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After the second failure of the potato crop in Ireland in 1846, relief efforts began in earnest in the United States. This newspaper reports that substantial amounts of money had been raised in many cities. The amounts in this report add up to $80,752 plus 200 bushels of corn. In 1847, in response to appeals from citizens of Boston, Massachusetts, and New York, New York, the Congress of the United States authorized the Secretary of the Navy to allow the use of USS Jamestown and USS Macedonian by two merchant captains. Using U.S. Navy ships by private crews was very unusual. In response to a comment about this, Captain Forbes, who would pilot the Jamestown, declared "it is not an everyday matter to see a nation starving."