The Scotch-Irish and the Puritans

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

Religion, virtue, and knowledge were three passions of the Scotch-Irish. With them piety was never divorced from education, and religion, as stated before, was based upon an intellectual foundation and what they believed to be a basis of knowledge.

I began this paper by saying that the Puritan owed a tribute to the Scotch-Irishman. There is much in common between them, but I have not time to dwell upon the resemblances in their characters and careers. They agreed in their views of religious truth and duty, and in their zeal and firmness in resisting civil and ecclesiastical domination. They were fellow sufferers for conscience’ sake.

It has been claimed, and here I conclude, that the Scotch-Irish in this country while eager to enjoy religious liberty for themselves, have been ready to grant it to others, and that in this respect they showed a better spirit than the Puritans.

Was not the difference caused by time, however?

The Scotch-Irish came here a hundred years later than the Puritans. Meanwhile the religious world had gone ahead and generally exercised a larger toleration.

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.