Object: Pearse Surrender Order
National Library of Ireland
Object title: Draft signed by P. H. Pearse of the decision by the Republican forces to enter negotiations with the British, written on cardboard picture-mount, 1916 April 29.
Physical Characteristics: The text is written in pencil on cardboard picture mount, taken from the frame of a picture.
Object Description: The item was made by Padraig Pearse, Commander in Chief of the Irish Republic, after the rebels had evacuated the General Post Office and were based in Moore Street on Saturday April 29th 1916.
It states that due to the desire to prevent the further slaughter of the general population and the wish to save as many of their followers as possible the Provisional Government wished to open negotiations for surrender. It was signed by Pearse as a record of the decision to surrender before they opened negotiations with the British Army.
How is the object associated with the Easter Rising 1916 and in what way does it make a unique contribution to our understanding of the event?
It is a unique object, with the rationale behind the momentous decision to surrender, written on an everyday item. It does not look like an important document. The decision to surrender was contentious and not all the commandants of the other divisions, and their men, wished to surrender. The draft was left behind in Number 16 Moore Street. The text can be compared for similar themes in the formal surrender document.
Discussion point on rationale behind Rising, expectations of success, blood sacrifice for the cause. If Pearse knew that so many men would be executed would he have surrendered?