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"State of Irish Poor" article from in the Greenfield Gazette and Franklin Herald newspaper

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Between 1820 and 1860, the Irish comprised over one third of all immigrants to the United States. Living conditions in Ireland were terrible with food scarce even before the great potato famine of 1845. According to the Earl of Darnley, the state of the Irish people was worse than the slaves in the West Indies. The Irish had little say in their government and how money was spent. Following the Reformation in England and the establishment of the Church of England, the Test and Corporations Acts were passed. This prevented all non-Anglicans from holding public office, allowing only Anglicans to vote and sit in parliament. These laws also applied in Ireland even though some 80% of the population was Catholic. The Greenfield Gazette and Franklin Herald was the newspaper in Greenfield, Massachusetts, from June 26, 1827 to June 27, 1837. It changed its name to the Gazette & Mercury.


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