Friday, April 29, 2016

The Empire Strikes Back

I usually save this sort of thing for Saturday, but I have something else planned for tomorrow.
The Advocate, April 29, 1916
I did want to follow up on last week's Slainteback Sathairn, however, and today is the centennial of the quashing of the Easter Rising in Ireland. Above is the front page of the April 29, 1916 Advocate, a weekly newspaper of the Irish in New York City, still reporting "Rebellion Spreading in Ireland."
The Chicago Daily Tribune, April 27, 1916
In keeping with this blog's gay slant, here's the LGBT connection with the Easter Rising. Sir Roger Casement, an Irish sympathizer, was captured by British forces during the failed attempt to ship guns from Germany to the Irish rebels.

Casement had worked with Henry Stanley (the guy famous for saying "Dr. Livingston, I presume") in the Congo (Zaire). He documented human rights abuses, up to and including murder, by the private army created in the Congo by Belgian King Leopold II to force the locals to work in the King's rubber plantations. He investigated similar abuses in Peru of the Putumayo Indians, and was knighted by the British crown in 1911 for his efforts.

Retiring from the British consular service in 1913, Casement was a founder of the Irish Volunteers, and met with German diplomats at the outbreak of World War I to funnel German arms to Ireland. 900 Mauser rifles made it to the rebels in July, 1914, but the British were able to intercept the April, 1916 shipment and sink the ship.

Suffering from malaria, a disease he was never able to completely shake from his days in the Congo, Casement was arrested in County Kerry and imprisoned in the Tower of London. A petition urging clemency was circulated by such luminaries of the time as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and George Bernard Shaw; to counter this, the British released Casement's "Black Diaries," detailing a series of sexual encounters with young men in 1903, 1910 and 1911.

Whether genuine or forged, the Black Diaries essentially quashed support for Casement among Irish and American Catholics. Casement was convicted of treason, stripped of his knighthood, and hanged on August 3, 1916. Ireland now has a military airfield named in Casement's honor, even though he wouldn't have been allowed to march in the Ancient Order of Hibernians St. Patrick's Day Parade until very recently.

The Duluth Herald, April 29, 1916
In closing, here's the May 5 edition of The Advocate. You can embiggen these images all you want, but the resolution of my original source wasn't good enough to read the copy anyway.
The Advocate, May 5, 1916

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