Immigration from Ireland


New York Daily Herald/July 6, 1844

By a recent return of the numbers of Irish immigrants who have arrived during the last month in this city, and their destination, published by the agent of the “Irish Emigration Society,” it appears that only a small proportion, a fifth or sixth, of these immigrants go to the country, the majority remaining in the city and its immediate neighborhood. This is very readily explained. Very few of these poor people possess the means of transporting themselves to the interior, arriving here in the most destitute condition.

We have again and again directed public attention to this matter, and suggested the adoption of some means of relieving those bands of immigrants from the deplorable destitution in which so many of them are plunged on their arrival here, and supplying them with the means of removing to the West. If the miserable demagogues who have been plundering the Irish in this country of their hard earned dollars, for the purpose of swelling the coffers of the repeal association, had a single particle of patriotism or humanity, they would have directed the enthusiastic feelings of their countrymen to some such really benevolent purpose as that we have just indicated. The money contributed in this country to the cause of repeal, and which has been employed only in filling the pockets of unprincipled scoundrels, and keeping up a mischievous agitation, would have sufficed to establish a fund for the relief and aid of Irish immigrants which would have been productive of incalculable good.

Is it ever to be in vain, to call on those who affect to be the friends of Ireland and the Irish, for some such rational and efficient manifestation of sympathy? There are many wealthy Irishmen in this city who have very properly stood aloof from the ridiculous repeal agitation; will they not come forward now and originate a movement for the extension of assistance to their poor countrymen who are landing here altogether destitute of the means of existence? Hardy, frugal, sober and industrious, these are just the class of immigrants who, in the fertile fields of the West, are certain to find comfortable homes. We do trust that something will be speedily done in this city towards the organization of an association for the relief of the Irish immigrant. A comparatively small sum would be sufficient to transport each family to the West, and purchase land adequate to its support; the sum for this purpose could be advanced in the way of a loan, to be repaid in a reasonable time. We throw out these suggestions, in this cursory manner, with the view of drawing the attention of the philanthropic to this very important subject. Let the genuine friends of Ireland and her oppressed people, if there be any such in this city, see to it, that their countrymen who seek in this asylum of liberty, the reward of toil and industry, receive some other welcome than the yells of besotted intolerance.

(Source: Library of Congress, Chronicling America)