Wendell Phillips on Daniel O'Connell

Daniel O'Connell Statue in Melbourne
“I do not forget your soldiers, orators, or poets - any of your leaders. But when I consider O'Connell's personal disinterestedness -- his rare, brave fidelity to every cause his principles covered, no matter how unpopular, or how embarrassing to his main purpose, that clear far-reaching vision, and true heart, which, on most moral and political questions, set him so much ahead of his times; his eloquence, almost equally effective in the courts, in the senate, and before the masses; that sagacity which set at naught the malignant vigilance of the whole imperial bar, watching 30 years for a misstep; when I remember that he invented his tools, and then measure his limited means with his vast success, bearing in mind its nature; when I see the sobriety and moderation with which he used his measureless power, and lofty, generous purpose of his whole life -- I am ready to affirm that he was, all things considered, the greatest man the Irish race ever produced.”

Wendell Phillips, American Historian and Abolitionist (1811 – 1884)