NOTE TO INTRODUCTION.
Some explanation seems to be necessary for so long delaying the publication in full of the thanks of the warm hearted people in Ireland who addressed me on the part of the contributors in New England.
The publication has been delayed in hopes to add to the other documents, the report of the Committee at Cork, but I do not deem it expedient longer to wait for this, as it will no doubt appear in the report of the "Committee of Distribution" which will doubtless be made as soon as the funds are all appropriated and the account closed. It may also be considered necessary to offer some apology for printing so much; to render the record complete, and to transmit fully the feeling of the Irish people, less could not have been printed, and although much of what appears here, has been before the public in the newspapers, I have deemed it proper to publish the whole together.
I did not intend to publish the note of Miss Edgeworth hereto appended, but have been requested so to do--it was received after my return, it was only necessary to read it to a few benevolent ladies to procure from them and from some young female friends of Miss Edgeworth about two hundred and eighty dollars in money, which was invested in food and sent in the Macedonian and Reliance. The Boston Committee, on my application, also kindly voted to furnish to Miss Edgeworth one hundred barrels of supplies for distribution in the vicinity of Edgeworthtown.
Among the many gratifying circumstances of my voyage to Ireland, nothing has given me more pleasure than to be able to do something to gratify one who will always hold a place in the affections of the young in America.
R. B. FORBES.
MISS EDGEWORTH'S NOTE.
April 22, 1847
Sir,--As a woman I am unwilling to put myself forward to make a petition to a stranger even for the poor much distressed persons in our neighborhood and on our estate. The proper person to have made this application, my brother, (Francis Beaufort Edgeworth) has been within these few months taken from us, taken from the poor who had his last thoughts and last feelings and utmost assistance.
No other gentleman remaining in this House to supply his place, and the distress and overflowing of the starving population being pressingly terrible, I cannot but endeavor even at the hazard of being intrusive, to obtain some relief.
We are grateful for the unbounded, energetic, and judicious generosity of America at this crisis towards us. And amongst the services they have done and are doing to Ireland we consider as the best the assistance given to proper persons to emigrate. I mean to such as desire to relieve their country of the burthen of supporting them and their families, and who are able and willing to work to support themselves in a new world; where they can find employment and attain independence.
I understand that you, sir, are the Captain commanding the Jamestown, which has lately arrived at Cork upon this mission of mercy--of mercy judiciously directed.
Could you give free passage or passage upon low terms within the reach of those who are supplied only by charity with the means even of paying any thing whatever, could you I say give a free passage or passage on terms that could be paid for by us even for ten poor men and their families? (or twenty or thirty single men.) You would do a good, greater than could be done by one individual, by any other persons in this neighborhood that I know of or can conceive.
I press my request upon you, sir, with the hopefulness which has been raised and encouraged in my mind by your being an American gentleman. I have many good friends in America who flatter me that though I am personally a stranger, yet my family name is known and popular with your young people still--and perhaps it was known to you of the present generation in your childhood? Be this as it may, the many kindness and services I have received from American friends, for myself and for my poor countrymen, and countrywomen, in the course of my long life, (I being now in my 81st year) embolden me, sir, in the conviction I feel that you will if possible, grant my last request, or that you will do almost the impossible for humanity and for your humble petitioner.
To R. B. Forbes, Esq.
To my confusion and dismay when I had written this letter to Captain Forbes, I saw in the newspaper a letter signed by his name in which the concluding sentence is, "the ship will not take back any emigrants."
Notwithstanding this sad sentence, I cannot give up the hope that Captain Forbes will prove the rule good by making a kind and careful, I would hope a judicious exception. If Captain Forbes cannot assist us himself perhaps he can point out some other person or means by which our purpose can be obtained.
This expedition will always be remembered in the history of philanthropy; and as the servant of the generous people of Boston, of Massachusetts, and parts of New England, who gave their mite to the alleviation of the suffering poor of Scotland and Ireland, it becomes my pleasing duty to record the origin, progress and successful termination of the voyage, and to account to the "Committee of Distribution," which enabled me to carry out the voyage, for my stewardship.
You are aware that certain Boston merchants, on the twenty-second day of February, the birth-day of the "Father of our Country," forwarded a petition to the Honorable Robert C. Winthrop, asking Congress to lend one of their ships of war, for the purpose of carrying to Ireland a cargo of provisions; on the third day of March, the last stormy day of the session, when the attention of every mind in Congress was taken up with the discussion of financial and warlike measures, the people of the United States, be it said to their honor, voted the loan of the Frigate Macedonian, to Captain George C. DeKay, of New Jersey, and the loan of the "Sloop of War" Jamestown, to myself, and by a joint resolution of both Houses, the President and Secretary of the Navy, were authorized to send these vessels at the expense of the United States, or to put them into our hands, for the benevolent purpose indicated. The
Honorable Secretary of the Navy, J.Y. Mason, in view of "the demand for all the resources of the United States, to carry on operations against the public enemy," wisely chose the latter alternative, and accordingly, under date of the 8th March, ordered Commodore F. A. Parker, Commandant of the Naval Station, at Charlestown, to prepare the Jamestown by the removal of her armament, and to deliver her to me; this order was received on the 11th March, and on the 17th, being St. Patrick's day, the "Laborers Aid Society," of Boston, composed principally, if not entirely, of poor Irishmen, put their hands and minds to the holy work, and in the course of that day, one-seventh part of the cargo was stowed away; and by the 27th, after an interruption by bad weather, the ship was full, drawing nearly twenty feet, and having, with her stores, about 8,000 barrels bulk, of provisions, grain, meal, &c. &c., on board.
On that day I gave a receipt for the ship and her apparel, &c., the officers of the Navy Yard having rigged her while the cargo was being received. Our outfit was very complete, and on Sunday, the 28th March, at 8 1/2 A. M., we cast off from the Yard, with a fine breeze at the N. W., and clear cold weather, the steam Tug, "R.B. Forbes," in company, with some of the members of the Committee, on board. In about one hour we parted from them, with hearty cheers, and made sail on our course. At 3 o'clock we had passed the Highlands of Cape Cod, and fairly launched our gallant bark on the broad Atlantic, on a voyage full of hope and pleasure, and blessed with the approbation of many kind hearts at home. To me, I must say it was a day full of mingled emotions of satisfaction, unalloyed by any unhappy feeling, save that momentary and easily forgiven weakness, entertained at parting from my family.
