The Amount sent

John Francis Maguire
CHAPTER XVI (9) start of chapter

That the amount of money sent from America, including the British Provinces, to Ireland cannot be far from 24,000,000l. I feel assured. The Commissioners of Emigration, in their Report of 1863, return the amount as 12,642,000l. But they say it would not be unreasonable to estimate the amount, of which there are no returns, at half as much again as that of which there are returns. Taking this rather moderate estimate, the gross amount to the close of 1862 would reach 19,000,000l. That at least a million a year has been sent since then must be assumed. For last year—1866—the Commissioners put down the amount at less than half a million. But I am aware that, for that year, one bank or society in New York—the Irish Emigrant Society—remitted over 100,000l. to Ireland, and that some 130,000l. was sent by agents in Boston whom I could name. Here, then, is more than half the entire amount of which the Commissioners have any official knowledge. In many cities I personally know bankers or agents who sent amounts varying from 20,000l. to 30,000l.; and there is scarcely a place of any importance, or in which there is an Irish population, however inconsiderable, from which some contribution does not go to the old country, for one purpose or another. If, then, we add a million a year to the nineteen millions estimated by the Emigration Commissioners, we have, up to the 1st of January 1868, the amazing sum of 24,000,000l. sent by the Irish abroad to their relatives at home.(19) In the history of the world there is nothing to match this. It is a fact as glorious as stupendous, and may well stand against the sneers and calumnies of a century.

The Irish in America, first published in 1868, provides an invaluable account of the extreme difficulties that 19th Century Irish immigrants faced in their new homeland and the progress which they had nonetheless made in the years since arriving on a foreign shore. A new edition, including additional notes and an index, has been published by Books Ulster/LibraryIreland:

Paperback: 700+ pages The Irish in America

ebook: The Irish in America