Notes - Scotch-Irish in America

Source:The Scotch-Irish in America
Author:Samuel Swett Green

[1] For acknowledgments regarding the sources of information contained in this paper, not made in footnotes, read the Bibliographical note at its end.

[2] The Scotch-Irish, as I understand the meaning of the term, are Scotchmen who emigrated to Ireland and such descendants of these emigrants as had not through intermarriage with the Irish proper, or others, lost their Scotch characteristics. Both emigrants and their descendants, if they remained long in Ireland, experienced certain changes, apart from those which are brought about by mixture of blood, through the influence of new surroundings.

[3] Harrison, John. The Scot in Ulster, p. I.

[4] Macintosh in The Making of the Ulsterman, Second Scotch-Irish Congress, p. 89.

[5] Harrison, p. 34.

[6] Harrison, p. 36.

[7] Ibid., p. 84.

[8] Ibid., pp. 83 and 84. See, too, Petty, Sir William. Political Survey of Ireland in 1672, pp. 9, 18, 20 (as quoted by Harrison).

[9] Lecky, W. E. H. Hist. of England in the 18th Century, Vol. II., p. 400. Amer. ed., p. 436. “In 1715 Archbishop Synge” (Synge’s Letters, British Museum Add. MSS., 6, 117, p. 50) “estimated at not less than 50,000 the number of Scotch families who had settled in Ulster since the Revolution.”—Lecky, p. 401. Am. ed., p. 436.

[10] Harrison, p. 79.

[11] Macaulay’s History of England, Chap. XII.

[12] Leland’s History of Ireland, Vol. III., p. 448.

[13] Harrison, p. 85. See, also, Macpherson’s History of Commerce, Vol. III., p. 621, referred to by Harrison.

[14] Ibid., p. 88. Lecky, v. 2, pp. 210 and 211. Am. ed., pp. 229 and 230.

[15] “Most of the great evils of Irish politics during the last two centuries have arisen from the fact that its different classes and creeds have never been really blended into one nation, that the repulsion of race or of religion has been stronger than the attraction of a common nationality, and that the full energies and intellect of the country have in consequence seldom or never been enlisted in a common cause.”—Lecky, Vol. II., p. 405. Am. ed., pp.440 and 441. Travellers tell us that to-day in sections of Ulster the population is Scotch and not Irish. Honorable Leonard A. Morrison of Canobie Lake, N. H., writes me, May 8, 1895, as follows: “I am one of Scotch-Irish blood and my ancestor came with Rev. McGregor of Londonderry” (N. H.), “and neither they nor any of their descendants were willing to be called ‘merely Irish.’ I have twice visited the parish of Aghadowey, Co. Londonderry, from which they came, in Ireland, and all that locality is filled, not with ‘Irish’ but with Scotch-Irish, and this is pure Scotch blood to-day, after more than 200 years.” Mr. Morrison is the author of a history of the Scotch-Irish town of Windham, N. H., and of several other valuable and interesting books, most of them largely genealogical.

[16] “At the time of the Revolution, when great portions of the country lay waste and when the whole framework of society was shattered, much Irish land had been let on lease at very low rents to English, and especially to Scotch Protestants. About 1717 and 1718 these leases began to fall in. Rents were usually doubled, and often trebled … For nearly three-quarters of a century the drain of this energetic Protestant population continued.”—Lecky, Vol. 2, p. 260. Amer, ed., pp. 283, 284.

[17] Harrison, pp. 90, 91. Reid, James. History of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Ch. XXVI. Lecky, v. 2, p. 261. Am. ed., pp. 284 and 285. (Lecky refers to Killen’s Ecclesiastical History, II., 261, 262.)

[18] Perry, Arthur L. The Scotch-Irish in New England. In Scotch-Irish in America, Second Congress, p. 109.

[19] Scotch-Irish in America, Second Congress, p. 111, comp. with p. 110.

[20] Lincoln’s History of Worcester, p. 40 (which gives the Proprietary Records as its authority).

[21] See, particularly for Pelham, Holland. J. G. History of Western Massachusetts.