Kind Providence permitted us to get a good offing clear of George's Shoals, before the wind changed, as it did, with snow and sleet, to the northward. Our gallant ship, though three feet or more deeper than her usual man-o-war trim, sailed and worked admirably, and although our crew proved very light and not very efficient, we sped on successfully, crossed the Banks in 431/2°, against our will, with S., S.E., and Southerly winds, and a dense fog, the Thermometer varying several degrees in the air and water, indicating the proximity of Ice, and after a succession of rainy, dirty, weather, and variable winds, we cast anchor in Cork, outer harbor, on the 12th April, exactly 15 days and 3 hours from the Navy Yard, Charlestown, without having lost a rope yarn. It was blowing fresh from the N., N. W., when we came to, and we were compelled to let go both anchors, having broken the compressor in trying to check the chain first let go.
We were very soon visited by Lieut. Commanding Protheroe, of Her Majesty's Flag Ship, the Crocodile, under Rear Admiral Sir Hugh Pigot, who came to inform us that every thing would be done, within the Admiral's power, to expedite the delivery of our cargo and the despatch of the ship on her return to the United States. I accordingly intimated to Mr. Protheroe, that we should be glad to have a Steamer, as early as practicable, to take the ship to the Government Warehouses, at "Haulbowline." Unfortunately no Steamer, belonging to the public service, was at Cork or Cove, at the moment, and we were obliged to wait patiently until Tuesday afternoon, when the Geyser, Steam Sloop, was expected to arrive, but just as we had weighed our anchors, in preparation, and no Steamer coming, and
having nearly abandoned all hope of getting to our dock that day, the Sabrina, Capt. Parker, came along, she being a Packet running, and then bound to Bristol. Capt. Parker shaved our stern so close as to take off our spanker boom, and hailing, asked if we wished to be towed up, to which, you may be assured I replied by a hearty affirmative. The Sabrina took us in tow and at 5 o'clock, placed us near the Government Stores at Haulbowline, opposite to the town of Cove, and 7 or 8 miles below the city of Cork, a beautiful harbor indeed.
Before the anchor had fairly bitten the soil, a deputation of the citizens of Cove, consisting of all parties in politics and all creeds of religions, waited on me with the address which will now be read to you with my reply.
I should have stated that the Cove Temperance Band had been on board all the day, discoursing sweet music. Among the tunes performed, Yankee Doodle and Lucy Long being prominent, and from the frequency of the former, I conclude the Irish consider it our only national anthem!
On Tuesday we had plenty of men from the Crocodile to assist in weighing our anchors,& c., and at night the town of Cove was illuminated, and as we passed up the harbor in tow of the Sabrina, the good people cheered, and the ladies waved their muslin in welcome of our arrival.
On Wednesday the 14th, we began to discharge our cargo into the government stores, without any form of entry or detention otherwise. I called on the U. S. consul, noted my protest, and went to Cork in company with that good and great man, Theobald Mathew, and
his brother; was by him introduced to the collector, and to other gentlemen of note, and had a very warm reception from all.
On Thursday, the 15th of April, the citizens of Cove invited me to a banquet. We assembled at 6 o'clock, and after the usual regular toasts, "The Queen," and "Prince Albert and the Royal Family," the chairman, Mr. Power, J. P., introduced my health with some flattering encomiums on the generosity of the people of New England, to which I replied. Great unanimity of sentiment prevailed, and the town being there represented by all classes in politics and religion, nearly everything of a political nature was properly omitted. The evening passed off with great harmony and much to my satisfaction.
On Friday, the 16th, I received a dinner on board the flag-ship, the Crocodile, where many sentiments of esteem and gratitude to the American people transpired.
On Saturday and Sunday my engagements were of a private nature. On Monday and Tuesday I also had the pleasure of meeting private parties at Cork and Cove. On the morning of the latter day, I visited the Ursuline Convent in company with Father Mathew and Mr. and Mrs. Rathbone, and breakfasted with the ladies of the establishment--that is to say, they entertained us, but their rules deny them the pleasure of eating in company with strangers. We had good breakfast, however, and were much gratified with the examination of the schools for the instruction of poor children, which are under the care of the nuns of the convent alluded to.
On Monday evening, the 19th of April, I received an invitation to meet the Temperance Institute at Cork,
which claims Father Mathew for its parent and President. There, to my surprise, for I imagined I was attending one of the regular meetings, I found that the occasion was one specially made for the expression of gratitude to the American people. I found that the regular "soirees" had been omitted in consequence of the distress out of doors. The hall was appropriately ornamented with the flags of England, Ireland and the United States. A good musical choir discoursed Yankee Doodle, Lucy Long, Jim Crow, Hail Columbia, and sundry national Irish melodies. The chairman and others presented eloquent addresses, the ladies clapped their pretty hands and their kerchiefs waved welcome and gratitude to America. An address was impressively delivered; it was then and there that I felt the want of the habit of expressing myself in terms which would have done credit to myself and my constituents. I did make a few remarks which have been quoted, and I told the ladies, that having visited Blarney Castle and kissed the stone, I had a great deal to say, but found my feelings too much excited to say much. The presence of the ladies overpowered me, and I was obliged to content myself with a simple expression of thanks. Father Mathew, after having had his health proposed, made a short and feeling address, appropriately conveying to the people of America, the expressions of deep and heartfelt gratitude, "more for the sentiment of remembrance than for the intrinsic value of the gifts of the Irish people."
The entertainment consisted of tea and coffee, and bread and cake, and passed off very successfully. The ladies being nearly all presented to me, I can vouch for the fact, that the ladies of Cork do shake hands like
men. It was no formal touching of the tip ends of the fingers, chilling the heart, but a regular grip of feeling.
At this meeting Messrs. Atkinson & Scraggs, artists, did me the great pleasure of presenting a beautiful likeness of the Jamestown, just after the Sabrina had cast off the tow ropes, and a few moments before the anchor was dropped at the government dock-yard. The likeness is good.
