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Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast

GUEST,mg 22 Jan 07 - 07:27 PM
GUEST,mg 22 Jan 07 - 08:16 PM
Jack Campin 22 Jan 07 - 08:25 PM
GUEST, Jim Hancock 22 Jan 07 - 08:54 PM
mg 22 Jan 07 - 09:50 PM
katlaughing 22 Jan 07 - 11:45 PM
Simon G 23 Jan 07 - 04:55 AM
Grab 23 Jan 07 - 05:19 AM
MartinRyan 23 Jan 07 - 05:47 AM
Scrump 23 Jan 07 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,mg 23 Jan 07 - 01:32 PM
GUEST 23 Jan 07 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,John Moulden 23 Jan 07 - 01:47 PM
MMario 23 Jan 07 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,mg 23 Jan 07 - 01:57 PM
GUEST 23 Jan 07 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,mg 23 Jan 07 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,meself 23 Jan 07 - 02:59 PM
bubblyrat 23 Jan 07 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,mg 23 Jan 07 - 04:09 PM
MMario 23 Jan 07 - 04:13 PM
MMario 23 Jan 07 - 04:18 PM
katlaughing 23 Jan 07 - 11:06 PM
Dazbo 24 Jan 07 - 03:32 AM
Keith A of Hertford 24 Jan 07 - 04:31 AM
Keith A of Hertford 24 Jan 07 - 04:48 AM
GUEST, Jim Hancock 24 Jan 07 - 05:56 AM
MartinRyan 24 Jan 07 - 07:24 AM
Dazbo 24 Jan 07 - 07:31 AM
Jack Campin 24 Jan 07 - 08:33 AM
Grab 24 Jan 07 - 11:48 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Jan 07 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,John Moulden 25 Jan 07 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,meself 25 Jan 07 - 07:38 AM
GUEST,meself 25 Jan 07 - 07:41 AM
GUEST 25 Jan 07 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,Bardan 25 Jan 07 - 01:45 PM
Den 25 Jan 07 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Terry McDonald 25 Jan 07 - 02:24 PM
Teribus 25 Jan 07 - 02:28 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 07:27 PM

I mentioned this in another thread...it is something I only heard once and that is on an Irish Rovers special years ago. They could walk on and off under their own steam (well, some of them) and that is why so many came so cheaply here..maybe free....they used to use lots of granite for ballast that built many churches etc. Irish were cheaper and even turned a bit of profit. Google this..I did last night and there is lots....timber boats used to sail from Canada and cotton ships from New Orleans..which is why a lot of Irish went to New Orleans..but many many died in the swamps working on canals etc. Stories of semi-corpses wandering in the winter in Montreal...not pretty...

I also found that my ancestors seemed to go straight to Iowa and wondered how in another thread..but apparently farmers were desparate for laborers and sent ships or railroad cars or whatever to pick them up at the ports....you don't hear about this...only the tenements...and you hear and hear again that the famine broke them down so much they couldn't stand the thought of farming again but that never rang true with me...I think they just couldn't for the most part escape the tenement life for a few generations...

Anyone with family stories? Probably not because they wouldn't talk about it. But I think it is important to gather up the stories as well as we can....mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 08:16 PM

it gets better....there is a play called Ballast, so this could be someone's speculation instead of the truth...but she says the dead bodies, of which there were many, were not thrown over as popularly stated, at least sometimes...because then the ballast tonnage would be gone. She refers to coal ships. Also one of the Iowa pages or somewhere I went ...says that they did not die in great numbers in the American ships because they cleaned them..and made the passengers clean them, daily or weekly or whatever. The English ships were not cleaned..and you can of course imagine a ship full of cholera and dysentary....that was built to carry coal or timber...

This does not make sense...just to protect the crew of the ship if not the cargo...(my ancestors and possibly yours) ...you would think they would haul up buckets of seawater, which was abundant, and have every able bodied person scrubbing something.....unless this was more genocidal than I have previously thought....apathy, greed, indifference, disgust,yes...deliberate genocide almost? I have not thought along those lines before. mg

mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 08:25 PM

What makes this very unlikely is that passage to America was not free. Of the victims of poverty and famine in 19th century Ireland, the *least* poor and starving were the ones who could scrape up the fare to North America or Australasia. If you didn't have the money for that, you might have the boatfare to England or Scotland, maybe making seasonal trips as an agricultural worker. If you couldn't afford that, the Army might take you if you were young, male and fit. Failing all those you would stay put and take what came.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST, Jim Hancock
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 08:54 PM

