/Ex. 33] DEPAETUEE FOE AMERICA 197 realised, though rather late in the day for their own dignity, that no jury could be got to convict the Leaguers, and they did not wish to risk a verdict of 'not guilty.' All Ireland laughed at this performance; and landlords and tenants, who had so little in common, joined in regarding the action or non-action of the Administration with contempt and ridicule. As winter approached famine threatened the west, and committees were formed by the Duchess of Marl-borough (the wife of the Lord-Lieutenant) and by the Lord Mayor to collect food and clothing for the starving peasantry. At the Land League Conference of October 21 a resolution had been passed requesting Parnell to visit America ' for the purpose of obtaining assistance from our exiled fellow-countrymen.' This resolution was now put into effect, and on December 21 Parnell set out for New York (accompanied by Mr. Dillon) on the twofold mission of appealing for funds to save the tenant farmers from immediate ruin, and of consolidating the union between the Irish at home and the Irish abroad.