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TO THE BENEVOLENT PEOPLE
OF
Berkshire, Hampshire and Hampden Counties.

FRIENDS OF HUMANITY:- You have heard, ere this, of the appalling condition of famine-stricken Ireland; how thousands are daily melting away, like morning dew before the sun, consumed by Famine and Pestilence, which are walking hand in hand over this unhappy land, and threaten destruction to one-third of its population. May I not address an appeal to your compassion and benevolence from this 'potter's field' of destitution, despair and death? May I not entreat you to look into your basket and your store, and see if a bountiful Providence had not poured you out this year more blessings than are absolutely necessary to your support, and which you may divide with those who are perishing with hunger? Is there a farmer among your healthy hills who could not spare from his granary or cellar a bag of Indian corn, rye, or potatoes, and add to the gift of a few pounds of salt pork or beef? And is there a wardrobe in all your towns, which could not spare some half-worn garment, to warm the naked, living skeletons of God's image that are lying upon the straw ess, miry floor of thousands of hovels in this afflicted land? How easy it would be to collect these contributions and convey them to the different depots on the railway lines that meet in Springfield? No section of New England is favored with such facilities of communication and conveyance as your three counties. Perhaps there is none more blessed with abundance of food and raiment. There is the Connecticut River Railroad and the Great Western, which would glean the river towns those among the Berkshire Hills, and convey their contributions to Boston free of charge, if an appeal were made to the generosity of the companies. I am sure it would be easy comparatively for these three noble counties to freight a vessel with these free-will offerings to the perishing. And there is not part of Ireland where they could be more properly directed, than to the town of Bantry, twenty-four miles west of Skibbereen, on the celebrated Bay of Bantry. I have been assured that the ravages of famine and pestilence are more dreadful in that place and the parishes which comprise the Bantry Union, than in Skibbereen. A vessel would make the port of Bantry without the slightest difficulty, as it is one of the largest and finest harbors in the Kingdom. The cargo should be consigned to the Chairman of the Board of Guardians of Bantry Union, which is made up of representatives from all the parishes, and who would see that it was distributed among them according to the amount of destitution existing in each. Let me beg the readers of the Citizen, and others who may meet this appeal, in those three counties, to bring this subject before their fellow-citizens.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This plea asks residents of the western part of Massachusetts to be generous with donations toward famine relief for Ireland. Articles in previous issues of the newspaper had reported on money that had been raised. This appeal asks for donations of food and clothing, not money. The writer thinks that everyone should be able to spare at least a bag of corn or some "half-worn garment." He felt the railroads would be happy to carry these goods to Boston for free. He further goes on to say that the goods would do the most good in the town of Bantry, where they would be distributed in a fair manner.

 

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"To the Benevolent People of Berkshire, Hampden and Hampshire Counties" article on Irish aid in the Hampshire Gazette newspaper

publisher   Hampshire Gazette
date   Mar 30, 1847
location   Northampton, Massachusetts
width   3.75"
height   9.5"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L07.005


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See Also...

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

"Aid for Ireland" article from Gazette and Courier newspaper

"Aid for Ireland" article in Hampshire Gazette newspaper reprinted from Springfield Republican newspaper


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