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Excerpts from "The Congressional Globe" on the ship Macedonian for Use to Aid Irish Relief

Page 559
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Because of a potato blight in Ireland and western Scotland between 1846 and 1849, two million people either died or emigrated. In 1847, in response to appeals from citizens of Boston, Massachusetts, and New York, New York, the Congress of the United States authorized the Secretary of the Navy to allow the use of USS Jamestown and USS Macedonian by two merchant captains. This use of Navy ships for a civilian purpose would have been very unusual in peacetime, but in 1847 the United States was in the middle of the Mexican War, which made it even more so. The ships were to carry foodstuffs, donated by Americans, to the thousands starving in Ireland and western Scotland. This resolution, authorizing the use of the Navy ships by private individuals, is unique. Captain Robert B. Forbes, who captained the Jamestown, made a return visit to Ireland twenty years later and met there young men and women named Jamestown and Macedonian in honor of the US Navy ships that had saved their parents from starvation


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