The Scotch-Irish in New Jersey, New England and Pennsylvania

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

In 1682, William Penn interested a number of prominent Scotchmen in a scheme for colonizing the eastern section of New Jersey. “These Scotchmen,” says Douglas Campbell, “sent over a number of settlers who have largely given character to this sturdy little State, not the least of their achievements being the building-up, if not the nominal founding, of Princeton College, which has contributed so largely to the scholarship of America.”[36]

While considerable numbers of the Scotch-Irish emigrated to New England in the great exodus from Ireland during the fifty or sixty years prior to the American Revolution, the great body of those coming here entered the continent by way of Philadelphia. Penn’s Colony was more hospitable to immigrants of faiths differing from the prevalent belief of its inhabitants, than were most of the New England provinces.

Then, too, the Scotch-Irish emigrants were mostly farmers, and did not find New England so favorable from an agricultural point of view as some of the middle and southern colonies.

Immigrants came in such numbers to Philadelphia as to frighten James Logan, the Scotch-Irish[37] Quaker Governor of Pennsylvania from 1699 to 1749. He complains in 1725 that “it looks as if Ireland were to send all her inhabitants hither; if they will continue to come, they will make themselves proprietors of the province.”[38] The bold stream of settlers who came to Philadelphia, flowed westward and occupied considerable portions of the province of Pennsylvania.

It is said of Pittsburg that it is Scotch-Irish in “substantial origin, in complexion and history,—Scotch-Irish in the countenances of the living and the records of the dead.”[39]

It is estimated that at the time of the Revolution one-third of the population of Pennsylvania was Scotch-Irish.

A large portion of the emigrants who came from the north of Ireland to Philadelphia, went south. This was especially the case after Braddock’s defeat in 1755, made the Indians bold and agressive in the west.

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.