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June 1853, John Mitchel, a member of “Young Ireland” escaped from the notorious prison, Freemantle in Australia, via the ship “Catalpa.” He had been sentenced to penal servitude for the crime of felony-treason. This law was passed to specifically target the” Young Ireland” group.  His crime was as a founder of the newspaper “United Irish.” He was advocating passive resistance to British rule.  Mitchel was a Protestant and the son of a minister and was moved by the plight of the poor during the “Great Hunger.”  He eventually made his way to America where he worked as a journalist, never forsaking the Irish cause.  His great-grandson became mayor of New York City in 1913.

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