[Letter from James Donnelly Regarding the Burning of the Ryder Barn]

[...] The following letter was received by Mr. Meredith by the mail immediately preceding the receipt of the news of the tragedy [...]

February 3rd, 1880.

Mr. Meredith
SIR, - On the 15th of last month Pat Ryder’s barns were burned. All the vigilance committee at once pointed to my family as the ones that done it. Ryder found out that all my boys were at a wedding that night. He at once arrested me on suspicion, and also sent a constable after my wife to St. Thomas. The trial has been postponed four different times, and although we are ready for our trial at any time they examined a lot of witnesses, but can’t find anything against us. Ryder swore that we lived neighbors to each other for thirty years, and never had any deferences, and had no reason for arresting us only that we are blamed for everything. [...] They are using us worse than mad dogs. [...] We have to appear to-morrow again, and I am informed they are going to send us for trial without a tittle of evidence. [...] There is not the slightest cause for our arrest, and it seems hard to see a man and woman over sixty years of age dragged around as laughing stocks.

Yours truly,


Source: Unknown, "Horrible!," London Advertiser, February 4, 1880.

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