Stephen Puleo to discuss 1st US humanitarian mission to Ireland in ‘Voyage of Mercy’ talk Dec. 1

·2 min read

Editor's note: This event has sold out.

WEYMOUTH – Historian Stephen Puleo, author of "Voyage of Mercy," will talk about the book at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, at the Tufts Library at 46 Broad St.

The book recounts America’s first humanitarian mission to help a starving Ireland during the potato famine of the 1840s.

The USS Jamestown,  a converted warship stripped of its guns, was committed to the peaceful delivery of food during the Irish famine.
The USS Jamestown, a converted warship stripped of its guns, was committed to the peaceful delivery of food during the Irish famine.

Puleo is a Weymouth resident, a prolific historian and a popular speaker on the South Shore.

The book is the seventh for Puleo, who also wrote about the Boston molasses flood in “Dark Tide.” He came across the story of the USS Jamestown, which took food to Ireland, while researching his book “A City So Grand: The Rise of an American Metropolis, Boston 1850-1900.”

Weymouth author and historian Stephen Puleo.
Weymouth author and historian Stephen Puleo.

"Voyage of Mercy: The USS Jamestown, the Irish Famine, and the Remarkable Story of America’s First Humanitarian Mission" chronicles how thousands of ships left Ireland in the late 1840s, transporting the starving and destitute from their homeland.

American generosity began here: Fred Hanson of The Patriot Ledger wrote about the book in 2020

The first to sail in the other direction was the USS Jamestown, a converted warship stripped of its guns and committed to the peaceful delivery of food, clothing and supplies.

The life-saving voyage originated from Boston and inspired thousands of other Americans to donate food and ships to the cause.

Heading the all-volunteer crew was Capt. Robert Bennet Forbes, of Milton.

Photo Gallery: Voyage of Mercy photos

To register for seating at Puleo's talk, send an email to OLLIreg@gmail.com with Voyage of Mercy in the subject line and the full names of the people who will attend.

The free in-person event is sponsored by the Osher Life Long Learning Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The institute has classes on the South Shore.

The institute fosters lifelong learning for adults age 50 and older. Most of its courses and activities are held at the Boston campus with supplementary courses offered at the Hingham Public Library and at Braintree’s Thayer Public Library.

The institute is funded in part by the Osher Foundation, which supports life-long learning institutes in all 50 states.

For more information, visit umb.edu/OLLI.

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This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Weymouth author Stephen Puleo to talk about his book 'Voyage of Mercy'

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