Mr. Nangle's Notice in the Achill Herald

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XXVII

Mr. Nangle's Notice in the Achill Herald, of the Author's Visit to the SettlementRemarks upon this Document and the motives which probably dictated itConcluding Observations relative to the objects of the Writer's Tour in Ireland, and the Reception she met with from various Classes of the Community

It was in the month of July, 1845, about six weeks after my return from Achill, that I was presented, in the Tract Depository, Sackville-street, Dublin, with an article to read in the Achill Herald, which I take leave to insert in this volume as one which should be preserved. Any document that is worth reading once is worth reading twice. As this was written by a valued man, and inserted in a valuable paper, and as newspapers are liable to be mislaid and torn, I call it again from its repose of two years, that the thousands of subscribers who read the Achill Herald may, if they will condescend to do so, have their minds refreshed by what was once thought a matter of deep interest to the religious community:—

"During the last month, this settlement was visited by a female who is travelling through the country. (We have traced her from Dingle to this place.) She lodges with the peasantry, and alleges that her object is to become acquainted with the Irish character; she states that she has come from America for this purpose. She produced a letter purporting to be addressed by a correspondent in America to a respectable person in Birmingham but in answer to a communication addressed by the writer to that individual, he stated that he has no acquaintance with her, either personal or by letter.[23]

"This stranger is evidently a person of some talent and education; and although the singular course which she pursues is utterly at variance with the modesty and retiredness to which the Bible gives a prominent place in its delineation of a virtuous female, she professes to have no ordinary regard for the Holy Book. It appears to us that the principal object of this woman's mission is to create a spirit of discontent among the lower orders, and to dispose them to regard their superiors as so many unfeeling oppressors. There is nothing in her conduct or conversation to justify the supposition of insanity, and we strongly suspect she is the emissary of some democratic and revolutionary society."

Ireland’s Welome to the Stranger is one of the best accounts of Irish social conditions, customs, quirks and habits that you could wish for. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, was an American widow who travelled extensively in Ireland on the eve of the Great Famine and meticulously observed the Irish peasantry at work and play, as well as noting their living conditions and diet. The book is also available from Kindle.