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ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
J. H., Malden, Mass.—Your letter will appear next week. The letters of “ Trojan” and of “ Shemus,” of Troy, N. Y., are held over for our next issue. Algonquinn, Hoboken, N. J.—You have not inclosed your name and address. Therefore, we are obliged to lay your letter aside. Lawrence, Mass.—A letter has been received which is dated from this place. It discusses certain union negotiations at great length, and with considerable ability, but as the writer has neither affixed his name, nor communicated it to us in confidence, we are reluctantly obliged to decline pub lishing his letter. THS IRISHRBPUHJS “Liberty—Hor Friends, Our Friends; Her Enemies, Our Enemies.” NEW YORK, APRIL 11, 1868. Secrecy is Success. We do not speak too strongly when we assert that the cause of Irish nationality in these United States is at present a perfect chaos. For upwards of two years it has been torn by divisions. The sections have spent their strength in lighting each other. And there is only too much reason to conclude that, when they did under take to attack the national enemy, very many of them were far less anxious to effect his defeat than to secure the discomfiture of the rival “ establishment.” The efforts—honest and earnest as they undoubtedly were— which have been made to accomplish a union have been successfully checkmated by “leaders,” who are apparently far more anxious for the power and prestige of their own “ positions” than for the freedom of their country. First of all, the most obnoxious man on the American continent, to all who love the cause of human liberty, was offered the foremost place in our ranks—on the principle, we suppose, that the heathen monarch acted when he set up an unclean animal in the holy of holies at Jerusalem, in order to disgust and drive away the true and earnest worshipers. When that effort mis carried, another device was ready. A popular soldier was got hold of-—a man with more bravery than brains, who, more by “ good luck” than “ good guiding,” blundered into a small victory on a certain occasion. His vanity is blown up, until the frog concludes that he is an ox, and that although he is rapidly running down to the bottom of his treasury, and will take good care not to tell his followers how many, or rather how few, Springfield rifles converted into breech-loaders he has at his disposal, still he can “fight this-,” yes, and conquer a power which has unlimited wealth at its command, and whose regular army and multitudinous militia are, to a man, armed with the very best and most effective weapons which modern skill is able to manufacture. And all this is done by the “ holy” wire-pullers to work on the honest enthusiasm of unreasoning men, and to make that the means of enabling knaves to lengthen the lease of their iniquitous power, and so to perpetuate those I disgraceful and disastrous divisions without which cer- | tain men would be speedily flung aside and trampled j under foot with contempt. It is sad to be obliged to write these things. Rut the time has come when we must either give up the contest, or look the truth fearlessly in the face. The former alternative is simply out of the question. To the latter, therefore, no matter how unpleasant the task may be, we must turn our earnest and immediate attention. Strictly speaking, Feniauism was, and is, confined exclusively to the American continent. It is composed of men of Irish birth and blood, and of friends of Ire land, who have their residence on this side of the Atlan tic. But there was, and is, another great Organization, called “the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood,” which embiaces in its ranks a large proportion of the best men oi the Irish race in Ireland itself, as well as in England and Scotland. These Organizations maybe regarded as, in some respects, one and the same. But in others they are totally dissimilar. They have one object—the na tional freedom. They are composed of men of the same race, animated by the same spirit, and leagued against the same enemy. g0 far, they may be fairly regarded as, not only similar, but essentially identical. But, regarded in another light, they are totally dis similar. We shall only at present point to one leading feature of diversity. The one—the American—is an open Organization, having all its affairs transacted publicly before the oyes of the entire world, composed as that world is of a few friends and a groat many enemies. The other—the Irish or home Organization —is. and from the first has been, secret and oath bound. In this latter distinction lies the cause of the failure of the one Organization, and of the comparative success of the other. For there is no use in further attempting to conceal the truth. It would be criminal to do so any longer. Taking into consideration the immense power at its dis posal, and the work it ought to have done and could have done, American Fenianism has proved a failure. A nd it is a failure, not because the rank and file were not willing to do their duty, but because it was an open Organization; and a failure it will continue to prove so long as it continues to be such. Glance for a moment at its past history. A certain sneaking charlatan, pluming himself on the magnificent failure he had managed to make in 1848, professes to have founded the American Organization in some back slum, wdiich was congenial to his tastes, in New York. And no doubt a few very doubtful characters-did go about, living on their wits, and trying to make each other believe that they were very dreadful and daugerous conspirators. But the thing was, in every sense, be neath contempt, until it was taken up by the men of the West. They at once made it a sworn Organization; and when they had not more perhaps than fifty men in its ranks, in the city of Chicago—but men of the right stamp—they were ten times more influential in their hold on the general community, and could, and did. with ease, raise ton times more money for the cause of Ireland than all the Circles in the same place, with all their officials and speeches, and reports and parades, can do at this day. These are facts; and the very men who will come out and contradict them, and snuff and snarl at this journal for stating them, know that they are facts. But certain “ leaders”—may these leaders reap all the blessing's they have earned—were more anxious for personal power and popularity than for the