DECEMBER 18, 1958
IRISH COLLEGIAN AND REFUGEE
EDMUND DRINAN BARRY, D.D., 1777-1852
Being an abstract of a memoir written by
Edmund D. Barry in 1848,
and abstracted by Barry Dibble for
presentation to the Fortnightly Club
of Redlands, California
Assembly Room, A. K. Smiley Public Library
Biography of Barry Dibble (from the obituary of January 9, 1961)
Barry Dibble, one of the west's most renowned engineers and a resident of Redlands since 1924, die in his sleep last night at the age of 79. Mr. Dibble's distinguished engineering career was supplemented by an active participation in Redlands civic and church affairs as well as in the citrus industry.
A native of St. Paul, Minn., he took his early schooling there and in 1903 received his degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota.
After a number of early jobs in the engineering field, he embarked on an 18-year career with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, rising to the post of chief electrical and mechanical engineer with offices in Denver, Colorado.
In that capacity he participated in the studies which led to the construction of Hoover Dam in Boulder Canyon and was in charge of the studies for development of the Columbia River. This led to the Grand Coulee project, still the largest dam in the world and the greatest producer of hydroelectric power.
Moving to Redlands in 1924, Mr. Dibble retired from federal services and embarked on a new career as a consulting engineer. During this period, he was a consultant for the Republic of Mexico on a number of hydroelectric power projects and more recently was one of the members of a board of consultants for the U.S. Corps of Engineers on some of the large power projects planned on the Missouri and Columbia rivers.
Mr. Dibble's interest in his community led to service as a member of the Chamber of Commerce for many years and as a member of the County Grand Jury several years ago. He was recently given an award for his 35 years of activities with the Redlands Kiwanis Club and is a member of long standing in the Fortnightly Club. He has also been a member of the Knights Templar in Redlands and was affiliated with the Masonic Lodge in St. Paul, Minn. He served several times as Senior Ward of the Trinityt Episcopal church, and he headed the successful fund-raising drive for expansion of the church about three years ago.
Mr. Dibble had also been active in the San Bernardino County Farm Bureau, resulting from ownership of a citrus grove on West Cypress Avenuue which belonged to his father, C.A. Dibble, who acquired it in 1912. His professional affiliations included the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, the American Association of Engineers and the Ameriican Society of Agricultural Engineers.
He and Mrs. Dibble, who survived him, were married in June, 1907, and had four sons and four daughters. (One of his sons, Edward Fitzgerald Dibble, became a member of the Fortnightly Club of Redlands.)
IRISH COLLEGIAN AND REFUGEE
EDMUND DRINAN BARRY, D.D., 1777-1852
My great grandfather, Edmund Drinan Barry, was born November 11, 17?7, in the extreme south of Ireland, a few miles from the town of Kinsale. His father was William Barry of a well connected old family of the County of Cork. His mother was Mary Drinan, the daughter of Maurice of Drinan and Mary Sexton of Killowen, about ten miles from Kinsale.
Ireland was at that time and had been for many years in a state of unrest, in which property titles were insecure and life was uncertain.
It was the destiny of this young man to acquire a good education in preparatory schools and at Dublin University and to have his college course suddenly ended by an episode which made it advisable that he leave Ireland without delay and emigrate to the United States of America. There he became the progenitor of the branch of the Barry family of which we are proud to be members.
In his later years, at the urging of. the family, he prepared a memoir from which these notes are derived.
He begins his narrative by telling us that his earliest recollection goes back to the time, when he was six or seven years old (about the year 1784), when a powerful effort was being made at the instance of a Sir Thomas Roberts, baronet, a banker in the City of Cork, illegally to dispossess his father of Killowen, the mansion which had come down in the Drinan family and which was his fathers by bequest from his father-in-law, Maurice Drinan. The assault on the property was by a company of militia in uniform. A successful defense was carried out by the family and their domestics and a few close friends.
The military attack was followed by a long and expensive lawsuit in the chancery courts of Ireland at Dublin, involving both the assault and the' right of property. While the nature of the claims of Sir Thomas Robots is not stated, it is perhaps indicative of their lack of validity that the Barry family regarded then as most unjust and they were never pressed to a conclusion by Sir Thomas although he had a reputation for being oppressive.
