Killagh, July 28, 1847
DEAR SIR-- When I saw you last, you requested of me to report to you from time to time the state of the crops in this neighbourhood. A great portion of the Barley is injured; the Wheat is partially blighted; the oat crops very good, and the potatoes not more diseased than they were a fortnight ago. Considering the great quantity of land that has been tilled this year, I think that we will have enough of our own food for this and the next year.
THE "GOVERNOR DAVIS,"
SAILING from LIVERPOOL for BOSTON, on TUESDAY 10th August.
Passengers should leave Cork on Saturday, 7th August, at 12 o'clock Noon.
For Passage apply to Messrs. HARNDEN, & Co., or D. KENNELLY & Co., Maylor Street, Cork.
To be succeeded by the "Train Line" Packet, "OCEAN MONARCH," 1900 Tons, on the 20th of August.
STEERAGE FARE-- £4 15s. from CORK.
Bantry, August 2d, 1847.
SIR-- Our much afflicted town presented this day a scene of wretchedness and discontent; hundreds of squalid applicants for out-door relief assembled in front of the Courthouse, where the Relief Committee were assembled. The multitude seemed by their murmurs to particularize one gentleman who, they said, was instrumental in having their names struck off the relief list. Whether this gentleman's conduct was censurable as the people imagined I cannot say, yet he narrowly escaped their fury by the interposition of a rev. gentleman and one of the authorities who accompanied and conveyed him out of town. The presence of these gentlemen disarmed the enraged crowd. He proceeded uninjured to his residence about five miles distant.
Whilst on this subject I may be permitted to mention another circumstance relative to this gentleman, as a benevolent landlord, and one which excited more than ordinary dissatisfaction in this town and vicinity. He now happens to be the proprietor of a certain farm, the residents on which are remarkable for destitution, and being one of these quarterly landlords he watched the growing crops. The first object that caught his attention was a small plot of potato ground, the entire property of a poor widow, the parent of five young children who had no other protection against approaching famine, but the produce of this small garden; he sent his workmen to dig out the unripe potatoes and had them conveyed in butts to the Bantry market to be disposed of.
In the mean time this treatment reached the public ear in the market-place, when it was unanimously agreed that no purchaser should offer even half-price for the Widow's potatoes. He was then, of necessity, obliged to order them home to his family mansion, leaving the Widow and Orphans the tillage for their support.
I regret to say this is not a singular case. In the west, what is now spared by the blight is about to be carried off by the Landlord, yet I am proud to add, there are honourable exceptions here-- gentlemen who regard the happiness and welfare of their tenantry as inseparable from their own. By attention and encouragement they have placed the tenant-farmer in a position to pay his rent now as in years gone-by, whilst the heartless oppressor is driven to the cruel and unprofitable shifts I have already described; for example, I have known a gentleman here who has given his tenants this season fifty pounds' worth of seed potatoes, and by so doing has enabled them to pay him his rent.
Many of the evils we now complain of are attributable to landlord inattention and disregard and in all probability will continue to afflict us if the tenant-right be not established. I shall conclude for the present by subscribing myself your oft obliged Correspondent.
The fourth report of the Relief Commissioners, constituted under the act 10th Victoria, cap. 7, was recently presented to both Houses of Parliament by command of her Majesty, and was on Saturday issued in a printed form pursuant to the orders of parliament. The report is to the following effect:--
Relief Commission-office, Dublin, July 19.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIPS-- We beg to submit our fourth monthly report as commissioners under the temporary relief act.
We have now 1823 electoral divisions for relief under the operation of the act, which are distributing 2,349,000 gratuitous rations per day, at an average cost of two pence per ration, including expenses, and 79,636 rations are sold.
The falling prices of provisions, and the small profits required by the lower class of traders, have tended to keep down the necessity for much selling by committees.
Your lordships will perceive a considerable increase in the distribution, occasioned partly by the additional districts, which, although among the most suffering, have been now, for the first time, brought under the act; partly from the withdrawal of the supplies which had been so largely contributed by associations for the relief of a state of actual starvation, against which a general provision now exists; and from the reductions in the public works; but chiefly from the pressure of distress which it is notorious always weighs heavily on the agricultural population of Ireland at this season of the year.