From a technical point of view it doesn't ring true, people are just not heavy enough to act as ballast on a sailing ship, even if you laid them one on top of another right down in the bottom of the ship.
How many tons of people would you need to effectively balance each ton of coal? Far easier to put the coal in the hold and charge the people to ride on top. In any case you don't need to feed 20 tons of rock.
It's worth remembering that the causes of cholera and similar diseases were not fully understood at the time, Cholera was endemic throughout Europe and outbreaks were common on all ships regardless of the passenger manifest. However the cheapest emigrant ships were also the slowest, consequently although emigrants already infected certainly took passage an all ships the longer crossing time gave the disease a greater opportunity to take hold.

All the best

Jim Hancock


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: mg
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 09:50 PM

From a technical point of view it doesn't ring true, people are just not heavy enough to act as ballast on a sailing ship, even if you laid them one on top of another right down in the bottom of the ship.



Well, that is what they did just about. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Jan 07 - 11:45 PM

You might find some more info at Cyndi's List - ships.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: Simon G
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 04:55 AM

Forgetting any moral point of view it doesn't ring true commercially as well. I can't imagine a ship's captain preferring 60 emigrants to a 3 ton block of granite. Granite blocks don't need any maintenance on the journey and tend to stay were they are put and never mutiny.

The commercial situation changes if the cargo is paying for the trip. Emigrants have always been taken advantage of, although the income for the legal Ireland-USA emigration pale into insignificance compared to the boat people of Vietnam/China and Africa. The mass transport by road from Asia/Eastern Europe to Western Europe. Or indeed Mexico - USA, Cuba - USA. All these routes are more lucrative because they are illegal as well. Everything that we like to think of as happening 100's of years ago happens today and every day.

Similarly, the slave trade didn't die out 200 years ago, it is still with us with 10,000s of girls shipped from Eastern Europe to the West and imprisoned in brothels. Somehow we let this happen right in our towns and cities without caring much about it at all. Just one example of a trade which today is much bigger than the Africa - Americas trade ever was.

Many people who end up in slavery of one sort or another set off a emigrants, this must have been common with the Irish emigrants as well - once you are on the boat you are under someone's control.

There is no end to man's ability to do harm to man and no limit to man's ability to do good to man. There are plenty of examples of people capable of both at almost the same time. I can't understand how humanists who believe the man will intrinsically do good to man can justify this given the evidence.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: Grab
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 05:19 AM

Well, that is what they did just about

Except they didn't.

Not only are people not heavy (technically "dense", actually) enough, but they'd need to be right down in the bilges, which is where ballast goes. You couldn't put people in there for the obvious reason that they'd drown. Also, even assuming that this was possible, people can walk about, which makes them unsuitable for ballast which has to stay where it is to balance the boat.

This is clearly fakelore of the kind "we wuz so poor when we wuz kids, we had to share one shirt between the ten of us". Except that sadly some people have started believing it. I think the Irish had enough crap happen to them without inventing more.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: MartinRyan
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 05:47 AM

Yes - it reminds of an old TV sketch (Monty Python?) based on competitive poverty, so to speak.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 05:59 AM

This one?

FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
Aye, very passable, that, very passable bit of risotto.
SECOND YORKSHIREMAN:
Nothing like a good glass of Château de Chasselas, eh, Josiah?
THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
You're right there, Obadiah.
FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN:
Who'd have thought thirty year ago we'd all be sittin' here drinking Château de Chasselas, eh?
FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
In them days we was glad to have the price of a cup o' tea.
SECOND YORKSHIREMAN:
A cup o' cold tea.
FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN:
Without milk or sugar.
THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
Or tea.
FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
In a cracked cup, an' all.
FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN:
Oh, we never had a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up newspaper.
SECOND YORKSHIREMAN:
The best we could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.
THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.
FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
Because we were poor. My old Dad used to say to me, "Money doesn't buy you happiness, son".
FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN:
Aye, 'e was right.
FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
Aye, 'e was.
FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN:
I was happier then and I had nothin'. We used to live in this tiny old house with great big holes in the roof.
SECOND YORKSHIREMAN:
House! You were lucky to live in a house! We used to live in one room, all twenty-six of us, no furniture, 'alf the floor was missing, and we were all 'uddled together in one corner for fear of falling.
THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
Eh, you were lucky to have a room! We used to have to live in t' corridor!
FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
Oh, we used to dream of livin' in a corridor! Would ha' been a palace to us. We used to live in an old water tank on a rubbish tip. We got woke up every morning by having a load of rotting fish dumped all over us! House? Huh.
FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN:
Well, when I say 'house' it was only a hole in the ground covered by a sheet of tarpaulin, but it was a house to us.
SECOND YORKSHIREMAN:
We were evicted from our 'ole in the ground; we 'ad to go and live in a lake.
THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
You were lucky to have a lake! There were a hundred and fifty of us living in t' shoebox in t' middle o' road.
FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
Cardboard box?
THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
Aye.
FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
You were lucky. We lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six in the morning, clean the paper bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down t' mill, fourteen hours a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence a week, and when we got home our Dad would thrash us to sleep wi' his belt.
SECOND YORKSHIREMAN:
Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at six o'clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of 'ot gravel, work twenty hour day at mill for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad would thrash us to sleep with a broken bottle, if we were lucky!
THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
Well, of course, we had it tough. We used to 'ave to get up out of shoebox at twelve o'clock at night and lick road clean wit' tongue. We had two bits of cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at mill for sixpence every four years, and when we got home our Dad would slice us in two wit' bread knife.
FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN:
Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and our mother would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah.
FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
And you try and tell the young people of today that ..... they won't believe you.
ALL:
They won't!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 01:32 PM

have people actually even googled this..there are thousands of hits.

here is one ...http://www.whitepinepictures.com/seeds/i/2/sidebar.html

I haven't done a historical analysis of this but one thing I know is that no matter how horrible something sounds, something worse has probably happened to someone. And there are great mysteries as to how people afforded the passage over....if you couldn't afford a crust of bread how could you cross the Atlantic....it was subsidized somehow...sometimes by landlords wanting to avoid poor house fees and taxes, sometimes by relatives etc.....but there is a whole lot of explaining to do. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 01:40 PM

I discovered two things as an historical researcher..a lot of internet information is wrong..secondly, the myths of history are hard to dispel. There is virtually no evidence (historical) the the Irish wereused a ballast. I do know that as many as possible were packed into ships, but these were either indentured servants or paying passengers, none, to my knowledge, were ballast.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 01:47 PM

It is attested that ships in the Quebec or Maine timber trade sailed to Ireland and Britain with timber, making a handsome profit and that, rather than sail back in ballast for more wood. They then put up rough wooden bunks (6 feet by 6 and accommodating at least four people) and carried emigrants. This was largely a north Irish phenomenon. (See Sholto Cooke "The Maiden City and the Western Ocean")


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: MMario
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 01:50 PM

Ever toured the reproduction of the Mayflower?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 01:57 PM

http://personal.nbnet.nb.ca/rmcusack/Story-32.html
http://www.virtualnewarknj.com/memories/newark/mcgrathblocks.htm
http://www.absolutearts.com/artsnews/1999/10/20/26067.html

http://home.comcast.net/~irishholocaust/Irish_Holocaust/English_Pages/liverpool.htm this one is pretty intense... mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 02:31 PM

http://www.olgp.net/chs/church/rose.htm
http://www.portquebec.ca/en/01/01.php?id=126


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 02:43 PM

http://www.cbmh.ca/archive/00000123/01/cbmhbchm_v3n2_mcginnis.pdf

http://www.qj96.dial.pipex.com/newtown.htm

http://www.ballinagree.freeservers.com/cargfamine.html

http://ecommerce.marist.edu/foy/clan/essays/immigration%20patterns.htm

http://www.angelfire.com/home/lake/lacolle/hist.html

http://www.billhamiltonflashback.ca/listnews.php?id=105&cid=1&searchtext=&offset=10


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 02:59 PM

FWIW, in most Canadian History curricula for secondary schools in Canada, you would find mention of ships carrying timber from Canada to Britain and bringing Irish & Brit emigrants back for several decades at least ... But as ballast? That sounds more figurative than literal, to put it charitably.

Because of their numbers, their poverty, the cold, the economic conditions, and the fear of disease from the ships, Irish immigrants (those who had survived the voyage) often had a very hard time of it in Montreal. Most cut out for the States pretty quickly. However, many did remain and became assimilated into Quebecois society.