Before I dismiss the agreeable subject of the ladies, I would state that they seemed quite as earnest in their attentions as could be desired; I received tokens of their esteem in prose and verse, and specimens of their handy work. It may not be tiresome to you to hear some of the poetry, original, and adapted to the occasion. One very good specimen, addressed to me is as follows:--
Welcome, friend of peace and virtue,
Welcome to her Emerald land;
Guided on Atlantic's billows,
By Heaven's pilot to our strand.
You have braved the ocean's danger,
Bringing plenty to our shore;
Our starving poor shall learn to bless you,
When time itself shall be no more.
Our tale of woe has touched your hearts,
With every feeling pure and free;
And "deeds not words," Columbia hence
The motto of your sons shall be.
Your gallant vessel as she rides
In safety on the watery main,
Bears a rich and generous freight,
And blessings follow in her train.
Remember Him, who said on earth,
A cup of water given,
In my blest name to one of these,
Is registered in Heaven.
In his blest name then we receive
The bounteous gift you bring;
And many a grateful heart you cheer,
Long shall your praises sing.
The "Jamestown" now no ship of war,
Her peaceful way she wends;
A mighty conquest she's achieved,
And hearts of oak she bends.
A victory great as e'er was won,
By Howe or Nelson's arm!
An unarmed frigate, lo! we see,
God keep her from all harm.
And when from Erin's shore she sails
And steers her peaceful way,
We'll pray kind Heaven her path to guide,
Nor suffer her to stray.
May soft and gentle breezes blow,
May no rough surges rise,
Whilst on the Trans-Atlantic strand,
Your beauteous vessel glides.
And on those brave and noble hearts,
Who claim our grateful lays,
On them may blessings ever pour,
To them a prayer we raise.
May Heaven direct and guide their course,
May God their pilot be,
Till safe from breaker, shoal, or rock,
They anchor in Eternity.
To which a note was added--
"A cup of cold water, given in the name of a disciple, shall in no wise lose its reward."
"Inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me."
I could not learn who my fair poetess was, though the note was dated at "Passage West."
The next is from a lady, Mrs. Emeline H. Morgan, of Cork.
TO THE JAMESTOWN, ON HER ENTRY INTO CORK HARBOR.
Welcome, thrice welcome, ark of Peace,
To our afflicted land;
Thou com'st a messenger from Heaven,
From far Columbia's strand.
Three cheers then for America,
Who in our deep distress
Has stretched forth her right hand to save,
To cheer us and to bless.
A second "Good Samaritan,"
Thou'st come our wounds to heal;
Ah! how shall our poor hearts e'er tell,
The gratitude they feel.
Three cheers then for America,
Who in our deep distress
Has stretch'd forth her right hand to save,
To cheer us and to bless.
Thou wert the first, who came to us,
Then may God's blessings pour
On thee and thine and those thou lov'st,
Both now and evermore.
And three cheers, &c. &c.
And long Hibernia's sons shall pray
For him who o'er the wave
Guided his bark to "Erin's Isle,"
To help us and to save.
May we as brethren ever dwell,
In unity and peace,
With those from far Columbia's shores,
Till time itself shall cease.
One cheer more for America,
Who in our deep distress,
Stretch'd forth to Ireland, her right hand,
To cheer us and to bless.
Another from the same pen. "An Appeal for the Poor," presented to my little son, on hearing that he gave $5, from the profits of his first adventure, for the poor in Ireland.
How little do the great and wealthy know,
The sufferings of the poor! the care, the woe
They daily feel; ah! bitter is their lot,
Well do they know it, yet they murmur not.
Then never turn the starving from your door,
"He lendeth to the Lord, that giveth to the poor."
Ye mothers who with little ones are blest,
Press them with gratitude unto your breast,
And humbly thank the Giver of all good
Who to your infants gives their daily food.
Ne'er turn the hungry children from your door,
"He lendeth to the Lord, that giveth to the poor."
And when you sit around the blazing hearth,
A happy circle full of love and mirth,
Think of the poor who shiver in the street,
And know not where to rest their weary feet.
Then never turn the houseless from your door,
"He lendeth to the Lord, that giveth to the poor."
"The judgments of the Lord" are in this land,
Then deal your bounty with a liberal hand;
Be vig'rous in your efforts to do good,
Cover the naked, give the hungry food.
And never turn the wand'rer from your door,
"He lendeth to the Lord, that giveth to the poor."
The same kind lady sent me two pieces of music; the one entitled, "Farwell to by-gone days;" the other, "The Shandon Bells."
Mrs. Morgan tells me in a note, that "the work is purely local; the subject, the author, the composer, the lithographer, and the publisher, are all of Cork."
I had the pleasure of dining with Mr. Cummins at his country-seat, and spent the night there. In the morning, Mrs. Cummins sung to me, accompanying herself on the piano, the following lines, adapted from a celebrated English patriotic song:--
Columbia's flag, by generous hand
In sympathy unfurled,
To soothe the woes of "Father Land,"
Waves proudly on the world.
To dry the tears from Erin's eyes,
Bears plenty o'er the seas;
Then may it float a thousand years,
Fann'd by each nation's breeze.
To aid the trampled rights of man
Or break oppression's chain,
The foremost in the battles van
It never floats in vain.
To dry the tears from Erin's eyes,
Bears plenty o'er the seas;
Then may it float a thousand years
Fann'd by each nation's breeze.
Sad Erin's blessings shall abound
For him who came – to give--
The name of "Forbes with honors crowned
In Irish hearts shall live--
Then may that name, a thousand years
From sire to son be traced
New England's pride – by tyrants feared--
And peaceful olives graced.
I also received from Joseph Hamilton, Esq., of Dublin, the following lines, with a request that they should be published and sold for the benefit of the poor of Ireland.
Beneath a flag with many a stripe and star,
A warlike vessel after sailing far;
A well known harbor of Hibernia sought,
And succour for her starving people brought.
The crew and natives in one tongue conversed,
And though her sides for many a gun were pierced,
She carried neither rocket, shell or bomb,
Because on mercy's message she had come.
Remember forever, this kind visitation,
When famine and fever are scourging the nation.
Give hearty welcome to Columbia's stars,
To all her worthy officers and tars,
We'll toast her kind Senate and her President,
And all who have this gen'rous succour sent,
May plenty, health, truth, mercy, love and peace
Be soon enjoyed by all the human race,
And may the flag Columbia sent so far
With succour, never lose one stripe or star.
