The Scotch-Irish moved up the Delaware River to Bucks County , and then up the Susquehanna and Cumberland valleys, finding flat lands along the rivers and creeks to set up their log cabins , their grist mills , and their Presbyterian churches. Here the pathway split, with the Wilderness Road taking settlers west into Tennessee and Kentucky, while the main road continued south into the Carolinas.
Because the Scotch-Irish settled the frontier of Pennsylvania and western Virginia, they were in the midst of the French and Indian War and Pontiac's Rebellion that followed.
Especially in Pennsylvania, whose pacifist Quaker leaders had made no provision for a militia, Scotch-Irish settlements were frequently destroyed and the settlers killed, captured or forced to flee after attacks by Native Americans from tribes of the Delaware Lenape , Shawnee, Seneca, and others of western Pennsylvania and the Ohio country.
Formed into two units of rangers, the Cumberland Boys and the Paxton Boys , the militia soon exceeded their defensive mandate and began offensive forays against Lenape villages in western Pennsylvania. Governor John Penn placed the remaining fourteen Conestogas in protective custody in the Lancaster workhouse, but the Paxton Boys broke in, killing and mutilating all fourteen on 27 December Benjamin Franklin led the politicians who negotiated a settlement with the Paxton leaders, after which they returned home.
The United States Declaration of Independence contained 56 delegate signatures. Of the signers, eight were of Irish descent. Contrasting the Scottish Highlanders, the Scotch-Irish were generally ardent supporters of American independence from Britain in the s. In Pennsylvania, Virginia, and most of the Carolinas, support for the revolution was "practically unanimous". The Scotch-Irish " Overmountain Men " of Virginia and North Carolina formed a militia which won the Battle of Kings Mountain in , resulting in the British abandonment of a southern campaign, and for some historians "marked the turning point of the American Revolution".
One exception to the high level of patriotism was the Waxhaw settlement on the lower Catawba River along the North Carolina-South Carolina boundary, where Loyalism was strong. The area experienced two main settlement periods of Scotch-Irish. This particular group had large families, and as a group they produced goods for themselves and for others. They generally were Patriots. Just prior to the Revolution, a second stream of immigrants came directly from Ireland via Charleston.
This group was forced to move into an underdeveloped area because they could not afford expensive land. Most of this group remained loyal to the Crown or neutral when the war began. Prior to Charles Cornwallis 's march into the backcountry in , two-thirds of the men among the Waxhaw settlement had declined to serve in the army. The British massacre of American prisoners at the Battle of Waxhaws resulted in anti-British sentiment in a bitterly divided region.
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While many individuals chose to take up arms against the British, the British themselves forced the people to choose sides. In the s, the new American government assumed the debts the individual states had amassed during the American Revolutionary War , and the Congress placed a tax on whiskey among other things to help repay those debts. Large producers were assessed a tax of six cents a gallon.
Smaller producers, many of whom were Scottish often Scotch-Irish descent and located in the more remote areas, were taxed at a higher rate of nine cents a gallon. These rural settlers were short of cash to begin with, and lacked any practical means to get their grain to market, other than fermenting and distilling it into relatively portable spirits. From Pennsylvania to Georgia , the western counties engaged in a campaign of harassment of the federal tax collectors.
This civil disobedience eventually culminated in armed conflict in the Whiskey Rebellion.
President George Washington marched at the head of 13, soldiers to suppress the insurrection. Author and U.
Senator Jim Webb puts forth a thesis in his book Born Fighting to suggest that the character traits he ascribes to the Scotch-Irish such as loyalty to kin , extreme mistrust of governmental authority and legal strictures, and a propensity to bear arms and to use them, helped shape the American identity. In the same year that Webb's book was released, Barry A.
Vann published his second book, entitled Rediscovering the South's Celtic Heritage.
In , Vann followed up his earlier work with a book entitled In Search of Ulster Scots Land: The Birth and Geotheological Imagings of a Transatlantic People , which professes how these traits may manifest themselves in conservative voting patterns and religious affiliation that characterizes the Bible Belt. The iron and steel industry developed rapidly after and became one of the dominant factors in industrial America by the s. Ingham examined the leadership of the industry in its most important center, Pittsburgh, as well as smaller cities.
He concludes that the leadership of the iron and steel industry nationwide was "largely Scotch-Irish". Ingham finds that the Scotch-Irish held together cohesively throughout the 19th century and "developed their own sense of uniqueness". New immigrants after made Pittsburgh a major Scotch-Irish stronghold. For example, Thomas Mellon b. Ulster; — left Ireland in and became the founder of the famous Mellon clan, which played a central role in banking and industries such as aluminum and oil.
