ALTHOUGH some of the people sent out by the Old Hickory had never received relief from the Fund, the emigration of many others whose names were on the relief lists took away much of the pressure, and a large decrease of outlay followed the sailing of that ship. The demand for agricultural labour had increased very much. In all the rural districts there were fewer weavers idle, and yet the poverty of the people was still such as to demand a considerable degree of relief.
At the committee meeting held on Saturday, the 30th of May —the Rev. D. J. Clarke in the chair—all outstanding accounts connected with the fitting-out of emigrants by the Old Hickory were examined and passed.
The Secretary reported that he had written an official communication to Mr. O'Neill, of Philadelphia, requesting that gentleman to apprise Mr. James, of Messrs. Thos. Richardson & Co., Dr. S. Mackenzie, and other friends, that the good ship had sailed from Belfast for their port, and hoping that arrangements would be made for getting the emigrants into employment as soon as possible after landing at Philadelphia.
On Tuesday, the 2nd of June, a full meeting of the General Committee was held in the News-room—Sir James M. Higginson, C.B., in the chair.
The ordinary affairs for the day having been settled, and payment of accounts ordered.
Mr. JOHN SLOAN inquired whether any exertions had been made to reduce the outlay; he considered that one-half might be taken off in his district.
Mr. CARLILE said there was more demand for work at the loom, and he agreed with Mr. Sloan that the Committee might commence to make a change in the distribution, so as to lower the amount of rations.
Mr. GEORGE PELAN, in alluding to the emigration, Said that several gentlemen had been inquiring of him how it was that the operatives were sent to the United States; but as he had not attended the meetings when the arrangements were made, he could not give a definite answer to the question. Many friends of the weavers, with whom he had conversed on the subject, were of the opinion that it might have been better to have sent the emigrants to Canada, as, in the event of their landing in the United States, the men might be forced to join the army.
Mr. MILLAR replied by stating that, at the outset, the Secretary had carried on a correspondence of considerable extent with emigration agents, for the purpose of finding out the cost and other incidentals connected with sending people to the Canadian colonies. But after much attention had been directed to the subject, the idea was given up. He could assure his friend Mr. Pelan, and others who had expressed opinions on the subject, that no efforts had been wanting to do the best for all interests. As to any fear of the men being taken for soldiers on their reaching Philadelphia, he had before stated and would again repeat, that so long as the emigrants remained in their position as British subjects, the American Government would always recognise their national rights. In that case, therefore, they would just be as safe from conscription in that city as if they were located in the town of Belfast. And as to employment, when they reached their destination, he could tell the Committee that the merchants of Philadelphia would be no less anxious to find work for them than they had been to get up funds for the relief of those people when at home. He would just say, before he sat down, that he understood that all charges and port dues for which the Old Hickory was liable to the Belfast Harbour Board, had been remitted, through the representations made to that body by the firm of Messrs. Richardson Brothers.
The drain on the funds continued to be heavy, for although considerable improvement had taken place in the general state of the weavers and labourers, there was yet to be aided a large number of people. About the middle of June, the funds were reduced to something under four hundred pounds. Up to that date the total sums subscribed had amounted to £3,231 16s., and the outlay, including the passenger money and other expenses connected with the emigration account, was £2,720 10s. 8d. Under such circumstances, the only course left was that of lessening the expenditure, and the Committee ordered that the rations distributed in all districts should be reduced one-half.
But a message of mercy was on its way to Lisburn. The letter sent the Rothschild of Broadway had been read with interest by that marvellously successful merchant, and, inspired by the princely benevolence which marked his conduct in many other instances, he purchased a ship-load of breadstuffs and provisions and sent it over the ocean, in aid of his poor countrymen. Before the close of the week in which the order had been issued to reduce the rations, the following letter came to hand :-
" New York, May 29, 1863.
" Hugh M'Call, Esq., Lisburn, Ireland.
"DEAR SIR,-I have taken the liberty of naming you as one of a committee to distribute jointly in Lisburn and its vicinity the breadstuffs and provisions which the barque Mary Edson is now conveying to Belfast. "I need not explain to you the necessity for limiting the distribution to those persons only for whose aid the funds are being collected. In a letter to my firm, a copy of which you will receive, this course has been fully defined, together with the basis on which the vessel may be used for conveying to the United States as many passengers as her capacity will allow.
" To that letter, in both respects, I have to request that the Committee will conform. Thanking you, in advance, for performing this service, which, I doubt not, will be entirely agreeable to you.
" I am, yours respectfully,
"ALEX. T. STEWART."
The utmost interest was created respecting the arrival of the good ship Mary Edson, and not long had the people to wait for a fresh supply of food. In course of the following week that vessel reached Carrickfergus Roads, and next day was towed up Channel and safely moored at Prince's Dock. Her cargo consisted of-
8,475 Bushels of Indian Corn,
Barrels of Flour, and
50 Tons of Bacon.
These contributions towards the Lisburn Relief Fund had been purchased in New York by competent merchants, and each article was of the best quality, Mr. Stewart's order to the buyers having been to select the finest corn and flour and the best bacon, irrespective of price. Very great was the curiosity that prevailed at the Prince's Dock to look on the American barque, Mary Edson, and, for the time being, she was the most admired of all the merchant fleet in the Harbour.
Mr. Stewart in the circular letter he sent to his firm, after alluding to the distress of the cotton weavers, and the great regret he felt that such a state of affairs should exist in his own land, added that he chartered the ship to convey to America on her return voyage a certain number of operatives and their families. 'These were to consist of the different sexes between the ages of i8 and 30, all of whom were to be in good health, of good character, and able to read and write. He appointed to carry out the arrangements for distribution of the food and the selection of the emigrants the following Trustees, each of whom received a letter to that effect ;-
Joshua Lamb ---- Peartree Hill.
J. N. Richardson ---- Lissue.
Hugh M'Call ---- Lisburn.
George Fox ---- Manchester.
The announcement that such an immense addition had been made to the funds
for the relief of distress was heard with the utmost gratification, and the
story of the Broadway merchant's munificence became the subject of popular
pride in Lisburn.
Those of the older inhabitants who had recollected him when, as a mere boy, he passed on his way to or from school, were oracles for the time being, and any scrap of information connected with the early days of the famous merchant was recounted over as proudly as if every man who recollected A. T. Stewart in other times felt that a portion of the great capitalist's glory had fallen on himself. The value of the Mary Edson's cargo was above five thousand pounds, and as we have seen, the generous donor, in addition to that gift, had chartered the ship for the purpose of conveying back to New York such a number of emigrants as could be accommodated in the vessel, abundant supplies of the best provisions having been ordered for the people during the passage out.
