How the rumor of an attack on the Brooklyn Navy Yard grew.
an Irishman named Patrick Meed wished to obtain work in the Navy Yard
, and fancying that Jas. E. Kerrigan
might have some influence in that quarter, he solicited it; and the two went over the river together to see what could be done.
When there, the first application was made to the “boss laborer,” who informed them that his department was full at present.
From thence they went to the machine shop; but met with no better success.
said to his companion, “Let us take a stroll down to the dock,” the object being to see if work might not be found in that direction.
As they went along the Irishman said, “This damned place ought to be burned up.”
The expression uttered by the companion of Kerrigan
was enough, in the opinion of a few laborers who overheard it, to fix the idea in their minds that “something was afloat ;” and as they talked one with the other, the molehill began soon to assume the dimensions of a mountain.
When the laborers left the yard a rumor spread around the city — doubtless by a word or two dropped in such and such a store, then amended, added to and reorganized, until the whole city was alarmed — and the “authenticated” fact that James E. Kerrigan
was at the head of a large and secret army, and intended to take and burn down the navy yard, was universally believed.
The police were augmented and the militia ordered out, because a man in the heat of his temper, caused by disappointment and chagrin, uttered one simple hasty expression.
But during the silent midnight hours, at which the attack was to be made, where was Kerrigan
The worthy “leader of ten thousand rebels” was quietly enjoying himself at the Brennan coterie, held in Irving Hall, completely unconscious of his great and elevated position.
He was seen by many persons to be in the building from an early hour in the evening till four o'clock next morning, and certainly did not seem to have on his mind so mighty a plan as the seizure of the federal property of this State.
In fact, the next morning he could scarcely believe his own eyes, as he read the startling news in the city papers, and expressed surprise how his name could have got mixed up in the affair.
But as J. E. K. is a boy full of deviltry and nonsense, he fancied that he might have joked upon the subject, until the above facts came to his remembrance, when he soon discovered the “nigger in the woodpile.” --Herald, Jan