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ing the allowance of 37. to 57. per family for clothing, were very insufficiently clad, and it was needful to obtain a further supply for those most in want of it.
It took four hours to complete the embarkation, though all worked with a will; and the people, with a few rare exceptions, showed throughout their grateful sense of the kindness which was shown them. I did not hear a single "wail 99 as we left the ship; but before she steamed out a multitude of hand-shakings and blessings were showered upon me, and three cheers rang across the bay. To those who have seen-perhaps the most piteous scene one can witness-the parting, probably forever, of near relatives at some Irish railway station, it may seem very remarkable that I can make such a statement. Nevertheless, it is true. Doubtless, the absence of evident sorrow largely arose from the fact that the people were not separated that father and mother and children were leaving together, that the great principle was acknowledged_that they ought not to be so separated. But I cannot think that this was all. As some one remarked to me, "It is as though the people were flying from a doomed city." The full conviction had come upon them that it was impossible longer to struggle with the depth of poverty by which they had been surrounded. When asked to emigrate they would sometimes say, "Send us, your honor, where you like, only let us go." I confess, frequently as I have heard it during the few last days, it has brought before me a sense of the depth and intensity of quiet, longborne penury which no words can describe. There are many who must have thought that the responsibility of removing so many families must have been felt to be a very serious one. Such, doubtless, it is, and always will be.
It may seem an appropriate place to say here that before the meeting of March 31, when it seemed probable that some subscription would be raised to assist emigration, I had written to a personal friend in Philadelphia, who had joined me in the autumn of 1880 whilst making inquiries in Minnesota and Manitoba, to ask for his co-operation in the work, claiming the fulfilment, in a large sense, of a promise jokingly given by him and others, that when I arrived with my ragged regiment" we should have a breakfast given us on landing. The answer had come a few days before the sailing of the first shipment, even fuller than I anticipated:
"It will be my special privilege to do any and every thing in my power to forward the movement, as until June 20 I Ishall be more than usually in command of my time, and either here or by travelling I am ready for whatever lies in my power to do." With such willing co-operation to depend upon, much of the anxiety attending upon the movement of families, so far as regards the numbers we might be able to assist, was thus removed; and though a little out of date, I may add that this promise has been more than fulfilled, and that in personally meeting and arranging for the emigrants more than we could have asked has been done. For those who went to Canada we had also the willing co-operation and assistance of the Canadian government through their agents in Quebec or Toronto, etc., and both in this and in other ways the committee are under much obligation, as well as to Sir A. Galt and Mr. Colmer, the secretary of the Canadian government. April 7.- The news of the dreadful tragedy in Phoenix Park broke upon us in Galway, bringing home, in most unmistakable language, the power and malignity of the secret organizations which in this country undermine the very basis of all order and true liberty. It recalled to me the striking words of a Galway man shortly after the assassination of President Garfield, who, referring to the undiscovered murders in the north of the county, remarked: "Sir, though the murderers are known from K- to T, no one will give evidence. It seems to matter not who it is they kill-kings, emperors, people, priest, or peasant- -one would suppose they had forgotten there was a God in heaven."
On the Monday following circumstances led to a visit to Dublin which impressed me deeply with the almost universal alarm and horror which this unparalleled crime had caused, reminding me faintly of Paris on the first day of the outbreak of the Commune, after the murder of the generals in the garden of the Maire of Montmartre.
Joined in Dublin by Major Gaskell, who had travelled from Dresden to take part in the work, and whose labors on behalf of the Duchess of Marlborough's committee have earned for him the gratitude and love of the Connemara people, we returned once more to the scene of our former labors. To relate the story of the preparations for the third shipment of emigrants would, with slight variation,
Yes, it is dreadful work," said a mag.
Again, I will venture to say, whatever may be the sins and shortcomings of these poor people, that it is the absolute and bounden duty of the government, and certainly more politic and expedient, to pass and enforce some law by which all suitable families who have been evicted without the means of paying rents shall have, side by side with the offer of the workhouse, the offer also of the means to emigrate. I exclude, of course, those who dishonestly withhold the rent they are able to pay.