[22] According to tradition, the potato was introduced into Worcester by one of a few families of Celtic-Irish who accompanied the Scotch-Irish when they went to Worcester. Although the potato is indigenous in the southern portion of America and was carried from this continent to Europe in the 16th century, little or nothing seems to have been known about it in New England when the band of Scotch-Irish came to Boston in 1718. Some interesting stories are told by Lincoln in his History of Worcester (p. 49), and by Parker in his History of Londonderry, N. H. (p. 49), about the fears of early settlers of Worcester Massachusetts, that the potato was poisonous; and about ignorance of the character of the vegetable, shown by settlers in Andover in their cooking the balls of the plant instead of the tubers. See, also, Lewis’s History of Lynn, Massachusetts, “Annals,” year 1718. The potato does not seem to have been generally used in Ireland until many years after 1718. Naturally the common potato, having been introduced by emigrants from Ireland, came to be quite generally denominated the Irish potato, to distinguish it from the sweet potato. That name is used to a considerable extent to-day.

[23] Parker’s History of Londonderry, p. 248.

[24] Ibid., pp. 247, 248.

[25] Honorable Edward L. Pierce calls my attention to Winsor’s Memorial History of Boston, Vol. 2, p. 540, where it is stated that our “Captain Robert Temple came over in 1717 with a number of Scotch-Irish emigrants.”

[26] The Londonderry Celebration, p. 16.

[27] Parker, Edward L. The History of Londonderry, p. 99.

[28] For an account of the work done in America under the auspices of Sir William Alexander, see Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, for the year 1892, Vol. X., Section 2, pp. 79–107.

[29] Parker’s Londonderry, p. 200.

[30] Miller, Thomas. Historical and Genealogical Record of the first settlers of Colchester County, etc., p. 167.

[31] Miller, p. 15.

[32] Patterson, George. History of the County of Pictou, Nova Scotia, p. 82.

[33] 3d Scotch-Irish Cong., p. 210.

[34] This statement and several particulars of the incidents in the lives of Carleton and Montgomery given immediately after were taken from a paper entitled The Scotch-Irish in Canada, by Rev. Stuart Acheson, M.A., of Toronto, in The Scotch-Irish in America, Third Cong., pp. 195–212. John Armstrong, the writer of the life of Richard Montgomery in The Library of American Biography, conducted by Jared Sparks, states that Richard and his two brothers were sons of Thomas Montgomery of Conroy House. The father does not seem to have owned that place, however; it came to his son Alexander from his cousin. (See Burke’s Landed Gentry [1886], Vol. II., p. 1288.) The late Mr. Henry Manners Chichester states in the article “Montgomery, Richard,” in Dictionary of National Biography, that the latter was born at Swords, near Feltrim, Co. Dublin. One cannot help wondering whether Mr. Acheson, if he has not merely followed Armstrong or some other biographer, has not confounded Richard Montgomery with his elder brother Alexander. The suspicion arises readily because cruel acts said to have been performed in Canada by Alexander Montgomery were ascribed to Richard (see Montcalm and Wolfe, by Francis Parkman, Vol. II., p. 261). Of course it is not impossible that the statement of Mr. Acheson, although it may not be strictly true, leaves a correct impression, for Richard Montgomery may have spent considerable portions of his younger days with his brother at Conroy. For Richard Montgomery see, as above, Montgomery of Beaulieu, Burke’s Landed Gentry (1886), Vol. II., p. 1288. See, also, “Ancestry of General Richard Montgomery,” by Thomas H. Montgomery, in the “New York Genealogical and Biographical Record” (July, 1871), where, it is stated, his relationship to the ancestral Scottish family is traced. For Guy Carleton, see Burke’s Peerage, under Lord Dorchester. It is very difficult to be perfectly accurate, with information now readily accessible, in respect to statements regarding the Scotch-Irish, and it is evident that men who came from the north of Ireland, or descendants from such persons, have been not infrequently claimed as of Scotch extraction, without sufficient investigation, and when they had but little Scotch blood. Many of the Presbyterians of the north of Ireland were of Huguenot, Welsh, English, and other extractions. I have taken reasonable pains to be accurate, but cannot hope that I have been perfectly so. Two things are evident, however, namely, that very large numbers of emigrants from Ireland of Scotch blood came to this country in the 18th century, and that they exerted a great influence here for good, particularly in the Southern Middle and Southern Atlantic States. It may also be added, without disparagement of the good qualities of men of other extractions, that the powerful and beneficent influence which they exerted was largely the result of peculiarly Scottish characteristics. It is also not improbable that many persons without Scotch blood in their veins came from being trained in childhood and boyhood in Scotch communities, to have what we recognize as Scotch characteristics.

