The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania

By Wayland F. Dunaway | Go to book overview

2
The Ulster Background of the
Scotch-Irish

We know that the term Ulster Scot is generic and simply means Scoto-Irish. I love the Highlander and I love the Lowlander, but when I come to the branch of our race which has been grafted on the Ulster stem, I take off my hat with veneration and awe. They are, I believe, the toughest, the most dominant, the most irresistible race that exists in the universe at this moment. LORD ROSEBERY

IN TRACING THE HISTORY of the Scotch-Irish of Pennsylvania, it seems desirable to describe their Ulster background in order to bring into clear relief the conditions under which they lived and the circumstances which motivated their emigration to the New World. Indeed, the complete picture of this remarkable group, which has played such an important rôle in history, cannot be given without tracing them even farther to their original home in Scotland. Limitations of space, however, preclude a detailed account of this phase of the subject, lest we be carried too far afield.

Scotland is divided into two geographical units, known as the Highlands and the Lowlands, marked by differences of race, religion, and customs, once clearly defined and still observable. It is with the Lowland Scots that we are chiefly concerned, since it was from this group that came the bulk of the immigrants to Ulster. i. The Highlanders of Western Scotland and the adjacent islands are largely of Celtic origin, and it appears that the Gaels of the Highland clans were originally of the same Celtic stock as that of the native Irish before the latter were conquered by Eng

____________________
i.
John Harrison, The Scot in Ulster, 41; Thomas Croskery, Irish Presbyterianism: Its History, Character, Influence, and Present Position, 6- 7.

-13-

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