I was painfully impressed on more than one occasion during these later inquiries with the fact that the entire. absence of means extended to a higher class of tenants than I had supposed.
be merely to repeat the previous one. In | cottages, where the furniture was lying place of three hundred we had more than scattered in confusion about, and the four hundred people to gather from sea- family barely recovered from the previous shore or mountain hamlet, and to clothe excitement, was truly a pitiable sight. them and provide for their transport to It was some satisfaction to find that in all the vessel; but though only a fortnight cases where illness or special causes arose was before us, Major Gaskell's experi- the families had been allowed to remain as ence and personal knowledge of the dis- caretakers." trict made the almost impossible task practicable. One or two incidents, how-istrate to me at the close of a long day, ever, connected with it may be briefly "especially when one feels assured that touched upon. That which was of the not one in ten could pay any rent." greatest importance, so far as the work in hand was concerned, was that the opposition of a portion of the members of the Clifden Board came to a head by the resolution being carried by a majority to rescind the former resolution to borrow the sum of 2,000l. for the purpose of emigration. The advances hitherto made for emigration from the fund having been based upon the previous resolution and the actual application by the union to the Local Government Board for the loan, with a written engagement to pay the amount when received to my account at the Clifden Bank, it may naturally be supposed that this conduct caused much annoyance and vexation both to the committee and myself. Up to this time the amount expended by the committee, including the present shipment, did not materially exceed the sum promised for assistance to this union. This amount was 5,000l. And, after all, it was to the poor people around that its effects were most serious. It compelled me at once to reject large numbers already on the lists, many of whom had been expecting to be assisted by this or subsequent sail ings. If the 2,000l. promised by the union had been paid, two hundred and fifty more families would have been assisted abroad. This was the more to be regretted, owing to the daily numbers of fresh applications received, especially from the persons affected by the numerous evictions which were going on from day to day in this union. As it may be surmised that the evictions had in some cases resulted from the possibility of the tenants being emigrated, it may be well to state that the processes were obtained long before I visited the district. In visiting the cottages for the purpose of satisfying ourselves as to the suitability of the applicants, we more than once came upon the evicting parties. The police patrols on the road and others engaged with the sheriff indicated the nature of their employment. To walk up to one of these
Driving from Glendalough to Clifden a respectably-dressed man, with a roil of native frieze under his arm, earnestly entreated me to buy it of him. He had made it for his own use, but he was compelled to sell it to buy meal. Not wishing to carry it with me, I told him to meet me on my return in the evening. It was, however, nearly ten before we were able to do so, and of course too late to enter upon this important transaction! would bring it to me next morning; and before breakfast he had walked in the four or five miles with his bundle. Wishing to know the cause of his earnestness to sell his frieze, for which he asked a very moderate price, he gave me the following story: —
Early in the year a notice of eviction for nonP. C. was a tenant holding under Mr. B payment of rent was served on him, as on many others. He owed about three years and had not the means to pay. Selling a small heifer for 57., he had in addition to borrow 81. from a shopkeeper to pay the 87. rental and 3. 155. expense "of process," and for the loan in August - he had to pay 47.1 Thus the rent of the 81. for six months which was payable of 87. would be all but doubled by the law expenses and usury demanded.
The cloth, the produce of his sheep's-wool, had been woven for his own use, but he was
compelled to sell it to buy meal, and must go | were needed. It is not needful to de
on without new clothes this year. He hoped to struggle on, and did not ask to be emigrated.
The ill-advised purchase of one piece of frieze led to my having over fifty applications. The quality of the frieze and its finish and neatness of color varied in proportion to the character of the maker. Some was remarkably strong and good, and the short lengths finished with much care. This frieze was really "all wool," and varied in price from 3s. 6d. to 5s. per yard according to quality, of which the owner was very quick in forming a judgment. It is almost needless to say that the cloth thus offered was not the work of the very poorest, who possessed no sheep, but from a rather better class, with farms up to 157. a year. Why should not this homely manufacture be encouraged? Is it too much to ask that those who perpetually cry "Ireland for the Irish" should clothe themselves in Irish homespun, or is it too small and too practical a bit of work for the patronage of the "Irish-Association for the Promotion of Irish Manufactures"?
