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The People with No Name: Ireland's Ulster Scots, America's Scots Irish, and the Creation of a British Atlantic World, 1689-1764. Paperback – November 1, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0691074627 ISBN-10: 0691074623 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; 1 edition (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691074623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691074627
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #637,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This highly recommended monograph is based on broad and deep archival research on both sides of the ocean and is written in a clear, lively style that quotes abundantly from contemporary sources."--Stanley H. Palmer, History

"A good analysis of one of the several disaffected and displaced groups that occupied the margins of the colonial world."--Choice

"In part, Griffin's book is so successful because he understands that the historian of any diaspora has a dual responsibility: to the homeland and to the new land. Privileging either of these distorts the picture. . . . Griffin's fine book will stand as a fundamental building block of Ulster Scots and of Scots-Irish historical study."--Donald Harman Akenson, American Historical Review

"A welcome contribution to a field with a small but growing literature."--H. Tyler Blethen, William and Mary Quarterly

"An excellent study of interest not only to students of Britain, Ireland, and colonial America, but also to those seeking to understand the eighteenth-century British Empire as a whole."--K. David Milobar, International History Review

"There is much new in Griffin's study. . . . His accomplishment derives in part from an ability to discuss identity formation in a jargon-free story at once engaging and profound."--Warren R. Hofstra, Journal of American History

From the Inside Flap

"A masterful reconstruction of the experiences of the Scots Irish migrants who transformed the culture of the eighteenth-century colonial frontier. Drawing creatively on research materials in Ireland and America, Griffin shows how these extraordinarily resilient people made sense of an expanding commercial world and managed to accommodate to rapidly changing social conditions without compromising their own hard-earned identity."--T.H. Breen, Northwestern University

"This is a first-rate and timely piece of scholarship, offering a compelling new vision of transatlantic history and an equally compelling analysis of the intricacies of identity and culture in the colonial Atlantic world. It may well be the best sustained study of the 'Ulster Scot' in the Atlantic world that has been written in a generation."--Kevin Kenny, Boston College

"A significant contribution to the field. Certainly, every scholar who does research in Irish and/or Scots Irish history will want to read this book, as will many specialists in immigration history. Griffin's book will also be a valuable complement to the burgeoning study of transatlantic or the 'new' British history, and will attract specialists in 18th century Irish (especially Ulster) history as well."--Kerby Miller, University of Missouri at Columbia

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Barry Vann on July 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you want a less academic-sounding book on the subject, it is hard to find a better book than that which was penned by James Leyburn back in 1962. On the other hand, comparing Griffin's book to James Webb's romantic depiction of the Scots-Irish, is a terrible mistake. Griffin's book is a tough read, but if you have an interest in identity formation and its relationship to religion, then give it a look. It will not be a waste of time. If you have an interest in Irish Catholics and their imprint on the Irish and American landscapes, you can't beat Kerby Miller's two books. The only serious academic competition No Name has to date on the diffusion of Presbyterianism is found in Marilyn Westerkamp's Triumph of the Laity.
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46 of 57 people found the following review helpful By David M. Dougherty VINE VOICE on December 29, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This work is a mass of disjointed ancedotes from historical archives put together without a purpose except to satisfy a dissertation advisor and gain a PhD. In spite of the volumious end notes, there is nothing new or revealing here. Leyburn's book is clearly superior.

I was put on to this book by a criticism of another of the author's books on the Scotch-Irish who described the author as "a dynamic young historian on the cutting edge of early American and Atlantic world scholarship." Wow, was I disappointed!

The title is stupid and trite, as the term "Scotch-Irish" will do just fine for the people described and has been in general use since 1744. So now, all of a sudden, we can't name them?

The author focuses only on the Scotch-Irish in Pennsylvania, and although he clearly knows there were large and prosperous settlements of Scotch-Irish along the frontier from Maine to Georgia, he chooses to ignore them. Moreover, he marginalizes the Scotch-Irish by primarily using sources in the colonies that viewed the Scotch-Irish with disdain and hostility (including Logan, who was Scotch-Irish himself.) Not much fairness or scholarship here.

The numbers of Scotch-Irish immigrants are somewhat controversial although the 100,000 number prior to 1776 is often quoted. Writers such as Fiske have gone as high as 500,000. That is clearly an exaggeration given the numbers of ships sailing from Ulster during this period and their passenger capacity. But other sources give 30,000 as the number following the Antrim evictions, and 44,000 from 1769-1774, and the annual rates of 70-100 sailings from Ulster indicate higher migration numbers.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By gi on February 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
Have you ever read a book that completely changes the way you think about a subject, that resolves nagging inconsistencies with which you've struggled? Patrick Griffin's "The People of No Name" has been such a book for me. By relocating and enlarging the context for studying the group known popularly as the Scots Irish, the Scotch Irish, and, in the American Deep South, as the Irish, Griffin offers a fresh and far more accurate, productive perspective from which to view this people's identity and unique role in both British and American history. This is a brilliant book, one that gives insight into the complex experience of a people under change in a world under change.

The title of his book clearly indicates the group's importance - "The People of No Name: Ireland's Ulster Scots, America's Scots Irish, and the Creation of a British Atlantic World, 1689-1764." The role of the Ulster Scots in expanding the British world to include Britain's American colonies cannot be denied. In the 60 or 70 years leading up to the American Revolution, more than 100,000 Presbyterians left Ulster in Ireland for Britain's North American colonies. The migration was far and away the largest movement of any group from the British Isles to British North American in the eighteenth century, and its impact on both sides of the Atlantic was profound. The Crown's authorities in Ireland demanded local officials account for an exodus that threatened to undo the work of James I in providing a Protestant balance for the Catholicism in Ireland and to further undermine the sadly flagging Irish economy. Newspapers in New Castle and Philadelphia announced the arrival in a single week of "two thousand Irish and abundance more expected daily.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Frank Bellizzi on January 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Griffin begins by explaining that between 1718 and 1775, over 100,000 people migrated from the Irish province of Ulster to the American colonies. Once in America, these people typically did not take up residence in towns along the east coast. Instead, they settled in the deep woods of Pennsylvania--a colony known for its religious tolerance--and cleared land along what was then the western frontier.

Although their ancestors had moved to Ireland from Scotland, they were not identified as Scottish. And though they had recently come from Ireland, neither were they Irish. They were sometimes calls Scots Irish, though they did not call themselves that. What they did call themselves was northern dissenters, a name that made sense in Ireland, but not in America. This book, The People with No Name, tells their often sad and difficult story from the end of the Glorious Revolution to the end of the Seven Years' War. Along the way, Griffin indicates how their experience both reflected and contributed to the development of what he terms "a British Atlantic world."

It does not appear that Griffin anywhere specifies a thesis for his book. And, although his six chapters normally follow a chronological sequence, other than what I've already identified, Griffin does not appear to be building a case. So, this book is what might be called an ethnographic history, a description of a people group. What follows are some of the points I picked up and some of the thoughts that occurred to me as I read it.

1. Throughout, Griffin highlights the status of the Ulster Presbyterians as second-class citizens in (or from) Ireland, which was itself a second-class kingdom. Once in America, they were sometimes exploited.

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