To My Countrymen in America

Margaret Anne Cusack


Letter A

LTHOUGH I have already offered my thanks to my countrymen in America, for the cordiality with which they have received the "Illustrated History of Ireland," I cannot refrain from addressing a few words specially to them, and expressing my gratitude to the editors of the Catholic papers and serials in that country, who have contributed not a "little to the success of the work. The letter which I wrote for publication in those papers, was given to the public with a promptness seldom equalled. The reviews of the History have followed each other rapidly, and have expressed, each and all, their highest approbation of the work. I can now only ask every Irishman and every Irishwoman in America, who can possibly afford it, to procure a volume for themselves, and to read our noble and glorious annals. Ours is a history of which we may justly feel proud; and I believe there are many American men and women to whom also I desire to extend the hand of friendship, who will read this work with as much pleasure as those of my own race and faith.

Brave-hearted, long-suffering, noble countrymen, I greet you with a thousand greetings across the wide ocean which separates us from each other! You have gone forth weeping, but you bore with you the precious seed. It may be that you will never again revisit the peaceful, though often poverty-stricken, homes from whence you have been driven. But it matters not. The Church is the true home of the Catholic, and, above all, of the afflicted. Be true to that Church. Be true to your altars, and they will bless and sanctify your homes. Be true to your priests. The Soggarth Aroon, who consoled you in your Irish poverty, goes across the mighty ocean to keep you true to your faith in your American prosperity. The eternal harvest-time may not be so far away: the longest life is short in comparison of Eternity. Live to be worthy of your country. You will do this best and only by being true to your Faith. Teach your sons and your daughters the history of your fatherland—of its ancient glories; yes, and of its ancient sorrows, for those sorrows are also its glories, and will be its eternal crown.

In conclusion, I shall ask you to make known the letter which I append as widely as possible; it will explain itself. I have faith in my countrymen, that my request will be sacredly observed. It will be a pleasure to them, when they purchase a volume of the "Illustrated History of Ireland, " to know that they are at the same time helping the poor in their native land, and those also, who, though once rich in this world's goods, have become poor for Christ's sake. Nearly all the works I have written, and certainly all that I may write hereafter, will be forwarded to the Catholic Publication Society; and I hope will obtain as wide a circulation, and as warm an acceptance from Irishmen and Americans, as the present volume.

Letter addressed to the Editors of American Papers friendly to Ireland.

Sir,—I write to inform my countrymen in America, through the medium of your paper, that I have written a work on Irish history, which has been published at great expense by the community to which I belong. The illustrations alone have cost a very large sum of money, and involved a heavy outlay. I have written the "Illustrated History of Ireland" for the love of my country and the good of my convent, and of the poor who live in its neighbourhood. It will, therefore, be a very serious loss to us and to them if the book is republished in America, and sold there without any profit to us. I therefore earnestly request my countrymen, for the love of the old country and for my own sake—as I believe when they read my book they will feel as warmly toward the author as those at home—to order the History exclusively from the Catholic Publication Society, 126, Nassau-street, New York, to whom we supply it; and though, in consequence of heavy duty and other expenses, our profit is but slight, still I am convinced no true-hearted Irishman would wish to deprive us of it.

I remain, very respectfully,

The Author of the History of Ireland.

Convent of Poor Clares, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

May 24th, 1868.

An Angel with a Harp