Daniel O'Connell, Irish nationalist, orator, and lawyer, appeals to the Irish in America to "give your votes in behalf of Freedom and not in behalf of slavery." This broadside is dated Oct. 13, 1863.
O'Connell, also known in Ireland as "The Great Liberator," was vehemently anti-slavery, running contrary to many Irish who viewed abolitionists as anti-Catholic. As iconic figure in both Ireland and America, the question is: did many Irish-American immigrants join the American Civil War due to O'Connell's passion to free the slaves or was it more a matter of economic necessity?
As early as 1843, O'Connell penned:
"How can the generous, the charitable, the humane, the noble emotions of the Irish heart, have become extinct among you? ...Slavery is repugnant to the first principles of society."