Black ’47

Published in Issue 4 (July/August 2018), Letters, Volume 26

Sir,—Emily Mark-Fitzgerald (HI 26.3, May/June 2018, What’s On Film) has got both the quotation and the attribution to A.M. Sullivan wrong. The actual sentence from a Times of London editorial of 1847, which I read myself while researching a short biography of Terence Bellew McManus in the late ’60s, reads: ‘Thanks to a bountiful providence, the Irishman on the banks of the Shannon will soon be as rare a sight as the Red Indian on the banks of the Hudson’.—Yours etc.,



A search of the digitised Times archive of 1847 fails to yield that quotation; its origin is rather contested. For more on its ‘genealogy’, readers (and Mr McAlister) are referred to John Simpson’s ‘Vengeance and the shores of Manhattan’ (




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