A new exhibition reveals Winston Churchill's Irish connections
Wartime secret telegram to De Valera after Pearl Harbor revealed
A new exhibition in Manhattan reveals Winston Churchill's connection to Ireland.
When he died in 1965, at the age of 91, Churchill left behind nearly a million pieces of paper documenting his life as a journalist, soldier, politician, statesman, historian and author. According to the Irish Times, it took five archivists five years to catalogue 2,500 boxes of his papers in Cambridge.
'Churchill: The Power of Words," opened on Friday at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York. The project was curated and designed by Allen Packwood, director of the Churchhill Archives at Churchill College Cambridge, along with Morgan Library's head of historical manuscripts Declan Kiely, and Mark Leslie, the managing director of the Irish firm Martello Media.
One of the most interesting documents in the exhibition is a secret telegram that Churchill, as Britain’s wartime prime minister, sent to Taoiseach Éamon de Valera after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. “Now is your chance,” it says. “Now or never. ‘A nation once again’. Am very ready to meet you at any time.”
Leslie and Kiely believe the telegram is “the smoking gun” that proves the long-held belief that Churchill offered de Valera the North if Ireland would renounce neutrality.
However, Packwood interprets the telegram differently: “Churchill could be harking back to when we were one kingdom. Perhaps he was deliberately ambiguous. This is exactly the sort of debate we hope these documents will spark.”
The Cambridge dons who gave the go-ahead for the project “didn’t understand why on earth an Irish company should design an exhibition on Winston Churchill”, says Leslie. “I didn’t tell them I was Churchill’s first cousin twice removed, but I mentioned than an Irish lawyer in New York, William Bourke Cockran, taught Churchill elocution. I knew because it was family legend.”
Cockran, a former teacher from Sligo until he emigrated to New York where he became a prominent lawyer and politician, became romantically involved with Churchill's widowed mother, Jennie Jerome, in Paris. When young Winston, working as a journalist, stopped in New York on the way to cover the Cuban war of independence against Spain in 1895, he stayed at Cockran's Fifth Avenue residence.
Decades later, US politician Adlai Stevenson would write: “I asked the Prime Minster, ‘How do you account for your oratorical ability?’ and the Prime Minister said, ‘It was the New York lawyer Bourke Cockran who taught me to use my voice like a scale of the human emotions, how to hold thousands in thrall. I owe him everything.'"
Churchill’s grandfather, the Duke of Marlborough, was viceroy of Ireland and inhabited what is now Áras an Uachtaráin. Churchill lived in Dublin from the age of two until age six, when his father, Lord Randolph, served as the Duke’s secretary.
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Crusades came back in 2001 and now being waged by Secular Christians from USA and EU......The original Crusades were fought by European Catholics.Nelson Mandela once considered a terrorist by many Irish political leaders
If you wear a uniform you can kill all the women and children you like ,isn't that correct Chuck.Gay teacher fired from Catholic school after applying for same-sex marriage license
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