It was resolved that the accounts of the General Committee and those of the Stewart Fund should be kept separate, and at the first meeting of the Trustees of the Stewart Fund Mrs. Clibborn was elected President ; and when that matter had been arranged, Mr. James N. Richardson said it would, perhaps, be the best course for the Indian corn to be sold by public auction, the flour also might be disposed of, and the proceeds of sale used in the purchase of clothing and Indian meal. He would propose, in addition, that the firm of Richardson, Brothers be entrusted with the disposal of the corn and flour, as well as that of being bankers for the Trust.
All this was agreed to, Mrs. Clibborn stating, in reference to fitting out the emigrants for their voyage, that she should have full power to purchase whatever clothing they might require. Mr, Lamb said he had some doubts about the propriety of that mode of disposing of the funds ; but the other members of the committee quite concurred with the President when that lady stated that it would not be paying due respect to Mr. Stewart to send half-clad people over to New York. Arrangements were consequently made that a moderate sum be expended by that lady in procuring clothing, especially for the women and children that had been Selected to go out by the Mary Edson.
Several meetings were held for the purpose of selecting from the great number of people that presented themselves for free passages such persons only as came within the range of Mr, Stewart's letter of advice.
The Stewart donation having been given for the exclusive aid of cott0n 0peratives, the names of all the agricultural labourers who had been receiving relief from the original Committee were put off the lists ; and as there was then more demand for out-door w0rk those persons were able to maintain themselves without further aid from the Relief Fund. Mr. Fox, of Manchester, one of Mr. Stewart's partners, had attended several meetings ; but' finding it inconvenient t0 be present as often as he could have wished, he requested that Mr. Millar should be appointed in his stead, which proposal was duly attended to, and from that time Mr. Millar regularly met the other members at the Board. In the meantime, the cargo brought over by the Mary Edson had been discharged, the bacon was brought up to Lisburn, the Indian corn was ground into meal and also conveyed to the stores of the Relief Committee for distribution.
Then came the work of fitting up the ship for the people who had been selected to go out in her on the return voyage. Mr. Henry Murray, of Belfast, manager of the branch firm of A. T. Stewart & Co., in that town, paid daily visits to Prince's Dock, and in turn each of the Trustees went to Belfast for the purpose of examining the work, to see that the berths for women and children were all correct, and that ample provision was made for the comfort of the passengers. Mrs. Clibborn, President of Trustees, paid the utmost attention to clothing the emigrants, and, throughout the entire proceedings, was decidedly the most active member of the Board. Having inherited from Mother Eve a full share of that lady 0f Eden's self-will, as well as a love of exercising it, the President managed to carry out her own propositions, and as she possessed not only great energy, but much self-reliance, she led the way in many instances where her co-trustees of the sterner sex had failed to take the initiative. In the selection of emigrants she was most anxious that the people should be of the class specially alluded to by Mr. Stewart, and when the candidates had got their names on the list, she was equally determined they should be comfortably clothed. Some dissent was expressed by other members of the trust ; but, like a true woman, she failed not to have her own way in the matter. Mr. Stewart had given abundant means for that purpose, and," she said, " it would be paying a bad compliment to that gentleman to send out in the ship he had chartered any number of the people in a half-clad state."
As already noted, the notices that appeared in the Belfast papers, relative to the Mary Edson and her mission of benevolence, caused that ship to be regarded with great interest, as well by strangers as by the citizens. During the time she lay in Prince's Dock, crowds of the curious visited the wharf, and on Sunday evenings hundreds of people lined the quay. Captain Nickerson, her commander, was quite a lion, his first and second mates were also looked upon with special favour, and all the sailors shared in similar popularity.
At the meetings of the Lisburn Relief Committee, many discussions were held, and much interest was shown respecting the best mode of marking the munificence of Mr. Stewart. When the usual business of the meeting, held June 30, had been concluded :
Sir J. M.HIGGINSON rose and said the occasion was no ordinary one. The Committee had been enabled, through the liberality of the benevolent at home and abroad, to save from something like direct starvation many hundreds of poor families. It had been well said that the distress which had fallen on those people did not arise from any fault of their own; still, that fact did not lessen their sufferings. His brother members of Committee were aware that just when the funds in their Treasurer's hands were very much reduced, Mr. Stewart's ship-load of food had arrived in Belfast. He would, therefore, propose that they should show their high appreciation of that noble merchant's liberality by getting up an address expressive of their grateful feelings on the subject, and with that view he would propose that Mr. Millar, Mr. J. N. Richardson, and Mr. M'Call draw up an address and lay it for approval before the Committee at their meeting. (Hear, hear.) He would also add that, as a further evidence of their sense of Mr. Stewart's broad-minded benevolence, they should show some mark of respect to Captain Nickerson, commander of the Mary Edson—say that a gold watch with suitable inscription should be had and presented to that gentleman. (Hear, hear.)
Both propositions having been agreed to, a subscription was entered into, and in a few minutes the members had affixed their names to a list, the amount of their subscriptions being fully equal to meet the cost of the proposed testimonial, and also to meet the expense of illuminating the address to Mr. Stewart in the finest style of Messrs. Marcus Ward & Co. On the following board day Mr. Millar laid before the Committee his draft of the proposed address to Mr. Stewart. After a slight change having been made in it, the draft was agreed to. A gold watch having been purchased for presentation to the captain of the Mary Edson, it was suggested by some gentlemen in Belfast that Captain Nickerson and the officers and crew of his ship should be entertained before leaving Belfast. That suggestion was made on the day before that on which the vessel was expected to sail, and as there was no time to organize office-bearers for the occasion, an impromptu committee, consisting of Mr. David Dunlop, proprietor of the Banner of Ulster, and the Secretary of the Relief Committee, started off through Belfast to collect funds for defraying the cost 0f the banquet. Two of the gentlemen on whom they first called—Mr. William Ewart, Sen., and Mr. Benjamin Dickson, of the firm of William Spotten & Co.—handed them such handsome subscriptions as paid half the entire expense 0f the banquet. Each of the local banking concerns also contributed to the fund, and a few 0ther merchants made up the amount.
Circulars were written in course of the afternoon inviting such friends as were likely to take interest in the affair, and arrangements were made with Mr. Thompson, of Donegall Place, to provide the material for the entertainment.
In order to give effect to the meeting, it was considered that the Mayor
of Belfast, Mr. John Lytle, should be requested to preside
on the occasion ; and, on this gentleman having been called upon, he kindly
consented to take the chair, and this, too, when he had only had a few
hours' notice of the affair.
