International Workingmen’s Association 1866
Source: MECW, Volume 20, p. 339;
Written: by Karl Marx on January 16, 1866;
First published: in Russian, in Generalny Sovet Pervogo Internatsionala. 1864-1866, 1961.
Marx kept a record of the Central Council meeting of January 16, 1866 on a separate sheet of paper. The text of the minutes entered in the Minute Book by Cremer differs somewhat from that of Marx.
This document was published in English for the first time in The General Council of the First International. 1864-1866, Moscow, 1962.
Eccarius in the chair.
Minutes read and confirmed.
Citizens Longuet et Crespelle were nominated members of the Council.
Marx communicated to the Council the receipt by Fox of a letter of thanks by Mrs. O'Donovan for his articles in the Workman’s Advocate [P. Fox, “The British Coup d'État in Ireland”, “The Influence of Irish National Feeling Upon the Relations Between Great Britain and the United States”, “The Irish Difficulty Continued”, The Workman’s Advocate, October 14, 21, 28, 1865] on Fenianism, and the reprint, in the same paper, of the appeal for the support of the convicted Fenians. [“The State Prisoners. An Appeal to the Women of Ireland”, The Workman’s Advocate, January 6, 1866]
Marx proposed Citizen Longuet’s nomination in his place as correspondent for Belgium. Seconded by Jung. Accepted.
Jung read a letter of Dujonquoy (Hotel de New York) requesting the payment of £7 17s. owed to him from the times of the Conference. [The London Conference, September 25-29, 1865]
A discussion followed in which Le Lubez, Jung, Dupont, Wheeler, Lessner, and others took part.
Cremer: The members of the Council and the Association ought [to] pay their cards immediately.
Jung proposes: That Dupont should tell Dujonquoy that the Council having not been largely attended, part of the bill be paid on Wednesday next and a definite answer given. Seconded by Lessner.
Jung reads: Talbot, of Caen, letter, and one pound (for 20 cards) (to Dupont).
Propaganda in different towns of the departments of Calvados, Orne, La Manche.
Mr. Wheeler moves: That notice be given that everyone who does not (renew) pay his card until 15th February, will cease to be member of the Association. (To be advertised in the Advocate.) Seconded by Citizen Jung. Carried.
Werecki (as delegate of the Poles) explains their absence on the Standing Committee. On Monday they had a meeting and got the necessary money together. After some discussion, as to the place of meeting, St. Martin’s Hall, next Monday (22 January), 8 o'clock in the evening.
Cremer read the Appeal to the British Members. Accepted Address. Difficulty as to the signature of the names. Moved subscription-sheets to be printed. Carried on the motion of Wheeler.
245 Fenians – Irish revolutionaries who called themselves after the warriors of ancient Ireland. Their first organisations appeared in the 1850s in the USA among the Irish immigrants and later in Ireland itself. The secret Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood, as the organisation was known in the 1860s, aimed at establishing an independent Irish republic by means of an armed uprising.
The Fenians, who represented the interests of the Irish peasantry, came mainly from the urban petty bourgeoisie and intelligentsia. They adhered to conspiracy tactics. The British government sought to suppress the Fenian movement by severe police reprisals. In September 1865 it arrested several leaders of the movement, including the editors of the banned newspaper The Irish People, Thomas Clarke Luby, John O'Leary, and Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, and sentenced them to long terms of imprisonment (O'Donovan Rossa for life). The Central Council of the International came out in defence of the arrested Fenians. In particular, on January 2, 1866 the Council adopted a decision, on Fox’s motion, to reprint in the International’s newspaper, The Workman’s Advocate, the appeal of Mrs. O'Donovan Rossa and Mrs. Clarke Luby, published in Irish newspapers, to raise funds for the Irish political prisoners. The appeal is mentioned below in these Minutes.