HANDS AND HEARTS.
Title:Hands and Hearts
Publication:The Bolton Chronicle
Date:15th November 1862
Keywords:famine, hunger, industry
This poem from the pages of Punch contrasts the North and South of England, first detailing the situation of the deserving poor in the North (hands ‘for labour, / Not for alms, stretched forth’) and then the compassionate poor of the South: ‘Humble hearts whose mite is ready, / Hungrier mouths to feed’. This is a reference to the New Testament ‘lesson of the widow’s mite’ (a ‘mite’ was the smallest denomination of Jewish currency in Judea) and there is a suggestion that help would easily be forthcoming if only the mechanism to provide that help were improved. One of the problems of Cotton Famine relief efforts was the scale and rapidity of the effects of the distress, and the simple logistics of collecting and distributing materials to hundreds of thousands of people across a region. – SR