The late massacre of the Donnelly family, in the township of Biddulph, by an armed mob, is a crime which has no parallel in history of Canada. Viewed in whatever aspect we please, there is no palliation for such deeds, and let the sufferers be whom they may, the law must assert and maintain its power. The Donnellys may have been of a revengeful disposition; they may have kept the people of their immediate vicinity at times in a state of dread, on account of their lawless character, but that affords no justification whatever for this cruel assissination. The organization of the Vigilance Committee was evidently for the purpose of mutual defence, and it would have been well had the members never overstepped their legitimate object; but in taking the law into their own hands, and butchering the Donnellys in cold blood, for real, or doubtless imaginary offences, they have made themselves the perpetrators of a wrong of much greater magnitude than those against which they exercised their misdirected energies, and stand before the bar of justice as criminals in the first degree. As far as can be learned it appears the Donnellys came to be regarded by their neighbors as a family of Ishmaelites, and who, as might have been expected, often acted accordingly. Quite a number of farmers and their sons living in the vicinity of the place were the tragedy occured, have been taken into custody to await their trial for being cognizant of, or for participating in the massacre, but the nature and extent of the evidence by which it is expected some of them will be convicted, has not yet been made known to the public. In the meantime, every available means will be used to bring the murderers to justice. It is to be hoped such an example will be made of them, as will in future prevent Canadian soil from being disgraced with so foul a deed.

Source: Unknown, "The Biddulph Tragedy," Listowel Banner, February 13, 1880.

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