A condemnation of Daniel O'Connell's agitation of Irish immigrants in the United States against slavery. The artist, certainly E. W. Clay, presents a loaded contrast between turbulent conditions in Ireland and the idyllic, relative prosperity of the immigrant's lot in America. It is the period of the Irish campaign for repeal of the oppressive Legislative Union.
On the left repeal movement leader O'Connell stands on the shore of Ireland holding an "Agitation" club and speaking through an "Abolition" horn. He says, "Over the broad Atlantic I pour forth my voice saying come out of such a land you Irishmen or if you remain and dare continue to countenance the system of slavery that is supported there, we will recognize you as Irishmen no longer!"
A British grenadier with rifle in hand orders O'Connell to "Clear the way there!" A policeman holding a baton with a crown on its tip warns, "Come, come stop that noise and move off! do you hear!" Behind him is a tragic but common rural scene: a farmer and his family despair as their cottage burns; another farmer lies dead on the ground behind them.
At right, across the ocean, is an American farmer and his family. The farmer arrives home from the field, a scythe over his shoulder. He is accompanied by his son, and a black dog follows at his heels. In the distance a black woman and her child lead cows along a road. The American farmer answers O'Connell:
It is a mighty far voice you have Mr. O'Connell--I love Ireland as well as you do, but this is my adopted Country and the birthplace of my Children. By industry and economy I am become prosperous--my Children are receiving the benefit of a good education, and the highest situations in the State are open to them. Here we can express our opinion's freely without the fear of bayonets or policemen. I have sworn to defend its laws and the interests of its union and will do so with the last drop of my blood. I will never forsake it!
The farmer's wife sits at her spinning wheel before their cottage, her three children about her. She says with a broad Gaelic accent, "Ah Patrick "acushla" don't be hard on Mr. O'Connell--sure if he were druve out of Ould Ireland woundn't we give him a a "cead mille failthe" here!"
Her son, just arriving, exclaims, "See here mother what a beautiful medal I've got for being head of my Class."
Aside from being very close in style to Clay's "America" (no. 1841-1), "O'Connell's Call "also reflects that artist's particularly chauvinistic perspective on American versus English life.