From the commencement of August, however, we shall look forward to great reductions; the harvest promises to be very abundant, and as the temporary relief was intended to provide for the diminution of food by the failure of the potato crop, the gradual collection of the agricultural produce will remove every justification for its continuance on any other plea.
By an arrangement with the Commissary General, we are clearing out the government depots of provisions, by orders on them in lieu of so much money.
These depots were established at an anxious period of a prospect of great deficiency of supplies, which no longer exists.
The number of temporary hospitals ordered to be established under the act 10 Vic., cap. 22, now amount to 283.
Wherever opened, they are reported to have been highly beneficial, but we regret to learn that the necessity for them generally in the country is far from being abated. --We have, &c.,
|J. F. BURGOYNE,||H. D. JONES,|
|T. N. REDINGTON,||E. J. B. TWISTLETON,|
|R. L. ROUTH,||D. McGREGOR.|
To the Right Hon. the Lords Commissioners of the Majesty's Treasury.
From the Gardiner's Chronicle,)
We still hold to our opinion, that the Potato Crop is upon the whole in a favourable state, notwithstanding the rumours to the contrary: and as time is safety in this case, each day adds to security. A most careful scrutiny of the reports which have reached us from all parts of Great Britain, leads to this conclusion.
THE BOARD of GUARDIANS met on SATURDAY last, 7th inst.
ROBERT NETTLES, Esq., V.C., in the Chair. Ten other Guardians in attendance.
Number of paupers in the Workhouse . . . . 576
Deaths in the week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
After the usual routine business was gone through DANIEL LUCY, Esq., rose and proposed the following resolution, which was seconded by PATRICK RONAYNE, Esq., and adopted with unanimous approbation:--
"RESOLVED-- That the Famine and Fever which have this year afflicted this unfortunate country is a visitation of Divine Providence, over which no class of persons in this country had any control, and that it is unjust to visit such a misfortune on Ireland, by taxing her people with the expenses of it, and we are of opinion that the entire expense of the Temporary Relief and Fever Acts, should be made a charge on the Empire at Large, and that this Resolution be transmitted to Lord JOHN RUSSELL, calling his Lordship's immediate and earnest attention to it."
The meeting shortly after separated.
The working of the "Temporary Relief Act" is to be continued for another month in this county-- though to a restricted extent. This is a wise step, as under the present state of the county and particularly of the finances of the several Unions in Kerry, there is no means of feeding the people, who, through want of employment, may require such aid. --Kerry Post.
SURELY the Government will not allow the feeling for the disasters attending the poor Irish in a foreign land to pass away with the miserable deaths of the victims? Will there be no enquiry into the causes, mediate or remote, which produced all this loss of human life? --into the modes of transport-- the state of emigrant vessels-- the abominations of emigrant agents, and all the etceteras which have become, and are, accessory to the deaths of the Irish poor? Out of 2,235 who embarked for Canada in those wretched hulks, called emigrant vessels, not more than five hundred will live to settle in America.
"From information recently given to us," says the Quebec Gazette, "the quarantine at Liverpool is not only worse than useless as regards this country, but absolutely murders the emigrants intending to embark hitherward. We are told that from 15 to 16 hulks are stationed off the port for the reception of the refugees from Ireland, who, when sick or doubtful looking, are transferred to them from the Irish steamers and from whence, after a short probation, shipped on board vessels destined for Canada; and that, too, as may be naturally conceived, in a worse state than if allowed to proceed on their voyage at once. The passengers in the Triton were of this class, among whom disease appeared the day they left the docks. Her deaths before reaching Grosse Isle numbered 83, including all the officers of the ship and several of the crew; the master, also, being very sick."
It can hardly be believed that affairs in Liverpool are conducted, as to the shipment of emigrants, as represented. The imputation is boldly made, and if untrue, an immediate contradiction is necessary.
The report from the office of her Majesty's chief superintendent of emigration to Canada, dated Quebec, 24th July, states the numbers of emigrants who had arrived this year there, were 56,855. In the same period of last year, 24,576 settlers reached the port, showing an increase this year of no less than 32,279.
