The Petersburg Intelligencer
has an obituary of this most dangerous prelate, who actually enlisted more men against the South
than any one man at the North
We publish his obituary with respectful, yet cheerful, alacrity:
Few names are more celebrated, or have stood more prominent in the stormy politics of the State of New York
Called to the Episcopate in January, 1838, for a quarter of a century he has ruled the most populous and most influential diocese belonging to his church in the once United States
.--Of commanding intellect, and an eloquent preacher, he has long been looked to by the Roman Catholics
of the North
as at once the ornament and defence of their oft-assailed creed.
An Irishman by birth, he belonged to a generation of exiles that remembered, perhaps felt, the remorseless tyranny of the British Government
during the insurrection of 1798, when that unhappy country was delivered up to the unbridled license of a brutal soldiery, animated with the fierce hatred of an opposite creed.
An enthusiastic Irishman, he remembered and resented the wrongs of his native land, and hence, was ever found in the ranks of those who have struggled through good report and evil report to free "Green Erin" from British rule.
This cherished object has been the favorite day dream of thousands of intelligent Irishmen, who fondly hope the day may come, when, with the assistance of the United States
, an American invasion will wrench Ireland
from the British Empire
This is the key which deciphers the mysterious eagerness with which the fresh rushed to enlist under the stars and stripes for Southern subjugation.
Any political movement which weakened the United States
postponed the revenge upon England
, and hence the sacrifice of blood by Irishmen for the restoration the Union
Like all enthusiasts, they became the dupes of unscrupulous politicians, and are now slowly, but surely, recovering from the deception practised on them by Meagher
and other Irish demagogues, at the instance of the Yankee Government
under the old Government, the late Archbishop
leaned to the Whigs
For years he was the public and private friend of Seward
, and those who have had a better opportunity of knowing than the writer of this sketch are inclined to the opinion that astute and unscrupulous man made an undue impression upon a mind unnerved by extreme age and burthened with the spiritual government of an extensive arch-diocese, containing upwards of six hundred thousand Roman Catholics.
This may partially account for the Archbishop
's undue activity against the South
at the commencement of the war. But complaint being made to the Holy See
, he was indirectly censured by a letter commanding "prayers for peace," irrespective of terms for the restoration of the Union
We have no means of learning what were Bishop Hughes
's sentiments during the last few months of his life; but, judging from the course pursued by a paper published under his patronage a change must have taken place.
The Freeman's Journal,
the official organ of the arch diocese, has taken the lead in a fierce opposition to Lincoln
While many newspapers have succumbed to Lincoln
's despotism, it has refused to bow before. "Baal," and is distinguished by its bitter sarcasms and outspoken denunciation of Northern tyranny.
It may be presumed that the Archbishop
, at least, did not disapprove of the honest independence of his official organ.
was a fearless controversialist — he never declined a contest, and seemed to love to live in an atmosphere of controversy.
He was a formidable opponent, and possessed keen powers of sarcasm joined to a strain of native wit, which generally placed his opponent, when engaged in political topics, in a ridiculous light.
It is but right to say that many sincere members of his church regretted his prominence as a politician.--They preferred that the sacred office of Bishop should be kept clear of the dust of the political arena.
But he was the idol of his own flock, who looked up to him with unbounded reverence and affection.
His influence was great, and "his name was a tower of strength to his people. " This may account for the latitude hitherto given to the "Freeman's Journal.
" Despotic as Lincoln
are, they shrunk from a contest with "John, Archbishop
, of New York" He was a power in the State
and wielded an influence which, we think, will not descend with his office to his successor.
His private character was irreproachable — he was hospitable and generous to the distressed.--His falls of temperament, as displayed in his public discussions, were those of his country; but he never harbored resentment, and wrote as he spoke, from the impulse of the moment.
He was for years the object of attack to a certain class of New York politicians, and certainly he did not die in their debt for when he struck he hit hard, and when the contest closed his opponent had but little to boast of. He died at an advanced age, (eighty, we believe,) and has left his record in the local history of New York as one of the great men of his day. It is lamentable that his last days were devoted to an unholy advocacy of the worst cause that demons and devils ever advocated.