Object of the work

"Stript, wounded, beaten, nigh to death,
I saw him by the highway-side."

Those who have read the volume called Ireland's Welcome, have been informed that I left New York in the spring of 1844, for the purpose of exploring and ascertaining, by eye-witness, the real condition of a people whose history has been mixed with fable, and whose true character has been as little understood as their sufferings have been mitigated.

In pursuing this work, the object is not precisely the same as in the preceding one; that was but the surface—the rippling of that mighty sea, whose waves have since been casting up little else but "mire and dirt," and whose deep and continual upheavings plainly indicate that the foundations, if not destroyed, are fast breaking up. I then aimed at nothing more than giving a simple narration of facts, as they passed under observation, leaving the reader to comment upon those facts, as their different features were presented to the mind.

Some, and possibly many, have been grieved that so much "plainness of speech" has been used; but here emphatically "flattering titles" should have no place; opiates have served no other purpose for diseased Ireland than to leave undisturbed the canker-worm that was doing more effectually his deadly work within. "Peace, peace," where there is no peace, eventually brings down the chastenings of the Almighty, and He has shown in language that cannot be misunderstood, for the last three years, that He sitteth in the heavens, overturning and overturning the nations of the earth, and, in his own due time, He whose right it is to rule will rule. The stone is rolling, and its velocity increases as it proceeds. The potato has done its work, and it has done it effectually: it has fed the unpaid millions for more than two centuries, till the scanty wages of the defrauded poor man have entered into the "ears of the Lord of Sabaoth," and He is now telling the rich that "their gold and silver is cankered," and that their day is coming speedily.

Read "Annals of the Famine in Ireland" at your leisure

Annals of the Famine in Ireland

Read Annals of the Famine in Ireland at your leisure and help support this free Irish library.

This book still has the power to shock and sadden even though the events described are ever-receding further into the past. When you read, for example, of the poor widowed mother who was caught trying to salvage a few potatoes from her landlord's field, and what the magistrate discovered in the pot in her cabin, you cannot help but be apalled and distressed.

The text of this new edition has professionally been reset and an index added to the paperback.