In 1876, Mr John O’Connor Power came over here, and, in a lecture in the Cooper Institute, explained in a masterly manner the principles and programme of the Irish Home Rule movement, and although I had earlier favoured physical force I believed that for the present, at least, much good might be done for the Irish National Cause on this line, and I projected the organisation of a Home Rule Club to bear the name of the noble expounder of the movement and with the existence of a few friends I succeeded on Washington’s birthday in organising the O’Connor Power Home Rule Club, with a constitution and by-laws. It was the first organisation started in America to aid the home organisation, and the first financial assistance received from abroad was a sum of fifty dollars sent by the Club on my motion as Treasurer, the receipt of which together with a letter accompanying it appears in the Dublin Nation, on Sept. 29th 1877.
After some time it was suggested by some members that the name of an individual was not broad enough and it was changed to the ‘Irish Home Rule Club’. I did not favour the change but submitted to it in the interest of harmony, but I must say that the change was not made through any disrespect or want of confidence in Mr Power, far from it.
Extract from Andrew Maguire’s autobiography, March 4th 1899.
On October 7, 1875, That Irishman gave a lecture in the Cooper Institute in New York on ‘The Condition of Ireland, Political, Social and Industrial’. The text* was reported in full in The Irish Canadian, 20th October, 1875.
[I am here] to express the objects and principles of the New National Movement which has agitated the country for the last five years, this is precisely the task , which because a better man has yet not found time to discharge it, has fallen to my lot … no matter how many lectures or speeches it requires, I shall continue my humble efforts while an American town remains to be visited, and while one friend of freedom remains to be enlisted in the cause of Irish independence.
See That Irishman pps 68-69.
*The text is available to download at Post ‘Selected Writings’.