New Birmingham Colliery

My next visit was to the Colliery at New Birmingham. At an early hour, the vehicle was to set off on which I was to have a seat. This was a baker's cart, and I was perched on the top of the box, with no resting place for my feet but the back of the horse, which required some exertion for me to reach, as well as strength of nerve to keep them there. A brother of like occupation with my companion accompanied us, and as the carts passed the cabin, the inmates poured out, not only to see the "American stranger," but to admire the throne on which she was elevated. The merry driver did his duty in pointing out every object of curiosity on the road, as well as procuring me a welcome to Ireland from every man, woman, and child that we met, and an invitation to call on them on my return. One old man crossed a field to see me and invite me to his house, saying, "I have heard of ye, and I give ye a hearty welcome to our country." Promising all as I passed that I would call on my return, we moved slowly through the settlement. Reaching the foot of a hill, at the corner of a wall lay a female wrapped in a cloak. Approaching her, I uncovered her face; she looked slily upon me, and drew the cloak over her head, when the driver called out, "she will not speak to ye; she is a silly cratur, who sleeps out of doors, going where she pleases; and when the storm is strong, somebody gets her and locks her in; but she bawls so loud they can't keep her; she's innocent, and has lived so for years."

Read "Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger" at your leisure

Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger

Read Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger at your leisure and help support this free Irish library.

This book cannot be recommended highly enough to those interested in Irish social history. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, travelled from her native America to assess the condition of the poor in Ireland during the mid 1840s. Her journey took her through the counties of Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Tipperary, Cork, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Cork, Kerry, as well as parts of King's County (now Offaly) and Queen's County (now Laois).

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