later it would have missed him, but as luck would have it he was, in fact, leaving for Washington and would be delighted to meet the Irishman there in two weeks time. Finbar, accompanied by two of Nault’s men, arrives in Buffalo. He briefs O’Neill on the change of plan and asks that Todd be given his new orders. Liam is surprised when Finbar arrives in New York. The men talk through the night. Finbar then takes a train on to Washington.
75:Dakota Territory. August 1862
The long awaited Sioux uprising has finally broken out, east of Fort Emmet. Four starving Indians had attacked and killed a settler family. Little Crow, knowing that reprisals were inevitable, at last sanctioned a full-scale war. Half a command of cavalry and 400 civilians were slaughtered within days. The town of New Ulm was burnt to the ground. Panic was widespread and 40,000 settlers were forced to flee to safety.
76:Washington DC. August 1862
Douglas and a group of fellow black leaders were waiting in a reception room of the White House for the meeting they have been summoned to by President Lincoln. They are shown into the Oval Office. Douglas and Lincoln know each other well. The President had previously, and reluctantly, been persuaded by the influential activist to allow blacks to enlist in the Union Army. Lincoln now had a plan to solve the black problem in America. The President had time and time again rejected demands from abolitionists to abolish slavery throughout America. He now proposed a colonisation programme to deport blacks to Central America. His view was that the mere presence of blacks had caused the war. Douglas is outraged and storms out of the meeting, his parting shot was to accuse Lincoln of ‘American prejudice and Negro hatred.’ Douglas was still fuming when he met Finbar the following day. After listening carefully to what Finbar has to say, Douglas agrees to write a letter of introduction to the President suggesting he grant the Irishman an audience.