2/5/10 - scottish refugees

In today's excerpt - the deadly persecution of the Scots by the English in the 17th and 18th centuries led to a migration of over 600,000 Scots to America during that period. Many historians believe that the bloody conflicts between the Anglican English and the Presbyterian Scots during that period spilled over into the American Revolution, where Scottish Americans played a large part, and the American Civil War, where Scottish southerners figured prominently:

"There had been many conflicts between the English and the Scots over the years, but the most significant war between England and Scotland actually began with the Declaration of Independence issued in Philadelphia in 1776. In order to understand Patrick Henry, you have to understand Braveheart and vice versa. The rebellion of '45 under Bonnie Prince Charlie [against the House of Hanover] ended in 1746—a mere thirty years before hostilities between the Scots-like Americans and the House of Hanover resumed. ... After the ... rule of Cromwell, Charles II persecuted the Scots viciously during the killing times. William III brought some relief in 1688, but after his death, more restrictions were placed on them. In response an enormous stream of Scots and Scots-Irish migrated to the colonies, and all of them held a very dim view of the English. And when an enormous stream of Scots began sailing to America, the word enormous should not be overlooked:

After the year 1714, their ships began to cross the sea from Ulster in a long unbroken line. For more than sixty years they continued to come. It was the most extensive movement ever made from Europe to America before the modern days of steamships. Often as many as 12,000 came in a single year. ... In the two years, 1773 and 1774, more than 30,000 came. A body of about 600,000 Scots was thus brought from Ulster and from Scotland to the American colonies, making about one-fourth of our population at the time of the Revolution.

The impact of these immigrants on the development of the South was immense. The War for Independence and the War Between the States must be understood as containing an important element of the ongoing conflict between Celtic peoples and the English—up to and including St. Andrew's cross on the Confederate battle flag and the rebel yell. And these immigrants were overwhelmingly Presbyterian. When war broke out between England and America, Peter Oliver, a Tory writing in 1781, rebuked the 'black regiment, the dissenting clergy,' for fomenting the Revolution. He was referring to the black robes worn by Presbyterian ministers. When the Americans took up the fight with London, it was not a new war, but the continuation of an old one. ...

"At Yorktown, Washington's colonels with one exception were Presbyterian elders. More than half the soldiers in the Continental Army were Presbyterians, and most of the rest were other kinds of Calvinists. The British army specially targeted Presbyterian churches because they knew that they were in the thick of it, and the 'black regiment' was effective in supporting the war. One name for the war in England was the Presbyterian revolt. One of the biggest controversies in the colonies before the war was whether the king was going to appoint an Anglican archbishop over all the colonies. The rallying cry in the American Revolution was No King but Jesus. ... One Hessian officer writing home during the war said 'Call this war by whatever name you may only call it not an American rebellion; it is nothing more or less than a Scotch, Irish, Presbyterian rebellion.'"


Douglas Wilson


Five Cities That Ruled the World


Thomas Nelson, Inc.


Copyright 2009 by Douglas Wilson


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