deliverance of Ireland, They found, as they asserted, that “ the ! Church ’—that is, a few unauthorized clerics, here and there—was “against a secret society.” So they de termined to lay open their entire proceedings to the whole world, the English Government included,and they carried their point. And from that day to this, the Fenian Brotherhood has been—with certain exceptions —as publio in all its proceedings as its most malignant enemy could desire. And to this very publicity do we trace nearly all the misfortunes which have overtaken the cause of our unfortunate country during the last three years, both in America and Ireland. First came the division which was the inevitable result of the rebellion of free and independent men against one of the most unprincipled and contemptible despotisms that ever was attempted to be fastened on human necks. This was soon followed by the Campo j Bello fiasco, got up to enlist public sentiment on one I side, and to take the wind out of the sails of the oppo- j sition. After that, one “leader” was dethroned and ! “ another of the same sort ” was set up in his place. The | latter summoned a Sunday meeting in Jones’ Wood, at : which ten thousand people were present, to whom he announced the very day and hour in which he would begin to fight the British Government in Ireland. This was very obliging on his part—exceedingly chivalrous, to warn his enemies to be ready for him, which they were, although he did uot prove ready for them. His plea for this very remarkable course was precisely identical to that which General O’Neill and Vice-President Gib bons are at present assigning for an exactly similar performance. 'I his must be done or the “ wind” cannot be raised, nor the fire blown into a flame. What though it defeats the entire movement, ruins the country more fearfully than ever, and adds a deeper disgrace to our race aud name. No matter for that. “ Our words are pledged ! ” Great leaders must have their way. Mean while, General Sweeny and the Senate were not idle. They were preparing actively and publicly, under eyes of the American Government, and of the British Government as well, for the invasion of Canada. Their intentions were openly announced at public meetings, emblazoned on placards, their arms and ammunitions were collected and dispatched in open day. Their soldiers were drilled and marched as ostentatiously as if the F. B. had been the established Government of the country. Their “orders” to march were openly ex hibited, by foolish little boys called aids-de-camp, in the bar-rooms, and in even more disreputable places, in New York city. In short, it was an “ open Organiza tion,” with a vengeance. And the result needs not to be told. Now let us put the saddle on the right horse. Neither Queen Victoria nor President Johnson were so much to blame as our own boasting and blowing of the things we were going to do, and of the time we would do them in, and of the manner in which they would be done, and all the rest of it. AVe repeat it, and defy contradiction, publicity has been the curse of Fenjanism here in America. But here the first objection, with which we have to grapple, is thrust in our faces. “ You had a secret soci ety in Ireland,” we are told, “ yet it has not succeeded in accomplishing its object.'’ We answer, its failure hitherto—-for it will succeed yet—was occasioned, not by any inherent weakness in itself, but by two disastrous causes, over which its members had little, if any, control. The first, and worst, of these causes was the openness of the American branch of the Organization. This de feated Fenianism not only in America but in Ireland as well. Were not dispatches sent almost daily across the sea—of which “ the lost documents ” were a notorious specimen—with “ Headquarters of the Fenian Brother hood,” blazing in green and gold, at the head of them, and signed by “ H. C.’s ” and “ C. E.’s” in all their official dignity ? What a tale all this told when these missives fell, as they frequently did, and, perhaps, were intended to do, into the hands of the English enemy. Then, so far as spies and informers were concerned, were they not, almost without a solitary exception, vil lians who had graduated in crime here in America? Nagle, Massey. Buckley, Corydon, aud a dozen besides. Why, they had all been at headquarters in New York as trusted officials. Everytiiinu mas open here; so they had only to learn everything, and go back and sell their country and their brothers to England for money. The second cause of the want of success of the secret Home Organization was, that its leader—oh, Lord, these “leaders”—proved wanting in the hour of trial, showed himself shamelessly destitute of principle, of courage and capacity. But sad as this was, and disas trous as its consequences must, under any circumstances, ultimately have proved, still it was only the mountebank publicity of America that brought it out in a form so offensive and destructive. If open organization had never produced any other evil fruit but the doings of James Stephens on his last visit to America, these alone would be more than sufficient to cover it with everlast ing disgrace. But let our readers mark this. If the great secret Home Organization has not yet conquered our country’s independence, it has unquestionably done a noble work, which was, of all others, absolutely essential to prepare the way for it. It has made the men of Ireland not only true to their country, as they always were, but men of thought, men of independent action, men who love liberty for liberty’s sake, and who are ready and resolved to maintain and defend it against all comers, be they who they may. In one word, it has done much to makeour people fit fur freedom, and once that is done, a people are as sure to be free as the sun of to-morrow is sure to rise. And this, we may add, is just what has got to be done to a sorrowfully large extent, for the Irishmen of America. The next grand objection, and the only one with which wc shall deal at present, is, that “the Church is opposed to secret societies.” We answer, first, that the only proper province of the Church is in things spiritual I —things pertaining to the soul and to eternity. And we 1 have yet to learn that any church on earth has any better right to dictate to a man what his political action should bo than it has to prescribe the color of his coat, or the cut of his hair, or the price he shall give or take for his farm or his horse. The man who forbids me to conspire.