[35] Scotch-Irish in America, Third Cong., p. 202. (Paper by Stuart Acheson.) The writer would seem to have been mistaken in supposing that Montgomery was killed by shot fired from the guns of Fort Diamond on the summit of the citadel.

[36] Baird, Rev. Robert, Religion in the United States of America, p. 154, as referred to by Campbell, Vol. II., p. 484.

[37] Professor George Macloskie in Scotch-Irish in America, Third Cong., p. 97.

[38] Macloskie, in First Scotch-Irish Congress, p. 95. Professor Macloskie speaks of Logan as a Scotch-Irish Quaker who was “a native of County Armagh, Ireland.”

[39] The Scotch-Irish in Western Pennsylvania. John Dalzell, in Second Scotch-Irish Congress, p. 175.

[40] The Scotch-Irish of the South, by William Wirt Henry, in First Scotch-Irish Congress, pp. 123, 124.

[41] Ramsay as quoted by Henry, First Cong. of the Scotch-Irish, p. 125.

[42] “His” (Houston’s) “ancestors on his father’s and mother’s side are traced back to the Highlands of Scotland.” They emigrated to the north of Ireland. “Here they remained until the siege of Derry, in which they were engaged, when they emigrated to Pennsylvania.”—D. C. Kelley in Scotch-Irish in America, Second Congress, p. 145.

[43] From this town came the ancestors of the late Douglas Campbell, a descendant of one of the defenders of Londonderry, Ireland, whose recently published work, The Puritan in England, Holland and America, has attracted considerable attention. The last chapter of his volumes is an interesting summary of much that has become known about the Scotch-Irish in the United States.—See Campbell, Vol. II., p. 482, note. American Ancestry. (J. Munsell’s Sons.) Vol. 8, 1893, p. 156.

[44] Parker (p. 239) says that Archibald Stark, the father of William and John Stark, was, like many of the early emigrants to Londonderry, N. H., “a native of Scotland, and emigrated while young to Londonderry in Ireland.”

[45] Parker, p. 104.

[46] W. W. Henry, in Scotch-Irish in America, First Cong., p. 118.

[47] William Wirt Henry writes in the article “Henry, Patrick,” in Appleton’s Cyclopædia of American Biography, of Patrick Henry: “His father, John Henry, was a Scotchman, son of Alexander Henry and Jean Robertson, a cousin of the historian William Robertson and of the mother of Lord Brougham.”

[48] Henry in First Scotch-Irish Cong., p. 118.

[49] Narrative and Critical History of America, Ed. by Justin Winsor, v. 6, pp. 256, 257, note.

[50] Professor Henry Alexander White, in Scotch-Irish in America, Second Cong., p. 232.

[51] Parker, p. 186.

[52] This anecdote appears in a number of places. (See, e. g., Craighead’s Scotch and Irish Seeds, etc., p. 334.) It may be found with the particular turn given to it here in The Scotch-Irish in America, First Cong., pp. 182, 183, in an address by Colonel A. K. M’Clure, of Philadelphia.

[53] Professor George Macloskie, Princeton College, to whom Campbell declares himself indebted for the information given. See Campbell, Vol. II., p. 487 (note). See, also, The Scotch-Irish in America, First Congress, p. 95.

[54] Scotch-Irish in America, First Cong., p. 123.

