By John P. Greene
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Extra resources for Between Damnation and Starvation: Priests and Merchants in Newfoundland Politics, 1745-1855
25 It is clear, however, that by the mid-i8305 Anglicans were barely 35 per cent of the population, a marked decline from the middle of the eighteenth century when they accounted for almost the entire population of the colony. The arrival of Wesleyan preachers in 1764 and the influx of large numbers of Irish immigrants in the second half of the century had begun the process of Anglican decline, and the trend accelerated with the founding of the Roman Catholic Church in 1784. 26 They influenced their congregations to such an extent that their nonevangelical brethren became alarmed and denied them use of their chapels.
Only two other communities had populations near the 1000 mark while there were hundreds of little villages with populations ranging from one fishing crew to 900 persons. About 95 per cent of the people depended directly on the fishery. Farming had not yet become a large-scale operation. Newfoundland imported all food, clothing, and fishery supplies. If, for any reason, the fishery failed, destitution often occurred. On those occasions hunger had taken its usual toll, with hundreds dying from respiratory diseases.
Farming had not yet become a large-scale operation. Newfoundland imported all food, clothing, and fishery supplies. If, for any reason, the fishery failed, destitution often occurred. On those occasions hunger had taken its usual toll, with hundreds dying from respiratory diseases. The remaining people were thrown upon the resources of the government, which normally instituted emergency relief measures in the form of public subscriptions, make-work projects, and distribution of potatoes. 3 In the best of times, fishermen delivered their catches to merchants or their agents in return for the necessities of life and for supplies to be used in the coming seasons.
Between Damnation and Starvation: Priests and Merchants in Newfoundland Politics, 1745-1855 by John P. Greene