STUDENTS of immigration to
the United States have long regretted the lack of a reliable survey of
British settlement in North America, or, indeed, of the detailed studies
upon which such a survey might be based. Interest in the social and economic
history of British migration has usually been subordinated to genealogical
considerations. The older accounts tend to be narrative and local in
emphasis rather than interpretive and general.
This book attempts to give a wider perspective and to reach some general
conclusions about a small part of that large field of study. At first I had
hoped to look into the influence of Scottish thought upon pre-Revolutionary
America. But I was soon forced to recognize that such a task would be
severely inhibited by the absence of a systematic treatment of Scots
settlement in the colonies. The problem of Scottish emigration and
settlement was finally isolated and attacked for its own sake as a result of
the helpful suggestions of Professor Richard Hofstadter.
Thanks are due to many for assistance in research and in the preparation of
the manuscript. Professor Frederick C. Dietz of the University of Illinois
enabled me to concentrate my whole attention upon the work by granting me
the Kendric C. Babcock Fellowship in history for the session 1953-1954. I am
grateful for guidance in research to Professor Raymond P. Stearns. I owe
much to the thoughtful teaching and thorough methods of Professors Arthur E.
Bestor and Richard N. Current.
I wish to express my thanks to the staffs of the following institutions: the
University of Illinois Library, the National Archives, the New York Public
Library, the Virginia State Library, the Library of William and Mary
College, and the Institute of Early American History and Culture in
Finally, I must thank an old friend, Herbert Sterrett of the art department
of the University of Illinois Press, for drawing the map that appears as the
frontispiece of this book.
The manuscript has been read by Professor Stearns at various stages of its
preparation and by the Committee on the Albert J. Beveridge Award of the
American Historical Association. These friendly critics have saved me from
A work such as this, which touches on a wide variety of social and economic
problems, is sure to contain statements that will be questioned. I hope that
the discussion of these questions will prove sufficiently interesting to
compensate in some measure for whatever errors remain.
Ian C. C. Graham New York City
January 16, 1956
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