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Scots and Scots Descendant in America

For several years it has been our privilege to write short biographical sketches of notable American Scots for The Caledonian Magazine, and it gradually grew upon us to inquire into the part taken by the people of Scottish blood, from the earliest settlement to the present time, in the building of the American Nation. We found that they were among the leading spirits in every enterprise in the development of this continent, but we were surprised to find that no attempt had been made to put their adventures, heroism and achievements into book form, save what is found in periodicals, pamphlets and short historical sketches and addresses given at conferences and celebrations, without designating their sources of information although several books and a score of pamphlets have been written upon the Scotch-Irish in America and their settlements.

In 1902, Mr. Charles A. Hanna published two comprehensive volumes on The Scotch-Irish in America, but they deal to a considerable extent with the history of Scotland and the Ulster Plantation. In 1915, Professor Henry Jones Ford also wrote on The Scotch-Irish in America. But the line of distinction is hard to draw, and they are practically all Scotch. Both came directly or indirectly from Scotland and their settlements in America often included the Scots from Scotland and the Scots who came by the way of Ireland. As far as possible we have endeavored to enumerate the distinctively Scottish settlements as well as those of the Scots from Ireland. We have briefly noted the causes that led Scotsmen to settle in the North of Ireland, and their distinctive characteristics; also their reasons for emigrating to America, and why Scotsmen came direct from the motherland; and the part all have taken in the development of this continent.

In this progressive age, with its streams of immigration pouring into the country from all parts of the world, with scarcely any knowledge of the trials and triumphs of the founders of America, it is fitting that something be done to put on record, "lest we forget," the influence of the Scots and their descendants in America from the earliest settlement to the present time. And this is why this book has been written.

When we began collecting material we expected to have the book ready for publication within a year, but we found the task to be greater than we had anticipated, for, as the reader can sec from the Bibliography that follows on pages 133-139, the facts recorded in this book were gathered from more .than one hundred and fifty sources, practically all that has been written on this subject. Also the gathering of the material for the biographies, and the portraits, from the busy present-day Scots entailed much more time and effort than the research work in libraries.

The early Scottish immigration to America began in the latter part of the seventeenth century and reached its climax about the middle of the eighteenth century. The Scots came in shiploads from Scotland and the North of Ireland to New England, New Jersey and New York, but the majority to Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, Delaware and Georgia. Some have computed that the white population of the American Colonies at the time of the Revolutionary War was 3,000,000, and that of this number 900,000 were people of Scottish blood, 600,000 were English, and 400,000 were of Dutch, German Reformed and Huguenot descent ; but other more conservative authorities have estimated that in 1775 the white population of the Colonies was not more than 2,100,000, and that about 400,000 of these were of Scottish blood. From these estimates it appears that the early settlers from Seotlanc1. directly or indirectly, outnumbered any other nationality. They came to America with an ardent desire for civil and religious liberty, zeal for education, thrill and industry; and wherever they located they exerted a lasting influence.

Many of these early Scots and their immediate descendants rose to positions of trust and responsibility. They served as colonial governors, helped to frame and signed the Declaration of Independence served as generals and distinguished officers on sea and land in the Revolutionary War, and were leading members of the Constitutional Convention. In fact, throughout the entire history of the United States, Scotsmen, even to the present time, have been leading factors in the building of the nation. They showed indomitable courage and trustworthiness as officials. We find them among the state governors, chief justices, ministers of state, financiers, pioneers, engineers, educators, preachers. physicians, scientists, inventors, merchants, philanthropists, etc. In the Civil War, many of the great leaders on both sides showed in their brilliant achievements their Scottish ancestry. Many of these are represented in this volume.

Canada, like the United States, is greatly indebted to her early Scottish settlers and present-day Scots. They have been among her foremost citizens in every walk of life throughout the land and were the pioneer’s and explorers of the great North-West, and hold to-day one-half of the important posts of the Dominion. The Scottish Canadians and the American Scots have been crossing and recrossing the boundary line since the Treaty of Ghent: they are prosperous and sueeessful business men on both sides of the line. The Scots, the Ulster-Seots and the Canadian Scots, who are practically the one race, and their descendants are among our most enterprising citizens, indeed it is hard to draw the line where Scottish blood does not run in the veins of our American families. For instance, two-thirds of our present Congressmen can boast of Scottish blood either by father or mother.

