Escape of James Stephens, The
DESCRIPTION: Stephens escapes from Richmond. Foolish statements are attributed to the Queen, the Marquis, and Lord Wodehouse. The attempt to recapture him is ridiculed: "But one thing you'll not do, That is get from 'Parley-voo', The bird that thither flew"
EARLIEST DATE: before 1879 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 18(151)); OLochlainn-More 3 refers to a newspaper story in 1868 in _The Irishman_
KEYWORDS: prison escape France Ireland humorous patriotic
Sep 15, 1865 - _The Irish People_ newspaper raided and leaders arrested; Stephens in hiding
Nov 11, 1865 - Stephens arrested; scheduled for trial Nov 27, 1865.
Nov 24, 1865 - Escapes Richmond prison (source: Princess Grace Irish Library (Monaco) site)
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (2 citations):
OLochlainn-More 3A, "The Escape of James Stephens" (1 text, 1 tune)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #576, p. 39, "The Escape of Stephens, the Feninan Chief. New Version of Shan Van Vocht" (1 reference)
Bodleian, Harding B 18(151), "The Escape of Stephens, the Fenian Chief," H. De Marsan (New York), 1864-1878
cf. "James Stephens, the Gallant Fenian Boy" (subject) and references there
cf. "The Shan Van Voght" (tune)
NOTES: The Fenians were an organization devoted to freeing Ireland. The organization was founded in 1858 by James Stephens, and quickly spread; the British government felt the need to suppress the group in 1865. Stephens and others were taken prisoner; although he escaped, it turned him cautious; he no longer had the nerve to take aggressive action. That pretty well killed the group as an active set of rebels; their attempt at an Irish rebellion failed in 1867.
For more on Stephens, see the notes to "James Stephens, the Gallant Fenian Boy." - RBW
Broadside Harding B 18(151): H. De Marsan dating per Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS
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