[55] Froude says: “But throughout the revolted colonies, and, therefore, probably in the first to begin the struggle, all evidence shows that the foremost, the most irreconcilable, the most determined in pushing the quarrel to the last extremity, were the Scotch-Irish whom the bishops and Lord Donegal and Company had been pleased to drive out of Ulster.”—The English in Ireland in the 18th Century, by J. A. Froude, Vol. II., p. 141 (English ed.).

[56] Parker, p. 106.

[57] Parker quotes from an unnamed writer the following words as written about the troops under Colonels Stark and Reed at Bunker Hill: “Almost every soldier equalled William Tell as a marksman, and could aim his weapon at an opposer with as keen a relish. Those from the frontiers had gained this address against the savages and beasts of the forests.”—Parker’s History of Londonderry, p. 106.

[58] William Wirt Henry in First Scotch-Irish Congress, p. 119. Lossing’s Pictorial Field Book of the Revolution, Vol. I., p. 62.

[59] Hon. George F. Hoar.

[60] Mr. Reuben G. Thwaites, Secretary of The State Historical Society of Wisconsin, writes to the author of this paper, as follows:—“According to all family traditions, John Clark, great-grandfather of George Rogers Clark, came to Virginia in 1630, from the southwest part of Scotland. According to one tradition, a few years later, he visited friends in Maryland, and married there ‘a red-haired Scotch woman.’ George Rogers Clark himself, had ‘sandy’ hair; another tradition has it, that the woman was a Dane. Their one son, William John, died early, leaving two sons, John([2) and Jonathan. Jonathan was a bachelor, and left his estate to his brother’s son, John([3). One of William John’s daughters married a Scotch settler, McCloud, and their daughter married John Rogers, father of the Ann Rogers who married John Clark([4), her cousin, and thus she became the mother of George Rogers Clark. So George Rogers Clark had Scotch ancestry on both sides of the house.”

[61] See Life and Correspondence of Henry Knox, etc., by Francis S. Drake, Boston, 1873, pp. 8, 9.

[62] American Ancestry, Vol. VI., 1891, p. 52.

[63] General Anthony Wayne, the brave hero of Stony Point, is commonly spoken of as a Scotch-Irishman. His father was born in Wicklow County, Ireland. There was a tradition in the family that the Waynes were of Welsh origin. They may have intermarried with persons of Scotch blood, however. (See American Ancestry, Vol. IV., p. 75.) General John Sullivan of Maine and New Hampshire, older brother of Governor James Sullivan of Massachusetts, is sometimes claimed as a Scotch-Irishman. He certainly was Irish, but I do not find that he was Scotch also. In Craighead’s Scotch and Irish Seeds in American Soil, Rev. Dr. Smith is quoted as saying that General Morgan, the hero of Cowpens, and General Pickens, who made the arrangements for that battle, were “both Presbyterian elders,” and that “nearly all under their command were Presbyterians.” (p. 312.) Dr. Smith is also quoted as saying, that “in the battle of King’s Mountain, Colonel Campbell” and several other high officers were Presbyterian elders, and that “the body of their troops were collected from Presbyterian settlements.” (p. 342.) General Wayne is mentioned as a Presbyterian, (p. 340.) Of course there were many Presbyterians not of Scotch or Scotch-Irish blood, but men of those races who emigrated to America and their families were for the most part of that denomination. The picturesque Kentuckian, Daniel Boone, is often spoken of as a Scotch-Irishman. It is well known that the late Lyman C. Draper had unusual facilities for finding out the truth in regard to the Boones. Mr. Reuben G. Thwaites writes me from Madison, Wisconsin, as follows: “Daniel Boone’s father was of pure English stock, from Devonshire; his mother, Sarah Morgan, was a Welsh Quaker. Draper’s notes clearly indicate that he discarded the Scotch-Irish theory regarding Sarah.”

[64] Campbell, Vol. II., p. 487.

[65] Ibid., p. 481, note.