The first part of the book gives a comprehensive outline of the early Scottish settlements in America. In preparing this historical part, we found the sources so numerous and the amount of material so vast that, in the limited space, we were able to give only the briefest outline and short biographies of only the most important characters: this matter alone could be expanded to several volumes. The larger part of the volume is devoted to the biographies, with portraits, of representative living Scots. Here you have the portraits and the life-stories, told for the first time, of men who have made their mark in many fields of usefulness : merchants, manufacturers, bankers, railroad men, engineers, miners, inventors, statesmen, architects, artists. clergymen, physicians, lawyers, publishers. contractors. shipbuilders, educators. etc. Most of these men began with nothing, at the foot of the hill, and climbed to the top through ability, determination and perseverance.

We have tried to make every page a valuable object-lesson to young and old. Special attention has been given in the biographies to family history and genealogy, and this is important to the friends, relatives and descendants, and to patriotic Scots everywhere, as a means of tracing their lineage to the individuals of this large American Scottish family. The book is not for the present alone, but will increase in value as the years go by as the only reliable source of this historical and genealogical information—not alone to individuals, but in libraries and as a general book of reference. The volume has been carefully indexed to make this information immediately available. The one hundred and fifty portraits with other illustrations are of rare value.

The work has been done with much care and accuracy and covers the numerous fields of activity in which Scots have been engaged. The book is valuable to all who arc interested in the records of human achievement, for no species of writing appeals more strongly to the young or is more instructive and helpful to them, and even to those of maturer years. than the record of human lives. History is biography generalized, and a mere record of events apart from special mention of the actors in these events could scarcely be considered history at all. But the records of persons of Scottish origin have an unique value to the deseendants of those whose names have been introduced in this volume. Pride of ancestry is eminently proper when it inspires to high and noble actions. How much more satisfactory it is to have the records of an honoured relative or friend preserved in a book like this, than carved on stones.

I desire to acknowledge my indebtedness to the many distinguished friends who so kindly responded to my appeal for help in the preparation of this volume. Mr. A. Barton Hepburn, President of the Board of Directors of the Chase National Bank, New York, has written on "Scots in American Finance’’ ; Dr. John Huston Finley, State Commimissioner ot Education, Albany, N. Y., contributed "The Land We Live In’’: Mr. John Findley Wallace, Chief Engineer of the Panama Canal Commission, the article on in American Engineering’’ Rev. Dr. William Douglas Mackenzie, President of Hartford Theological Seminary. ‘‘The Scottish Contribution to Religious Life in America’’ ; the Hon. Charles P. MeClelland, ‘‘Scots in American Polities’’ : Sir James Alexander Grant, M.D., the ‘‘Grand Old Man of Canadian Medicine,’’ has written at length upon Scots in the Exploration, Settlement and Development of Canada’’ Dr. George Stephen Carson, Editor of The Presbeterian

Witness, Halifax, upon "The Makers of New Scotland" ‘ ; and Mr. Malcolm Parsons, Secretary of the St. Andrew’s Society, St. John’s, Newfoundland, upon ‘‘Scots in Newfoundland.’’ Dr. George F. Black, of the New York Public Library, prepared in part the historical matter on ‘‘Scots in the Settlement and Development of the United States,’’ and compiled the ‘‘Bibliography.’’ Mr. James Kennedy. the Scottish-American poet and editor, wrote the biographies of several of his friends. My associate, Mr. Charles C. Stoddard, has rendered valuable service throughout the whole work: he also prepared the Index and helped in seeing the hook through the press.

I am indebted also to the New York Public Library for permission to copy several portraits of distinguished men of the Revolutionary period, and also for portraits to the "Historical Catalogue of the St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia," prepared by the late Robert B. Beath, and for two portraits to the "History of St. Andrew’s Society of the State of New York," by the late George Austin Morrison, Jr.

It is also gratifying to me to put on record my appreciation of the kindness shown by the large number of gentlemen I approached for their biographical material, who received me with uniform courtesy. The biographies of some of these gentlemen that were not ready for publication at this time I hope will appear in the second volume of "Scots and Scots' Descendants in America."

New York, April 10, 1917.

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