Charles Hart played a minor part in the Confederate movement of 1848 as a Confederate agent propagating the Irish cause. His previously unpublished diary gives a fresh and exhilarating perspective on Young Ireland and mid-century America.
Charles Hart (1824-1898) was a Dublin solicitor's son who played a minor part in the Confederate movement in 1848. Influenced by his brother-in-law, John Blake Dillon, he spent the revolutionary months in the United States as a Confederate agent, propagating the Irish cause and meeting American politicians, Irish-Americans and the new crop of 'exiles'. His hitherto unpublished diary gives an intimate picture of the Young Irelanders, news of their failed revolution, and a vivid account of American politics and social mores, and landscape. A highlight was his meeting with Wolfe Tone's widow, Matilda, who reminisced about the beauty of Lucien Bonaparte, asked after 'poor old Dublin' and urged Hart not to 'expatriate' himself'. Hart followed her advice, returning to Dublin after a year in America to embark on half a century's inconspicuous work as a solicitor. Hart's diary set in context by the editor's wide-ranging introduction, gives a fresh and exhilarating perspective on YoungIreland and mid-century America.