William Barry was ambitious to give each of his children the best education his means could afford and during the 1780s the family moved to the northeast part of the County of Cork to be near good schools. At the age of about 10 years Edmund was sent to Castlemartyr to the school of a Mr. Nugent, distinguished classical instructor, and about two years later to John Scanlon at Cloyne. Who though stone blind was greater celebrated as a mathematical instructor and compiler of Scanlons Almanac, well known from the middle of the 17th Century for its astronomical accuracy.
Young Edmund recounts that at the Scanlon school there was another student, a Mr. Prendergast, thin about 50 years old, who claimed to be a native o Rhode Island in the United States of America, and of French descent, and his father, being a loyalist in the American war with England, suffered loss of his property and dispersion of his family after the war. He had been attracted to Cloyne by the presence of Scanlons mathematical seminary and made a contract for the payment to Scanlon of twenty guineas, with the proviso that for this payment he should have the privilege of remaining at the seminary for as long a period of time as he should wish.
He became quite advanced in his favorite and abstruse studies. He was distinguished for his exemplary conduct and character, and was quite a favorite with the literary and other gentlemen of the surrounding country. But, sad to relate, as his studies of mathematics became more arid more abstruse, his mind gradually weakened until his mental power became almost wholly extinct. On ordinary subjects he could converse with propriety, but when he got into his monomania of mathematics, the difficulty under which he labored was apparent.
The typical hospitality of all orders of society among the Irish was rendered to this stranger in a foreign land. The houses of rich and poor were open to him, and he was considered a welcome guest by all. Although all intercourse or correspondence between himself and his friends in America had entirely ceased for many years, he was able to sustain himself and purchase many mathematical and scientific books of great value to place in his depository at his headquarters in his favorite town (Clone) of his adoption.
His gentlemanly manners and his character as a student caused him to be received with the utmost kindness. The best accommodation was always reserved for the American nor could anything appear to his hosts to be more unkind than the offer of pecuniary compensation.
EXPLORATION OF THE CAVE OF CLOYNE
The name Cloyne, where the Scanlon Seminary was located is derived from a Celtic word denoting the place of the great cave. The students of the seminary had discovered that extending from east to west throughout the whole extent of Cloyne was an immense cave which had not been explored within the memory of anyone living. There existed a tradition that in a former period those who had attempted the exploration of the cave had perished.
Twelve of the students, of whom Edmund Barry was the youngest, without much preparation and without consent of the parents or teachers, decided to enter the cave, after the days study. A potsherd containing some live coals and a candle for each member of the party were almost the sole equipment.
The mouth of the cave was situated on the domain of the Bishop of Cloyne. Inside the entrance was a muddy slough succeeded by overhead incrustations of stalactites which dripped water that extinguished some of the lights and made them almost impossible to relight. But the party proceeded until it reached a large domed chamber which sparkled in the light reflected from the incrustation. Into this room passages converged from various directions. The widest and highest was followed until the party arrived at a stream of water which for a considerable distance had been heard gurgling.
Here the party held a council to consider whether to pass the stream. It was suggested that this must be the one which tradition said that once crossed there could be no return. Now it began to be realized that with so many passages loading in so many directions it would be a matter of great difficulty to find the one by which they had entered and which would lead them back to the world above.
With all the' candles extinguished and only a single spark remaining in the potsherd, one of the party succeeded in trimming his cable and extracting from it a portion of the wick which was not wet and which was lighted from the potsherd. With this feeble light, the party groped from one passage to another with despair ever increasing. Then suddenly one of the group thought he saw in the distance, a single feeble ray of daylight. This it turned out to be coming from a small opening in another part of the Bishops domain, from which they were able to make their escape through an entanglement of briars and brambles which rendered the aperture almost impenetrable. No subsequent record of an attempted exploration of this large cave is available.
TRIP TO RAYNES
The narrator records that when he was about 14 years old his parents arranged for him to visit a maternal uncle (Mr. Drinan) at Raynes, about 22 or 25 miles to the west on the southern coast in the direction of Charlesport, near Kinsale. He rode a horse and a servant accompanied him for about 15 miles to a ferry from where, after crossing Cork Harbour, he proceeded unaccompanied and on foot.
