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A transformative work that explodes assumptions about the importance of the Great Irish Potato Famine to Irish immigration.
In this major study, Lucille Campey traces the relocation of around ninety thousand Irish people to their new homes in Atlantic Canada. She shatters the widespread misconception that the exodus was primarily driven by dire events in Ireland. The Irish immigration saga is not solely about what happened during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s; it began a century earlier.
Although they faced great privations and had to overcome many obstacles, the Irish actively sought the better life that Atlantic Canada offered. Far from being helpless exiles lacking in ambition who went lemming-like to wherever they were told to go, the Irish grabbed their opportunities and prospered in their new home.
Campey gives these settlers a voice. Using wide-ranging documentary sources, she provides new insights about why the Irish left and considers why they chose their various locations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland. She highlights how, through their skills and energy, they benefitted themselves and contributed much to the development of Atlantic Canada.
This is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the history of the Irish exodus to North America and provides a mine of information useful to family historians.