"Will you not buy one sovereign's worth?" said a remarkably fine-looking and fairly-clad Connemara woman of forty to me one day. "No, my good woman, you see I have already enough to clothe half the town I live in," was my reply. "Not one pound's worth, sir?" she again repeated, with a sweet, sad smile on her face. "And see," she said, "I have put a little bright color into it; I thought it would look neater." How could such an
appeal be resisted? But," I asked, "why are you so pressing? you are not like many of those around us without shoes or decent clothing." "No," she replied, "but I want the meal for the children. My rent was 157; and I had to sell the cows and all I could to pay this and the cost of the process, 31. 155., and 17. for the valuer who had to bring the case into court. But the court has come and gone, and nothing is done yet!"
scribe that which is involved in the collection from the lodging-houses, the exchange of tickets, the transfer of so many men, women, and children from the tug to the steamer, and the final shakedown on board. Suffice it to say, that with the aid of Major Gaskell, two Dublin gentlemen who became interested in the work, and gave us much valuable help, the officers of the ship, and our own hard-working assistants, it was done after six hours? strenuous toil, and again with cheers the emigrants left the harbor. Through the kindness of Father Nugent, of Liverpool, the Rev. J. O'Donnell, R. C. chaplain of the Liverpool workhouse, had been induced to take charge of them.
I may perhaps be allowed here to say, that in any future work which may be carried on I would most strongly advise,. on all accounts, the shipment of smaller numbers. Batches of not more than ten or fifteen families at the utmost should be sent out. The doing so would lessen the great strain on this side, and at the same time reduce the chances of any difficulty in finding employment in America, which the larger numbers may cause.
With the Connemara people also a few families left who had come from the Newport union; but, as already indicated, owing to the absence of any real or expected local assistance, the number assisted from either Newport or Belmullet was insignificant, as it would undoubtedly have also been from Clifden but for the promised aid and co-operation of the union. This result has made more manifest than any words can do the inability of the people to help themselves in the matter of emigration. For these districts, if the families really needing it are to emigrate, the means for so doing must be nearly if not wholly provided from other sources.
to proceed; and I believe I am correct in saying that wherever this was enforced the intended emigrant did not leave. He could not, after satisfying the shopkeeper's claims, find the amount.
There were instances in preparing the lists in which, from evidence supposed to be reliable, the sum was required from the intended emigrant for the supply of On the 20th of May the "Winnipeg' "the needful clothing before he was allowed steamed into Galway harbor for the third and largest contingent of Connemara emigrants, numbering four hundred and twenty persons, who had, with the invaluable aid of Major Gaskell, been gathered together, by car or omnibus or hooker, and were now in readiness for the steamer. Punctual to her time, at five the following morning her steam-whistle told us that she was in the bay-that all hands VOL. XXXIX. 1999
To many the question of the cost of the work undertaken will be of interest, and it has a real bearing upon any future work which may be undertaken.
The following are the particulars:
No. 1 Shipment.—31 families; 152 fares; 201 men, women, and children.
American railway fares
Conveyance, etc., to Galway
Lodgings, outfit for ship and
one or two persons, who, wishing to emigrate, had been refused on the ground of unsuitability, could deter him from promoting that which he felt to be the only chance of escape from the poverty around.
Nor must I forget to notice the assistance rendered by my temporary assistant, Mr. Peter King, who by night or day was ever ready for the work.
The question is often asked, for how many persons, roughly speaking, is it O requisite that funds should be provided for emigration? It is a question which must necessarily be answered with considerable hesitation if actual numbers are
No. 2. 58 families; 260 fares; 345 persons.demanded, but so far as this experiment
American railway fares
Clothing (less gift 70%.)
Say £6 os. 8d. per head.
enables us to give any reply, we think the o following data may assist in arriving at a 3 conclusion.
There are in the western counties so Ofrequently referred to, from four to five I hundred thousand persons living on sev6 enty-seven thousand holdings at or under 42. valuation, many of the rents being 1. to 3.; a large proportion of these are unable to maintain themselves decently on the produce of the land they hold, and men, have little if any wages from local employment. We are thus brought face to face with an amount of poverty requiring most serious attention, and far beyond the power of any private association to relieve. It is not intended to urge that this number must be assisted to emigrate. Taking Clifden union, with a population of about twenty thousand who are living on holdings under 4/., (out of twenty-five thousand persons) as an example, it was found that one-fifth ought to leave! there are only six other unions in the district included in the above number equally poor with Clifden, we think it might be safe to take one-sixth of the whole: or say, sixty-six thousand if taken at four hundred thousand, or at eighty-three thousand if at five hundred thousand. broadly at seventy-five thousand, it would need, at 67. 10s. per head, a sum approaching half a million.* To remove so large a number must, however, be a work of time, and it would be absolutely needful to make arrangements for their proper reception and employment in the colonies and the United States.
250 O o
In addition to these 978 persons, a few were assisted from Belmullet, and subsequently 240 others from Connemara, making a total of 1,260 men, women, and children. The total cost in round numbers being 7,700l.