In the course of the foot journey, he stopped at a peasant hovel to inquire about his route and he found the occupants to be most hospitable. They invited him to their evening meal of potato and to remain for the night. Difficulty developed in interpreting communications and directions because he spoke only English and they only Irish. He decided to proceed bit as a result he found it necessary to seek shelter at another cottage and did not reach Raynes until late the next day. after considerable difficulties along the road.
A short time after his return home from Raynes, Edmonds father decided to send him to Youghal, about 18 miles from home. It is described as a corporate tow of great antiquity, formerly called Ocalia, and located at the mouth of the Blackwater River. It is also stated that the 1780s it was remarkable for its loyalty and attachment to the English government and for being inhabited principally by Protestants of the Established Church. Here young Edmund was to be prepared for entering Trinity College, Dublin, in an academy operated by a Rev. Mr. Hughes, who was well known as an excellent classical and scientific scholar.
The students at the academy were generally candidates for entrance to Trinity College and "belonged to families of the very first respectability." Apparently they were most congenial to Edmund.
TRIP TO DUBLIN
A few months later, in early 1793, the Rev. Mr. Higgins declared young Edmund fully prepared for his entrance examinations at Trinity College and it was arranged that he would proceed to Dublin to take them. His autobiography, from the standpoint of 50 or 60 years later, contrasts the conditions of travel in 1793 with those of the middle of the nineteenth century, as with a horse for transportation attended by a single gossoon, or boy servant, he set out for the town of Munster through the "most civilized and populous parts of the Counties of Cork and Waterford.
The lofty mountains on the borders of these Counties were to be passed, mountains which may well be styled the Irish Alps, from the summits of which most extensive and delightful views were exhibited both to North and South of that highly favored, and at the same time most miserable, because misgoverned, country."
Then in succession would follow Kings and Queens Counties and the Counties of Kilkenny and Kildare. With arrival at Munster, through which the Royal Canal had been built and "that wonder of magnetic instantaneous communication," the telegraph.
At Munster the traveler dismissed his gossoon and stepped on board the canal packet Where he found a large number of very respectable persons being all of the first class according to the arrangements made for a difference in fare in almost all countries of Europe." The canal trip from Munster to Dublin was another 50 miles.
Incidentally, he consents that the Dublin of that day (1793) was "remarkable for the number of servants in livery, who are held in the lowest estimation, and in fact they may be considered on a level with the slaves in the Southern States of America."
Arriving in Dublin, young Barry was able to secure comfortable quarters near the college. It developed that within a few days examinations would be held for entrance into the college. At that time labors (about 1793) the entrance examinations were divided into three classifications. The first, for those to be known as "fellow commoners" was for those who stood fist as to family and pecuniary resources. They were so-called because they dined with the fellows of the college. The "pensioners" were the second class and constituted the great body of the students. Both of these the classes underwent a strict examination. The third class was much smaller, with about 50 admitted each year as candidates to take the examination, of whom about a dozen were to be selected. To those who were chosen there were very considerable privileges extended, including exemption from most of the expenses of a college life. It was to this third class that our applicant belonged. On the day following the examination he had the satisfaction of hearing his name read as being among those chosen and thus on May 24, 1793, he was duly matriculated.
Entering upon the routine of college life it was natural that Edmund should participate in the gymnastic sports of his fellows. At the time of his entrance football was popular, and at this he was quite expert. One of the rules was that a fall by tripping the boy who was pursuing the ball was fair play, provided the tripping was done by the feet only and the hands were not used. One day Edmund suddenly found there was a young student of about his own age and size, the son or nephew of the Archbishop of Cashel, who was endeavoring to trip him but who missed in the attempt. A short time later the same student ran across his path, giving Edmund an opportunity, which he used dexterously to strike the students heel laterally against his other heel which pitched him howling. Cheering and mortified the boy rose up and, contrary to the well known rule of the game, immediately made battle. But Edmund, instead of returning blows, rushed him, took him in his arms, tumbled him over with his shoulder resting on the students body. Then he arose amid loud hurrahs for the "Munster Boy" with his fame established with striking a single blow.
