the Fenian Brotherhood was split into two hostile camps thereby. It was considered that Stephens' policy of carrying on the rebellious operations in Ireland was an impossible and suicidal one to the success of the cause. Many Irish-Americans were languishing behind the bars of British prisons, with an uncertain fate awaiting them when they were arraigned for trial, and their comrades in the United States bitterly blamed Stephens and O'Mahony for the fiasco. Consequently the majority in America revolted, and seceded from the Stephens faction, claiming that he had woefully misrepresented the state of affairs that existed in Ireland, both as regarded preparations for a successful issue, and also the enthusiasm that was said to sufficiently dominate the people there to induce them to take up arms when the American contingent arrived.
Col. Wm. R. Roberts, of New York, was the leader of the American secessionists, who declared their belief that "No direct invasion or armed insurrection in Ireland would ever