A Scotch Bishop's Testimony to the Irish

John Francis Maguire
CHAPTER II (10) start of chapter

The testimony of their Scotch Bishop is not to be overlooked; it is honouring to them and to him:

'They, the Irish, are a thrifty, industrious, energetic class of people, of a perseverance that would be worthy of imitation. They keep pace in all respects—in intelligence and education, in comfort and independence—with all other settlers.

As for the Irish girls, there could not be a more modest, chaste, and well-conducted class than the Catholics of the town and country. A cause of scandal is of the very rarest occurrence among them.

The Irish are economical when they settle down on the land. They live poorly at first, then save money, and acquire property where they can.

What they are they have made themselves. For one who came out with a dollar, ten have come out with a shilling.'

And testimony such as the foregoing is, to my knowledge, not without the highest official sanction in the colony.

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