The following report of the proceedings that took place on that occasion contains many points of interest :-
" On Saturday last, at two o'clock, Captain Nickerson and the officers and men of the ship Mary Edson, which brought over the princely gift of A. T. Stewart, Esq., New York, for the relief of the distressed operatives of Lisburn and neighbourhood, were entertained at lunch in the Green Room of the Harbour Office. Mr. Thompson, of Donegall Place, prepared the lunch, and, we need scarcely say, it was served up in first-rate style.
" The room had been tastefully fitted up for the occasion. On the centre of the table there was placed, under a glass shade, an exceedingly handsome group of artificial flowers, designed and worked by Mrs. David Dunlop, and which that lady had sent forward, to be conveyed by the Captain of the Old Hickory, as a present to Mrs. A. T. Stewart.
" John Lytle, Esq., Mayor of Belfast, occupied the chair, and John Millar, Esq., Lisburn, the vice-chair. Among others present were—John Thompson, Esq., J.P. ; James Kennedy, Esq., J.P.; Edward Orme, Esq., R.M. ; David Taylor, Esq., J.P. ; Dr. Young, American Consul ; J. Shelly, Collector of Customs ; John Barbour, Jonathan Cordukes, H. M'Call, John Moore, Esgrs. ; Dr. Musgrave, A. M'Lean, George Pelan, David Carlisle, William Mullan, Benjamin Dickson, P. Ewing, Robert A. M'Call, Henry Murray, David Dunlop, John Hamill, J. W. Carroll, James D. Burn side, H. Garrett, and George Fox, Esqrs. ; Captain Nickerson, Mr. Powell, first mate ; Mr. Nasan, second mate ; and the crew of the Mary Edson.
" After the usual loyal toasts had been duly honoured,
"The CHAIRMAN gave 'The health of the President of the United States.' (Applause.)
" Dr. YOUNG, American Consul, returned thanks. He was not aware that he would have been called on on that occasion.
As Americans, those present belonging to that country could cordially unite in wishing the health and happiness of the Royal Family of England, for in no place in the world was Queen Victoria and her family more respected than in the United States of America. The American and the English nation were the same family, and whatever tended to promote the prosperity of one nation should tend to promote the prosperity of the other. Although born in this country, he had been for twenty years a citizen of the United States. With regard to the troubles that now afflict America, he believed they could not have been well avoided. Very earnest men had long ago written and spoken of the storm that was coming. That there was a God of right on high he did not doubt, and that good would come out of the rebellion he had not the least fear He rejoiced to be present to declare his appreciation of an act of great kindness by a man like himself born in this country, but now a citizen of the United States. He had amassed wealth in that country, and, when he heard that in his native land the people were starving, he considered it one of the highest privileges to be able to dispense his wealth for their good. There was a subject on which he wished to say a word or two. Some strange impression had taken hold of the people of this country that the Consuls of the American Government were sending the people of this country to the war. He himself got a dozen or twenty letters a-week on this subject, and he might take that opportunity of Saying that, as agents of the American Government, they could send nobody to the war. He had no doubt the American people could settle the war themselves without assistance. After a few remarks in which Dr. Young shewed the advantage of emigration to the North-Western States—especially Minnesota—in preference to other States, he thanked the meeting for the honour of connecting his name with the toast of 'The President of the United States.'
"The CHAIRMAN, in proposing the next toast, referred to the responsible duties connected with the command of the ship. Captain Nickerson, on his present visit to Belfast, had brought great relief to the poor of a neighbouring town from a gentleman who was himself at one time an inhabitant of that neighbourhood. Mr. Stewart would be delighted to learn that under the command of Captain Nickerson, the enterprise had been successful. He believed it was the intention of a few friends to present to Captain Nickerson a small token of their respect and esteem, and he felt very much gratified in announcing the fact.
" Mr. MILLAR here rose, and on behalf of the Lisburn Relief Committee, stated that the offering alluded to by their worthy Chairman consisted of a gold watch, which had been purchased at the establishment of Messrs. Gilbert & Son, High Street, Belfast. In presenting the gift to the captain of the good ship, Mr. Millar said that he felt honoured in having been deputed to pay that mark of respect to the gallant seaman who had conveyed across the ocean the ample supplies of food sent the Lisburn Committee by Mr. Stewart. The captain was again about to be engaged in the further carrying out of the princely liberality of the great merchant, of Broadway, in conveying a number of operatives to New York, free passages for whom that gentleman had provided. In relation to some statements that had been made about the impressment of civilians on the part of the New York or other authorities, he would say that when the emigrants landed there they would find their personal rights as fully respected as if they had still been under British laws, and the American Consul had just corroborated his statement. The speaker then handed over the watch and chain to their future owner; immediately after which,
"The CHAIRMAN gave ' The health of the Captain and Crew of the Mary Edson.'
"A long and hearty round of applause followed the announcement of this toast, and when the cheering had ceased,
" Captain NICKERSON rose and said—In the first place, he had to return thanks to the gentlemen of the Lisburn Relief Committee for the very handsome present, which Mr. Millar had just handed to him. That watch, he trusted, would be looked upon by himself and his family as a cherished memorial of his voyage to Belfast. He would next allude to the kind and unexpected honor that had been paid himself and his officers in being entertained by gentlemen of the high standing which was enjoyed by those around him. That in itself was sufficient to cause him to feel much more than he could express. Seamen were not usually famed as speakers, and he (Captain Nickerson) had never been good at talking ; but he trusted his friends would give him full credit for grateful feelings. (Cheers.) Since he had arrived in Belfast he had been treated with far more attention than he could have anticipated ; and he took that opportunity of thanking Mr. Henry Murray and other citizens of their great town for their genuine hospitality. He had had much pleasure in doing his duty; so far as he could, by carrying out the wishes of Mr. Stewart ; and that gentleman, he was sure, would feel more than rewarded when he learned with what great appreciation his generous gift had been received. He would just add, before he sat down, how much pleased he was to see Ireland looking so well ; indeed, he had been agreeably disappointed, as he had always heard that the country was in a very backward condition—(laughter)—and that the natives ran about half naked. (Loud laughter.)
"Mr. POWELL (first mate of the Mary Edson) having briefly expressed his thanks, not only for the kindness with which he had been treated on that occasion, but for the real Irish heartiness that had marked all the other attentions paid to him and his brother seamen during their stay in Belfast,
"Mr. NASAN said a few words to the same effect, and sat down amid much applause.