[66] Christopher Raymond Perry, the father of Oliver Hazard Perry, met his future wife when confined as a prisoner of war at Newry, Ireland. She was a granddaughter of “James Wallace, an officer in the Scotch army and a signer of the Solemn League and Covenant” who “fled in 1660 with others, from County Ayr to the north of Ireland.”—Our Naval Heroes, by D. C. Kelley, in The Scotch-Irish in America, Fifth Congress, p. 115. See, also, “Ancestry of thirty-three Rhode Islanders,” &c., by John Osborne Austin, under Perry.

[67] Our Naval Heroes, by D. C. Kelley, in Fifth Scotch-Irish Congress, pp. 114–116. See Lossing’s Pictorial Field Book of the War of 1812, Ch. 25.

[68] Among other places see Andrew Jackson, by D. C. Kelley, in Scotch-Irish in America, Third Congress, p. 182. Andrew Jackson as a Public Man, by William Graham Sumner (American Statesmen Series), Boston: 1882. James Parton in his life of Andrew Jackson says (pp. 17 and 48, vol. 1): “I may as well remark here as anywhere, that the features and shape of head of General Jackson, which ten thousand sign-boards have made familiar to the people of the United States, are common in North Carolina and Tennessee. In the course of a two months’ tour in those States among the people of Scotch-Irish descent, I saw more than twenty well-marked specimens of the long, slender Jacksonian head, with the bushy, bristling hair, and the well known features.”

[69] See in History of the town of Peterborough, N. H., by Albert Smith, Genealogy and history of Peterborough families,” p. 147. In the sketch of General Miller in Smith’s history is a letter to his wife Ruth, written from Fort Erie, July 28, 1814, three days after the battle of Lundy’s Lane.

[70] “The Custom House,” introductory to the Scarlet Letter.

[71] Campbell, Vol. 2, p. 493, note.

[72] Ibid. The writer of this paper has not studied the pedigrees of the presidents, but gives the statement made regarding the above as that of an investigator who, while not by any means free from mistakes, is pretty careful in respect to assertions. The same remark should be made regarding some of the other pedigrees contained in other extracts from Mr. Campbell’s History.

[73] Parker, p. 208.

[74] His father, John MacKean, was born April 13,1715, at Ballymoney, in the County of Antrim, Ireland, and was about four years of age when his father emigrated to this country.—Parker, p. 224.

[75] See “Greeley, Horace,” written by Whitelaw Reid, in Appleton’s Cyclopædia of American Biography.

[76] John C. Calhoun was the grandson of James Calhoun, who is said to have emigrated from Donegal, Ireland, in 1733 (John C. Calhoun, by Dr. H. von Holst, p. 8.) John C. Calhoun was the son of Patrick Calhoun, whom James Parton, in his Famous Americans of Recent Times speaks of (pp. 117, 118) as a Scotch-Irishman, who, with Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson, other Scotch-Irishmen, illustrates well the “North of Ireland” character. Patrick Calhoun was a Presbyterian like his father (J. Randolph Tucker, in article “Calhoun, John Caldwell” in Appleton’s Cyclopædia of American Biography). In 1770, Patrick Calhoun (von Holst, p. 8,) married Martha Caldwell, who, says John S. Jenkins in his Life of John Caldwell Calhoun (p. 21), was a daughter of a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian, who, according to Tucker, was an emigrant from Ireland.

[77] “Robert Fulton was born in Little Britain, Lancaster Co., Pa., 1765. He was of respectable though not wealthy family. His father and mother were of Scotch-Irish blood. Their families were supposed to be a part of the great emigration from Ireland in 1730–31. The Fulton family were probably among the early settlers of the town of Lancaster, as the father of Robert Fulton was one of the founders of the Presbyterian Church of that place.”—The Inventors of the Scotch-Irish race, by J. H. Bryson, in The Scotch-Irish in America, Fourth Congress, p. 175.

[78] Scotch-Irish in America, First Congress, p. 101, Fourth Congress, p. 185.

[79] The Scotch-Irish in America, Fourth Congress, p. 178.

[80] Dr. D. Hayes Agnew, by Dr. J. Howe Adams, Fifth Scotch-Irish Congress, p. 202.

