conclude, having .lemuustrated that this man has no canoe to complain—that the money he paid was much less than the nobly of the legal and ordinary miaow:es—and that he had not been the very basest of human beings he never would have pub- lished his letter,—a litter intended merely to pander to the bad passions of the Tory Party ; who, however, find it impossible to resider it available. Ills at upid malignity suggested to him that lie lad an ituportaut disco:cry to make. his story, after all, is but the idiot's tale. and really signifies nothing.
I have the honour to be, fellow couutrymen, your faithful servant,