SCARCE 1817 CIRCULAR ADVOCATING A GRANT OF LAND IN ILLINOIS- AS A “HABITATION” FOR IRISH IMMIGRANTS
(MOFFITT, James). [Printed circular letter]. It is a sentiment long felt, and often expressed, that something should be undertaken on behalf of Emigrants… (New York: no printer, dated Nov. 18, 1817). Folded half-sheet, measuring 15-3/4 by 10-1/4 inches; pp. . $1600.
First edition of this printed circular advocating public support of a petition to Congress for a grant of land in the Illinois Territory, “where the Irish Emigrant might procure to himself immediate shelter and subsistence.”
“Irish immigrants presented a particular problem. They were often illiterate and impoverished” (Smith III, 746-47). In response to the degradation of Irish immigrants in the port cities, this open letter (signed in type by James Moffitt and ten others) seeks public support for a petition to Congress aimed at establishing a safe haven in Illinois where Irish immigrants could settle-rather than “remain in the sea-ports, until becoming victims of bad counsel, and bad example, they lose the pure and honest energies with which they left their native land, and suffer worse than shipwreck in the ruin of their moral qualities.” Not in Shaw & Shoemaker.
Manuscript docketing in contemporary hand. A few short marginal tears along folds. Scarce.