Title: Catalpa Rescue
Publisher: Anvil Books (Childrens Press)
Book Condition: Good
0900068841 Good Condition. Gift inscription inside cover. Five star seller - Buy with confidence!. Bookseller Inventory # Z0900068841Z3
Synopsis: (From 1865 to 1867, British authorities rounded up supporters of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, an Irish independence movement, and transported sixty-two of them to the penal colony at Fremantle, Western Australia. Among them was John Boyle O'Reilly who escaped and ended up in Boston, where he became editor of The Pilot. He joined the Clan na Gael, an organization that supported armed insurrection in Ireland.
The Clan received a smuggled letter from imprisoned Fenian James Wilson, who was among those the British had still in custody. He asked them to aid the escape of the remaining Fenian prisoners. O'Reilly suggested that a ship be purchased, laden with a legitimate cargo, and sailed to Western Australia, where it would not be expected to arouse suspicion. The Fenian prisoners would then be rescued by stealth rather than force of arms. They bought for the Clan a three-masted whaling bark Catalpa for $5,200 and set sail for Western Australia.
On the 17 th April 1876 the Catalpa dropped anchor in international waters off Rockingham and dispatched a whaleboat to the shore. At 8.30 am, six Fenians who were working in work parties outside the prison walls, absconded raced 50 km south to Rockingham where Anthony awaited them on the beach with a rowboat.
Early on 19 April the heavily armed Georgette, a whaling ship commandeered by the local colonial governor, came alongside the Catalpa, demanding the surrender of the prisoners and attempting to herd the ship back into Australian waters.
They fired a warning shot with the 12 pounder (5 kg) cannon that had been installed the night before. Ignoring the demand to surrender, the captain pointed towards the U.S. flag, informed the Georgette that an attack on the Catalpa would be considered an act of war against the USA, and proceeded westward)
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