The Great Irish Famine Continued.... Part 1

The Great Irish Famine Continued.... Part 1

.....................continued from "The Great Irish Famine "

 

These houses were soon themselves overwhelmed by the new arrivals. Another project that was started by the government was building of new roads all across the country side. A physically demanding endeavour at the best of times proved to be deadly to many of the starving and weak workers.

Most of those that left Ireland had the desire to sail for the United States, but due to availability on ships, their religion as well as the prices of the tickets being cheaper, forced many to once again settle on lands that were owned by the British in British North America (Canada). The major port of departure was Cobh (which incidentally was also the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic on her maiden voyage), from which ships of every size and description, including - due to their lack of space, hygiene, amenities and general treatment by their crews - the dreaded coffin ships - set sail for ports in far away lands. If being torn away from ones home and country was not enough for those suffering people, the voyage to the land of 'salvation' proved fatal to many of those who were ill as well as those who were not. Once on the ships, the emigrants were forced to endure the open seas in often unsafe ships that were originally built for transporting cargo back and forth to the new continent.

Typhus and other diseases, due to the lack of hygiene, was ever-present and wreaked havoc amongst the passengers and crew alike on these ships. In 1847, of the almost 100,000 people that sailed for Quebec, 5282 died during the crossing and a further 3389 succumbed to illness once they had arrived and put on the quarantine island of Grosse Isle that was located just a few kilometres from Quebec City. Through bad practices lack of space that was brought on by the sheer amount of people arriving daily to the Quarantine Centre, the healthy were placed amongst the ill, exposing them to the deadly typhus. Many of those who had arrived were children who had lost their parents on the passage. Many of those worked their way east and west to other parts of Canada, but most of those that had come to Canada in order to break their yolk from the Empire eventually fulfilled their long time desire and made their way south and crossed into the United States.

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