" The CHAIRMAN said the next toast was the name of a gentleman who
deserved the highest respect that could be paid him—a gentleman who had
displayed nobility of mind and sympathy for his poor fellow-creatures, and
particularly for those in distress in his native town. Mr. Stewart had now
for a number of years been a citizen of the United States, and might be
considered to have little, if any, connexion with the people here, but he
had not forgotten his native town in its distress. He had been extremely
successful in the management of his business, and had accumulated
considerable wealth, but it was not every one who did so that knew how to
dispose of it. He had chartered a ship,
loaded that vessel with bacon, flour, and Indian corn, and sent the whole
cargo to the poor weavers of Lisburn. Surely the man who had the large heart
to do so deserved their best thanks; He might mention that the same
gentleman who had presented that noble gift to the poor of Lisburn had given
no less than two thousand pounds to the suffering poor of Lancashire.
(Applause.) He would, therefore, give ' The health and long life of A. T.
" JOHN THOMSON, J.P., senior director of the Belfast Bank, having been called upon to respond to the toast, said he felt himself highly honoured in being requested to say a few words on such an interesting occasion. He was very happy to see among them Mr. George Fox, one of the partners in the firm of Messrs. A. T. Stewart & Co. Their Mayor had stated that Mr. Stewart had sent over a very munificent present to the suffering operatives of his native town. He has not stated to you the amount that Mr. Stewart has thus magnanimously sent, but he had heard that it had amounted to a sum of between four and five thousand pounds. (Applause.) Mr. Stewart had not only been so kind as to send that noble gift to his suffering fellow-countrymen, but he has arranged to give free passages to New York to upwards of one hundred emigrants. He was sure that every gentleman present felt gratified to do honour to such a great man as Mr. A. T. Stewart. It was a proud thought to them all that during the existence of the cotton famine merchants and manufacturers in different parts of the world, but more particularly in America and the United Kingdom, had been so generous in their gifts to the suffering people. Never within the recollection of living man had there been a calamity so terrible in its effects on the industrious classes as that which was then existing in the cotton manufacture, and he (Mr. Thomson) was of opinion that numbers of mill-owners, those whose capita] was locked up in buildings and machinery, and whose concerns were closed up, had to bear with difficulties of which few outside the trade could form any just conception. And yet those same mill and factory owners, even in the midst of their own struggles, had been doing their uttermost to to assist their workpeople. He had heard of instances in which during the past winter, certain firms had supported from their own funds all the operatives connected with their works, even while the entire machinery remained idle. A noble example of liberality had recently been shown in the princely donation of Mr. Peabody for the erection of model lodging-houses in London, and other merchants in different parts of England had exhibited a similar spirit of benevolence. Every man who delighted to hear of kindly acts and the exercise of a charitable disposition must feel pleasure at these doings in other parts of the kingdom, but it was still more gratifying to know that at their own doors such practical sympathy as that displayed by Mr. Stewart had been exhibited with a suffering class of their fellow-countrymen. Such a merchant was an honour to the place 0f his birth, and reflected the greatest credit on the land of his adoption. (Loud cheers.)
"The CHAIRMAN said that as they had done honour to the name of Mr. Stewart, the principal of the house, he had no doubt the meeting would as cheerfully respond when called upon to drink the health of his partner, Mr. Fox, who was present. (Applause.)
" Mr. Fox, who on rising was received with great applause, said they must excuse him if he only made a short address. He would just set out by stating that he disclaimed the right of any honour in connection with the Stewart Gift. It was his lucky fortune to be connected with a gentleman of such a heart and magnanimous mind ; but in the offering to which so much allusion had been made he had no right to be included ; all he had done was that of carrying out, so far as in him lay, the views of his respected partner. He regretted that any necessity existed to send aid to their suffering poor. (Hear, hear.) The United States were then passing through an ordeal such as most countries have had to undergo one time or 0ther. Of all calamities a civil war was the most trying, but he hoped that, like gold out of the refiner's crucible, America would emerge from the struggle purified from the dross and demoralisation of slavery—(hear)—and that ere long the Stars and Stripes would float gloriously over a land of freedom—a land which, he believed, was loved and respected by all the nations of the world. (Hear, hear.) He felt exceedingly gratified at what he had heard and seen at that meeting, and it would give him great pleasure to convey to Mr. Stewart some idea of their proceedings—he felt sure it would be highly appreciated by that gentleman. (Applause.) Mr. Fox concluded by proposing The Lisburn Relief Committee, coupled with the names of Mr. M'Call and Mr. Millar.' He had not the pleasure of knowing all the gentlemen on that Committee, but he had the good fortune to know Mr. M'Call. He believed the Lisburn Relief Committee was deserving of all thanks, for they had, in the most praiseworthy manner, given a great deal of their time and attention towards the relief of the poor in their neighbourhood. (Applause.)
" Mr. M'CALL said he had great pleasure in responding to the toast proposed by Mr. Fox. He could hardly express the high estimate in which he held his brother members of committee ; they had, indeed, been most assiduous in their attention and indefatigable in their exertions during the whole course of their proceedings. As Secretary of that Committee, he had had the best opportunities of seeing the working of the system of relief, and nothing could exceed the heartiness with which each member of it took his share in the labour. He was quite delighted to sit at a table where so many of the leading citizens of Belfast had assembled with their Lisburn friends to do honour to "Mr. A. T. Stewart and the Captain and crew of the handsome barque Mary Edson. One of the proudest things of which Lisburn could boast was, that a generous and noble-minded gentleman from her neighbourhood had made a great name for himself in New York, that he had accumulated vast wealth in that city, and, better still, that his heart was as wide as his property was ample. (Cheers.) They were nearly all well aware how nobly the citizens of the Northern States of America had come out in contributing to the Lisburn Relief Fund, and also how well the merchant prince of Broadway had responded to the call for his aid. He (the speaker) owed much to the merchants of Belfast who had so liberally subscribed for the getting up of that entertainment, and he had pleasure in acknowledging the kindness of the worthy Mayor, who, at little more than an hour's notice, had so promptly attended to his request that he would take the chair on that occasion ; in fact, most of the gentlemen he Saw around him had been good enough to accept the impromptu invitation at almost equally short notice. America had, indeed, done wonders in her efforts to alleviate the distress of the cotton worker, and he trusted that the citizens of the United States would look on that meeting, held, as it was, in the commercial capital of Ulster, as a proof that the people of that part of Ireland would never forget the princely benevolence which had been shown the cotton operatives by American citizens, and that they should feel that, under all circumstances, it was the special wish of the right-minded men on this side the Atlantic that the broadest principles of fraternal amity should ever exist between the United Kingdom and the Western Republic. (Cheers.)
