Ireland Recognizes 1847 Gift from Choctaw Nation During Potato Famine

In 1847, less than 16 years after the Trail of Tears, the all but penniless Choctaw Nation donated $170 – nearly $5,000 today – to complete strangers starving in the Irish Potato Famine. 168 years later, the Irish have not forgotten.

During the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s, more than a million people perished in Ireland when a blight decimated potato crops that served as the primary food source for almost half the population, but primarily the rural poor.

Scheduled to be unveiled in May in Bailic Park in Middleton, a small town of 12,000 not far from Ireland’s southern coast in County Cork, a plaque in the middle of the structure will detail how in 1847, the impoverished Choctaw Nation was able to scrape together $170 to send to Ireland to help feed starving people. The sum would be close to $5,000 in today’s money.

But it’s not the size of the long-ago gift that resonates with Irish nationals today, but the sacrifice required to make it.

You can read more in an article by Adam Kemp in the NewsOK web site at http://newsok.com/article/5403735.

4 Comments

Choctaw

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I guess the Choctaw also knew how it felt to have their land, language, and leaders taken away, pushed farther and farther west, and forced to live on very little.

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I am so glad to learn of this event – something too few in our country know about. this should get wide attention. And What a beautiful monument. The artist should surely get many accolades. The gift, the story, the ongoing connection, this delicate monument of enduring steel, Amazing in every way i can think of.

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Reblogged this on familytreegirldotcom and commented:
This is so interesting but also amazing. How the Choctaw helped the Irish overseas but then held slaves in America. Well I am thankful that they did for my Irish ancestors of course appreciate it. Thanks for blogging this Dick Eastman with the Eastman Online Genealogy Newsletter, it is always my pleasure to share and acknowledge your information and commitment to genealogy.

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