The 23 of March 1847 the Choctaw Indian nation took up a collection. They had been moved by the news of the famine in Ireland.

This famine  had began long before 1847 and had now reached itīs height. 734 000 Irish people were forced into labour in public work projects to receive food. By the survivors that year is referred to as the "Blackī47".

When the people in USA heard  about the famine in news papers and later on from immigrants arriving to America from Ireland. Many of these immigrantes helped family members and friends by sending money or ship tickets. There were also formed different relief committees to solicit donations from the general public, or charitable societies and churches. (also from businesses and synagogues)

When the famine ended in the early 1850īs millions in cash and goods had been sent to Ireland.

What made the donation from the Choctaws so special?

It was the fact that they among four other tribes (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole) had survived the Trail of Tears a long and horrible trek to Oklahoma, were they were forced to live. These nations were forced by the goverment to abandon their lands, home and ancestors because of the settlers that arrived to U.S. More than half perished from the exposure, malnutrion and diseases.

The Trail of Tears took place 16 years before the Choctaw decided to help the Irish people. The amount the collected was $170 and they fowarded it to the U.S. famine relief organization. In todays value it is a rather large about a million dollars.

This donation started a bound between the Choctaws and the Irish. For many of the Choctaw nation this is more than just a "historical fact"

                                              "These two photos were taken in Ireland on a walk to commemarat the famin"

                                                "Click on image to view a larger version"


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