Join the National Parks of Boston, the USS Constitution Museum, the USS Constitution, and Boston Harbor Now at the USS Constitution Museum on March 16, 2020, from 6 – 8 pm, to celebrate the official launch of author Stephen Puleo’s new book Voyage of Mercy: The USS Jamestown, the Irish Famine, and the Remarkable Story of America’s First Humanitarian Mission.
The event, including author talk, book signing, and reception with traditional Irish music, is free and open to the public.
The USS Jamestown, a converted sloop-of-war, left Charlestown Navy Yard in March 1847 to deliver humanitarian aid to Ireland which was then in the grip of the devastating Potato Famine. This extraordinary voyage–with ties to Charlestown Navy Yard and the people of Boston–marked the first official US foreign aid mission authorized by Congress. At the time of departure, Charlestown Navy Yard, established in 1800 and one of the first of six Navy Yards in the country, was a regular departure point for ships sailing out on missions of war. The Jamestown mission was different; it was a remarkable mission of goodwill that lay the foundation for the next century and a half of US foreign aid missions.
Author Stephen Puleo is known for his historical nonfiction, including Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 and American Treasures: The Secret Efforts to Save the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address. In Voyage of Mercy, he effectively describes the horrors of Ireland’s Potato Famine, which have been described as the greatest humanitarian crisis in nineteenth century Europe. In the face of this ecological and humanitarian catastrophe, Puleo relates how average men and women in the US organized relief in the form of vital food supplies to be delivered out of Boston and sent across the Atlantic.
We hope you will join us at the USS Constitution Museum for this book launch, which sheds light on a little-known nineteenth-century humanitarian mission. A book signing and a reception with live Irish music follow the author talk. Copies of Voyage of Mercy will be available for purchase. This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. To reserve a space, voyageofmercy.eventbrite.com. For information about the event, call 617-242-5642.