[81] “Both the father and mother of Joseph Henry came from the southwest of Scotland, where the old family name was Hendrie. the traditions of the family on both sides and the lion on the coat of arms point back to Irish ancestry of the highest rank; he had a Scotch-Irish wife.”—Professor G. Macloskie in “Joseph Henry” in The Scotch-Irish in America, Fifth Congress, p. 100.

[82] The mother of Thomas A. Edison, who was Miss Elliott, is of Scotch-Irish blood, says Dr. Bryson.—The Scotch-Irish in America, Fourth Congress, p. 188.

[83] The Scotch-Irish in Canada by Stuart Acheson, in The Scotch-Irish in America, Third Congress, pp. 203 and 204. Dr. William Warren Baldwin, the father of Robert Baldwin, took the degree of M.D. at Edinburgh. He came to this country from a place near Cork, Ireland. Robert Baldwin was born in Toronto in 1804.—Cyclopædia of Canadian Biography by George McLean Rose.

[84] The Scotch-Irish in Canada by S. Acheson, just referred to, p. 206. Sir Francis Hincks was born in Cork, Ireland, son of Thomas Dix Hincks, a Presbyterian minister. The latter was born in Dublin and married Anne Boult of Chester. He was a son of Edward Hincks (m. Dix) who moved from Chester.—See Dictionary of National Biography, Appleton’s Cyclopædia of American Biography and Cyclopæaedia of Canadian Biography just mentioned.

[85] Rev. James Bryce (1767–1857) went from Scotland, where he was born, to Ireland, and settled in 1805, as minister of the anti-burgher church in Killaig, Co. Londonderry. His son, James Bryce (1806–1877), was born in Killaig (near Coleraine). In 1846, appointed to the High School, Glasgow. See Dictionary of National Biography, to which the information contained in the article on the Bryces was furnished by the family. James Bryce, the writer of the American Commonwealth, the son and grandson of the persons just mentioned, was born in Belfast, Ireland, May 10th, 1838. His mother was (or is) Margaret, eldest daughter of James Young, Esquire, of Abbeyville, Co. Antrim.—See Men and Women of the Time, Thirteenth edition, 1891.

[86] Governor Bell in “Londonderry Celebration,” etc., pp. 23, 24.

[87] Parker, pp. 82, 83, 119 et seq., 128.—Bell in “Londonderry Celebration,” etc., p. 32.

[88] Ibid., pp. 195, 196.

[89] What the Scotch-Irish have done for Education, by G. Macloskie, in Scotch-Irish in America, First Congress, pp. 90–101.—Campbell, Vol. II., p. 486, with the references to authorities cited.

[90] A misprint. I wrote “denials that I had made certain statements which he had supposed me to make and that I held views which he had supposed me to hold.”

[91] Misprint for Aghadowey.

[92] I inserted the word “as” before “is.” The omission in printing led Mr. Murray, it will be seen, to suppose that I had avoided a direct answer to a question which he asked.

[93] Honorable John C. Linehan, Insurance Commissioner of the State of New Hampshire, has written several papers on the Scotch-Irish. He is of Irish blood and objects strenuously to the use of the term “Scotch-Irish.” I wrote to him for a list of his writings in order that I might print it here. He could not give me one, but wrote that he expects to make a collection, in pamphlet form, of his papers on the general subject under consideration and have it printed the coming autumn (1895).

[94] For a reprint of America Dissected, by Rev. J. McSparran, D. D., see an appendix to History of the Episcopal Church in Narragausett, Rhode Island, by Wilkins Updike. New York, 1817.

The passage of more than one hundred years since The Scotch-Irish in America by Henry Jones Ford was first published in 1915 has rendered the book no less fascinating and gripping. Written in a thoroughly accessible way, it tells the story of how the hardy breed of men and women, who in America came to be known as the ‘Scotch-Irish’, was forged in the north of Ireland during the seventeenth century. This book is a comprehensive and very informative account of the history of the Scotch-Irish in America.