Pennsylvania and Kentucky are two American states settled primarily at opposite ends of the 18th century by Ulster-Scots Presbyterians. In this fourth of the popular chronicles on this hardy, pioneering breed of people, Billy Kennedy vividly details the stories behind the early settlements and the enduring personalities who came to the fore during a fascinating period of history.
William Penn and his Quaker community encouraged the European settlers to move in large numbers to the colonial lands in Pennsylvania from the beginning of the 18th century and the Scots-Irish were among the earliest families to set up homes in Philadelphia, Lancaster, Elizabethtown, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh.
President James Buchanan was a Scots-Irish son of Pennsylvania, one of thirteen Presidents with Ulster family links, and many other illustrious citizens of the Keystone State trace their roots to immigrants who crossed the Atlantic from the North of Ireland.
Kentucky, established as a state in 1792, was pioneered two decades earlier by renowned frontiersmen Daniel Boone and a few Ulster-Scots families, such as the WArnocks, the McAfees, the Logans, and the McGarys. Those were dark and dangerous days west of the Appalachian Mountains and through the Cumberland Gap and the bloody conflict between the settlers and the Indian tribes terribly stained the landscape of the Bluegrass State.
Gradually, civilized society emerged in Kentucky by the beginning of the 19th century and it was Scots-Irish soldiers, hunters, politicians, lawyers, and plain ordinary farmers who were in the vanguard of bringing this about.
This book records for posterity the outstanding contribution of the Scots-Irish in Pennsylvania and Kentucky, and, as with the immigrant settlers in Tennessee, the Shenandoah Valley, and the Carolinas, it is a story well worth telling.