Remember, &c., &c.
And still another from the same gentleman, to the air of Alley Crocker or Miss Baily.
The Argonauts once sailed from home,
For wool they heard was golden,
Some say for shells, a crew from Rome,
To Britain was beholden,
Said Booth, whoever on the pole,
The union jack leaves flying,
Of his expenses I'll pay the whole
And leave him cash when dying.
Success attend kind travellers, by sea, balloon or dry land.
Saint Patrick having dream't that we,
Required what he could leave us,
Set out with speed and without fee,
His valued faith he gave us--
Columbus having justly guess'd.
There was another world,
At once determined for the West,
His sail should be unfurl'd.
Success, &c., &c.
Be all that bears Columbia's name
Remember'd with a blessing,
To him we owe the help which came
From people fam'd for guessing;
They guess'd we wanted solid food,
To save us from starvation,
And sent us lots of what is good,
Heav'n bless that noble nation.
Success, &c., &c.
Considering that we were at Cork only nine days, it is a wonder that the spirit of song and poetry should have been awakened at all.
ON THE ARRIVAL OF THE "JAMESTOWN."
Three cheers for that bark,
And three cheers for her seamen;
Yes, cheer them, for mark!
They are all of them, freemen.
Cheer her "star-spangled banner,"
Bright emblem of freedom --
Cheer the heroes who man her,
Thus come when we need'em.
From the far-west she bounds --
She's already at anchor;
While she's staunching our wounds,
Let us cease not to thank her.
Left vilely to perish
By Saxon enslaver.
Let Erin's heart cherish
The hand stretched to save her --
Then hurrah! for that bark,
And hurrah for her seamen;
Yes; cheer them, for mark!.
They are all of them, freemen.
J. D. N.
On Wednesday, 21st April,--twenty-four days after leaving Boston, the cargo was out and the ship ready for sea; on that day I was "at home to the ladies and gentlemen of Cork and Cove and vicinity, by special invitation, from 12 to 3; several hundred came and were entertained, and I venture to say that my friends, here present, will not be able to guess what our entertainment consisted of. Knowing that it would be impossible for me to give them a feast, and not desiring to do so in a time of famine, I determined to give them something appropriate, and therefore displayed on the table a barrel of Mr. Weld's best bread, in the cask, flanked on each side b a huge piece of Fresh Pond Ice, (which I declared was manufactured expressly for the occasion on the 25th March,) these principal ingredients were helped out with plenty of ice water, iced lemonade, with a little sprinkling of Champagne and bread baked on board rivaling the best at Kelt's, to say nothing of a box of Mrs. Meyer's gingerbread which the ladies partook of sparingly, but carried away with them in small bits to show at home what could be done in yankee land. At 2 o'clock, the Temperance band all the while playing, begun a waltz, and soon the ladies
were sporting the light fantastic toe, with the red coats and the blue coats, and it was only until I gave the order to disperse (4 o'clock) that they vanished to the shore after a most hearty farewell.
I had yet to receive the calls of two deputations, first the deputation from Passage and Monkstown, and the deputation from Cork presenting the banner through me to the city of Boston, and with it a suitable address, to which I replied. The addresses will be found in the Appendix, No. 60. Having despatched these gentlemen, I had to go on shore and prepare for my reception of Admiral Sir Hugh Pigot, Lieut. Col. Coryton, Honorable Mr. Roach, the High Sheriff, and various naval and military gentlemen, engaged to dine with me at six! Being a strictly private party, no reporter was admitted, which I now regret, as much was said that would sound well here, indeed the sentiment of gratitude to America, yes sir, to America, for the small relief conveyed in the Jamestown, pervades all the Irish, whether, civil, naval, military or ecclesiastical; and I am sure will be remembered in all time to come.
Having on Wednesday the 21st, taken formal leave of the Collector, and made arrangements for a private Steamer, free of expense, to tow us to sea on the 22d, in case no Government Steamer should come in, I had nothing to do except to settle my accounts--this was easily done, for the Admiral had kindly offered to pay all charges which the ship might incur in the prosecution of her mission. On Thursday the 22d, I proceeded to Cork and made final arrangements with Mr. Rathbone and the Committee into whose hands I had, with his concurrence, placed your gratuities. I think I can assure you, that the very high character of the gentlemen, composing the Committee in Cork, consisting of all shades of politics and all creeds in Religion, will
prove the best guaranty that your mite of seed will be sown to good account both "in the hearts and the stomachs of the poor Irish," as well as in the remembrance of the better classes; and I trust also that the lesson will be charitably received in England, and that although she is doing much now to alleviate the distress, by running her steamers from port to port in Ireland with supplies for the Committees, that she will yet do more. This is an appropriate time and place to say that the letters received by me, and by Mr. Rathbone, form the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, from Mr. Labouchere the Secretary, from Mr. Trevelyan, Secretary of the Treasury, and from all other official sources were very gratifying, and gave ample evidence that England is not deaf to the call of suffering Ireland. The new business entailed on her majesty's officers--of carrying supplies and distributing them, through new agents and new channels, necessarily complicated, was sometimes badly done, and many complaints are heard in Cork and Cove of the want of sympathy from the English government for the sister country.
So far as my own limited observation went, I think, with all due respect and deference to the good people of Cork and Cove, that they expect a little too much, and that they should forget political animosities, and unite in the great work of regeneration in Ireland. I cannot but think that the present dispensation is working that regeneration in a great degree, men are brought together shoulder to shoulder, and together act in concert and harmony in the cause of suffering humanity, who never before met except to clash either in politics or religion; the kindlier feelings of the people are awakened and forsaking all expense and luxury, they are uniting to palliate the general pestilence and famine.
