Fenian Raid Veterans, Tuesday 1 June 1915
The Fenians were Irish nationalists seeking independence from England in the 19th century. Part of this effort involved periodic raids on the British Empire’s North American dominion from the US. On 19 February 1868, the New York Times reported from San Francisco that
the Fenian organizations on the Pacific Coast are being placed on a war footing, with the probable intention of a raid on the British Possessions in the North.
Fenian raids on Manitoba and Quebec failed and the invasion of BC never materialized, although these fellows were recruited to repel any attack. A Fenian did allegedly succeed in assassinating MP and Fenian turncoat Thomas D’Arcy McGee.
The Fenian movement is significant in Canadian history in part because it inspired the creation of the country’s first political policing institutions, something not even the much more credible threat of annexation by the US could accomplish.
Source: Photo by Orville J Rognon, City of Vancouver Archives #677-763
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