Mr. MILLAR, after referring at some length to the difficult duties
which had devolved on the Relief Committee and the success that had attended
the working of that institution, alluded to the great exertions made by the
family of the Richardsons—mainly through whose instrumentality they had been
enabled to raise large sums in different parts of the world. He would not go
into details, nor did he wish to make the slightest political allusion about
the two parties now at war in America; but, in justice, it should be stated
that, independently of Mr. Stewart's gift, the Northern States had sent
their Committee £I,600 odds, and the Southern States contributed £1. The
Lisburn Committee had prepared an address which, it was intended, should be
illuminated in the highest style of art by Marcus Ward & Co., and then
presented to Mr. A. T. Stewart. He (Mr. Millar) had been requested to draw
up that address, a copy of which he would read to the gentlemen present :—
'' Lisburn, July 7, 1863.
" A. T. STEWART, ESQ., NEW YORK.
" SIR,-I am requested to convey to you the warmest thanks of the Lisburn Relief Committee for the very munificent gift which you have been so kind as to send over for the relief of the distressed cotton operatives of this neighbourhood.
"Early in the present year, when the dearth of cotton had nearly put a stop to the manufacture that employed so many hands in this part of the country, it became evident that exertions should at once be made to prevent starvation amongst the weavers, and a meeting was called to devise measures for their assistance.
" A subscription was entered into, and a committee appointed to arrange and manage the mode of relief.
" In the meantime, Mr. M'Call, Secretary for the Committee, made the distress widely known, by means of the public Press, and the Messrs. Richardson, through their extensive connections in different parts of the world, were no less energetic in giving publicity to the destitute state of the operatives.
" The result was, that liberal subscriptions poured in, not only from the United Kingdom, but from the Continent and America. The Committee has thus, for several months, been enabled to give nearly one thousand families, comprising three thousand individuals, a regular weekly assistance. Besides this, the Committee sent out to Philadelphia—from which place liberal subscriptions had been received—about sixty families, comprising two hundred and fifty-three persons.
"As inhabitants of Lisburn and its immediate vicinity, we feel highly gratified in referring to the noble part you have taken in this good work. Born and brought up as you were in this neighbourhood, you did not forget, in the eminence you have attained in the land of your adoption, the poor weavers of your native country who had been reduced to the utmost distress by causes over which they had no control; but, in a spirit of the highest generosity and benevolence, you loaded a ship with provisions, sent it here entirely at your own expense, and also chartered the same vessel to convey to the land of plenty a number of your industrious countrymen, who, under the altered circumstances of the times, could scarcely obtain by their labour in this country the means of subsistence.
"Trusting that you may live long to enjoy, in all their amplitude, those blessings which Providence has so abundantly supplied to you, and that as years increase the noble spirit that dictated the princely gift you bestowed on your suffering countrymen may have full play in every action of your life,
" We remain, Sir, most respectfully,
" Your grateful friends,
"(Signed on behalf of the Committee),
" J. J. RICHARDSON, Chairman."
"The reading of the Address was frequently interrupted by applause, and at its conclusion,
"Mr. MILLAR said that a very pleasing duty remained for him to perform. It was always a pleasure to him to meet the worthy Mayor of their great town, and on that occasion he felt especially gratified to see his good friend, Mr. John Lytle, in the chair, (Cheers.) Since that gentleman had occupied the high position to which he had been raised by the united voices of the municipal representatives of Belfast, he had upheld the dignity of the chair with no ordinary ability—(applause)—and it was an exceedingly grand testimony to his character as Chief Magistrate that he had never made any overstretch of power, while he firmly administered the principles of even-handed justice. (Loud cheers.) He would, therefore, give ' The health of the Mayor of Belfast.'
"After the applause had subsided,
" The CHAIRMAN said—When Mr. M'Call requested him to preside at the entertainment to the captain and crew of the Mary Edson, he at once agreed to do so, as he considered it an honour and a very great pleasure. (Hear, hear.) It was true he attended at some inconvenience, but he could not see his way to avoid coming. He was not always in that comfortable position in which the Chief Magistrate of Belfast might be supposed to be—(laughter)—but, however unpleasant his office might be in some respects, he considered the mayoralty to be one of the greatest honours that a citizen of Ulster's capital could enjoy, and he occupied the position under that impression, whether it was convenient or inconvenient ; and he had endeavoured to discharge his duties in such a manner that, at all events he believed was satisfactory to the vast majority of his fellow-citizens. (Cheers.) The occasion on which they were met was certainly one of great interest. They were met, not to honour themselves, but to pay respect to a gentleman who was a credit to his native town, and to do honour to the captain and crew of the good ship they had successfully piloted across the 0cean with its valuable cargo. He perceived they were favoured with the honour and presence of five magistrates, with one of the principal bankers of Belfast, and many of the leading merchants of the town; and Mr. Fox could very properly convey to his partner the feeling which was entertained towards him. The Chairman concluded by proposing `The Press,' coupled with the name of Mr. Dunlop, of the Banner of Ulster. (Applause.)
" Mr. DUNLOP begged, on behalf of the Press, to express his very cordial thanks for the kind manner in which the toast had been received. He was happy to say that in every case where a work of public benevolence or private enterprise was to be carried onward, the Press never failed to render Its best influence to the cause. In the instance which they had met to commemorate, the Belfast journals had aided materially in telling the world how much the aid of charity was required, and how terribly the loss of employment had fallen on the Cotton Weavers. With the permission of the chairman he would propose a toast, and that was ' The town and trade of Belfast.' (Hear, hear, and applause.) He was glad to find so many of the local merchants coming forward to pay honour to the captain and crew of the noble ship that brought over the sea Mr. Stewart's princely gift; and he could not be wrong in associating with the toast two of his esteemed friends whom he saw before him—Mr. James Kennedy and Alderman Mullan, (Applause.)
" Mr. JAMES KENNEDY, J.P., responded. No man, he said, should be proud of himself, but the people of Belfast and the North of Ireland had, in many instances, reason to be proud of their provincial countrymen. (Applause.) In Belfast, bankruptcies were the exception, and not the rule. There the people generally pay their debts. For twenty years he had employed from 2,000 to 3,000 people, and, from whatever cause it arose—a high principle of morality or anything else—he believed he had not in all that time lost twenty shillings. That he looked upon as a great fact. The foundation of prosperity was integrity.
(Applause.) Belfast was not yet as wealthy as some other towns, but he
could appeal to Mr. Thomson, if necessary, whether in times of commercial
difficulty the merchants of Belfast were as much affected as elsewhere. So,
whatever might be their faults, they deserved every credit for integrity and
honesty, and he believed that the time was not far distant when the sun of
prosperity would shine still more on that town, and that it would be a
credit to Ireland or any other country in the world.
