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The People with No Name

Ireland's Ulster Scots, America's Scots Irish, and the Creation of a British Atlantic World, 1689-1764

Patrick Griffin

Publication Year: 2012

More than 100,000 Ulster Presbyterians of Scottish origin migrated to the American colonies in the six decades prior to the American Revolution, the largest movement of any group from the British Isles to British North America in the eighteenth century. Drawing on a vast store of archival materials, The People with No Name is the first book to tell this fascinating story in its full, transatlantic context. It explores how these people--whom one visitor to their Pennsylvania enclaves referred to as ''a spurious race of mortals known by the appellation Scotch-Irish''--drew upon both Old and New World experiences to adapt to staggering religious, economic, and cultural change. In remarkably crisp, lucid prose, Patrick Griffin uncovers the ways in which migrants from Ulster--and thousands like them--forged new identities and how they conceived the wider transatlantic community.

The book moves from a vivid depiction of Ulster and its Presbyterian community in and after the Glorious Revolution to a brilliant account of religion and identity in early modern Ireland. Griffin then deftly weaves together religion and economics in the origins of the transatlantic migration, and examines how this traumatic and enlivening experience shaped patterns of settlement and adaptation in colonial America. In the American side of his story, he breaks new critical ground for our understanding of colonial identity formation and of the place of the frontier in a larger empire. The People with No Name will be indispensable reading for anyone interested in transatlantic history, American Colonial history, and the history of Irish and British migration.

Published by: Princeton University Press


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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-viii


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pp. ix-x


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pp. xi-xii

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pp. xiii-xviii

...and Society for Colonial Wars in the state of Illinois underwrote trips to the archives in Belfast and Derry. Northwestern University provided funds for research in Pennsylvania as well as a dissertation year fellowship, which allowed me to devote all my...

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Introduction: Identity in an Atlantic World

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pp. 1-8

...with the notable exception of those bound to the New World in slave ships. By sheer force of numbers, this earliest generation of migrants had a profound influence on the great transformations of the age. Even before they left Ulster, they contributed...

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Chapter One: The Transformation of Ulster Society in the Wake of the Glorious Revolution

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pp. 9-36

...members of England’s Parliament had urged William of Orange, protector of the United Provinces of the Low Countries and husband of James’s daughter Mary, to invade the country. James fled England for the Continent before William’s...

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Chapter Two: “Satan’s Sieve”: Crisis and Community in Ulster

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pp. 37-64

...state of their church and of their place in Irish society and a larger world. Their attempt to do so, however, did not lead to consensus but to conflict. Indeed, in these years Ulster’s men and women articulated two incompatible programs...

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Chapter Three: “On the Wing for America”: Ulster Presbyterian Migration, 1718–1729

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pp. 65-98

...alarmed at the growing scale of migration, fearing that as northern Presbyterians sailed to the New World, the Protestant cause in Ireland would suffer. Carteret instructed the Lords Justices of the kingdom, those officials chosen to oversee Irish...

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Chapter Four: “The Very Scum of Mankind”: Settlement and Adaptation in a New World

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pp. 99-124

...beheld “large stretches of even country with woods.” Looking west in the distance, if the day were clear, they could make out “many high mountains, especially the Blue Mountains” covered with “tall and exceedingly beautiful cedar...

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Chapter Five: “Melted Down in the Heavenly Mould”: Responding to a Changing Frontier

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pp. 125-156

...false security that comforted most, indeed nearly all, of Pennsylvania’s Presbyterians. The gravest challenge he faced was bringing the message to those who “contented themselves with...

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Chapter Six: “The Christian White Savages of Peckstang and Donegall”: Surveying the Frontiers of an Atlantic World

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pp. 157-174

...more settled, some of the sons and daughters of original settlers struck out south for the back parts of Virginia. Others crossed the mountains to take their chances on Indian lands...


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pp. 175-222


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pp. 223-238


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pp. 239-244

E-ISBN-13: 9781400842896
E-ISBN-10: 1400842891
Print-ISBN-13: 9780691074627
Print-ISBN-10: 0691074623

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: Core Textbook

OCLC Number: 775441368
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The People with No Name

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Scots-Irish -- United States -- History -- 18th century.
  • Scots-Irish -- United States -- History -- 17th century.
  • Scots -- Ulster (Northern Ireland and Ireland) -- History.
  • Scots -- Ulster (Northern Ireland and Ireland) -- Migrations -- History.
  • Presbyterians -- Ulster (Northern Ireland and Ireland) -- History.
  • Ulster (Northern Ireland and Ireland) -- Emigration and immigration -- History.
  • United States -- Emigration and immigration -- History.
  • United States -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
  • Great Britain -- Colonies -- America -- History -- 18th century.
  • Great Britain -- Colonies -- America -- History -- 17th century.
  • British -- Atlantic Ocean Region -- History -- 17th century.
  • British -- Atlantic Ocean Region -- History -- 18th century.
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