On this subject, I could say much, and I could harrow
up your hearts and disgust your sensibilities by relating some of the horrible tales of suffering daily and hourly witnessed, but I will not; you have only to read the papers, and instead of exaggeration, you will find only the truth, and that, not the whole truth, for there are facts known altogether too revolting to poor human nature to be recorded on paper. I went with Father Mathew, only a few steps out of one of the principal streets of Cork, into a lane; the valley of the shadow of death was it? alas, no, it was the valley of death and pestilence itself! I saw enough in five minutes, to horrify me -- hovels crowded with the sick and dying, without floors, without furniture, and with patches of dirty straw covered with still dirtier shreds and patches of humanity; some called for water to Father Mathew, and others for a dying blessing. From this very small sample of the prevailing destitution we proceeded to a public soup kitchen, under a shed, guarded by police officers, here a large boiler containing rice, meal, &c., was at work, while hundreds of spectres stood without begging for some of this soup, which I can readily conceive would be refused by well bred pigs in this country. I do not say this with the least disrespect to the benevolent who provide the means and who order the ingredients; the demand, for immediate relief, is so great at Cork, that if the starving can be kept alive, it is all that can be expected; the energies of the poor are so cramped and deadened by want and suffering of every type, that they care only for sustenance, and they are unable to earn it; crowds flock in, from the country to the west and south-west and south-east of Cork, the hospitals and poor houses and jails, are full to overflowing, though numbers die daily to make room for the dying; every corner of the streets is filled with pale care worn creatures,
the weak leading and supporting the weaker, women assail you at every turn, with famished babes, imploring alms--and woe to the man who gives to them! I tried it! I gave sixpences, of which to the extent of a pound sterling I had provided myself; occasionally as pursued with Father Mathew in company, I cast a sixpence back to the crowd, and like the traveller who was pursued by hungry wolves, and who threw out a little something to distract their attention, I passed on at a quicker pace until I could find protection from the heart rending appeals of these poor creatures, by going into a store and finally escaping by the back door; finding the man, who had silver to give, unearthed, the pursuit was renewed, and I finally took shelter on board the steamer for Cove. I was told that this was no evidence of the distress pervading the lanes and by-ways, and I saw, with my own eyes, as I have stated, that the assertion was true! Many of the street beggars are old hands, professional beggars with maimed children as decoys; but among the crowds, the hollow eyes, and the sunken cheeks, the old bagging wrappers for dresses and the appeals for food, spoke too plainly of real want for me to doubt its existence. I readily waive the contemplation of the scenes I witnessed, and the contemplation of those so much worse in the country--where, in places, the living do not bury the dead till the police interfere.
Among the more pleasing incidents of my voyage and stay of ten days in Ireland, I would allude to the very pretty compliment paid to my countrymen by Mr. O'Connor of Cork, a gentleman, who by great industry and honesty in the calling of a merchant tailor, has amassed a handsome fortune who erected in 1845 a beautiful tower, on his estate five or six miles below Cork, in commemoration of the reception of Theobald
Mathew in London, in the year 1843. This tower is nearly or quite one hundred feet in height, and a circular stairway, opening as you ascend into several pretty circular rooms about twelve feet in diameter, where the people of Cork and vicinity are admitted gratis, and where they enjoy one of the finest views I ever had the good fortune to look upon. But I must not dwell on this and other views about Cork, and between it and Cove, they are surpassingly beautiful, and when one looks down from Mr. O'Connor's tower on the landscape, teeming apparently with life and health and beauty, he cannot help exclaiming--is this the land of famine and pestilence; and if so--why is it so? This is a question the wisest cannot answer.
But to return to my narrative; I visited the estate of Mr. O'Connor with Mr. Cummins, J.P. and the Earl of Mount Casshel; the former driving me with two fine but half starved horses. The Earl has large estates, about thirty miles from Cork, and in the north of Ireland also, and I will take occasion to read to you a letter received from him, which I could only refer to the Committee, having disembarrassed myself by giving full control to that body, of the cargo entrusted to my care. On the occasion of my visit to Mr. O'Connor he presented to me the drawing which is at the Athenæum, which is the counterpart of one received by Queen Victoria herself from the hands of Mr. O'Connor.
On Wednesday the 21st, I received a letter from Mr. O'Connor, accompanied by a splendid portrait of Father Mathew, now at the Athenæum.
I intend to offer to the generous people of New England, this portrait of that great apostle of Temperance and humanity, Theobald Mathew, to be displayed in some fitting place in Boston, in trust, and in commemoration
of the voyage of the Jamestown, and of their liberality in coming to the relief of a sister land in a time of unprecedented distress.
I invited Father Mathew to come to the United States with me but he feelingly declined, saying--"I cannot leave my post while the people can make use of me." It may not be out of place here to read his apology, for not dining with us on Wednesday, when I had the promise of his company to meet the Admiral and others. This is in character with all his acts.
It may be necessary for me to make some apology for the complacency with which I exhibit these flattering evidences of gratitude, but it is not necessary; they are part of the record, they belong to the contributors; they are in their praise. I was but the humble instrument used for carrying out, with the aid of my efficient officers, the liberal contributions of New England to the suffering Irish. And I would now, Mr. Chairman, make a motion and that is--Resolved, that the people of Boston having had the use of the Jamestown only 49 days, when it was expected that it would require 100; and whereas the joint resolution of Congress does not limit the time during which the Jamestown was to be employed under my command, and that the said resolution does actually specify, "for the purpose of carrying out provisions to the famishing poor of Ireland and Scotland," and whereas she has not performed the latter part of her duty, it is now resolved, "that we call on the Honorable the Secretary of the Navy, for the purpose of completing the good work, authorized by the act of Congress, and that another cargo for Ireland and Scotland be immediately sent out." As I cannot, consistently with my duties at home, go again myself, I will open the subscription for a cargo,
by giving the proceeds of the sale of this narrative, paying its cost myself, to that good end.* I have seen our doings so fully reported in the papers, that (fortunately for my readers,) I have little to add, and I ought perhaps to apologize for having spun so long a yarn, but I find that when a man has really something to say, he can say a good deal, and when the heart is full of the subject, it must speak; though the language may be plain and devoid of taste he will be received with forbearance. I cannot close my remarks, without stating that Mr. William Rathbone, a merchant of long standing of Liverpool, whom I consulted by letter, early in the stage of my proceedings, not only met me at Cork himself, devoted to the business I had enlisted him in, but he brought his excellent lady, his son and a secretary to assist and cooperate with me in carrying out the benevolent views of the donors, and I would respectfully suggest the passage of a resolution, by the Committee, particularly thanking him for his personal sacrifices and for his attention to your business; and in that resolution or in a separate one I recommend that the thanks of this meeting be given to all the officers of her Majesty's government who participated in the work of despatching the Jamestown. Also to Messrs. James Scott & Co., of Cove, who entertained your servant with a home, and to Messrs. N. and J. Cummins who transacted all the business I had to do at Cork, and who contributed much to the success of the reception and the discharge of the ship.
