Preface to the Scotch-Irish in America

Henry Jones Ford

Acknowledgment of the importance of Ulster emigration to America frequently occurs in the works of English and American historians dealing with the events of the eighteenth century, and a mass of literature has accumulated in both countries with regard to particular phases of the subject. A systematic treatise devoted to that special theme seemed to be desirable, and hence the book now before the reader.

This book tells the story of the Ulster Plantation and of the influences that formed the character of the people. The causes are traced that led to the great migration from Ulster and the Scotch-Irish settlements in America are described. The recital of their experiences involves an account of frontier manners and customs, and of collisions with the Indian tribes. The influence of the Scotch-Irish settlements upon American institutions is traced, particularly in organizing and propagating the Presbyterian Church, in spreading popular education, and in promoting the movement for American national independence. In conclusion, there is an appreciation of the Ulster contribution to American nationality.

The work is based upon original research. The State Papers of the period of the Ulster Plantation were examined, with the effect of throwing new light upon an undertaking over whose character and incidents there has been much controversy. Historical material on both sides of the Atlantic has been sifted, and pains have been taken to produce an authentic account of the formation and diffusion of a race stock that has played a great part in establishing and developing the American nation.

The author desires to express his thanks to the Rev. Professor James Heron, of the Assembly's College, Belfast, for permitting the reproduction of his analysis of the ethnic origins of the Scottish settlers of Ulster; to Mr. Albert Levin Richardson of Baltimore, for collections of historical material; to Professor Varnum Lansing Collins, of Princeton University, for help in the chapter on educational institutions; to Professor Harry Franklin Covington of Princeton University for data respecting Scotch-Irish settlements in Maryland; to the Hon. W. U. Hensel of Lancaster and to Judge Harman Yerkes of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, for information; and to Charles L. McKeehan, Esq., Secretary of the Pennsylvania Scotch-Irish Society, for much kind assistance in reaching sources of information and in collecting material.

Princeton, February, 1915.

Note: The device stamped upon the front of the cover is the heraldic badge of Ulster.