Born fighting : how the Scots-Irish shaped America by Webb, James

By Webb, James

Lines the historical past and impression of the Scots-Irish in the United States, following their odyssey from their local Scotland, via their payment in Northern eire, to their migration to the US within the eighteenth century.

summary: lines the background and effect of the Scots-Irish in the US, following their odyssey from their local Scotland, via their payment in Northern eire, to their migration to the USA within the eighteenth century

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Scattered thinly through a long frontier, they constituted the outposts and buffer settlements of civilization. A vigorous breed, hardy, assertive, individualistic, thrifty, trained in the democracy of the Scottish kirk, they were the material out of which later Jacksonian democracy was to be fashioned, the creators of that western type which in politics and industry became ultimately the American type. —VERNON LOUIS PARRINGTON, Main Currents in American Thought 1 Big Moccasin Gap GATE CITY IS more than four hundred miles from Arlington, down the long spine of mountains that marks Virginia’s western border.

It has no marker other than a small hand-painted sign with an arrow and the name of a Baptist church, but I know it by heart. It wasn’t so long ago that the road was still dirt. This is the entrance to Alley Hollow. My great-great-grandfather lived in this hollow. My great-grandfather left from here to move up to Kentucky. A lot of people back in Alley Hollow share my blood. And all of them share a large part of my history. My great-great-grandparents are buried back here along with maybe a dozen others in a rough patch of woods on top of a nearby mountain.

The mountain is on someone else’s property, back in the hollow. My cousins have called to ask permission for us to visit it. We drive in a truck down dirt roads. Old frame houses mark our journey, their porches buckling and the springhouses along the rushing streams falling into ruin. Folks here are still moving on. They always have. That is the story of our people. The road roughens even more, ribbed like an old washboard from the rains. We pull up in front of a haunted, empty farmhouse and walk across its back pasture.

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