The Biddulph Tragedy.

A correspondent, writing on behalf of the Donnelly family, sends the following:-

Biddulph, March 8th, 1880

To the Editor of the Free Press.

SIR.- For some time past a good deal has been said about the Donnelly family. They have been blamed by the Biddulphers as perpetrators of many crimes throughout the township. A Vigilance Committee was formed by a few pretended honest settlers as a means of protection from these outrages. But the question is, who needed protection? Well, I think the Donnellys needed protection more than the Vigilance Committee did. The most of people seem to think so since this horrid massacre. A Vigilance man writes to the Free Press saying many of them were driven to the poll to vote for Reform government with fear of their barns being burned down by the Donnellys. I think this a shameful excuse for a man of any common sense to make. They were not driven by the Donnellys to commit this murder, one of the most starling crimes over perpetrated in fair Canada. The Donnellys have not been accused of all the crimes in Biddulph. They were not accused of the burning alive of a man named O'Donagan, nor with the murder of the Englishman on the famous Roman Line. They were not accused with the burning of Andrew Keef's barn and eight horses. They did not entertain the gang who went to cut Mr. Cofflager's apple trees. I am taking the liberty of telling the public the kind of people the Vigilance Committee is made up of. [...]

Yours truly


Source: Unknown, "The Biddulph Tragedy," London Free Press, March 12, 1880.

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