From The United Irishmen: Their Lives and Times by R. R. Madden, 1842.
Russell remained at Mr. Daniel Rabb’s, of Ballysallack, near Newtownards, for some weeks; during this time he wrote several notes to Miss McCracken, and in one of them he said to her, “Tell Hamilton, if you see him, ‘I am ready to join any body of men I may find in arms in the cause of Ireland.” [William]Hamilton and [James] Hope were in the neighbourhood, not knowing where he was. The above named note was brought to Miss McCracken by a young countrywoman, in the sole of her stocking.
I go this moment for the purpose, if in my power, of rectifying the mistakes that have taken place. Whether I shall fail or succeed, is in the hand of God; for the present he has stopped our progress, for purposes, no doubt, wise; but the cause, I am certain, will yet prevail. Courage alone was wanting here to render success not only certain, but easy; at the same time, I think it was rather misfortune, than want of courage or principle, that stopped us, though I shall, probably, find it difficult to make that believed. If you see my friend, tell him, or any other person, I am gone to the South, to join any body I can find in arms, to establish their rights, and that I will shortly be heard of; but I think my departure should be a secret, as I hope soon to return. It certainly afflicts me, to leave any in prison on account of this, but, I trust, I shall yet be able to serve them; my stay here any longer could not, as far as I can see, be of any use.
The — militia with you are all good. I am sorry arrangements prevented me seeing some of them, but all in good time. There was an omission, through haste, in the proclamation, it was – ‘that I wish all the King’s regular forces to be considered as English and not as rebels,’ – and you may depend on it, it will be adhered to. I may have committed faults, but I did all for the best, and I hope soon to return, and set all to rights. The Cause I will never relinquish.