| from The
Ocean Plague by a Cabin Passenger, Boston,
1848, pages 118-123 | from The Cork Examiner
Emigration to The United States in 1847
10, 1847 Cork Examiner
DESTITUTE EMIGRANTS—The ship Medemseh, from Liverpool, and bound to New
York, which lately put into this port for repairs, now lies at Cove,
having on board a large
number of emigrants chiefly of the lowest order, in the most destitute
and debilitated condition. They are almost totally unprovided with clothing,
without sufficient provisions, having consumed a great part of their
scanty store while out, and scarcely with strength remaining to leave
the hold. It reflects disgrace upon the regulations of the Government
that creatures in this condition should be suffered to proceed to sea,
with no other dependence against a long and enfeebling voyage than the
kindness of persons whose treatment of their passengers, on an average,
is hardly less brutal than that experienced from the masters of slave-ships.
No harm, in this instance, could arise from the Government giving relief,
in a disaster, which to the poor emigrants, was entirely unforeseen;
and they have an agent in the port, charged with the special duty of
protecting the interests of this deserving, but much abused, and unfriended
class. And yet, some time ago, when the sympathy of that officer was
excited for a case of similar distress, he was left to beg a subscription
of the inhabitants of this city, to help a number of disabled emigrants
to their destination.
April 5, 1847 Cork Examiner
EMIGRATION—The quays are crowded every day with the peasantry from
all quarters of the country, who are emigrating to America, both direct
port, and "cross channel" to Liverpool, as the agents here cannot produce
enough of ships to convey the people from this unhappy country. Two vessels—the
Fagabelac and Coolock—were despatched
this week, the former with 208, the latter with 110 passengers. There
are two other ships on the
berth—the Wandsworth for Quebec, and the Victory for New York;
both are intended to sail on Tuesday next. There are nearly 1,200 passengers
booked in these vessels.
An extensive agent here has gone to Liverpool,
with the view of chartering ten large vessels to take out upwards of
1,300 families which are about leaving one estate in Ireland—partly
at the expense of their landlord, and partly at their own. When a ship
is put on the berth here, she is filled in a day or two, and the agents
say if they had 100 ships, they would not be sufficient to meet the demand.
May 19, 1847 Cork Examiner
SUFFERINGS OF EMIGRANTS IN NEW YORK—The paupers who have recently
arrived from Europe give a most melancholy account of their sufferings.
of eighty individuals, almost dead
with the ship fever, were landed from one ship alone, while twenty-seven
of the cargo died on the passage, and were thrown into the sea. They
were one hundred days tossing to and fro upon the ocean, and for the
last twenty days their only food consisted of a few ounces of meal per
day, and their only water was obtained from the clouds.
which these people suffer are brought upon themselves, for they have
no business to leave their country without at least a sufficient quantity
of food to feed them while making the passage. —New York Sun
June 18, 1847 Cork Examiner
Extract of a private letter from New York—JUNE 1ST, 1847—"Ship fever
is now very prevalent here. It is, properly speaking, a most malignant
kind of yellow fever. In almost every vessel
that arrives several persons are afflicted with it, in consequence of
which all the hospitals are full. The Board of Health are fitting up
temporary places for the reception of patients. From the numbers that
have been attacked, it is feared, that the fever will spread through
the City as soon as the warm weather sets in.
At present it is confined
to the neighbourhood of emigrant boarding houses. Dr. Van Buren, who
has been stationed at the quarantine ground, has died of it, and several
of the doctros that have been attending the Marine hospitals are ill
with it. 567 have died on the passages from Great Britain to New York,
since the 1st of January."
5, 1847 Cork Examiner
The United States frigate Macedonian, laden with benevolent contributions
for the poor of Ireland, sailed from New York for Cork, on the 15th instant.
Her cargo consists of 30 packages of clothing, 210 tierces of rice, 6
tierces of peas, 1,132 bags of oats, 1,115 bags of corn, 2,103 bags of
beans, 1,047 bags meal, 122 barrels of beans, 8 barrels of rye, 7 barrels
of potatoes, 84 barrels of corn, 4 barrels of beef, 6 barrels of pork,
13 barrels of flour, 5,178 barrels of meal, and 10 chests of tea. This
is quite a large cargo, and will be received with much joy by the people
for whom it is intended.
July 19, 1847 Cork Examiner (from the American Papers)
IMMIGRANTS—There arrived at Quarantine, on Saturday, the schooner Boston,
with 31 immigrant passengers; brig Russia, from Galway, with
80 (several sick);
bark Abbot, Lord, from Liverpool, with 179; on Sunday, the brig C.
Cork, with 59; and Monday morning, the brig Wasega, from Kilrush,
Ireland, with 80, total 420. Up to Monday there were 237 inmates of the hospitals
at Deer Island,
which number will probably be increased by the vessels just arrived. —Since
the 20th of May there have been 312 in the hospital there, 55 of whom have been
discharged, as well, and 20 have died. At the Almshouse there have been no attacks
of ship fever for the last five days; and those sick are mostly convalescent.