In conclusion, I have to remind you of the officers who so generously volunteered and went as my mates, and who so efficiently and harmoniously aided in accomplishing
* The act of Congress having specially put the ship under my orders, this could not be done consistently with the act.
the voyage, I shall always owe them a debt not easily cancelled.
The third and fourth officers, Messrs. Foote and White, although not strictly, volunteers without pay, yet are they men capable of filling any stations on board ship, and they contributed much to the successful termination of our happy voyage.
I have also to read to you as a matter of business my letters to the Committee and their reply, and my letters to the Admiral and others for the expediting of the Tartar, and any other vessel that may have gone out to my order.
Having now discharged my duty to the Committee and to the people of Boston who organized that Committee I have to say, that I have been immeasurably gratified by the manner in which you have cooperated with me, and by the reception I have enjoyed at home and abroad; and I shall ever look back to the voyage of the Jamestown as the happiest event of my life.
R. B. FORBES.
Note.--The Committee then voted to accept the above report, and also passed a vote of thanks to myself and officers. It may not be out of place here to say that the report was read to the Committee on board the Jamestown, on Tuesday, 18th May; after having entertained them on Boston mutton and poultry taken out in the ship in ice, and consequently killed over fifty-one days previous. For copy of my account of expenses, see Appendix.
PROCEEDINGS AT COVE.
[From the Cork Advertiser, April 15, 1847.]
ARRIVAL OF THE JAMESTOWN WITH PROVISIONS.
The conjecture in the "Memorandum" at foot of our Cove Note on Tuesday was correct. The "large American ship" was" the frigate"--the frigate freighted with food for our people, and blessings be on the heads and hearts of those who sent and those who brought it. It is the noblest offering that nation ever made to nation. It is the spontaneous outpouring of a generous charity, and the manner is as gratifying as the munificence of the gift.
When first alluding to the intention of sending it we observed that, though grateful for the consideration of our American friends, we regarded it with some shame. And why? Because it was a reproach to the insensiblility which sealed our sympathies at home. That one act put to the blush the peddling which seemed to be the highest achievement of our politico-economical Government. There were a celerity and a liberality about it which were at once an example and a rebuke. Here is a magnificent vessel despatched, crammed to the decks with corn and meal and flour, her mission of mercy accomplished and her anchor dropped within our harbor in less time than it would take to get an intelligible answer from the Board of Works, to comprehend the provisions of one of our bewildering Acts of Parliament, or to take the initiatory steps toward carrying them into execution. Shame -- shame--shame!
There is some talk of a complimentary acknowledgment to Mr. Forbes and his officers (since this was in type an Advertisement has been sent to our Office convening a Meeting for to-morrow.) All we can say is, that no compliment can be too high for them--no demonstration of public gratitude can exceed the sense of the public obligation -- not for the gift that is good, and for it we are thankful; but for the feeling, the kindliness in which it originated--a feeling and a kindliness which pervaded the whole population, and which was responded to with such liberal alacrity by the Executive. Individually and nationally they are entitled to the most sensible expression of admiration and esteem. What will be thought of this magnificent offering when we state that the very laborers who loaded the vessel labored without pay? They prayed permission to carry the cargo on board--the prayers was granted, and about two hundred and sixty of them gave their time and toil until the work was done. They were Irishmen, poor Irishmen, who had not, in the country of their adoption, forgotten the country of their birth, and it was affecting to see numbers of others trooping down with the sack or half sack of flour or
the bag of potatoes! entreating the crew or the captain to let them be put on board.
Had not Capt. Forbes restrained the liberality of his countrymen and of ours, not one but four vessels would have been filled. For the sake of despatch, however, he was obliged to refuse everything that did not come through the Relief Committees; but if, after his cargo was complete, three other vessels had been ready for their reception, individual benevolence would have loaded them with free-will freights. This is gratifying intelligence, and great is the gratification with which we write it.
The following is a memorandum with which we have been favored from the vessel:
The Jamestown, United States ship-of-war, sailed from the Navy Yard, Boston, on Sunday morning, the 28th March, at 81/2 o'clock, and anchored at the outer Harbor of Cork, on Monday, the 12th April, at 31/2 P.M., after a somewhat boisterous passage of 15 days and 21/2 hours, allowing for the difference in the longitude. Crossing the Banks she was several times in the vicinity of ice, during a dense fog, as indicated by the thermometer, but saw nothing. The ship, though laden 31/2 feet deeper than as a man-of-war, performed admirably and is as easy as can be, and steers like a pilot-boat; all well on board; the ship will go alongside of her Majesty's dock-yard, to discharge her cargo. The Jamestown is named after the first town where a colony was planted from the old world.
Gentlemen Volunteers on Board.--R.B. Forbes, Commander; Captain F.W. Macondry, Chief Mate; Captain J.D. Farwell, Second Mate; Dr. Luther Parks, Jr.
She anchored, as stated, at the Light House on Monday evening. Unfortunately the Geyser and the Avenger, which had been despatched with provisions, and which the Admiral impatiently expected in order to tow her in, did not return, and she had to wait until the Sabrina was on her way to Bristol on Tuesday. Captain Parker, with the promptitnde [sic: promptitude] which has always distinguished that able and excellent officer, as soon as he saw her, took her in tow, and laid her alongside Haulbowline, amid the cheers of thousands who lined the hills and quay of Cove, and where she soon after commenced discharging. At parting, she was saluted by the cheers of the crew and passengers of the Sabrina, which were answered heartily and lustily from the Jamestown and from the quays, and the Sabrina proceeded on her passage. Almost immediately, Mr. Forbes was waited on by a deputation, who presented him with the following Address, which he promptly and handsomely acknowledged.
Cove of Cork, April 13, 1847.
Sir, - We the Inhabitants of the Town and Island of Cove, hasten to address you on your arrival in our harbor, to express our sincere and lively gratitude to the great American people, for their generous sympathy and assistance in the present afflicting condition of our unhappy country.
The cry of Irish suffering has gone across the waters of the Atlantic, and has been promptly and nobly responded to by the kindly heart of America.
