Theobald Wolfe Tone, an Irish revolutionist, born in Dublin, June 20, 1763, died in prison there, Nov. 19, 1798. He graduated at Trinity college, Dublin, and was called to the bar in London in 1780. In defence of the whig club he published "A Review of the Last Session of Parliament" in pamphlet form, and on the appearance of a rupture with Spain wrote a pamphlet to prove that Ireland as an independent nation was not bound by a declaration of war. Subsequently he sought to effect a union against the government between the Catholics of Ireland and the dissenters, and in 1791 addressed to the latter "An Argument on behalf of the Catholics of Ireland." The same year he assisted in founding the first club of " United Irishmen" at Belfast, and others in other parts of Ireland. He became secretary and agent of the Catholic committee in 1792, and was subsequently implicated in the proceedings of Jackson, sent from France to sound the sentiments of the Irish, He was allowed to retire from the country, and in 1795 came to the United States. Letters asserting that Ireland was ripe for a revolt induced him to sail for France in January, 1796, to gain the aid of the directory; and owing in large measure to his exertions, that government determined to fit out a powerful expedition under the command of Hoche. In July Tone received his commission as chef de brigade, and was also made an adjutant general to Hoche, whom he accompanied in December in the armament destined for Bantry bay.
The fleet was scattered by storms, and the French government would not undertake another expedition. In 1797 Tone was attached to Moreau's army; and in September, 1798, he accompanied a petty squadron destined for Ireland, which was intercepted and defeated by an English squadron. After fighting desperately, Tone was captured, carried to Dublin, tried by court martial, and sentenced to be hanged on Nov. 12. He died, however by his own hand, having cut his throat with a penknife on the 11th. After his death appeared "The Life of Theobald Wolfe Tone, written by himself, with his Political Writings," etc, edited by his son William Theobald Wolfe Tone (including " An Account of his own Campaigns under Napoleon," 2 vols. 8vo, Washington, 1826; abridged, London, 1827, 1837, and 1847). - His son was an officer in the French army, and after the fall of Napoleon in that of the United States; and he was also the author of L'Etat civil et politique de l'ltalie sous la domination des Goths (Paris, 1813), and "School of Cavalry" (Georgetown, D. C, 1833).