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The TALES you probably never heard about

The Fenian Prisoners

[St. Catharines Constitutional, 10 January 1867] 

             The fate of the Fenian convicts at present confined at Toronto and Sweetsburg, has at length been decided upon. The sentence of death passed upon them has been commuted to twenty years hard labor in the Provincial Penitentiary. It is known that the Washington Government impudently exercised their powers of persuasion to the utmost, to induce the Imperial Government to step in between justice and its victims, by ordering the release of the condemned culprits; but Her Majesty’s advisors wisely declined to override the law of Canada to please Johnson and Seward, who are really responsible for all the damage done by their Fenian pets. The cause of the raid being an Imperial one, the Provincial authorities sought the advise of the Home Government as to what disposition should be made of the prisoners, and the decision arrived at indicates pretty clearly  that Lord Derby and his colleagues are not to be cajoled by either entreaties or threats from Fenian advocates at Washington. The prisoners were removed to Kingston by special train last evening; and we rather fancy that those of them who coolly laughed in the Judge’s face when sentence was being pronounced, will soon discover that British law is not a farce after all. Many persons throughout the country will not feel satisfied that some of these ruffians were not left to expiate their crimes on the gallows; but as it would be unjust to hang one or two and let others live, we think the course decided upon is the best; because the majesty of outraged law will be vindicated, and no room left to set up the culprits as martyrs for the benefit of Fenian leaders.