On the 9th of July whilst awaiting deportation Thomas Francis Meagher penned a letter to his friend John Leonard. “ As I told you in one of my previous letters, the recollection of the days I spent in Paris, In the eventful year of 1848, will be to me for many a year to come a source of very deep delight. Would to heaven that the hopes that then shone so brilliantly above our paths were still visible in our changeful and mournful sky-were still the objects of the peoples love,faith and adoration. But they have disappered-clouds on clouds have thickened round them, and in the darkness which covers the land we hear but the wail of the dying, and the supplications of the penniless and the breadless. Never, never, was their country so utterly downcast , so debased, so pitiful, so spiritless. In words which are as relevent today as then Meagher continued to write-Yet I do not, could not despair of her regeneration. Nations do not die in a day. Their lives are reckoned by generations and they encompass centuries. ” ” besides I feel that I have done nothing but my plain duty and hence I cannot be otherwise proud and happy at this moment. I would not exchange places this day with the most comfortable and happy slave in the country.
Meagher finished the letter simply with
Orders have come, Yours devotedly Thomas Francis Meagher