As Barnhisel finds, industrialists such as James H. Laughlin b. Archeologists and folklorists have examined the folk culture of the Scotch-Irish in terms of material goods—such as housing—as well as speech patterns and folk songs. Much of the research has been done in Appalachia. The border origin of the Scotch-Irish is supported by study of the traditional music and folklore of the Appalachian Mountains , settled primarily by the Scotch-Irish in the 18th century.
Musicologist Cecil Sharp collected hundreds of folk songs in the region, and observed that the musical tradition of the people "seems to point to the North of England, or to the Lowlands, rather than the Highlands, of Scotland, as the country from which they originally migrated. For the Appalachian tunes As an example, it was recorded in the early 20th century that Appalachian children were frequently warned, "You must be good or Clavers will get you. In terms of the stone houses they built, the "hall-parlor" floor plan two rooms per floor with chimneys on both ends was common among the gentry in Ulster.
Scotch-Irish immigrants brought it over in the 18th century and it became a common floor plan in Tennessee, Kentucky, and elsewhere. Stone houses were difficult to build, and most pioneers relied on simpler log cabins. Scotch-Irish quilters in West Virginia developed a unique interpretation of pieced-block quilt construction. Their quilts embody an aesthetic reflecting Scotch-Irish social history—the perennial condition of living on the periphery of mainstream society both geographically and philosophically. Cultural values espousing individual autonomy and self-reliance within a strong kinship structure are related to Scotch-Irish quilting techniques.
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Prominent features of these quilts include: 1 blocks pieced in a repeating pattern but varied by changing figure-ground relationships and, at times, obscured by the use of same-value colors and adjacent print fabrics, 2 lack of contrasting borders, and 3 a unified all-over quilting pattern, typically the "fans" design or rows of concentric arcs.
Montgomery analyzes the pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammatical distinctions of today's residents of the mountain South and traces patterns back to their Scotch-Irish ancestors. Meyerink and Loretto Dennis Szucs, the following were the countries of origin for new arrivals coming to the United States before The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland after The ancestry of the 3,, million population in has been estimated by various sources by sampling last names in the census and assigning them a country of origin.
The French were mostly Huguenots and French Canadians. The Indian population inside territorial U.
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Finding the coast already heavily settled, most groups of settlers from the north of Ireland moved into the "western mountains", where they populated the Appalachian regions and the Ohio Valley. In the United States Census, , 4. The author Jim Webb suggests that the true number of people with some Scotch-Irish heritage in the United States is in the region of 27 million.
The states with the most Scotch-Irish populations: . The Scotch-Irish immigrants to North America in the 18th century were initially defined in part by their Presbyterianism. These Calvinist groups mingled freely in church matters, and religious belief was more important than nationality, as these groups aligned themselves against both their Catholic Irish and Anglican English neighbors. After their arrival in the New World, the predominantly Presbyterian Scotch-Irish began to move further into the mountainous back-country of Virginia and the Carolinas.
The establishment of many settlements in the remote back-country put a strain on the ability of the Presbyterian Church to meet the new demand for qualified, college-educated clergy. Religious groups such as the Baptists and Methodists had no higher education requirement for their clergy to be ordained, and these groups readily provided ministers to meet the demand of the growing Scotch-Irish settlements.
He emphasizes the high educational standards they sought, their "geotheological thought worlds" brought from the old country, and their political independence that was transferred to frontier religion. The mission was training New Light Presbyterian ministers. The college became the educational as well as religious capital of Scotch-Irish America. By , loss of confidence in the college within the Presbyterian Church led to the establishment of the separate Princeton Theological Seminary , but for many decades Presbyterian control over the college continued.
Meanwhile, Princeton Seminary, under the leadership of Charles Hodge , originated a conservative theology that in large part shaped Fundamentalist Protestantism in the 20th century. While the larger Presbyterian Church was a mix of Scotch Irish and Yankees from New England, several smaller Presbyterian groups were composed almost entirely of Scotch Irish, and they display the process of assimilation into the broader American religious culture. Fisk traces the history of the Associate Reformed Church in the Old Northwest from its formation by a union of Associate and Reformed Presbyterians in to the merger of this body with the Seceder Scotch Irish bodies to form the United Presbyterian Church in It withdrew from the parent body in because of the drift of the eastern churches toward assimilation into the larger Presbyterian Church with its Yankee traits.