THREAT OF NAPOLEONIC INVASION
Soon after young Edmund Barrys first quarterly examination for his degree, in his freshman year, the political horizon on the continent of Europe was assuming a very threatening aspect as regarding England. Bonaparte, then at the bright zenith of his power, was planning a formidable invasion against this, the most prominent of his enemies. Multitudes of gun boats were reported to be nearly ready for the threatened descent. Add to this the danger of an insurrection from an infuriated populace in Ireland and the omens for the future were in this respect truly inauspicious. In this emergency, recourse was had to the raising of a great additional yeoman force beside the introduction of a large regular military force.
In Dublin, almost every large institution, either commercial or professional was called an to provide its enrollment of volunteers to meet the approaching crisis. The call was promptly responded to .There was a Merchants Corps, a Custom House Corps, a Lawyers Corps, a College Corps and many others.
The Trinity College Corps was formed under officers of their own selection and entered on their drillings, marchings arid use of firearms with great and manly ardor. The whole corps was under the command or a distinguished senior fellow of the University, Dr. Brown, a native American, and well }mown for the versatility of his talents.
The Corps was soon detailed for military duty and they had their duties as sentinels "d night guards assigned to them in the college. They were regularly inspected each night to see that everything was in order.
At length they were declared by the authority to be fit for any military duty. At a grand review of 20,000 men in Phenix Park the college boys were much eulogized by the Commander-in-Chief.
Before completing the military training the officers of the several Dublin companies planned a sham battle. The battle line was to be along the river Darge, with the Lawyers Corps to undertake the defense of one bank while the College Corps was to cross at a place where the river was fordable, holding their firearms, knapsacks, etc., above the water, reform in a line on the opposite side as they landed, than immediately attack the corps in front of them.
At a given signal the college corps plunged into the river, sousing themselves and their handsome uniforms in the briny tide, but soon them discovered that the water was deeper than expected. The Commanding Officer, Dr. Brown, not wishing to favor himself over his men, had dismounted before entering the river and had given his horse to the servant. But being of very short stature (less than five feet tall) he soon found himself in trouble in the water. His embarrassing position was perceived by men of the first company, two of I'm being taller went to his assistance before he became entirely submerged and with one supporting him on each side landed him safely on terra firma.
The college corps reformed and then the command was given to charge with fixed bayonets. The Dublin lawgivers in opposition presented an unflinching front and seemed prepared to meet the shock and did not retreat as was expected. They thought it would be a good joke to try the mettle of the college boys. Bayonets were about to be crossed when the lawyers saw fury and rage depicted in the countenances of their young opponents and took to their heels precipitately but were promptly pursued by. the indignant college boys, who in several cases followed the pursued into private houses where they had retreated. This gave rise to personal collisions resulting afterward in some duels, fortunately without loss of life.
Not long after this the City Corps were broken up by order of the government.
UNREST OF 1798
Later conditions and events are discussed by Edmund Barry at the conclusion of the 71st year of his age as follows:
The year 1798 was ushered in on unfortunate Ireland with the most inauspicious omens. Eloquent appeals by the orators in the Irish Parliament were unheeded. A spirit of rebellion broke out in 1798, simultaneously over nearly all of Ireland and nothing like a conciliatory spirit was manifest on the part of the government, indeed the worst scenes were perpetrated under the express sanction of the Irish Government.
Lord Camden, a name synonymous with misguided and outrageous cruelty, was at the time Lord Lieutenant. Lord FitzGibbon, afterward Lord Clare, was at the awe time Lord Chancellor Ed proved himself to be a perverted and prejudiced administrator And to these must be added Londonderry forming a triumvirate, the best calculated to promote dismay and insurrection over the country.
A sincere friend of Edmund Barry was a fellow student named Bennett who had entered college at the same time after passing the same rigid entrance edition, and who was proving himself. to have a wonderful talent In mathematics.
Young Barry relates a conversation which he had with Bennett at about this time as being of the following purport:
Bennett Do you know that there are political societies now forming in the College?
Barrier: No, I have not heard of it.
Bennett: It is a [act and you must belong. I have attached myself to one and you must join the same society. This is the pledge, read it.
Pledge, (as remembered): "I, the undersigned, do promise that I shall, so far as in me lies, promote a fraternity of sincere affection among all right hearted Irishmen. I also promise that I shall, as far as in me lies, promote a free toleration of religious principles among all Christian denominations of every kind."
