Causes of the Scotch-Irish migration.—Of equal importance with the German migration was that of the Scotch-Irish from Ulster. The causes of the migration to America were both religious and economic. The Presbyterianism of the Scotch found scant favor with the English authorities. The efforts to enforce uniformity, and the various religious laws of the reign of Charles II and Anne were especially obnoxious to Presbyterians. Though few migrated because of them, they left a feeling of injury, which, coupled with industrial hardships, brought about the great migration to America. English restrictive legislation was also an important factor. Laws prohibiting the importation into England of Irish stock and dairy products, acts excluding Irish vessels from American trade and prohibiting direct importation to Ireland from the colonies, and the act of 1699 prohibiting the exportation of Irish wool worked great hardships on the people of Ulster. The enforced payment of tithes to support the Episcopalian clergy touched both the purse and the conscience of the Scotch-Irish. But more important than any of these was the tenant system In 1714-1718 many of the original leases expired and the landlords doubled or trebled the rents. This is the chief explanation of the great acceleration of the movement to America which began in 1714. No doubt the natural business instinct of the Scotch people, and occasional crop failures, such as the potato famine in 1725. 1740-1741, also hastened many who otherwise might have lingered in Ulster.
The Areas Largely Populated by the Scotch-Irish before 1763.
Seventeenth century migration.—In 1612 the Rev. George Keith, a Scotchman, went to Bermuda, the first dissenting minister in the English colonies. In 1652 Cromwell sent about two hundred and fifty Scotch prisoners to New England. Before 1669 a considerable number of Scotch and Scotch-Irish settled on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay and by 1680 some Scotch Presbyterians were located near Norfolk. In 1683 Scottish colonists landed at Port Royal and Charleston, and others founded Stuartstown. In 1684 and 1685, many Scotch dissenters sought refuge in East New Jersey, the beginning of a movement which eventually made New Jersey one of the strongholds of Presbyterianism.
The great migration.—Dining the early years of the eighteenth century a few Scotch-Irish made their way to America, but not until after the close of the War of the Spanish Succession did the movement assume large proportions. The tide of immigration which set in brought the Scotch-Irish to every colony. Many of them found homes in the tide-water lands among the older settlements, where vast areas were still thinly settled, but a larger number sought the frontier.
New England.—Between 1714 and 1720 fifty-four vessels brought Scotch-Irish immigrants to Boston. The large influx of foreigners began to alarm the authorities. When over five hundred arrived at Boston in the summer of 1718, a shortage of provisions threatened. To place the immigrants on a self-supporting basis was highly desirable. In addition the more remote settlements needed protection. The plan was accordingly adopted of sending the Scotch-Irish to the frontier. About fifty miles from Boston was the post of Worcester containing about two hundred people. Soon its population was doubled by Scotch-Irish. Others came and Worcester became the distributing point for interior settlement. In 1731 Pelham was started thirty miles to the westward, and two years later Colerain, twenty miles farther in the wilderness, was formed. In 1741 Warren and Blandford were incorporated. From western Massachusetts the settlers turned northward, following the Connecticut Valley, forming settlements in Windsor, Orange, and Caledonia counties in Vermont and in Grafton County in New Hampshire.
While Worcester was being settled, other immigrants sought lands in Maine. Thirty families were landed at Falmouth on Casco Bay, another group settled on the Kennebec near its mouth, and by 1720 several hundred families had settled on the Kennebec or the Androscoggin, but soon afterward Indian troubles caused a large part of them to move to New Hampshire Or Pennsylvania. In 1719 Nuffield on the site of modern Manchester was founded. When the town was incorporated in 1722 its name was changed to Londonderry. It became the distributing point for Scotch-Irish in that region; from there Rockingham, Hillsboro, and Merrimack counties in New Hampshire were settled. Emigration spread over into Vermont, joining that from Worcester, and pushed on to the north and west. Still other Scotch-Irish settlements were formed later in Maine. A hundred and fifty families from Nova Scotia in 1729 settled at Pemaquid and Samuel Waldo induced a few to settle on the St. George at Warren. Connecticut and Rhode Island also received an infusion of Scotch-Irish blood but in a much less degree than the northern frontier.
New York.—About 1718 large numbers of Scotch-Irish came to New York, most of them settling in Orange and Ulster counties. In 1738 John Lindsay and three associates obtained an extensive land grant in Cherry Valley in modern Otsego County. Many settlers were induced to come from Londonderry, New Hampshire, and from Scotland and Ulster, but the exposed position prevented a great influx in succeeding years.
Pennsylvania.—As in the German movement, in the Scotch-Irish migration the largest number came to Pennsylvania. The earliest comers appear to have settled on either side of the Pennsylvania-Maryland line in the Susquehanna Valley. The exact date of their arrival is uncertain, but a church had been organized as early as 1708. About 1720 the immigrants began working up the Delaware River, settling in Bucks County and spreading over into Northampton County. Another stream of immigrants passed up the Susquehanna Valley, settling along the creek bottoms on the east side of the river, their chief centers being in Chester, Lancaster, and Dauphin counties in Pennsylvania, and in Cecil County, Maryland. Before 1730 the settlers pushed over into Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, which gave them access to the valleys of the interior. They spread into Franklin, Adams, and York counties and the later movement carried them southward into the great valleys.
The Southern Piedmont—By 1735 or earlier, the Scotch-Irish began moving into the Shenandoah Valley. Some of them remained in Maryland and the most eastern counties of what is now West Virginia, but most of them, moved into Virginia, taking up the lands west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Many went through the passes and made their homes in the Piedmont region to the east of the Blue Ridge. The movement was greatly stimulated by the fact that several large land grants were made to various Pennsylvanians and Virginians, who encouraged the settlement of their lands. The early records of the Scotch-Irish in the southern Piedmont give us little exact data, but between 1740 and 1760 scattered settlements were made along the frontier from Virginia to Florida. In North Carolina the lands between the Yadkin and Catawba Rivers were settled. By 1750 the vanguard appeared in the western part of South Carolina, and a few years later in the upland country of Georgia.
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