Ulster to America
The Scots-Irish Migration Experience, 1680–1830
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: The University of Tennessee Press
Title Page, Copyright
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Figures / Maps
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A project as large and complex as this one inevitably incurs many debts on its way to completion. It began as an affiliation among most of the authors in consulting with the professional staff of the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, Northern Ireland, about the expansion of its outdoor exhibits...
Introduction: From the North of Ireland to North America: The Scots-Irish and the Migration Experience
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American history, especially early American history, has long been narrated as a migration experience. The movement of English peoples to the portion of mainland North America that became the United States has traditionally dominated the story. The sites of English contact—Jamestown, Plymouth...
Searching for a New World: The Background and Baggage of Scots-Irish Immigrants
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What actually moves when someone migrates? If humans were no different from other species, we might be content to concern ourselves solely with the movement of the individual human being and be satisfied with a mere biological explanation of how and why that movement occurs: a description...
Searching for Land: The Role of New Castle, Delaware, 1720s–1770s
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After almost a century of emigration from Ireland to the West Indies and the Chesapeake Bay colonies, the eighteenth-century migration flow shifted to include New England, South Carolina, and the mid-Atlantic colonies of British North America. Beginning with the first wave in the late 1710s...
Searching for Order: Donegal Springs, Pennsylvania, 1720s–1730s
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In October 1727 Sidney Gamble Smith, wife of Samuel Smith, made the long journey from the Donegal settlement on the banks of the Susquehanna River to Philadelphia “on purpose” to explain to James Logan, agent for the Penn family, a disagreement about land on the Pennsylvania...
Searching for Community: Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 1750s–1780s
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In 1769 an anonymous writer in the Pennsylvania Chronicle sketched a picture of a potential Scotch-Irish, linen-making region in the Pennsylvania back-country. He had seen an advertisement for a proposed new town to be laid out on the Juniata River and took this as his starting...
Searching for Peace and Prosperity: Opequon Settlement, Virginia, 1730s–1760s
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Winter was spreading its hoary frosts and deep, cold silences across the Shenandoah Valley late in 1731 when a party of sixteen families—perhaps one hundred men, women, and children—arrived at the Opequon Creek in the marchlands of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley...
Searching for Status: Virginia’s Irish Tract, 1770s–1790s
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The first major literary depiction of the Scotch-Irish in the southern United States was the 1824 novel The Valley of the Shenandoah by George Tucker. In this landmark novel, a gentleman from a bankrupt coastal Virginia family travels to the interior of the commonwealth, searching for a way to improve...
Searching for Security: Backcountry Carolina, 1760s–1780s
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What images come most readily to mind when we think of early American colonies? Beyond the dockside where ships unloaded their cargoes and emigrant passengers (such as the one for Philadelphia recreated at the Ulster American Folk Park in Northern Ireland today), what was the landscape...
Searching for “Irish” Freedom—Settling for “Scotch-Irish” Respectability: Southwestern Pennsylvania, 1780–1810
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Most histories of Scots-Irish1 settlement in the New World end triumphantly with the American Revolution. In the half-century or so after the Revolution, however, many more Ulster Presbyterians (with other Irish immigrants) left Ireland for the United States than had journeyed to Britain’s North...
Searching for Independence: Revolutionary Kentucky, Irish American Experience, and Scotch-Irish Myth, 1770s–1790s
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When considering the early experience of migrants from Ireland to America, some places and dates quickly come to mind: Donegal, Pennsylvania, in the early 1720s; the Shenandoah in the 1740s; as well as Washington, Pennsylvania, in the 1790s. In each of these settings, men and women whom...
Afterword: Historic Political Moderation in the Ulster-to-America Diaspora
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The trek of Lowland Scots first to Elizabethan Ulster (beginning in the 1590s), of Ulster Scots to British colonial North America (peaking in the 1730s and 1740s), and the spread of the Scotch-Irish finally from Pennsylvania and the Virginia Piedmont into the Carolina backcountry (1750s–60s)...
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Page Count: 296
Illustrations: 2 graphs, 11 maps
Publication Year: 2011