"Mr. Wm. MULLAN also responded to the toast in an able and eloquent speech, in which he paid a high compliment to Mr. Fox. After referring at some length to the noble generosity of Mr. Stewart, he said he felt delighted to see that a graceful compliment had been paid to that princely merchant's lady by Mrs. Dunlop, whose classic taste had produced the beautiful array of artificial flowers that stood on the table before them, and which was about to be sent as a present to Mrs. Stewart. That very interesting recognition of the generous conduct of him whom they all delighted to know, not only as a brother merchant, but as a countryman of their own, would, he was sure, be looked upon with deeper feeling by Mr. and Mrs. Stewart than if every leaf in the picturesque group had been loaded with pearls. There were few modes of expressing regard for those who had themselves never felt the pinchings of poverty, but who had displayed great generosity in the alleviation of distress, more touching than that adopted by Mrs. Dunlop. Simple as was the form of presentation, it would show the kind-hearted citizen across the Atlantic how much the people in this country appreciate Mrs. Stewart's bounty to the suffering operatives connected with the cotton trade. He would just sit down, but before doing so he begged permission of the Mayor to give 'The Health of the Ladies.' (Loud applause.)
" Mr. JOHN HAMILL, Trench House, having been called upon by the Chairman, said " It had always been a pleasure to him to say a word or two for that part of the creation which was ever the brightest and best of the blessings bestowed on man. No matter what may be the good work going on in the world, whether that of philanthropy or other movement for the benefit of our fellow beings, it would always be found that woman contributed her full share to the carrying out of the great ends in view. (Hear, hear.) He had understood that in the distribution of the general funds collected for the relief of the cotton weavers the ladies of Lisburn rendered the best services to the Committee; and in the case of the very large gift of Mr. Stewart they had been equally energetic. It was quite true that sometimes the ladies wished to sit in the box-seat and take the reins in their own hands—(loud laughter)— but if a woman married a man who had not the ability to drive a donkey cart the best thing she could do was to lift the ribbons and drive the coach herself." (Cheers and laughter.)
"Mr. JOHN MOORE proposed The Belfast Harbour Commissioners.' "
Mr. JONATHAN CORDUKES said the Board of which he had the honour of being a member had certainly done a great work for BelfaSt. He remembered a time, and that not very far distant, when in consequence of the circuitous line of the Lagan it was a matter of great difficulty to bring large ships from Garmoyle to what was then called the Clarendon Dock. From 1840 the Harbour Commissioners had contemplated making a direct channel which would admit most vessels at all times of the tide, and after encountering many difficulties they had the gratification of seeing the new cut opened some nine years afterwards. That remarkable Irishman, William Dargan, with his indomitable pluck and his engineering genius, had the honour of carrying out the great object of the Harbour Board; and while performing the great work he had made them an Island which should have still borne his name. (Loud cheers.) Before he sat down he would just add that it gave him great pleasure to sit as one of the guests at an entertainment given to Captain Nickerson, the gallant seaman who, with his crew of hardy sailors, had brought from New York the valuable cargo presented by Mr. Stewart to the Lisburn Relief Committee. (Applause.)
" Mr. GEORGE PELAN said—He wished to propose ' The health of the Messrs. Barbour, of Hilden,' who had been the largest local contributors to the Cotton Workers' Relief Fund. It would, in some degree, be out of place in a meeting such as that which he had the honour to address, to go into any lengthened details of the vast good which the house of Barbour Sr. Sons had accomplished. The members of that house were directly employing vast numbers of people, and indirectly the very growth of flax required for consumption at their mills gave labour and profit to many hundreds of farmers and their assistants. He need not remind the bankers and merchants of Belfast, who, he was glad to see, had mustered so strong at the impromptu invitation given them to attend that banquet, what immense influence the success of mercantile men had on the world as it existed in each locality around them. It had been especially so in the case of the Messrs. Barbour, and thus amid all the sunshine that had attended their enterprise, they were enabled to share the blessings of prosperity with thousands of people. Probably the best evidence of the disposition which those gentlemen had shown for the comfort of the workers engaged at their mills, was to be seen in the handsome and commodious cottages they had erected around Hilden, making that ancient seat of the linen trade one scene of happy homes. He would, then, beg to propose ` The health of the Members of the House of Messrs. Barbour & Sons.' (Loud applause.)
" Mr. JOHN D. BARBOUR, J.P., said his good friend, Mr. Pelan, had taken
him by surprise. He certainly had not the slightest idea the name of his
firm would have been alluded to at that meeting. As to what he (himself) or
other members of his family had done
in relation to the Lisburn Relief Fund, he thought they had only acted as
they were bound to do in a case of great emergency, where suffering was at
their very doors. Mr. Pelan had alluded to the dwelling-houses erected at
Hilden as habitations for the workpeople. He felt very much pleased to hear
that matter referred to, because it was a compliment paid to his respected
father, the idea of erecting those buildings having been suggested by the
senior member of his firm. He, however, did not intend to dwell on those
affairs ; his great object in attending the meeting that day was some pay
some mark of respect to Mr. A. T. Stewart and the gallant seamen who had the
honour of being connected with the ship that brought over the splendid
contribution to the funds of their Local Committee. Having, for a great many
years past, had large commercial branches in different parts of America—in
fact, being intimately connected with the leading merchants of the United
States, he (himself) and every member of his firm rejoiced over the
generosity which the citizens of that part of the world had shown towards
suffering people of the old country. But, in the case that came more
immediately under their notice, there was more than ordinary cause of
gratification, and he was glad to see the leading men of Belfast showing how
fully they recognised true greatness. In that sumptuous entertainment which
they—the Belfast merchants—had got up, they had at once displayed their
hospitality and their respect for the generous man who had sent his poor
countrymen a ship load of provisions. He repeated that it was worthy of
Belfast to offer such a mark of grateful feeling to a great man—and Mr.
Stewart had shown himself fully deserving all the honour that could be paid
" Mr. MILLAR said he had heard with pleasure the merited encomium on the Messrs. Barbour for the very liberal aid given to the Relief Fund, and he would now propose, as a toast, the health of a family who had also been most liberal in the aid given to the poor weavers—he meant the Richardsons. Mr. J. J. Richardson, formerly member for the Borough, had at once consented to act as chairman of the Relief Committee, and he could not forbear from particularising Mr. Joseph Richardson, a member of the well-known firm of Richardson Brothers & Co., and Mr. J. N. Richardson, formerly of Liverpool. These gentlemen had exerted themselves most successfully to procure subscriptions, and had given their personal aid in working out the relief system. Other members of the family had aided the fund by their subscriptions and influence. He had, therefore, great pleasure in proposing ' The Health of the Messrs. Richardson.'