You may have heard the poignant emigrant song Andy Irvine recorded, which recounts a gruelling voyage, at the conclusion of which, the emigrants, as they come ashore in Quebec, are greeted by hordes of Irish beggars ...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: bubblyrat
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 03:39 PM

This gentleman sounds like one of those Brit-hating Irish-Americans who REALLY BELIEVES the stories put about OFFICIALLY in some NEW YORK schools, that the English employed biologists to artificially create the fungus that caused the Irish Potato Famine, and that it was a case of deliberate biological warfare !!!! How many people does he think it takes to weigh the same as 50 tons of granite ?? Well, if they weighed 140 pounds,(as they were smaller in those days )--that"s 800 yes 800 people to squeeze into the lowest compartments of a ship,& feed,water,& provide sanitation for for days or weeks on end .Please,get real and find another country to vent your hatred on !!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 04:09 PM

I don't think they provided much sanitation. Not much food, sometimes none, and certainly not enough water.

http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/famine/coffin.htm

I figure an average of 350 from this website. I am some ships had more, at least to start with.   This might be new to some people I realize but does anyone know how many people were on these ships? I would guess certainly inthe hundreds...they were practically lying on top of each other..no head room....

I don't believe they would necessarily replace all the ballast..maybe there were 20 tons of Irish and 30 tons of slate or granite or whatever. mg


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: MMario
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 04:13 PM

well - consider that the passengers of the Mayflower (PAYING passengers who hired the ship) had less then 25 square feet per person in the passenger hold


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: MMario
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 04:18 PM

For that matter - have you seen the *OFFICER* quarters on some of the whalers? Such as the Charles B. Morgan? I've seen privies with more elbow room.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Jan 07 - 11:06 PM

I've been on the Mayflower replica, MMario. Couldn't believe how tiny it was!

Scrump, thanks for that!LMAO!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: Dazbo
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 03:32 AM

From a naval I point of view I find this idea rediculous. There are two uses for ballast.

The fist is to balance a new ship so that it is upright and stable. The second use of ballast is to keep the ship in correct trim once the cargo is loaded. The first sort of ballast is generally permenant and physically fixed to the ship - the second was loaded and moved around the ship as required.

Roughly speaking for a ship to be stable the centre of gravity of the ship needs to be below the centre of gravity of the water the ship displaces - the greater the hight difference the greater the stability. As has been said above this necessitates the ballast being as dense and a low as possible in the ship - you just couldn't get the required mass of Irish immigrants low enough in the ship.   But above all the one thing you don't want at sea is for the ballast (and cargo) to move about as this can catastrophically affect the stability of the ship. So unless you packed them in like sardines in a tin and prevented them moving for however long it took to make the trip then they would be useless as ballast.

Personally I think that this myth has arisen from misunderstood naval terminology.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:31 AM

It was not only Irish emigrants on those coffin ships to Canada.
There were as many Scots, and plenty of English.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:48 AM

According to this site, in 1848 alone 17,300 Scottish emigrants died on the coffin ships.
http://www.canadafirst.net/our_heritage/robbie_burns/index.html


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST, Jim Hancock
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:56 AM

Thank you to John Moulden for his quote "It is attested that ships in the Quebec or Maine timber trade sailed to Ireland and Britain with timber, .... rather than sail back in ballast for more wood." It fully explains the source of the error.
The term "In Ballast" was used in the 19th. century to describe a ship sailing without a cargo. If returning with passengers the ship would still have carried ballast, but would not be described as "in ballast" because it now had a cargo.

All the best

Jim Hancock


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: MartinRyan
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 07:24 AM

Jim

Thank you for the calm explanation.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: Dazbo
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 07:31 AM

funnily enough my second post seems to have disappeard!?! I'd concur with Jim's point which I referred to without explaination at the end of my first post.

Also, from posting from half remembered Naval Architecture lectures 20 odd years ago, the ship's centre of gravity needs to be below the metacentre but above the centre of bouyancy. This give the necessary turning moment to right the ship when it tilts over. The rest of the post is valid though. (Slinks off, embaressed, to the back of the class)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 08:33 AM

The Canadian site Keith A refernced:

- doesn't claim that that many Scottish emigrants died at sea (it also includes
"quarantine stations", suggesting there might have been an epidemic going on)

- is a collection of racist urban legends out of "Braveheart" anyway.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: Grab
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 11:48 AM

Thanks Jim for explaining how this misconception might have come about.

