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Irish Famine 1847-04-09 - Plea from Skibbereen to the Girls of Lowell

Plea from Skibbereen to the Girls of Lowell
Voice of Industry, Lowell, MA 
April 9, 1847 

The thought has occurred to me to-day 
while visiting the miserable hovels of the poor 
creatures dying with destitution, that the girls 
of Lowell, of whom the world has heard 
much honorable mention, might do a grateful 
thing in rescuing some of their sex not only 
from the misery but the shame of their situ- 
ation. No language of mine can describe 
the destitution of clothing to which all ages 
and both sexes are reduced in this land of the 
shadows of death. Everything of value has 
been pawned for food. Thousands of wo- 
men and children here are so destitute of cov- 
ering as to prevent them from going out into 
the streets to beg. In hundreds of these hov- 
els the living wife or child or husband has 
lain for days close beside the dead body of 
a husband, mother or wife, in order to cov- 
er themselves with the rags spread over the 
deceased. Now I had thought to-day, while 
witnessing these scenes of suffering, that the 
Girls of Lowell might give each a comforta- 
ble calico dress, to clothe the destitute of their 
sex in Skibbereen. I am sure such an exam- 
ple would be followed by the ladies in differ- 
ent towns in New England, and that tens of 
thousands of these poor, thin, naked, blue- 
lipped children would attest in favor of their 
benefactresses at another day; 'I was naked 
and ye clothed me.' I hope the counties of 
Middlesex and Essex will club together and 
send out a ship freighted with provisions and 
clothing for Ireland, and that it will embrace 
in its bill of lading 10,000 calico dresses, 
suited to every size, from the Factory Girls 
of the two counties. 
Skibbereen, Feb. 23, 1847

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