John Mitchel was increasingly a liability for the Irish Confederation with his call for violent rebellion. In his editorials, he called on the Irish people to stand up for their nationality and arm themselves with rudimentary weapons. On February 12, Mitchel’s new newspaper, the United Irishman, appeared. With his coeditors, Martin Reilly, Father John Kenyon, and James Clarence Mangan, he continued to favor resistance. The editors shared a common belief according to Mitchel: “Ireland was our country. The Irish race was our flesh and blood. The alternative was, either to see a foreign enemy scourge our people from the face of their own land, by famine and pestilence, ‘law,’ political economy, and red tape, or to set our backs to the wall and fight to the death.” Mitchel frequently insulted the British authorities, calling the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, George William Villiers, Earl of Clarendon, a “butcher” and “high commissioner of spies.” Using Wolfe Tone’s language, Mitchel made practical suggestion on how to construct barricades and fight along them with rudimentary weapons.

On May 13, Mitchel was arrested and charged with violation of the newly passed Treason Felony Act. Incarcerated at Newgate Prison, Mitchel awaited his trial with a packet jury of Protestants and unionists. The jury quickly found Mitchel guilty and convicted him to fourteen years of transportation.

Image: Mitchel, John. Jail Journal, or, Five Years in British Prisons Commenced on Board the Shearwater Steamer. New York: Office of the "Citizen", 1854.