Emigration Vessel. — Between Decks

Irish Emigrants Leaving Home. — The Priest's Blessing. Illustrated London News (10 May 1851): 387. Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. [This image may be used without prior permission for any educational or scholarly purpose.]

"[A] constant stream of well-clad, healthy, and comfortable-looking peasantry in our streets, induces me to send you the accompanying sketches and communications on that subject.

"Upon reference to notes and papers of my own, and to information afforded me by the emigration agents here, I am disposed to think that about the middle of May the great emigrational torrent ceases to flow from these shores [i. e., Ireland]. Looking backward for the last month, I find that, during the week ending April 11 [1851] the greatest rush for the season took place. The numbers who left Cork that week could not have fallen far short of 1500 souls, and with the emigration of the other ports of Limerick, Waterford, Dublin, and even of Belfast, will give us an approach to 5000 weekly leaving the country. Large as this number may appear, it is well known that it is considerably below the mark when the departures for Liverpool are included. One agent informed me that he himself had booked 600 emigrants in four days, and yet he is but one of many agents who are to be met with not alone in large towns and seaports, but even thickly scattered through each petty town and village throughout the country. In England you can have but little conception of the sufferings of the poor Irish emigrant from the time he first announces his intention of leaving home" [text from article accompanying illustration].

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Last modified 31 August 2006