Dr. Catherine Shannon Presents a Lecture on the 1847 Voyage of the USS Jamestown to Cork, Ireland

Sunday, April 12 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm at the Elms College Alumnae Library. Free and open to the public. 

Dr. Catherine Shannon

The Irish Cultural Center will present a lecture on the USS Jamestown’s voyage to Cork, Ireland in 1847, “It is Not an Everyday Matter to See a Nation Starving: Captain Robert Bennet Forbes and the 1847 Voyage of the USS Jamestown to Cork, Ireland.” The lecture will be given by Catherine B. Shannon, Ph.D., professor emerita, of Westfield State University on Sunday April 12, 2015 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm in the Elms College Alumnae Library Theater.

Dr. Shannon will discuss the voyage of the USS Jamestown which left Boston on March 28, 1847, loaded with more than 800 tons of provisions and supplies for the starving people of Ireland in the darkest months of “Black 1847,” the year the Irish Famine peaked. The New England Relief Committee, which was comprised of Boston Catholics and Protestants cooperating in an effort to collect money, and bring food to Ireland, organized the voyage. The committee collected approximately $150,000 in food and cash, which accounted for half of the $300,000 that was sent from Boston to Ireland in 1847.

Dr. Shannon describes that “she will discuss Captain Forbes’s effort to insure that the supplies reached the Irish people in the most efficient and fastest way possible, and his reactions to what he witnessed in Ireland upon arrival there in mid-April.” Shannon relates: “This episode was a unique instance when the historic suspicions and hostility that divided the Boston’s Irish and Yankee Communities were cast aside and were replaced by cooperation for a great humanitarian purpose.”

Dr. Shannon will be honored for her works by the Eire Society of Boston on Saturday April 25, 2015 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel at the 78th Gold Medal Dinner and Award Ceremony at 6:00 pm. Each year the Eire Society honors a person who exemplifies the best of Irish Culture and ideals.

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