Deeply are we indebted to the good citizens of the State of Massachusetts, whose thoughtful and active benevolence furnished the large supply of food entrusted to your charge.
To yourself sir, for so promptly and humanely volunteering your valuable services, and at the call of charity resigning for a season the repose and enjoyments of your happy home, and to the General Government for so liberally placing at the disposal of the benevolent donors a National vessel to convey this most welcome cargo to our famishing people.
Filled with sorrow and dismay at the calamitous condition of a large portion of our population, it is most consoling and gratifying to us to receive such kindly and substantial evidences of sympathy from a country which we look up to with so much respect, and admiration, and to know that the thousands who are now hastening from our shores, are going to a land where they may calculate on a warm, and hospitable reception, and where industry and integrity are sure of their reward.
Honor to the citizens of Massachusetts. May they long enjoy the freedom and prosperity by which they are surrounded.
We will ever cherish a grateful recollection of their general solicitude for Ireland in her hour of trial and suffering.
ROBERT HARE, Chairman.
To R. B. Forbes, Esq.,
Commander of the American Sloop of War "Jamestown.".
ANSWER TO COVE DEPUTATION.
U.S. Ship Jamestown,
Cove, April 13, 1847.
To THE HONORABLE ROBERT HARE, CHAIRMAN, &c., &c.
Sir,--Your esteemed and highly flattering letter of this date has just been handed to me by Mr. Scott, and I regret that the duty of replying in suitable terms should have fallen on one so entirely unable by any adequate expressions to transmit to you the feelings under which I drop anchor at the Cove. The sympathy created in America is of no ordinary character, and the small token of relief accompany me, and the further cargoes on the way from the same source, convey but in faint language the prevailing sentiment of Americans. I hope to have an opportunity more fully to attempt to express to you what I feel, and in the mean time have the honor to be, for yourself and the citizens of Cove,
Most obediently and faithfully, your servant,
R. B. FORBES, Commander.
The deputation requested him to name a day on which he and his officers would honor them with their company to dinner, and Mr.
Forbes fixed to-day, when, at 6 o'clock, they are to have the pleasure of entertaining him and his gallant officers, who so generously volunteered their services to Ireland. The deputation consisted of the following persons, who had been named at a meeting held that morning:
The Hon. Robert Hare, J. P.; Rev. Mr. Nash, Rev. Mr. Gaily, Rev. Mr. O'Regan, R. C. C.; S. T. French, J. P.; Robert Holmes, J. P.; Mr. George Scott, Edward Millett, J. P.; Maurice Power, J. P.; Dr. Scott, Mr. Philip Scott, and Mr. W. Drew.
These gentlemen were severally introduced by Mr. N. Cummins, of the firm of Messrs, N. and J. Cummins of this city, who had started for Cove on the previous evening with despatches for Mr. Forbes, and, boarding the Jamestown off the Harbor, accompanied him to Haulbowline.
The Admiral (Sir Hugh Pigot) has been most active. He has neglected nothing that could tend to expedition or accommodation. Mr. Forbes he invited to, and would have been happy to receive at, the Admiralty, while the vessel remains, but that gentleman had previously promised himself to Mr. Scott.
We conclude with the following list of the articles which the Jamestown brings, the distribution of which, as will be seen by our extracts elsewhere, is confided to W. Rathbone, Esq,. of Liverpool.
|From the Boston Committee.
||bags Northern Corn,
||barrels Corn Meal,
||bags Indian Meal,
|From sundry Towns, Individuals and Societies.
||barrel and 1 box Oats,
||" Corn Meal,
||" Oat Meal,
||tierce Dried Apples,
||tierces and 1 bag Beans,
||barrel Four [sic: Flour],
||half barrel Meal,
||barrels and boxes Clothing.
|From the Charlestown Committee.
||half barrel Beans,
||half barrel Flour,
||" Corn Meal,
||empty Bags, (we presume
for discharging the corn.)
For some particulars of interest we refer to the extract from the American Papers received by the Jamestown which will be found in our third page.
[From the Cork Southern Reporter.]
We introduce the most agreeable and acceptable tidings it has ever been our duty to communicate to the Irish public with the following letter, the intimation contained in which will gladden many a heart, and, it is to be hoped, cause the preservation of many a life.
To the Editor of the Southern Reporter.
United States Consulate,
Cove of Cork, April 12, 1847.
Dear Sir,--I beg to inform you of the arrival of the U. S. Ship of War, "Jamestown," Capt. Forbes, at this port, from Boston, laden with provisions for the Irish poor; and I send you the Boston Post newspaper of the 26th ult.
Yours, very truly,
J. MURPHY, U.S.C.
Thanking the worthy Consul for his prompt and polite attention, we shall not anticipate our countrymen in the expression of their gratitude for this timely relief of Irish distress from the generous and noble-hearted people of Boston. When we put into type yesterday the official correspondence relating to the despatch of the Jamestown, we did not anticipate that she would have arrived in our harbor before this sheet would have been in the hands of our readers. But so it is -- the Almighty has favored her mission of mercy with the most desirable weather, and she has made the voyage from Boston to Cork in the space of 15 days, equaling nearly the average speed of the splendid mail streamers to Liverpool.
The Jamestown arrived last evening at 4 o'clock at Whitebay, where she anchored, not being able to sail up the harbor in consequence of its blowing a gale from the North. At 8 o'clock, Dr. Parks, surgeon of the vessel, landed at Cove, bearing despatches for the Lord Lieutenant and Mr. Labouchere, which he delivered at the Consulate, with directions to have them forwarded as speedily as possible, and amongst other papers he was the bearer of a letter to the late Right Rev. Dr. Murphy, R. C. Bishop of this diocese.
On the intimation of the vessel's arrival being notified to Rear Admiral Sir H. Pigott, he despatched an officer to ascertain if any immediate assistance was required. Amongst other arrivals yesterday was the American brig Alice Tarlton, with a cargo of provisions consigned to the Secretary of the Ballinspital Relief Committee, County of Cork, for the use of the poor of that neighborhood. Those provisions are part of the free contributions of the inhabitants of the States.
The particulars of the Jamestown's cargo will be found in the correspondence in our columns, and we take the following description of the noble ship from the Boston Post of the 26th ult.:
U.S. SLOOP OF WAR JAMESTOWN.
