Molly’s Story

Molly Foley illustration


That night, you walk with Daniel into a drafty barn. It’s already full. Daniel squeezes your hand once and slips away into the crowd. You find yourself a spot near the doors and listen.

“Our friends in the United States have been working hard,” a man says. “William Roberts sends regards.”

You know his name: he’s high up in the Fenian Brotherhood, a group of Irish-American rebels*.

“They have a plan to free Ireland!” he continues. “Their men have learned to fight in the American Civil War. Together, the Brotherhood will cross into Canada. They’ll fight until Britain ends its rule over Ireland, or until this country is conquered.”

“You’re going to trade Canada for Irish independence?” a woman scoffs. “It’ll never work! I’m leaving.”

“It will work! They’ve chosen another target at Niagara. But they need our support.” The man pauses. “And I need a brave rebel to carry this message to the Blacksmith who couldn’t be here tonight.”

You want a free Ireland, but you’re not sure how you feel about invading Canada. You suppose the plan might work — it just sounds awfully violent.

Do you want to stay involved and carry the message? Or is it better to find a different job, away from Daniel and these rebels?

*The Fenian Brotherhood attempted several raids into Canada in the 1860s in hopes of capturing the colonies and holding them hostage until Britain granted Irish Independence. Fear of invasion from the south motivated many to support Confederation.