Amidst the many scenes and recollections which crowd in upon me as I bring this record of seven weeks' work to a close, I must not forget to make some acknowledgment of the services and unfailing aid rendered by Mr. J. Burke, the clerk of the Clifden union. I think I may venture to say that without his hearty co-operation the work could hardly have been carried on, while his opposition would certainly have been fatal to it. It was perhaps the knowledge of this which led to the bitter tone adopted towards him by a portion of the guardians, culminating in the passing of a resolution calling upon him to resign; but neither this, nor personal abuse, nor threatening letters from
When writing on this subject a short time ago without actual experience to guide me, I ventured to make the following suggestions in reference to these districts:
Any calculation based upon imperfect data must But after much thought and local inquiry extending over some months, necessarily be liable to correction. the above cannot, I think, be far from the mark.
with this many-sided and important question.
Ist. That greater facilities should be given to all unions throughout Ireland for borrowing for emigration purposes by Having said this, I wish again to draw extending the time for repayment of loans attention to the absolute necessity, whatfrom seven to twenty-five years, or even ever plan may be adopted, of carrying it longer, with a rate of interest not exceed-out with the greatest caution and considing 3 per cent.
2nd. That in all cases of eviction in which admission to the union is offered to the tenant, it should be compulsory to give (to suitable families) side by side with this the offer of emigration, chargeable, as at present, on the electoral division in which the tenant resides.
3rd. That it is needful in certain wellknown impoverished unions (about twenty in number), extending along the western shores of Donegal, Mayo, Galway, or other unions in Connaught, and portions of Clare and Kerry, to provide from the Treasury, either by loan without interest to be repaid in thirty years, or by free grant, or partly by grant and partly by loan, the sum of 100,000l. for five years for emigration.
eration, as regards the preparation and arrangements for the settlement of families of emigrants. Without this I cannot think that any emigration ought to be assisted by the State or private associations.
It is especially so in regard to the emigration of families. Had no preparation been made for the families assisted "by the fund" whether by private hands in the States or by the agents of the Canadian government in Canada, our work would have been largely a failure. Even with every precaution and arrangement one must not be surprised to find, in dealing with people so poor and helpless, that some persons or families assisted have drifted into the dregs of the population, or be disappointed if we hear, where so Subsequent experience has confirmed much depends in the future on the char the opinion that this amount is really need-acter and willingness of the individual to ed to be so spent, but it has also strength- work, that there is a proportion of failures. ened the conviction that the money must What these arrangements should be, be a grant in several unions,* and not a whether a revival of the scheme proposed loan, and that the control of the work by the Canadian government to the Britshould be entrusted to an emigration com-ish government in the winter of 1880, or mission.
Would it not be possible, by way of a prompt commencement, in addition to giving, in the Arrears Bill now before Parliament, every facility to landlords and tenants who may mutually wish to devote moneys advanced for arrears to the purposes of emigration, also to insert a clause to meet those cases which will undoubtedly arise of tenants who from extreme poverty are unable to comply with the terms upon which relief from arrears is to be given, and who will therefore remain liable to eviction, by empowering the lord-lieutenant, through such agencies as he may deem desirable, to expend say 200,000/. in facilitating emigration under proper conditions utilizing in fact the dead letter of the emigration clause? Surely the experience gained in dealing with these cases promptly, as from day to day the need might arise, would be exceedingly valuable in preparing the way for the further and more complete dealing
I am well aware of the strong objection to the principle of grants -but it must be remarked that during the past two years it has been found needful to pay the arrears of debts or cancel loans of four of the viz. Belmullet, Newport, Swinford, Clifden, out of the Treasury grant for the Relief of Distress.
unions of this district to the extent of nearly 25,000l.,
through other associations in Canada, or by an organization co-operating with the admirable arrangements at Castle Gardens in the United States, is beyond the limits of this paper to enter upon; only that it is absolutely needful if a really beneficial emigration is carried out does not admit of any doubt.
That there is ample work for an association such as that under whose auspices I have had the honor to work is as little to be doubted; and if it were possible that the personal dealings with the people assisted-such as the selection of families, the clothing required, the reception arrangements could be so delegated, I believe much of the bitterness and cherished animosity which has so largely pervaded the minds of those who amidst infinite disadvantages have found their way to a more hospitable shore would vanish.
It is, I venture again to urge, the poverty of the people which is intimately associated with, if not the cause for, the agrarian crime which now exists in many districts. To whatever extent legislation can practically be directed to the removal of this poverty, in that degree shall we have removed the motive and incen