A typical tenant or small farmer cottage in the west of Ireland. The Pictorial Times, 1846

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Images of the Irish Famine

  • Washington and Lee University
  • Program in Irish Studies
  • Professor Marc C. Conner

A typical tenant or small farmer cottage in the west of Ireland. The Pictorial Times, 2.7.1846

A crowd of starving peasants seeking entry into the Union Workhouse. R. Wilson, The Life and Times of Queen Victoria, 1887-88

A Famine burial. Dufferin and Boyle, Narrative of a Journey from Oxford to Skibbereen, 1847.

Famine? or Plenty?

  • “People starve in the midst of plenty, as literally as if dungeon bars separating them from a granary. When distress has been at its height, and our poor have been dying of starvation in our streets, our corn has been going to a foreign market. It is, to our own poor, a forbidden fruit.” Dr. Dominic J. Corrigan, On Famine and Fever as Causes and Effect in Ireland, Dublin, 1846.

An Eviction Illustrated London News 12.16.1848

After an Eviction. Illustrated London News 12.15.1848

A Famine Village Illustrated London News 12.22.1849

  • Go here for further images of famine villages.
  • “Immense herds of cattle, sheep and hogs . . . Floating off on every tide, out of every one of our thirteen seaports, bound for England; and the landlords were receiving their rents and going to England to spend them; and many hundreds of poor people had laid down and died on the roadside for want of food.” John Mitchell, Jail Journal, or Five Years in British Prisons, New York 1854.

Preparing to emigrate. Illustrated London News 5.10.1851

Emigrating from Cobh Harbor, Co. Cork. National Library of Ireland photograph.

A Famine ship

  • The Jeanie Johnston
  • Replica of ship that made trans-
  • Atlantic crossing 16 times from
  • 1847-1853, from Tralee to Canada,
  • without a single loss of life.
  • Replica built in 2002, sailed from Tralee, Co. Kerry. Now a permanent museum on the Dublin Quays.
  • http://www.jeaniejohnston.ie/index.html

A contemporary mural in Belfast An Gorta Mor, “the Great Hunger”

Further resources for the Irish Famine.

  • For a fine overview, see E.R.R. Green’s essay in Moody and Martin’s The Course of Irish History
  • Cathal Poirteir’s collection of essays, The Great Irish Famine, is a superb detailed study of the issues.
  • Noel Kissane published a documentary volume, The Irish Famine, in 1995 that has excellent contemporary accounts and images
  • Cecil Woodham-Smith’s 1962 study The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-1849, though dated, remains a strong and interesting narrative.
  • There are two particularly strong web sites devoted to the famine: “Views of the Famine” (http://adminstaff.vassar.edu/sttaylor/FAMINE/) and “The Great Irish Famine” (http://www.nde.state.ne.us/ss/irish/irish_pf.html)
  • [all images used in this PP presentation are, to the best of my knowledge, in the public domain. This PP presentation is for educational purposes only]

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