Thursday, September 17, 2015

How the Scots-Irish Came to Pennsylvania

From Damage Inc:
Despite the fact that Scottish Presbyterians strongly supported the Williamites in the Williamite war in Ireland in the 1690s, they were excluded from power in the postwar settlement by the Anglican Protestant Ascendancy. During the 18th century, rising Scots resentment over religious, political and economic issues fueled their emigration to the American colonies, beginning in 1717 and continuing up to the 1770s. Scots-Irish from Ulster and Scotland, and British from the borders region comprised the most numerous group of immigrants from Great Britain and Ireland to the colonies in the years before the American Revolution. An estimated 150,000 left northern Ireland. They settled first mostly in Pennsylvania and Virginia, from where they moved southwest into the backcountry of upland territories and the Appalachian Mountains.[59]
    The average emigrant would find passage aboard a linen trade vessel.  The ships would bring flax seed from Pennsylvania to Ulster, and the captains were happy to have a return cargo that could pay cash.  Some Ulstermen paid their own way, while many had arranged to become indentured servants, selling their labor for a period of seven years.  Many, though, had no way to pay.  These souls, upon arrival in Philadelphia, would have to remain on board the ship until the captain was able to sell their labor and collect payment. (Read more.)

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