“This item is a manifest of merchandise shipped by the Irish Relief Committee of Philadelphia on board the Barque John Welsh. The manifest lists the goods being shipped and their value. The merchandise being shipped includes flour, corn meal, peas, beans, and pork. The manifest indicates that the vessel is shipping from the port of Philadelphia to Londonderry, Ireland.”
March is Irish-American Heritage Month. Established in 1991 to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day, the month celebrates the achievements and contributions of Irish immigrants and their descendants in the United States. When the Great Famine spread through Ireland in the 1840s, thousands fled to the United States. Irish immigrants were not always welcomed upon arrival, however, and . rumors and stereotypes of the Irish abounded. The Irish banded together in urban enclaves and rural homesteads, and worked in a variety of industries, served in the armed forces, and helped build modern America. Today, the descendants of these Irish immigrants number in the millions.
The Great Irish Famine (1845-1849) was caused by widespread potato crop failure, which usually sustained a large portion of the rural poor. With little relief coming from the British government, foreign private aid societies formed to send food overseas to Ireland. In the United States, Irish-American, religious, and other social groups raised money, lobbied politicians, and donated food to alleviate the Irish’s suffering.