As this vessel is associated with one of the most noble charities on record, a sketch of her at this time will no doubt be interesting to many of our readers. She is one of six sloops of war, each of which was designed and built by the naval constructors at the several navy yards for the purpose of selecting the best of them as standards of their class, to be hereafter adopted in the navy. The Jamestown was built at Norfolk, Va., in 1843, by Mr. Foster Rhodes, (since deceased), and has been only one cruise in commission, and since her return has been thoroughly caulked and otherwise rendered fit for sea. Her length between perpendiculars, from the fore side of the rabbet of the stem to the after side of the rabbet of the sternpost, at the cross seam, is 157 feet; moulded breadth of beam 35, and extreme 36 feet; depth from the top of the gun deck beam to the limber strake 16 feet, and 2 feet more to the lower edge of the rabbet of the keel. Her launching draft of water was 10.50 forward, and 12.50 aft; load draft 15.75 forward and 16.50 aft, and 6.33 the height of the lower portsill amidship above the load floating line. The depth of her keel and false keel, clear of the rabbet, is 3 feet. Her frame is of live oak, and in every streak through every timber there are two thorough bolts clinched, and two blunt bolts; thus she is square fastened with copper throughout, for there is not a single treenail in her.
She is sharper forward than any sailing ship in the country and fuller aft in proportion to her size than any ship of the line. For an auxiliary steamer, with a propeller, she seems to be well adapted. Her stern is rounded, but she has large quarter galleries, which at a distance give her the appearance of being square sterned. She has three decks--the berth-deck, where the crew mess and sleep, the gun deck, and the spar or upper deck. The last is flush, and entirely clear for working ship. Her armament consists of eighteen 32 pounders, each of 42 cwt., and 4 sixty-eights, of 64 cwt., 22 guns in all.
Her launch stows on the gun deck and her cables also work on it. The captain's cabin is aft, and state-rooms along the sides for the lieutenants. The after part of the lower or berth-deck is also set apart for the use of the officers. Her hold, of course, contains various divisions for water, provisions, shot, &c. &c.
When first fitted out her masts raked so much that the head of her mizen royalmast almost plumbed the taffarel; since her return, however, they have been altered in their rake and her yards reduced in length.*
The Jamestown's armament, excepting two guns, is now ashore, and her hold and berth-deck are filled with grain and meal for the relief of the poor of Ireland. Her gun deck contains water and provisions for the ship's use and accommodations for the officers and crew. She has nearly the bulk of 8,000 barrels of flour on board, and by the time she is ready for sea, her mean draft of water will be about 19 1/2 feet, 3 feet more than her mean load draft, as a ship of war, yet she is lighter than any merchant vessel laden with grain. It must be borne in mind that she has 70 tons of ballast
* Rake of mizen mast not altered.
on board, iron tanks, extra anchors and chains, and other stores, in all amounting to 100 tons dead weight more than a merchant ship would carry, but which the navy department consider necessary for the safety of the vessel.
The Jamestown is expected to sail from this port tomorrow, under the command of Captain R. B. Forbes, for Cork, Ireland. Captain Macondray and Captain I. D. Farwell are the mates, both volunteers. She will have on board about fifty souls, including officers and men.
If any one in this community is more worthy of praise than another, in connection with fitting out the Jamestown on her mission of mercy, assuredly Capt. Forbes is the man. Since Congress entrusted the ship to his charge, he has been untiring in his efforts to get her ready as early as possible. For the information of those who do not know Capt. Forbes, it will not be amiss to state, that he is a merchant of this city, who has followed the sea for many years in various capacities, and is still interested in the China trade. His acquirements in connection with shipping are of the first order, and he has introduced many improvements in the style of building and rigging vessels, which are now in general use.
The relief committee and their agents are also entitled to praise, for the energy they have displayed in furnishing the means; also the volunteers who have loaded the ship. The officers attached to the navy yard have also rendered every facility to Captain Forbes, in fitting the vessel out, that he could desire.
[From the Cork Examiner.]
AMERICAN GENEROSITY--DEMONSTRATION AT COVE.
Seldom, if ever, have we published a report that will be read with deeper interest and pleasure than that we insert to-day, of the entertainment in Cove to Captain Forbes and the Officers of the Jamestown. Cove has done its own part admirably. The gentry of all creeds, classes and professions--Clergymen, Magistrates, Physicians and private Gentlemen, united cordially to compliment the generous representatives of generous America, and to give them a reception such as they deserved. They were received with true Irish warmth and characteristic hospitality. The most respectable inhabitants of Cove, such was the feeling by which all were animated, lent their personal aid to decorate the rooms and dwelling where the benevolent strangers were entertained. The feast was one of love, gratitude, and soul communion. Never did Irishmen display their own high qualities of head and heart more creditably. We may refer to the Chairman's eloquent address as the proof of one, and the impossibility of accommodating all who were anxious to attend as an evidence of the other. Had the room been capable of holding thrice the number it would have been filled. And never was there an occasion that more
meetly elicited such a manifestation of true Irish feeling. If we owed America no more than the splendid gift conveyed to us by Captain Forbes, he and his Officers would deserve the welcome. They have crossed an ocean, of their own free will, at their own especial cost, bringing us food, help and hope, leaving their own homes and occupations to serve our starving poor, and teach us all the high and holy sympathies by which men and nations however far asunder should be bound. Look at the whole transaction--how splendid the gift--how exalted the motive--how unexceptionable and unostentatious the mode of its bestowal. We are not reminded contemptuously of our misery -- nor taunted with our obligations, nor humbled to the dust by scorn. We are not coarsely vilified because God has afflicted us, nor does insult or mean contumely accompany the boon.
Let the manner in which a Nation acts that owes us nothing but the services of our countrymen as Citizens, be a model to the Nation that owes to us her pre-eminent greatness--her military strength, and millions of her wealth. It is not for us to detract from the private generosity of her citizens. Far be it from us to cast a slur on that. She too has sons who are an honor to humanity.
We rejoice exceedingly that Cove has done itself such honor. We did hope that Cork would be able to offer a like tribute to Captain Forbes and those by whom he is accompanied. The death of our Chief Magistrate, a man respected by all, was unfortunately interposed; but our Fellow-Citizens will not fail to testify, in a way, consistent with their feelings, the sense they entertain of American generosity.