The pledge was gladly signed and young Barry was duly inducted into the association as the thirteenth member.
TRIAL AND PUNISHMENT
Lord FitzGibbon, Earl of Clare, then Lord Chancellor of Ireland was also ex-officio Chancellor of. Dublin University. Apparently, he had received communications about the state of things political in Trinity College and determined to examine the truth of such rumors. Accordingly his official proclamation announced investigation on a certain day in regard to the internal affairs of the University. The autobiography gives this account of the proceedings.
"At length the solemn day was ushered in. The Chancellor, with parade and state, took his seat attended by his secretary, clothed in his robes of office, and surrounded by all the officers of the University, such as the Provost, Senior and Junior Fellows, the Dean, etc., etc. The immense hall of the University was densely crowded. Almost all standing.
"The plan of operation in proceeding with the examination seemed to be this. To select twenty-four of the political delinquents to be called alphabetically, and from them to obtain the names of the other delinquents. And, as our particular collegians name commenced with B. and having his name one of the twenty-four, his name, Edmund D. Barry, was announced with a loud voice and he was ordered to come forward.
But so unprepared was he for such a summons and perhaps so electrified was he to be summoned before such a tribunal, that he neither spoke a word nor moved an inch at that call, bit several voices near him called out Mr. Barry, you are called forward by the Lord Chancellor. The second call was made and like a reluctant truant called to school, he crept slowly and unwillingly along until he came face to face with the Lord Chancellor of Ireland.
"The questions put to him were as follows:
"Mr. Barry, do you know anything of the existence of political societies?
"Yes my Lord," was the answer.
"Do you yourself belong to any of them?"
"Pray, how many are there in your own society?"
Thirteen, my Lord."
This is a matter of great magnitude at the present time and, as it is, you are to be called upon to give the names of the other members of your society."
"That, my Lord. I can not do. It would, I think, be highly dishonorable to do so. I could and would not answer any questions in regard to myself.
"You must, Sir, not hesitate to do it."
"I think," was the reply, ''that there is no earth power that could oblige me to do it, so dishonorable would I think it."
"If you do not give these names you are to be severed from this University for your contumely. Your prospects, how promising soever, they will be darkened forever. You are also amenable to military law which now prevails in this country. As soon as you leave this place, you are liable to be arrested."
"I am willing to encounter all the evils of that alternative sooner than disgrace myself," was the answer of him when as yet we call the collegian. A gentle movement of the Chancellors hand indicated that he was at liberty to retire, which he did, bowing respectfully.
Ha friend, Bennett was next called, who in a like manner refused to make any disclosure that would impeach others. The next two called were Thomas and William Corbett, brothers, both Masters of Arts, residing in the College and very popular as private tutors on account of their great learning and gentle bearing, and both of whom were officers in the College Corps. These answered firmly and loftily, each for himself, that he could not make any such disclosure as was required. Thomas, the elder of the two, as he passed on to the Chancellor
s tribunal, turning to the narrator of these college scenes, said "Mr. Barry, you have set us a noble example."
Thus it went on to the last of the twenty-four and a sentence of contumacy was passed in due form on the whole number and they were from the University." Thus ends the narrative of the college discipline.
The Chancellor's warning that our former young collegian would ~ be subject to arrest after leaving college served as notice that a prompt retreat was in order. He, with too or three of his colleagues, availed themselves of a place of security offered by a kind friend near Duncondra within the precincts of Dublin. He expresses gratitude also to their former fellow students who sought them out and offered them the use of their purses. One of these was a Mr. Sandys, afterwards Archbishop of Cashel.
Several days after their severance from the University, an invitation was received privately to attend a special meeting of a society assembled in secret conclave to promote their views.. Young Barry was not acquainted with the names of any of those present, but suggests that because of its granting commissions to officers of the Irish army, then raising, it was probably the directory or chief club. He was offered a commission as lieutenant, but when he discovered that a cordon of British troops was drawn around the capital such as to prevent the departure of anyone for the Irish force that was then on the march for the County of Wexford, he lost interest in that assignment.
