Remarks upon this Document

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XXVII (2) | Start of Chapter

In publishing this document, the writer acted as his views of worldly policy suggested, in the circumstances in which he was placed by his conduct towards me. A stranger came from a far country to visit the colony, and came with the best intentions. These intentions had been made known to Mr. Nangle in a suitable manner: but the stranger was sent out to lodge in a most improper place, and this place was recommended by his people. In his own parlor, into which he had invited his visitor, he allowed her to be treated, I will not merely say uncivilly, but degradingly and wickedly. I subsequently wrote to Mrs. Nangle, speaking plainly, unsparingly, and conscientiously, on the responsibilities of her station, informing her that my visit to the colony would make an interesting page in my published journal. What could Mr. Nangle do under these circumstances, but acknowledge the error of his conduct towards me, or advertise the public in season to beware of the scrutinizing democrat, whose virtues, according to Solomon's ideas, are much to be doubted? I make no apology to Mr. Nangle, I make none to the public, for visiting Achill, and visiting it as I did. I had a national right, a civil and religious one to do so, either with or without letters, as long as my conduct was proper. This city set upon a hill, by the bounty of the religious word, and the labors of those who inhabit it, says to all the world, "Come and see our zeal for the Lord." And if there be not some Sanctum Sanctorum for the priests alone to enter, some Holy Inquisition where heretics are to be tried and condemned, then who can be justly prohibited from going about its walls, and telling the towers of this Zion?

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.