19th century cartoon depicting Irish emigrants just arrived in New York

The Oireachtas Library is displaying the 1883 report of the Tuke committee. The purpose of the committee was to help Irish families emigrate to the United States and Canada.

The assisted migration scheme was a response to a famine situation in the late 1870s. Many of the families who availed of the scheme lived on holdings that were too small to be viable. The emigrants came from areas around Clifden, Oughterard, Belmullet and Newport. Their destinations were Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Quebec.

The fund provided clothing and money to help the migrants to settle in their adopted countries. The report stated:

“One thing is certain, that neither in the States nor in Canada, have any of the emigrants sent out by the Committee gone to swell the ranks of the ‘pauper invasion’ of which so much has been lately heard.”

To find out more, visit the digital exhibition of the documents in the display case.