?I have a Son who is 1st Lieut. and Adjutant in the Army of the U.S. of America station at Nashville Tennessee from where I am continually receiving communications on general events some of which connected with Fenianism ?. Feniansim is a Fact, and requires thorough and energetic action to at once extinguish it ?. My son is acquainted with the Fenianan Head Centre of the City of Nashville and he positively informed him that Blood will be shed before a Month. There are Fenians Hat Coats Songs and Plays with a prominency of Green and almost everything ? calculated to excite and enflame these ungrateful fanatical bloodthirsty Fenians. If I can be of service in obtaining information? I shall be happy to do so.? ?letter from Henri Le Caron?s father, John Beach, to the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
And with that letter, John Beach offered his son?s services as a spy to the British government of 1866. While the Dominion of Canada may not have yet been a nation, it remained a target for Irish rebels living in the United States seeking Ireland?s liberation from British occupation. Using many aliases, Henri Le Caron turned from restless adventurer to cloak-and-dagger operative risking everything?his career, his family, and his life?for Queen and country.
In Delusion: The True Story of Victorian Superspy Henri Le Caron, journalist Peter Edwards reveals the early history of Canadian, British, and American intelligence gathering. Weaving the story of intrigue with Le Caron?s further exploits as a grave robber, Edwards shows that what is called ?freedom fighting? by some and ?terrorism? by others is as old as the hills. Individuals and motivations clash in this story of nationhood at the crossroads.