Celebrating the identity, heritage, & culture of Ulster & the Ulster-Scots (a.k.a. "Scots-Irish") people worldwide!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ulster and founding of the American nation

Some words from 'The Ulster People' by Dr Ian Adamson.

By the end of 1775 at least a quarter of a million Ulster men ans women had left over a period of 58 years,and according to some estimates,formed one sixth of the total population of the American Colonies.

John Logan the Provincial Secretary,had originally invited his fellow Ulstermen to Pennsylvania but soon complained that ''a settlement of five families from the north of Ireland gives me more trouble than fifty of any other people''' He found the Ulster-Scots ''troublesome settlers to the government and hard neighbours to the Indians.''

Indeed the first armed clash to procede the Revolutionary War occurred in 1771 when Ulster-Scots settlers fought British forces on the Alamance River in North Carolina. On 20 May 1775 they were the most prominent signatories of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence drawn up in Charlotte,North Carolina. They subsquently supported the Declaration of Independence passed by the Continental Congress on 4 July 1776 and they composed the flower and backbone of Washington's army in the Revolutionary War which followed. Their cause was advocated by the 'Belfast News Letter' and the contemporary Harcourt wrote  that ''The Presbyterians in the north are in their hearts Americans.''. A German captain who fought alongside the British redcoats was quite explicit: ''Call this war by whatever name you may,only call it not an American rebellion;it is nothing more or less tha a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian rebellion.''

The Offical Declaration of Independence was written in the handwriting of Charles Thompson from Maghera,printed by John Dunlap from Strabane,given its first public reading by the son of an Ulsterman,Colonel John Nixon,and among the signatories the following ,all either born in Ulster,or born to Ulster parents - John Hancock,President of the Congress,Thomas McKean,Thomas Nelson,Robert Paine,Edward Rutledge,George Taylor,Matthew Thornton and William Whipple. The great seal of the United States - an eagle holding arrows and a branch - was designed by Charles Thompson.