" Mr. M'CALL responded, and in doing so bore testimony to the zeal and energy displayed by the Messrs. Richardson in collecting funds and otherwise furthering the objects of the Relief Committee.
" Mr. JAMES KENNEDY, J.P., having been called to the second chair, a vote of thanks was passed to the Mayor, and the proceedings terminated."
It had been arranged that the ship Mary Edson should clear out from the dock on her return voyage to New York on Monday, the 13th July, and in course of that morning the intending emigrants left their respective residences in and around Lisburn, and were received at the Ulster Railway Station, at that town, by J. J. Richardson, Esq., J.P.; John D. Barbour, Esq., J.P. ; Thomas Barbour, Esq.; J. N. Richardson, Esq.; the Rev. D. J. Clarke; Hugh M'Call ; David Carlile ; Alfred Millar; Alexander Stevenson; Joshua Lamb, and several other gentlemen. The officers of distribution, Town-Constable Close, and Mr. D. Wilson assisted in getting the women and children safely into the carriages of the special train which, by the kindness of the Ulster Railway Directors, had been placed at the disposal of the Relief Committee. An immense number of the friends and relations of the emigrants, at least one hundred men, women, and children, had assembled at the Lisburn station to witness their departure, and many were the kind expressions used and hearty aspirations put forth respecting the future career of those who, probably, for the last time, were about to leave their early homes. 'The grown-up people seemed more or less thoughtful, but the children were quite delighted, evidently at the idea of the new scenes about to open up before them, for they, too, had had their share in the suffering and privation during the terrible ordeal through which so many had passed, and with the elasticity of youth they appeared joyous in the anticipation of better days.
Just before the emigrants entered the railway carriages the Rev. Mr. Clarke called on the people and their friends to join him while he made a short appeal to God for His blessing on all around him, but especially on those about to leave for a distant land.
In a moment all the bustle of preparation and all the half expressed feelings of old friends and acquaintances, as they looked on each other possibly for the last time in their lives, were hushed into silence, and the reverend gentleman in fervent tones prayed "That He who held the ocean in the hollow of His hand, and whose voice could still the tempest and call on the sea to be calm, would watch over the people leaving for a far off country, and in his great mercy bring them safe to their destined homes."
The scene was indeed an exciting one, a bright sun shone in the heavens, and as the last words of the young minister died away the silence that prevailed for a few minutes seemed to indicate that every heart within sound of his voice had sent up an inward response to the prayer for a prosperous voyage. When all arrangements had been made, the engine started off with its line of carriages, and, amid the hearty cheers of the people on the platform, the train swept along its way to Belfast. On arriving there, a number of carts, Sent by Messrs. Richardson, Brothers, Mr. Barkley, and other merchants of that town, were ready to take the luggage to the Prince's Dock. By mid-day all arrived without accident, at the ship's side, and after taking leave of those friends who had convoyed them so far, they got into the steerage of the vessel and busied themselves in settling up their respective berths. Mr. Alfred Millar, who, with his usual kindly feeling, and as in the case of the Old Hickory, was busily engaged in seeing to the comfort of the people, getting the married pairs into the places prepared for them, and the single women and girls settled in berths which were specially got up in immediate proximity to the matrons, added to that good work by making out a correct list of the passengers as they were received on board. There were 525 adults, 8 children under 12 years of age, and 4 infants—making in all 137 souls. The following report of the sailing of the ship appeared in the Whig; of Tuesday, the 14th of July :-
The mission of mercy on which Mr. Stewart, of New York, sent the Mary Edson to our shores, has been so far completed, and all arrangements made for the comfort of the living freight she is destined to carry over the Atlantic being fully perfected, it was pretty generally known that the vessel would leave the quay on her return voyage yesterday afternoon. In consequence of this intimation the ship was much thronged during the greater portion of the day, the friends of the emigrants paying their farewell visits, and numbers of strangers visiting the vessel to see her ere she sailed. Several 0f the members of the Lisburn Relief Committee were also on board, to see that nothing had been forgotten that would tend to promote their comfort during the voyage of the passengers. The preparations having been all completed, the Mary Edson left the quay at seven o'clock, in charge of a tug steamer, and amid the cheering of a large concourse of people who had assembled to witness her departure. While passing Queen's Island, the band there played some appropriate music, to which the emigrants responded by cheers. After getting clear of the river, Captain Nickerson, accompanied by a number of the Belfast merchants who have taken a lively interest in the philanthropic undertaking, and who were on board, adjourned to the cabin. where an excellent refreshment had been provided by the captain; after partaking of which the Collector of Customs, in a few appropriate remarks, proposed the health of Captain Nickerson, to which that gentleman suitably responded. Mr. Lowther proposed in a few c0mplimentary remarks the health of the Collector of Customs, and also that of Mr. Henry Murray, the representative in this town of Messrs. A. T. Stewart & Co.—to both of which toasts appropriate replies were made. The Mary Edson was towed down to Carrickfergus Bay, where she anchored for the night. Here the gentlemen who accompanied the vessel left and went on board the tug, which was to convey them home. On parting with the good ship all joined in three hearty cheers for Captain Nickerson and as many for Mr. Stewart ; and, wishing the barque, with her worthy captain and her passengers, a safe and prosperous voyage, the tug steamed back to Belfast. The Mary Edson is expected to sail from Carrickfergus to-day, and we are sure that all will wish for her good weather and favourable winds, and heartily wish her passengers God-speed on their way to the land of their adoption."
Early next morning that floating messenger of benevolence sailed from the bay of " Carrick's old and fortress town," on her run across the Atlantic, and many and hearty were the prayers offered up for the success of that voyage.
Of all the worthy citizens of the Northern Athens, who took interest in
the good ship Mary Edson during the few weeks which that vessel lay at the
Clarence Dock, none seemed to look on the American barque with such
reverence as did the amiable author of the " School of the Sabbath." On the
morning the vessel was about to leave the harbour, Mr. M'Comb handed the
Secretary the manuscript of the following poem :—
Hail, Mary Edson ! goodly ship, her captain and her store ;
And hail the gentle breezes that brought her to our shore ;
And hail the name of Stewart, one so worthy Irish soil,
Who sent relief in time of need to Ulster's sous of toil.
When civil war is laying waste the granaries of the West,
And reapers few to gather in the harvest's rich bequest,
Oh! what a noble sacrifice—of generous deeds the Chief--
Amidst their threatened poverty, to give us such relief!
