From: Jim Gallagher
Sent: Fri, May 14, 2010
To: Representatives of the Quaker community
Subject: Commemoration of Irish Hunger of 1845-50
I obtained your e-mail address from your website. The name of my organization and the reason for this e-mail are explained in the information below.
We greatly acknowledge and continue to appreciate the magnitude of the Quaker relief to the victims of the Irish Hunger of 1845-1850. We feel that not enough recognition has been directed to the Quakers for that humanitarian assistance. It far exceeded the British Government assistance and, I’m sure, was largely influential in the US providing 2 government vessels to transport donated food, clothing, blankets, etc. from America to Ireland.
During the 150th Anniversary of the Hunger in the 1990’s, I met with Rob Goodbody, in Dublin, who provided me with a copy of his book, “A Suitable Channel: Quaker Relief in the Great Famine”. His book acknowledges donations from America but is scarce on details. I wonder if a more comprehensive picture of the Quaker network, effort, publicity and effects at that time are more fully described in an American Society of Friends documents. Is there a point of contact in Friends for historical information such as this. I seem to recall that in the 1990’s a fellow from Pennsylvania was identified as such a person. However, the full written description of the assistance given by the Quakers was not available.
Whether the requested description exists or not, our Committee would still very much like to publicly express our appreciation, on the part of the Irish people, to the Society of Friends, in America, England and Ireland, for their interest, generosity, industry and achievement in providing relief for the victims of the Irish Hunger. We would like to do so, even at this late date, this year and attempt to generate a more comprehensive and broader tribute during next year’s commemoration of the Hunger.
Thank you for your consideration and cooperation.
AMERICAN COMMITTEE FOR THE COMMEMORATION OF VICTIMS OF THE IRISH HUNGER (1845-1851)