We are sorry to learn that a young son of the late superintendent is very low
of this disorder, and fears are entertained of a fatal result.
MORE IMMIGRANTS—The arrivals on Tuesday at Quarantine,
amounted to 309— 200 in the Coquimbo from Limerick; 74 in the Almira from Cork;
and 35 in the Emily from Waterford. They are represented
as being in a more healthy condition than most of the previous arrivals.
has occurred, except in one instance where the individual jumped overboard. —Whig.
The arrivals at quarantine on Wednesday amounted to 364-- in
the Mary Ann from Liverpool, 185; Bevis from Dublin, 40; Louisiana from
Cork, 102; Lucy Ann, Liverpool, 37. There was no sickness or deaths aboard
the first and none reported in the others.
August 4, 1847 Cork Examiner
THE "GOVERNOR DAVIS,"
SAILING from LIVERPOOL for BOSTON, on TUESDAY 10th
Passengers should leave Cork on Saturday, 7th August, at 12 o'Clock
For Passage apply to Messrs. HARNDEN, & Co., or D. KENNELLY & Co., Maylor Street,
To be succeeded by the "Train Line" Packet, "OCEAN MONARCH," 1900 Tons, on the
20th of August.
STEERAGE FARE—£4 15s. from CORK.
September 1, 1847 Cork Examiner
EMIGRANT DISASTERS—The last American mail brings further distressing accounts
of the sufferings of the emigrants arriving in Canada. After the first
by the sudden outburst of a fierce plague, some amendment occurred in
the reception given to the sufferers at Montreal, but the prospect was
still darkening, and matters becoming worse there. Thirteen ships arrived
in one week at Grosse Island, all, to a greater or less extent, afflicted
The greatest disaster from disease upon the deep, as yet
recorded, befel the "Virginius," which left this port
(Liverpool) This vessel lost 156 out of 496 passengers, with all but
two of the crew, and forty
of the survivors died soon after reaching the shore. She was a long time
at sea, and was short of provisions.
The health of New York continued
good, owing in a great measure to the activity with which the emigrants
were pushed on from the towns on the sea, and prevented from generating
pestilence by stopping there; but they carried it inwards, and at Albany
upon the river Hudson, the chief mortality arose from the disease thus
The difference between the healthiness of the emigrants to
the United States and those to British America is accounted for by
the inferiority of the ships sailing to the latter country, which made
more eagerly sought for by the humblest class on account of the lower
fare. From the nature of the trade in which they are engaged, the transport
of timber, the risk of their failing in open sea is diminished one-half,
by the whole voyage to Europe, as with such a cargo they weather it
out while a plank sticks together. This circumstance causes less attention
to be paid to their sea-worthiness, since they are laden half the way
with what can't sink, and the other with a freight, which is thought
no loss if it do.
Apart from the crowded state of these wretched ships,
and their insecurity for life, the constant wet on board of them, and
their other defective qualities have contributed to render the unhappy
passengers still more certainly a prey to infectious distemper.
September 8, 1847 Cork Examiner
EMIGRATION — THE UNITED STATES
[Communicated] We are glad to learn that,
owing to the decrease of fever in Boston and New York, the quarantine
regulations are now suspended
there— this argues well for the sanitory regulations put in force by
the Americans during the fearful contagion that so lately visited them.
Since last week there has been no quarantine observed on passengers at
Liverpool. Of course this does not include Quebec and the ports of British
North America, where for the want of such timely precautions as the authorities
of the State insisted upon, such gross mortality now prevails.
"Emigration to New York.-We have received from Senator Folsom a printed copy of the report
forwarded to the Legislature by the Commissioners of Emigration at this port. It is dated October 1st,
1847. The board of Commissioners having been organized on the 8th May last, Robert Taylor being
appointed agent, and William F. Havermeyer, president-proceeded immediately to take charge of the
sick and destitute emigrants. Having filled the Quarantine hospitals, all the spare rooms connected with
the City Almshouse department were hired at a dollar per week for each destitute emigrant, and a
dollar and a half per week for the sick. But the introduction of fever patients at the Almshouse was
attended with too much risk, and buildings were erected for their accommodation on Staten Island.
These being still inadequate, the buildings on the Long Island Farms were leased, but the fear of
contagion so alarmed the neighborhood, that the buildings were burned by incendiaries.
The United States Government at once granted their warehouses at Quarantine for the accommodation
of the sick. They were soon filled, as all the principal hospitals, public and private, to which the
Commissioners had to resort. At this crisis, a large stone building was leased on Ward's Island, which
with buildings subsequently added to it, afforded ample accommodation for the thousands dependent
upon their benevolent undertaking.
"Many were destitute of clothing, and from May to September, ten thousand three hundred and eight
articles of dress were made at Ward's Island and furnished to them, by direction of the Commissioners.
Hundreds have been provided with employment in the interior of the state, and many forwarded West
at the expense of the Commissioners.
"The number of passengers who arrived from May 5th to Sept. 30th,
inclusive, and for whom commutation money was paid, or bonds given, was 101,546,
of whom only 25 were bonded.
