When, in 1852, it became evident that my plan of forming a colony of French Canadians on the fertile plains of Illinois was to be a success, D'Arcy McGee, then editor of the Freeman's Journal, the official paper of the Bishop of New York, wrote me to know my views, and he determined immediately to put himself at the head of a similar enterprise in favor of the Irish Roman Catholics. He published long and able articles to show how the Irish people, with few exceptions, were demoralized and kept down in the cities, and how they would soon be raised to the top if they could be induced to exchange city grog-shops and saloons for the rich lands of the West. Through his influence a large assembly, principally composed of Irish priests, to which I was invited, met at Buffalo in the Spring of 1853. But what was [R1517 : page 120] his disappointment when he saw that the greater part of these priests were sent by the bishops of New York, Albany, Boston, etc., to oppose and defeat his plans! He vainly spoke with the most burning eloquence for the support of his pet scheme. The majority of the priests coldly answered him in the name of their bishops: "We are determined, like you, to take possession of the United States and rule them; but we cannot do that except by acting secretly, and by using the utmost wisdom. If our plans were known they would certainly be defeated. What does a skilful general do when he wants to conquer a country? Does he scatter his soldiers over the farm lands and spend their time and energies in plowing the fields and sowing the grain? No. He keeps them well united around his banners, and marches at their head to the conquest of the strongholds. He subdues the large cities one after the other; he pulls down the high towers and the citadels which he meets on his way. Then the farming countries are conquered and become the price of his victory without moving a finger. So it is with us. Silently and patiently we must mass our Irish Roman Catholics in the great cities of the United States. Let us remember that in this country the vote of one of our poorest journeymen, covered with rags, has as much weight in the scale of power as the vote of the millionaire Astor, and that if we have two votes against the millionaire's one, he becomes as powerless as an oyster. Then let us multiply our voters, let us call on poor but faithful Irish Catholics, and gather them from the far corners of the world into the very hearts of those proud citadels which the Yankees are so proudly building up under the name of New York, Boston, Chicago, Albany, Buffalo, Troy, etc. Under the shadows of those great cities the Americans consider themselves as a giant and an unconquerable race. They look upon the Irish Catholic with the utmost contempt, as only fit to dig their canals, sweep their streets, or humbly cook their meals in their kitchen. Let no one awake these sleeping lions to-day; let us pray God that they may sleep and dream their sweet dreams a few years more. How sad will be their awakening when, with our outnumbering votes, we will turn them out, and forever, from every position of power, honor and profit! What will these hypocrite sons and daughters of the fanatical Pilgrim Fathers say when not a single judge, not a single school-teacher, not even a single policeman will be elected if he be not a devoted Irish Catholic? What will those so-called giants think and say of their unsurpassed ability, skill and shrewdness when not a single governor, senator, or member of congress will be elected if he be not sincerely devoted to our Holy Father, the Pope?
"What a sad figure those Protestant Yankees will cut when we will not only elect the President, but fill and command the armies, man the navy, and have the key of the public treasury in our hands! It will then be the time for our devoted Irish Catholics to give up their grog-shops to become the governors and judges of the land. Then our poor and humble Irish mechanics will come out from the damp ditches and the canals to rule the cities in all their departments, from the stately mansion of mayor to the more humble, though not less noble, position [R1518 : page 120] of school-teacher.
"Then, yes, we will rule the United States, and lay them at the feet of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, that he may put an end to their godless system of education, and sweep away those impious laws of liberty of conscience which are an insult to God and man."
But the Irish Roman Catholics were taught to consider San Francisco as their "promised land," and the rich inheritance God had in store for them. The consequence is, that when you find only a few American, German and English millionaries in San Francisco, you count more than fifty Irish Catholic millionaries in that city. It is to San Francisco that you must come to have an idea of the number of great and powerful organizations with which the Church of Rome is preparing herself for the impending conflict, through which she hopes to destroy the system of education, and every vestige of liberty and human rights in the United States, as she bravely and publicly announced it not long ago in her most popular [R1518 : page 121] organs, the Catholic World, of New York, and the Catholic Review:—
"The Catholic Church numbers one-third the American population, and if its membership shall increase for the next thirty years as it has for the thirty past, in 1900 Rome will have a majority, and be bound to this country and keep it. There is, ere long, to be a State religion in this country, and that State religion is to be Roman Catholic. The Catholic is to wield his vote for the purpose of securing Roman Catholic ascendency in this country. All legislation must be governed by the will of God, unerringly indicated by the Pope. Education must be controlled by Catholic authorities; and, under education, the opinions of the individual and the utterances of the press are included. Many opinions are to be furnished by the secular arm, under the authority of the church, even to war and bloodshed."—Catholic World, July, 1870.
"While a State has rights, she has them only in virtue and by permission of the superior authority, and that authority can only be expressed through the church. Protestantism of every form has not had and never can have any right where Catholicity has triumphed, and therefore we lose the breath we spend in declaiming against bigotry and intolerance and in favor of religious liberty, or the right of any man to be of any religion as best pleases him."—Catholic Review, July, 1870.
Almost all these secret associations are military ones. They have their headquarters in San Francisco, but their rank and file are scattered all over the United States, from the Pacific to the Atlantic ocean. They number 700,000 soldiers, who, under the name of United States Volunteer Militia, are officered by the most skilful and able generals of the great Republic.