And there are great mysteries as to how people afforded the passage over....if you couldn't afford a crust of bread how could you cross the Atlantic....it was subsidized somehow...sometimes by landlords wanting to avoid poor house fees and taxes, sometimes by relatives etc.....but there is a whole lot of explaining to do.

Actually, if you did all that Googling, you'd have found (as I did) that it was the horrible evil murdering English who subsidised travel from the UK to America. The UK government put a lot of money into it, because it was the best solution to the overpopulation in the UK which was the ultimate cause of the Famine (too many people farming too little land with nothing in reserve for bad years). Remember that it wasn't just Ireland that suffered from crop failure - the same thing happened in mainland Britain too. The only difference was that British farmers found it easier to move to factory towns and get jobs there.

This might be new to some people I realize but does anyone know how many people were on these ships?

Yep - it's pretty well documented.

they were practically lying on top of each other..no head room....

That's a fair description of the bunks. It's also a fair description of the bunks on *any* ship of that era, for crew and passengers alike. It's even a good description of the bunks in most of the smaller modern cruising yachts. Remember, that's just the bunks - they had room to walk about, cook and eat food, etc.. Not a lot of room, sure, but again that was (and is on modern cruising yachts) fairly standard. We're not talking slave-ship conditions here by any means.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 06:47 PM

"the best solution"

Now what widely used term for a more recent human catastrophe does that expression remind me of?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 07:31 AM

"We're not talking slave ship conditions here." For a fairly good (if slightly embroidered) description of conditions on board such a ship, prepared from his own experience of sailing on a smaller, better ship than that portrayed, see Herman Melville's "Redburn".

As to "Slave ship conditions" it is a fact that the emigrant trade began to expand almost coincidentally with the cessation of the slave trade. One wonders, to what occupation did the ships and crews that had been engaged in the slave trade turn?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 07:38 AM

They became pirates - cf. "The Flying Cloud" ...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 07:41 AM

... (except for those who disagreed and asked to be put on land. Two of them of them were Boston boys and one from Newfoundland. The other was an Irish lad who'd sailed out from Tramore - How I wish to God I'd joined those boys when they were put on shore!).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 12:24 PM

When you look at the types in the West of Ireland today, it's obvious the best of the gene pool got away to America in 1850's.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST,Bardan
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 01:45 PM

And when you see the huge american town with a population that are all ancestors of about three families from the Blaskets or somewhere you understand why Bush got a second term.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: Den
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 02:09 PM

You just can't help yourselves can you (I'm referring to the two posters above). The ironic thing is that Bush's ancestry, the Walker part can be traced to Bristol in England. Apologies everyone else for sinking to that level, carry on.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 02:24 PM

The 'ballast' thing is as a couple of people have said - timber ships began carrying people from Britain and Ireland to Canada, rather than making the westward crossing in ballast. As one New Brunswick writer put it in his 'Strangers from a Secret Land', the Atlantic crossing became profitable in both directions. There was a huge surge in emigration from Britain and Ireland in the years after the Napoleonic Wars, often (but not always) subsidised by the local authorities.

re English emigration to Canada in the early 19th Century, another shamless plug...........see my article 'Southern England and the Mania for Emigration, 1815-1840' in the British Journal of Canadian Studies, Vol 16, no.1. The whole edition is given over to English emigration.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Irish immigrants as ballast
From: Teribus
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 02:28 PM

Passage to Canada onboard British Ships was free, it was paid for by the British Government. After landing and clearing Quarantine the new arrivals went down the St. Lawrence and across the Great Lakes to Chicago, others went south to cross the border into New York State.

Using people as "Ballast" is ridiculous for the obvious reasons given above - It simply would not work period - forget about the, "Ah but it said on such and such a web site" - all the laws of physics and mathematical science are against the contention - It simply would not work.

By the bye, passage directly to a US Port was pretty restrictive financially, and the US did not want the Irish. This reluctance actually gave birth to the world-wide celebration known as St.Patrick's Day, according to Cecil Woodham-Smith in her book "The Great Hunger", the modern concept of St.Patrick's Day originated with the Irish communities in Chicago, Boston and New York, throwing a street party for their fellow citizens in order to boost their civic profile and acceptability - Don't know about you, but I think it worked rather well.


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