This amazing memoir was first published in London in 1857, almost sixty years after
the events it records took place.
In the unsigned Preface to the first edition, this account is described as showing
"the remarkable preservation experienced by a family in Ireland, who, relying on the gracious
protecting care of the Almighty for deliverance from lawless men, refused either to
take up arms in their own defense, or to quit the perilous post of duty." It added
that "the Christian disposition of meekness and forebearance, strengthened by a holy
courage and firmness, proved in this instance, as in many others, the means, under the divine
blessing, of safety amid circumstances of extraordinary trial. On the other hand, the
declaration of our Lord and Saviour is often fulfilled, that they who take the sword shall
perish by it."
As Dinah Goffs story amply shows, these comments do not exaggerate the depth of
ordeal she and her family went through.
Of the author, nothing further is said, except that "having occasionally related
her young friends some of the striking incidents, of which she was a witness during the
rebellion in Ireland, (she) has often been requested to commit the account to paper,
that it might not be forgotten."
Both for its place in the long, sad history of British colonization of Ireland, and
its more uplifting place in the saga of the Quaker Peace Testimony applied in situations
where its implications and cost were unmistakably clear, we can indeed be grateful that
Dinah Goff at length acceded to these requests.
I am pleased to be able to make this story once again available to Friends
and others interested in religious pacifism.
Chuck Fager, 4th Month, 2001
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