Boston Pilot 31st January, 1846
The following communications, have been forwarded to us by the committee for publication. They present the most gratifying prospect yet afforded with respect to the probable consequences and progress of the potato disease. In strictness we should say that one letter presents those gratifying features – that of Mr. Gregory of Coole, father of the representative for Dublin. That gentleman’s station and character are guarantees for the perfect truth of this consoling announcement;
27th December, 1845
I have to apologise for not replying immediately to your communication, dated the 10th inst. I was, however, unwilling to answer your queries from my own individual judgment, without endeavouring to obtain the best information I could procure from those most able in this neighbourhood to give it. Among such I have carefully considered the evidence I have received from tenant farmers, and now that the panic has ceased, I am more likely to ascertain the truth than when I had last the honor of addressing your lordship.
1st Query – I am happy to be enabled to state that a most favorable change in the potato crop has taken place since my last letter, inasmuch as the disease is not on the increase.
2nd – I wish particularly to make this addition to my former letter – that in the return of the police constable of the Kinvara district, every potato was enumerated as bad in the percentage I had the honor to enclose, which had the last appearance of taint upon it, the greatest portion of these were perfectly available for human food, but from the rapid progress of the disease at that time, I considered it my duty to send you the actual number of the potatoes affected, without note or comment, as we entertained but little hope of the disease being so mercifully averted.
3rd – Presuming the potatoes now in pit to remain as sound as I hear they are at present, I have no reason to dread a deficiency of the potato food in the immediate neighbourhood.
4th – for fear of inaccuracy I must decline replying to this question but as an index to the state of opinion, I have to inform you that the price of potatoes in Gort market on Saturday was 2 1/2d per stone, and that the contract entered into yesterday by the Poor Law Guardians of the Gort Union was for a supply of sound potatoes at 4d per stone, for the next three months.
I have the honor to be, my Lord, your obedient servant,