"Of said passengers there were natives of
|England and Wales,
Of which number there were
|Forwarded from the
||Sent to Hospitals
||Sent to Alms house|
Total, 6,505, of whom were Irish 3,792.
"Adding to the above 256 emigrants who were in Hospital at the time the Commissioners entered upon
their duties, we have 6,761, the total number under their care up to the date of this report.
"Of these, seven hundred and three died between the 8th of May and the 1st October. The names, ages,
and places of birth, of the dead, are not given. This is an oversight which ought to be corrected.
"It seems, also, that no provision was made for the erection of any memorial over their graves."-New
"Ship Fever.-The British ship India, Gray, (late Thompson), arrived yesterday from Liverpool, after a
passage of 57 days. Captain Thompson died of the ship fever on the 14th inst., (January, 1848) and
during the passage 39 of the passengers died of the same disease. The chief officer of the ship, and a
large number of the passengers are now sick. When the India left Liverpool she had two hundred and
seventy passengers."-New York Express.
"The British Ship Viceroy, arrived at New Orleans on the 5th instant, with 286 immigrants.
"Fourteen had died on the passage, and many others were very sick, and sent to the Charity Hospital.
The Orizaba, which arrived from Liverpool on the 31st ult., had shipped 170; 24 of whom died, and
most of the rest were sent to the Hospital."-Boston Mail, Jan. 19th, 1848.
"Report of Deer Island Hospital, Boston, for the week ending January 26th, 1848.
|Number remaining as per last
|Whole number admitted to this
|Whole number buried on the
|Of whom were brought from
the ship dead,
|Died the day of their reception,
"Foreign Emigrants.-A communication from the State Department was laid before the House of
Representatives on Friday last, reporting the number of passengers who arrived from foreign countries
on shipboard, during the year ending the 30th of September last. The number of males was 139,166;
females, 99,325; sex not reported, 989; total, 239,480. The prospect is that the nubmer will be much
larger the present year.
"Of the above number of passengers, 145,838 landed in New York; 20,848 in Massachusetts; 5,806
in Maine; 14,777 in Pennsylvania; 12,018 in Maryland; 34,803 in Louisiana, and 3,873 in
September 6, 1847 Cork Examiner
ANOTHER RE-SHIPMENT of IRISH PAUPERS—IRELAND'S SHARE OF THE "UNION."
The Saunders of Friday furnishes us with an
affecting statement of the privations and wretched condition of a steamboat-load
of unfortunate people who were flung, as it were, on the Quays of Dublin, having
been driven from the hospitable shores of our "sister" England. This ship-load
of Irish destitution was composed of Irish reapers and Irish paupers; the latter
of whom were grabbed up by the humane officials of generous England, and thrust
on board a steamer, without provision for the voyage, or shelter against the
inclemency of the weather, and the exposure of a wild night and an open deck.
So that England was freed from the human rubbish, what cared the merciful Poor-law
authorities and their tender-hearted officials! If the wretches died on the
voyage, it was only one of those casualties which daily happen; and "we all
must pay the grand debt, sooner or later."
The sick, the feeble, the fevered,
the starving, were accordingly gathered from various places, from Rochdale
as well as Liverpool; a loaf was placed in their trembling hands; and thus
fortified against cold and hunger, they were shipped for the land of rags
and starvation. The Saunders tells us that a boy died of fever on the passage;
and that a reaper died soon after the arrival of the vessel at the Quay in
Dublin. In each case the wanton and reckless exercise of authority, and the
operation of a brutal law, accelerated the deaths of these new victims of
And yet, we are told that both countries are one and inseparable, while
the people of this unhappy land are driven from the shores of England as
soon as they are stricken by poverty or disease! When do we hear of an Englishman
or a Scotchman being treated in a similar manner by the Poor-law authorities
of this country? When do Irishmen drive from amongst them a stranger who
grown grey with toil in their service? When do they hunt out a fellow creature
afflicted by the hand of GOD? Thank Heaven! we have not as yet become as
heartless and merciless as our civilised and enlightened Saxon neighbours,
it no crime, but a praiseworthy act of prudence, to send back to his native
land a worn-out Irish mechanic, who has expended all his strength, and
industry, and skill in adding to the wealth of England— no violation of Christian
charity to deny shelter and succour to a fever-stricken brother. . .
December 29, 1847 Cork Examiner
The late severe weather has compelled several packets and
other vessels to put into Cove for refuge, some of them bound for North America
whose stores, never abundant, have been so far used as not to be sufficient
to carry them to the end of their voyage. It is stated that there are now in
the port few short of a thousand of these unhappy people, suffering all the
present and with the prospect of the greater, misery, that may be supposed
in their totally friendless and destitute state.
An appeal has been set on
foot to aid them to their destination; and certainly no claim calls more
strongly upon the feelings of compassion. The assistance is of a kind that
be asked again, as it was entirely unforseen that it would be required by
the sufferers. When it is remembered that so many of their class have already
from want of the means to bear up against the hardships of their journey,
the question, in the present case, is not so much of their degree of comfort,
of their existence; and depends on their being relieved now, when only they
can receive relief.
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