The next proposal was made to him by an unattached friend in the city that he make an effort to escape to the south of Ireland, the place of his nativity, and this he promptly agreed to. At length his friend informed him that he had made contact with the captain of a coaster bound for Coustmacsheny, a place in the extreme southern part of the County of Cork.
Bidding farewell to the few partners of his trials, whom he was leaving behind, he departed secretly to this small vessel which was to sail on the next day. He was speedily enrolled as one of the crew and furnished with a sailors jacket, etc. They set sail down the Liffey. As they were passing one of the forts, a naval officer boarded them and finding no passengers, let them pass.
After a quick passage the coaster arrived safely at her destination in the only barony or district at that time exempt from military law. This exemption arose from the great influence of James Kearney, M.P., whose large estate lay in the barony and being a district of country where happily no outrage against the laws of the land had been committed, military law, at his solicitation did no extend to it.
And another circumstance of a favorable nature was that near the delightful seat of James Kearney lived a venerable grand-uncle of our wanderers, named Sexton. Here he was received with the utmost cordiality and affection by his warm-hearted relatives.
After passing several weeks in this tranquil residence, still without communication with his father, he at length resolved to draw nearer the family residence. Raynes, the residence of his maternal uncle, Mr. Drinan, lay, easterly only 10 or 12 miles, and thither he went.
From Mr. Drinan he heard of executions and punishments which were constantly taking place by military law In Cork and vicinity. And his own father, William Barry, was reported to be a serious sufferer. The first rumor to reach his father of his sons leaving college came who drove up to 0his house and asked him it he had heard from his son. He replied that he had not. Then , said this gentleman, he has been expelled for political contumacy and you may consider yourself suspect and I am afraid you will be treated accordingly.
Shortly thereafter, without any notice, a body of regular troops drew up in front of his house and he and his family were ordered out. He was told that his house and out offices were all to be set on fire at once. All pleas were in vain. Allusion were merely made to the principles of his son, late of Trinity College.
The conflagration soon did its work arid then William Barry was marched oft to stand his trial before a court martial sitting in Cork.
There was no dictation that acquittal might result from the trial but in Mr. Barrys case, the government informers agreed that while he was undoubtedly In the confidence of the people, he yet was strongly opposed to all insurrection and attempts at revolution, as being ruinous to the community and highly dangerous to the lives of all individuals who would join in such outbreaks. After a full and deliberate investigation against the accused he was unanimously acquitted of all charges against him.
Thus, he was restored to liberty but that did not restore his property and never was any kind of remuneration made.
FLIGHT TO AMERICA
All of these circumstances had their part in inducing Edmund Barry to try his fortune in a far distant land. Accordingly, in the month of May, 1799, at the age of twenty-two years, he sailed for America in the ship Non-Pareil, Captain Rossiter, and arrived in New York on the 9th of the following June.
The year 1799 was one of the years when yellow fever appeared in new York. It commenced in August and as usual there was a great exodus of the inhabitants. Edmund Barry was carried to Staten Island in the tide and there he resided for fourteen months, employed at teaching.
While at Staten Island, Edmund Barry first became acquainted with the Rev. Dr. Moore of St. Andrews at Richmond, Staten Island, who afterwards was Bishop of Virginia. Through his recommendation Edmund received an appointment to superintend the highly respectable classical and mathematical academy in Elizabethtown, New Jersey.
At Elizabethtown he was joined by his younger brother, James Barry, who later studied medicine and after graduating from the Medical College of New York began his practice in the city. There he was subject to an attack of cholera and died in 1932.
Toward the end of the year 1800 Edmund Barry arrived in Elizabethtown and there he resided for about three years. There he resolved to enter the ministry and on June 5, 1803, he was ordained a deacon in the French Church du St. Esprit, New York, of which he was chosen to be assistant minister.
On October 30, 1803, he was married to his first wife, Hepzibah Olcott of Hartford, Connecticut.
It is indicated that William Barry, father of Edmund Barry, came to America in 1812, but survived only about six months. He died in the 75th year of his age and is interred in the cemetery of St. Pauls Church, New York City, not far from the porch of the western door.
Prior to his own death, Edmund Drinan Barry was for many years Rector of St. Matthews Church, Jersey City. He died on April 20, 1852, and is buried in the cemetery at the foot of Bergen Hill, Jersey City.