Voyage of Mercy details the remarkable story of the mission that inspired America to donate massive relief to Ireland during the potato famine, which sparked America’s tradition of providing humanitarian aid around the world.
More than 5,000 ships left Ireland during the great potato famine in the late 1840s, transporting the starving and the destitute away from their stricken homeland. The first vessel to sail in the other direction, to help the millions unable to escape, was the USS Jamestown, a converted warship, which left Boston in March 1847 loaded with precious food for Ireland.
Unprecedented in size and scope, this was the first instance of an entire nation extending a hand to a foreign neighbor for purely humanitarian reasons. It showed the world that national generosity and brotherhood were not signs of weakness, but displays of quiet strength and moral certitude.
Stephen Puleo is an author, historian, teacher, public speaker, and communications professional. A former award-winning newspaper reporter and contributor of feature stories and book reviews to publications that include American History magazine, Politico, and the Boston Globe, Puleo has taught history at Suffolk University in Boston, and also has developed and taught numerous writing workshops for high school and college students, as well as for adults who aspire to be writers.
This program is made possible by the generous support of the Friends of the Walpole Public Library and is supported in part by a grant from the Walpole Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.