December 9, 1899.
From time to time we shall receive the lists of casualties in the Irish Brigade. Any relatives of Brigadiers who forward their names and addresses will be communicated with by us should the names they send us appear in the lists.
The following is the text of the manifesto to which we have alluded:
TO THE IRISHMAN OF SOUTH AFRICA.
Previous to 1895 the people of the Transvaal, consisting of various nationalities, were dwelling together in harmony, prosperity, and peace.
It is true that the Government was not perfect, but no Government in the world is perfect, and if the Transvaal had been given a fair chance, reforms would have come naturally, in a reasonable time.
The gold mines are the richest in the world, and the mining companies were reaping enormous profits,
The country is so rich that a number of English capitalists, instigated thereto by a member of the Queen’s Privy Council, organised a plot to steal the country, and annex it to the British Empire.
By means of paid agitators and a hireling Press, they succeeded in re-animating the racial hatred which was rapidly dying away.
They imported vast quantities of arms and ammunition, and induced a number of people to rise against the Government.
A force of Chartered Police crossed the Transvaal border.
The man who composed this force were told by their officers that the Boers were murdering women and children in Johannesburg.
By the providence of Almighty God, the Boers defeated the invaders, on the whole conspiracy fell to the ground.
The man who conceived and organised this infamous crime is still a member of the Queen of England’s Most Honourable Privy Council!
Although defeated once, this unscrupulous contingent returned to their task, and, after three years’ intrigue and agitation, they have almost succeeded in plunging South Africa into a racial war.
Of such crimes as these Irishman should be the avengers not the accomplices.
Irishmen! The Transvaal Boers have fought for and bravely won their Independence.
You have seen in your own country the effects of English rule; you have seen your fathers, your mothers, and your sisters suffer in themselves and in their children, poverty, nakedness, hunger, misery, and oppression of the most dreadful kinds.
You know that, during those sixty years of Queen Victoria’s reign, one and a half millions of your countrymen and women have perished of starvation!
You know that during the sixty years the English Government has, according to the report of their own Commission, extorted from Ireland, at the point of the bayonet, two and three-quarter millions sterling over-taxation every year.
You know all this, you have seen all this, and we ask you, in the presence of the terrible apparition of your own perishing country, whether you are going to help to bring the same curse upon the Transvaal?
Vengeance! Irishmen! Away with every mean and unselfish consideration. Remember against whom we call you to fight—your oppressors for seven hundred cruel years. Remember what thousands of your dearest friends have suffered by their merciless tyranny. Remember your wrecked homes. Remember Mitchelstown. Remember Allen, Larkin, and O’Brien!
Every Irishman worthy of the name, and every Irish-American in South Africa will be found in the ranks of the Irish brigade of the S.A.R., under the sacred Green Flag, fighting against the brutal English Tyrant.
God save Ireland.
The Irish Brigade, we are now able to state, is 1,700 strong. It has participated in all the fighting around Ladysmith. In the battle of October 30 it distinguished itself and inflicted severe loss upon the enemy, and aided in the defeat and capture of the Gloucestershire and Royal Irish Fusilier Regiments at Nikolson’s Nek. These facts were mentioned in General Sir G. White’s despatches and suppressed by the British War Office.