Sail up the Shannon to Limerick

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XXIII

Sail up the Shannon to LimerickPoorhouse StiraboutSleepless Night at EnnisTown without BreadGrievous IgnoranceTrue Delivery of my one-armed CharioteerBasket of BonesMy Carpet-bag ransackedLearned SchoolmasterExchange of ComplimentsRed PetticoatsOld Pedlar and his daughterTemple of NatureThe back of the BarracksMarble QuarryCompletely WatersoakedConnemara HospitalityBundles of StrawSabbath in the Mountain Cabin

I took my seat in the steam packet as a deck passenger, which in Ireland is synonymous with a corner in a Christian Church in America for colored people. Here I found a multitude of well-dressed and ill-dressed, informed and uninformed, many of them going to take passage for America. The sail on this noble river, the Mississippi of Ireland, was pleasant, and the city of Limerick one of business and beauty. I found a neat inviting lodging-house, kept by a well-bred woman from Dublin; and so pleasant was my stay here, I regretted leaving the city. The town did not appear so poverty-stricken as many; the people looked intelligent, and the activity reminded me a little of busy New York. I perambulated the town, and inquired of cobblers and tinkers what was this, and what was that. One explained to me all the wonders he knew of the ancient cathedral, where hung on one end the cannon balls which were taken from it in Cromwell's wars. It is now used for a military school and a Protestant place of worship.

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.