NUMBER IN HOSPITAL THIS MORNING.
|Cork Fever Hospital||179||Vacancies||22|
|North Fever Sheds||96||-----||18|
|Total in Hospital||786||Vacancies||69|
Though we can announce but a trifling diminution in the number of Fever patients since our last report, yet we are happy in stating that the disease is of the mildest type.
Dysentery, of rather a serious character, prevails to a large extent at present in the city.
The weather continues to be exceedingly hot.
We trust that this will be the last occasion on which we shall have to refer to the state of the Potato Crop. The season is now so far advanced as to justify us in believing that the danger is over, and that the principal part of the European harvest of this root is safe; and thus are again confirmed the opinions which we have this season ventured to express, that symptoms were more favourable, and that the malady had lost its virulence.
It is the same on the Continent. Our Paris letter of last week will have removed all doubts as to the French crop. Potatoes at 1s. 6d. a bushel while the 4lb loaf is 10d. indicate an enormous supply of the former, and a confidence that the supply will not diminish. We have similar information from Holland; and affairs appear to be equally satisfactory in Belgium. Our intelligent correspondent, M. de Jonghe, authorizes us to announce that there is nothing in the Belgian Potato crop which can lead to a suspicion that it has been attacked by the disease of previous years. "In light land or heavy clay, marl, or bog (the Polders), the crops are universally safe, and promise twice as large a return as in common years."
A striking example of the difference in the present and two previous seasons is furnished by this gentleman. A piece of land, 20 feet square, produced only 41 kilos of early Potatoes in 1845, and 44-1/2 in 1846. In 1847 the same quantity of land has yielded under the same circumstances of soil &c., 286 kilos of excellent Potatoes, taken up July 28 and August 12. The price of Potatoes last May in the market of Brussels was 22 francs for 100 kilos; Friday last they were only worth 6 francs 50 cents for the finest quality. M. de Jonghe promises some further statistical information, which we shall take care to lay before our readers. --Gardener's Chronicle.
Bantry, August 17th, 1847
SIR-- At 5 o'clock this morning, I perceived a formidable number of prisoners coming to town. On approaching the crowd, I distinguished a tottering old man, whose head was enveloped in a handkerchief, saturated with blood, handcuffed to two miserable men, just as miserable looking as himself. Three women were suffered to proceed without handcuffs. I enquired who these people were that looked so much like famine skeletons.
The reply was, they were tenants to minor Hutcheson, of Bantry, who is a Magistrate of this county. He went to distrain on the lands of Letterlicke, yesterday, when the prisoners objected to the removal of the cattle, alleging they were replevined, and were to be delivered up when the affair would be legally investigated. The landlord insisted on his claim to the property of these squalid tenants, and persevered in his determination to carry all things off the lands, when an unpleasant Landlord and Tenant meeting took place, all the then available war instruments were employed by the hostile parties, until the landlord considered it much more prudent to retire. He then proceeded to a Magistrate, and had the parties indicted and dragged from their homes in the manner I have described.
At present I shall not trouble you with any remarks, as the case is to come on next Thursday before the Bantry Bench of Magistrates. I would earnestly advise these miserable men and women whom I have seen this day on their way to prison, in a condition I could but inadequately describe, to employ a professional advocate. But their appearance this day almost convinces me they have not the means of doing so. The decision of the Bench in this case is anxiously looked for in this locality.
THIS County has seldom been visited with such a favourable harvest season as the present. The propitious elements have checked the progress of a dreaded disease and happily baffled all the speculations of the food monopolists. Nothing now seems wanting to crown the prospects of this beneficent season, but caution and promptness on the part of those who have to secure its good results. We would impress upon all farmers the necessity of at once cutting down their corn crops.
In this country, we cannot calculate on any continuance of fine weather. The fineness of the last month has been somewhat rare and remarkable; and it would seem, as if, in the natural course of our atmospheric changes, some wet bad weather were, so to speak, now due to us. In this state of things it behooves the farmers to cut down their crops at once. It would be safer to cut them down a little on this side of maturity than to leave them to the chances of a day's wind or rain. We have heard a farmer say that such a day "would shake the taxes out of all the corn in the country."
Landowners, clergymen, and magistrates should impress on their neighbours and dependents the danger of delaying the work of harvest. Nothing should be left to chance; the labour of a few days would place the plentiful harvest of 1847 beyond all risk.