The Potato Famine

The Potato Famine

My name is Seamus O'Malley and I emigrated to the United States of America due to the horrible potato famine Ireland is facing, I am better known as a "potato famine" immigrant. I am writing this journal entry in an effort to inform others and shed some light on the struggle we Irish immigrants had to survive in coming to, and surviving in this new world.

October 10, 1845

Beginning last month many of us noticed that the potato plants seemed to be doing poorly, the leaves on the plants all of a sudden started turning black and wilting, then began rotting, which caused a foul stench across the hills of Ireland. This plague ruined a significant amount of Ireland's crops. My family depended on potatoes as a main source of food and income, as did most other families. In an attempt to ride out this strange and difficult time, my father and mother decided to ration our food, but with six hungry and starving children, this solution unfortunately did not last very long. We O'Malley's were not the only family struggling to survive, our neighbors and the rest of the country were all in the same position. Eventually people began to die of starvation and as feared, this famine brought illness and death into my family: my Aunt Molly; my three friends Sean, Colin, and Aidan; both sets of grandparents; and my two of my younger brothers Joseph and Shane. This left only the six of us at home to deal with the pain and loss of our loved ones. This was my family's breaking point in the struggle to deal with this famine, and motivated us, along with thousands of others, with the desire to leave Ireland. It was just about two years later that my family decided to take a chance and head for America.

August 23, 1847

Today has finally come; my family and I are leaving Ireland to go to America, to start our new lives in someplace called Boston, Massachusetts. Once we boarded the ship I was very excited about the thought of what opportunities lay in store for us once...

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