Emigrant-landing in New York, Harper's Weekly, 1858
The potato blight hit Ireland in the late summer of 1845, but it wasn't until the next year that the fallout became apparent. The already crowded ships became increasingly cramped as more and more people made the decision to emigrate. Ships began to sail year-round instead of seasonally, and many people chose to risk traveling in poor weather over the prospect of starvation at home.
Beginning in 1846, the flow of immigrants to the Brandywine region dramatically increased. Three quarters of the passages booked through DuPont were ordered between 1845 and 1855. The Irish community that had already been established during the pre-Famine years banded together to bring over one thousand immigrants to the Brandywine in less than a decade.
By the early 1850s, DuPont had begun to sell pre-paid passage tickets on behalf of George McHenry and Company. In addition to arranging passages for their own workers, DuPont also sold passage tickets to other local residents.
The company was still placing advertisements for passage certificates and drafts in newspapers such as the Delaware Republican as late as 1857. However, the flow of emigration, at least in the form of pre-paid passage certificates, had waned considerably by the middle of the decade. The last passenger list in DuPont's records dates to 1855 and lists just twenty people who purchased passages through Robert Taylor & Company between August 1854 and April 1855.