|Anonymous Note Re. American Relief Supplies. Irish Famine.
|Irish Emigration Database
|re Potato Famine
|T3592/6: Presented by Mrs M. Cook Bradley.
|Public Record Office N. Ireland.
|Document added by LT, 04:07:1994.
|In 1846 the failure of the potato crop in Ireland and weather
conditions brought a severe famine upon Ireland. The Parliament
of England voted relief to the xtent of $50,000,000, to which was added
gifs of the wealthy. But the scourge of the famine was so great that in some
towns 1/3 of inhabitants died.
An official inspector in Kenmare found six fever victims huddled together
on the damp cold ground. In a cabin he found five fever victims starving
having managed to get a handful of seaweed from the shore nearby; were
huddled around a pot in which it was cooking. He found the gastly case
of a fever victim, whose mother lay beside him dead for two days. He
was crazy with distress that his mother should have so died
He found a sick mother in a cabin, lying with a child dead for 24
hours. two others close by dying, and a starving cat seeking to feed
on a dead infant at her side.
A workhouse built in Cork to hold 2000 was soon filled to
overflowing. Additional buildings were quickly filled then near the
workhouse.Buildings were hastened to take in 1200, then 1800.
soon every inch of space was occupied, and yet the hungry,
fever stricken, pushed in until more than 5000 and 300, were crowded
into a space meant for 2000. So the pestilence raged there to an extent
unheard of, and the dead were found anywhere and everywhere
the Guardians, Physicians, and Chaplains all shared in the work
of the Destroyer, and the frightfull mortality. Since the awful scourge
went on where conditions were best, what must have been conditions in the
cabins of the poor!
It was then that the pitiful cry of distress, hunger, famine and death
of poor Ireland came over the sea.
Then on the 22nd of February, 1847, Boston Merchants petitioned
Congress to lend a ship of war to carry supplies for the needy of
Ireland, Congress responded, granting the loan of the Jamestown
sloop of war, to Captain Geo. R. Dekay of New Jersey; and the frigate
Macedonian to Captain Bennet Forbes. Both houses of Congress, John T. Mason
Sec. of the navy, and the President all joined in this great act of mercy.
five days after the vote in Congress, The secretary of the Navy ordered
Comodore [Commodore?] Parker, of the Charlestown Navy Yard. to remove the
armour out of the Jamestown and prepare her for the trip to Ireland with
supplies, and deliver her to Captain Forbes.
The cargo was provisions, Breadstuffs, Clothing, shipped by the Boston
Relief Committee, loaded on "Ship of Peace," Jamestown".Captain R. B.
Forbes, commanding. This first shipment contained: 400 barrels of Pork. 100 Tierces of Hams. 655 barrels of Corn meal. 70,501 bags of corn meal, of one half barrel each. 475 bags of meal of 60 pounds each. 250 bags of 1/4 of a barrel each 7400 and 32 bags 1/8 of a barrel each 7400,96 bags northern corn. 7000,300,75 barrels of bread 353 barrels of beans, 82 barrels of peas, 200 empty bags all this on the cargo of the Jamestown, was contributed by Boston.This skedule [schedule?] was contributed by other New England towns; 533 barrels of corn, 1/2 barrel of Pork. 18 barrels of Corn meal 1/2 barrel of oat meal. 10 barrels of oatmeal. 84 barrels Potatos, one
bag of potatoes. 547 bags of corn. One barrel of flour, One barrel of Rye
10 bags of Rye. One box of oats. 3 bags of wheat. One tierce of dried apples 3 tirces of beans. One bag of beans. Six boxes of fish. 200 barrels of meal 1/8 of a barrel each. sixteen barrels of clothing.
One half barrel, nine boxes of clothing. Two bundles also. 50 1/2
barrels of flour. This was the bill of lading which covered the bill of lading of the Jamestown! That great ark of charity: which sailed for the city of Cork, dismantled of all her guns. She went ladened with food and clothes to many about to perish. No ship of battle or blood; ever had such a noble triumph: or gave such a lesson to the world. On the 27th of March 1847, Captain Forbes, signed a receipt for her load and sailed away. At three
P.M. the Jamestown passed Cape Cod, and launched upon the Atlantic.
She encountered winds and rain and fog and chill; after 15 days and
three hours, she cast anchor. The tidings of her approach spread far and
fast and no vessel has ever had such a welcome, or won so much gratitude;
or brought so great relief ! 12 years ago.