The Scot-Irish and Germans made up the largest group of immigrants. Scots had been living
in Ulster for a century or more. Many left for overseas. In the case of the Ulster Scots
the causes for migration lay in discrimination by England against their products and their
textile industry. They were forced to pay higher rents, were excluded from political and
military offices and were obligated to pay tithes to the Anglican Church.
The Scots scattered throughout the colonies. Reports of success by earlier migrants
promulgated the exodus to America. Some settling in New York, in Ulster and Orange
counties then on down to the midsection of the Virginias and finally to the Piedmont area
of the Carolinas.
Another exodus of Scots came after the Rebellion of 1715. Scottish emigrants to the
colonies totaled some 25,000 during 1763-1775. Young and old joined the exodus. Thirty
families agreed to meet at Killin in Perthshire 1775. After spending the night in barns
they were brought together in the morning to the sound of bagpipes. "Dressed in their
best attire and some of them armed in the Highland Fashion in spite of the law, they
settled the order of march, bade farewell to their friends and relatives and set off down
the road." By foot and by boat they arrived at Greenock where they took ships for the
New World. Another group of 200 about this time were also marching off to Greenock. Among
them was a woman of 83. 0n foot, her son preceded her playing, "Tullochgorum" on
his bagpipes. Some of the emigrants took along children, wee babies, carrying them on in
baskets on their fathers backs.
The Continental Congress and the Constitution were both endorsed and signed by Scotsmen.
The Scots played an integral part in the formation of the new world, their skills and
craftsmanship surpassed those of other countries. These women knew how to weave cloth, the
men knew how to grow the flax and harvest it. These skills were necessary to the founding
of a new country. It is well known what the Scots contributed to the growth of America.
It is by these skills and others the Scottish settlements were mostly in Virginia and the
Piedmont area of Carolina. They were respected for their knowledge of special skills and
they also wanted to be left alone in their communities to worship freely.
Scottish Americans were divided from the beginning. William Steel, a noted antislavery
advocate and one of the organizers of the Underground Railroad, which conveyed slaves to
freedom in the North, was born in Lanarkshire. On the other hand, Mark Twain in his
"Life on the Mississippi"
was the romantic impact of Sir Walter Scott on the South that produced the Civil War.
When the time came to elect a president of the rebel of the Confederate
States of America, Jefferson Davis, Scottish on his mother's side was the choice. Perhaps
it was auspicious that the first state to secede, South Carolina was so done at the hall
of St. Andrew's Society in Charleston.
At the beginning of the war., General Winfield Scott, too old to fight actively, was
Lincon's chief advisor. The commander in chief of the Union Army in 1861 was General
Geroge B. McClelland, and thirty four years old. He was the victor at the Battle of
Antietam which prevented Lee's advance on Washington. In 1877 he became governor of New
Jersey and was a charter member of St. Andrews Society of Illinois.
Traditionally, the Lower South has been considered the Johnny Reb. Historically the Lower
South was innundated with Scottish emigrants since their arrival at Cape Fear River. The
wish of the Scot was to live their Highlander traditions and worship their religion
without fear of intimidation from the outside world. It is to say the Scots served their
newly acquired home in America with the zeal of the proud Highlander heritage they once
knew many years ago and that was the reason they fought diligently in the War between the
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