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Donnelly Rebuttal Although the facts as stated in the initial report were based on Mr. Robert Salt's book as well as a few other sources, the background and information about the Donnellys is still hotly debated.
Below is an e-mail sent to us by Sean B. that looks at the other side of the Donnelly family proving that there are still divisions in the way people view this family and the tragic events around their deaths. It is reprinted with his permission with only his full name, e-mail address omitted and a few spelling corrections...
Please check the "facts" that you have on you site about the "Black" Donnellys
Sorry folks but in my opinion you make The "Black" Donnellys out to be normal, God fearing, settlers that were wrongly mistreated by their neighbours and "friends". Granter the murder was horrible but The "Black" Donnellys were a bad lot and deserved the reputation of "thieves" and "bullies".
This following quote is an example of one of your errors:
"After a time, James' plan of owning land of their own took shape when he erected a shanty on land that had been abandoned by the previous tenant. The lease was taken up by a John Grace of London Township and an agreement was reached. Donnelly probably had to pay some rent to Grace as well as clear the required four acres of land as per The Canada Company who administered the lease that Mr. Grace held."
The land was NOT abandoned and James Donnelly SQUATTED on the property. The "agreement" reached was a court settlement that stated that James could have the front half of the property and the Patrick Farrell could have the back half. This made James very angry and caused the "fight" that happened at the logging bee...
Truth be told the fight was supposedly a fair one and If James hadn't killed Patrick, Patrick probably would have killed him.
You also forgot to mention that James went "on the lam" and even went so far as to wear womens clothing to work his fields before finally surrendering....
This type of misinformation seriously puts in jeopardy the creditability of your other reports.