America, the land of Hope !—our grateful thanks are due
To thee, and to thy goodly ship, her captain, and her crew ;
We send you back a living freight—our children go with thee—
God save both passengers and ship from perils of the sea.
Land, where our pilgrim fathers found a refuge and a home,
When persecution drove them hence, far, far away to roam !
Thou vast to them a shield and stay, and they were still to thee
True husbandmen, who planted deep old Liberty's broad tree.
And may our sons and daughters dear who now to thee we send
Find in thy land an heritage-in every man a friend—
Bind in the brotherhood of life a strong and lasting tie,
And link the Old World with the New in peace and amity!
Belfast, July 13, I863.
The following letter was sent Mr. Stewart, to apprise him of the departure of the emigrant ship, and some details connected with that event :—
" Lisburn July 14, 1863.
"MY DEAR SIR,-The good ship Mary Edson sailed yesterday from Belfast for your city, and I hope will have a prosperous run. She takes out a number of passengers rather exceeding your limit, but your Trustees felt pretty sure you would not quarrel with this excess of your discretionary powers. One of the emigrants, Dan Gribbon, is beyond the age noted in your letter. He has children in New York, and was anxious to get out to them ; but it was only on condition that I would write you an explanation that Messrs. Lamb and Richardson would agree to his going out. I would also recommend to your notice a young lad named Rainey. Mrs. Clibborn took great interest in the choice of the people for free passages. I hope you will be pleased with them, and that they, in their turn, will prove to be worthy of your country and become good citizens of the Western world. You will see by the reports in the Belfast papers of yesterday, all of which I send you, that Captain Nickerson has been presented with a gold watch, and that he and his officers and crew were entertained at lunch. The members of the Relief Committee subscribed for the purchase of the watch, and several of the Belfast bankers and merchants contributed towards the cost of the entertainment got up m honour of the captain and his people who brought over your great gift for the cotton operatives. I will write you again by next mail. In the meantime,
"Believe me, respectfully yours,
" HUGH M'CALL.
"A. T. Stewart, Esq., New York."
The second lot of people sent from the cotton districts caused a still further diminution of call on the central fund, and trade being a little improved gave employment to many of the idle hands. But such was the prostration of numbers of families, and so much had physical abilities been debilitated, that for some time the people were hardly able to perform such work as they had formerly done. Early in August letters came to hand announcing the safe arrival at Philadelphia of the Old Hickory. The vessel proved herself to be a safe but very slow boat, having been above forty days on the voyage out. The following extract from a long letter addressed to the Secretary by Archie Pelan, the leader of the Lisburn Weavers, a man whose general intelligence caused him to be much looked up to by his brother operatives, gives a graphic sketch of the circumstances that followed the landing of the emigrants in the city on the Delaware :-
" We got up to the quay at half-past seven o'clock on the evening of Saturday, the loth of July, after a passage of forty-five days. In the latter part of the voyage, many passengers suffered much from want of water—not because of lack of supply on board, but in consequence of the tin-cans in which each family kept its rations having been so badly made that they leaked out one-half, and often two-thirds, of the quantity meted out for the day's use. As soon as the gangway was made fast, everyone who had a shilling to spare went ashore to buy bread and milk for the children. Next morning (Sunday) the ship was visited by a number of citizens, who gazed on us as if we had been Red Indians, and this curiosity was kept up all day, during which some thousands must have gazed on us. But the good people of Philadelphia did more than merely look at the Irish weavers—they were very kind, and in every case where they saw people ill-clad they supplied them with clothing. Nor did their kindness end there. Many heads of families got money, as well as clothes, from the Philadelphians. For myself, I can only say that the Sunday passed over dull enough. I would have been glad to go on shore, but had no means to pay for a lodging; and, as the straw beds had all been thrown overboard after the ship arrived in the river, our night's rest was anything but comfortable. Early next morning, Mr. James, of the house of Messrs. Thomas Richardson & Co., came down, and on seeing the sad condition of the children, he handed one of the mothers of them a five-dollar note to purchase milk, bread, and other requirements for them. The older people on board the ship were also looked after. During the day, Mr. James and our old townsman, Mr. Thos. O'Neill, who is a much-respected merchant here, procured comfortable lodgings for all the passengers. Mr. O'Neill himself superintended the carting of the boxes and other luggage, and in the evening all had been safely conveyed from the quay to the new quarters of the people. I should state that from the Saturday we left Lisburn till the evening we landed in Philadelphia, seven children died, nearly all these not exceeding two years of age. It would hardly be possible for me to tell you of all the kindness I received from the gentleman (Mr. O'Neill) to whom you wrote about me. He was down at the wharf by nine o'clock in the morning inquiring for me. I had some conversation with him, and he informed me that he wished to see my family. I brought my wife and children forward, and they presented a sorry appearance. Ile then directed me to go with him, and he took me to his own residence, and informed his lady as to who I was. She at once made me welcome to stop with them until I could be fitted. I felt my heart swell with gratitude, but said I would rather stop in some other place, as we were just landed. They told me to bring my wife and family, until some arrangement could be effected. I did so; and the children got a bath, which did them a great deal of good. We had new potatoes at dinner, and, after being forty-five days at sea, they were a great treat. Then we had tea in the evening ; and, as we had both a great deal of running to do through the day, we sat down to converse about the old folk at home. During this time, Mrs. O'Neill took my little son and dressed him in a full suit of clothes. After this, he brought me to a respectable boarding-house, and paid the carriage of all my little store of property from the wharf, and told me to keep myself easy as to employment, as he expected I would not be long idle. I need hardly say that we slept soundly that night, it being the first of anything like rest that we had enjoyed from we left Lisburn. On Wednesday, Mr. O'Neill came to me, in company with a gentleman who owns a steam-loom factory that is situated at some distance from the city of Philadelphia. The gentleman said he required some hands in his establishment, and, after a few words conversation on the subject, I engaged to go there. I was also fortunate in procuring situations for some others of my fellow-emigrants. We set off at the end of the week, and, I am happy to say, are now settled, and in the receipt of good wages. Nearly all the people who came over with us have got into employment. There is much talk about the war, but that is all I know of it. Provisions are dear—much more so than at home, and the people here tell us that trade keeps dull ; but thanks to Providence that brought us safe over here, and to the gentlemen of the Lisburn Relief Fund, who were the means of sending us away from a land of pinching poverty to a country where honest industry will be sure to gain an independent subsistence."
There is much in Archie Pelan's history of the events that followed the arrival of the emigrant ship at Philadelphia, to gratify the friends of the weavers at home, and also to teach those who make "the depravity of human nature" a general test for denunciation against " the world," that in every condition of life much good may be found if we only try to bring it up to the surface.