All Standing: The Remarkable Story of the Jeanie Johnston, The Legendary Irish Famine Ship

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Simon and Schuster, Jan 8, 2013 - History - 256 pages
3 Reviews
All Standing The Remarkable Story of the Jeanie Johnston, the Legendary Irish Famine Ship recounts the journeys of this famous ship, her heroic crew, and the immigrants who were ferried between Ireland and North America. Spurred by a complex web of motivations—shame, familial obligation, and sometimes even greed—more than a million people attempted to flee the Irish famine. More than one hundred thousand of them would die aboard one of the five thousand aptly named “coffin ships.” But in the face of horrific losses, a small ship named the Jeanie Johnston never lost a passenger. Shipwright John Munn, community leader Nicholas Donovan, Captain James Attridge, Dr. Richard Blennerhassett, and the efforts of a remarkable crew allowed thousands of people to find safety and fortune throughout the United States and Canada.

Why did these individuals succeed when so many others failed? What prompted them to act, when so many people preferred to do nothing—or worse? Using newspaper accounts, rare archival documents, and her own experience sailing as an apprentice aboard the recently re-created Jeanie Johnston, Kathryn Miles tells the story of these extraordinary people and the revolutionary milieu in which they set sail. The tale of each individual is remarkable in and of itself; read collectively, their stories paint a unique portrait of bravery in the face of a new world order. Theirs is a story of ingenuity and even defiance, one that recounts a struggle to succeed, to shake the mantle of oppression and guilt, to endure in the face of unimaginable hardship. On more than one occasion, stewards of the ship would be accused of acting out of self-interest or greed. Nevertheless, what these men—and their ship—accomplished over the course of eleven voyages to North America was the stuff of legend.

Interwoven in their tale is the story of Nicholas Reilly, a baby boy born on the ship’s maiden voyage. The Reilly family climbed aboard the Jeanie Johnston in search of the American Dream. While they would find some version of that dream, it would not be without a struggle—one that would deposit Nicholas into a deeply controversial moment in American history. Against this backdrop, Miles weaves a thrilling, intimate narrative, chronicling the birth of a remarkable Irish-American family in the face of one of the planet’s greatest human rights atrocities.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - muddyboy - LibraryThing

This is a compact history (just over 200 pages) about the Irish potato famine focusing on the people who attempted to leave the island and the "coffin ships" they sailed on because of the high death ... Read full review

All Standing: The Remarkable Story of the Jeanie Johnston, the Legendary Irish Famine Ship

User Review  - Megan H. Fraser - Book Verdict

The Jeanie Johnston is credited with never losing a passenger in the years it carried Irish emigrants desperate to escape the potato famine and typhus epidemic in the 1840s and '50s. The ship is the ... Read full review

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Contents

11
66
12
71
13
77
14
84
15
96
16
104
17
110
1
114
Departures
177
Minneapolis Minnesota December 1886
187
April 1900
202
The Final Test
208
The Gathering Storm A Great Hunger Ships Colonies and Commerce
215
Dominion Phoenix Rising Ships Fever
216
Discord on Downing Street Visitations from a Vengeful God A Course for Disaster 8 1
217
Pestilence and Plague An Audacious Plan Signing
218

2
115
3
118
Adrift
122
7
125
contents
126
Clearances
130
Crossing the Bar
138
No Irish Need Apply
144
Steaming Ahead
155
Fergus Falls Minnesota August 26 1885
162
The Peoples Physician Fare Thee Well Silver Creek Michigan February 25 1879
219
Dead Reckoning Quarantine Passing Customs xi
220
Acknowledgments
225
xiii
227
26
228
62
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66
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10
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114
236
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Kathryn Miles is a professor of environmental writing at Unity College. She is the author of Adventures With Ari and dozens of articles that have appeared in publications, including Alimentum, Best American Essays, Ecotone, Flyway, Meatpaper, and Terrain. She lives—and sails—in Belfast, Maine.

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