You Scottish Americans knew that there was a strong connection between Scotland and the people of the USA. But did you know just how far back that goes?
Many people claim that without the influence of Scottish Americans the USA would not be a great power in the world today. Huge numbers of Scots came across to the USA because of the clearances in the Scottish Highland. The main owners (absent landlords mainly Englishmen) started to throw them off the land they had farmed for centuries. The British Government (at that time mainly English) was doing virtually nothing to help so there was no real love being shared between Scots and the English.
The Scottish highlanders were by culture, and necessity, survivors and fiercely independent people. But they were looking to get a fair reward for their hard work. When the British (English) government later started to impose high taxes on American residents most of the Scottish American immigrants refused to pay. Their choice was to move more inland or stay and fight back.
They were amongst the founders and settlers of the country growing crops and starting townships etc. No-one was going to tax them into having to leave their homes all over again. Especially not for any English government. By this stage many of them had become active in local politics and civic leaders and become leaders in the American revolution. They were becoming truly Scottish Americans.
- 2 of the original 5 people who drafted the US Declaration of Independence were of Scottish blood.
- 9 of the original 56 signatories of the Declaration of Independence were descended from Scottish blood.
- 9 of the 13 newly elected Governors of the new States were either Scots or of Scottish descent?
- 25 of the first 73 Americans to go into the US Hall of Fame were of Scottish blood?
I remember the Alamo with the Scottish American Sam Houston along with that famous King of the Wild Frontier Davy Crocket who often boasted of his Scottish cultural background as did his friend Daniel Boone.
The divided union was embodied by Generals “Stonewall” Jackson and Jeb Stuart for the Gray and George B. McClellan for the Blue. All these generals fighting each other were of Scottish descent. In addition it is worth noting that the first American Secretary of War General Henry Knoxwas also a Scot as was Alexander Hamilton the first Secretary of the Treasury.
We could go on and on with this type of list but this page would be too long so we have created a separate page with a much longer list of Scottish Americans.
Don’t take my word for it! Who else says Scottish Americans made America great?
US President Woodrow Wilson said it.
“Every line of strength in American history is a line colored with Scottish blood.”
Later The US House Of Senate said it
On March 20th 1998, the following Resolution 155 (S.Res. 155), proposed by US Senate Republican majority leader Trent Lott, was passed unanimously in the US Senate.
WHEREAS April 6 has a special significance for all Americans, and especially those Americans of Scottish descent, because the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence, was signed on April 6, 1320 and the American Declaration of Independence was modeled on that inspirational document; and
WHEREAS this resolution honors the major role that Scottish Americans played in the founding of this Nation, such as the fact that almost half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent, the Governors in 9 of the original 13 States were of Scottish ancestry, and Scottish Americans successfully helped shape this country in its formative years and guide this Nation through its most troubled times; and
WHEREAS Scottish Americans have made monumental achievements and invaluable contributions that have led to America’s preeminence in the fields of science, technology, medicine, government, politics, architecture, literature, media, and visual and performing arts; and
WHEREAS there are more than 200 organizations throughout the United States that honor Scottish heritage, tradition and culture, representing the hundreds of thousands of Americans of Scottish descent residing in every state; and
WHEREAS those numerous individuals, clans, societies, clubs, and fraternal organizations join us in recognizing the great contributions of the Scottish people to this state and nation; now therefore
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE U.S. SENATE that we hereby designate April 6, each year as National Tartan Day, in recognition of the immense contributions made by Scottish Americans
If the President and the Senate said these things about Scottish Americans who are we as mere mortals to disagree with them.
So who are these Scottish Americans?
Some of the biggest names in American culture originated from Scotland.
Both Alexander Graham-Bell and Andrew Carnegie emigrated and made their fortunes in the New World. Bringing with their Scottish culture of hard work ethics and innovative thinking about how things were done.
But more modern figures like Tommy Hilfiger and artist Jackson Pollock also have tartan in their DNA.
Today’s well known business men would include Donald Trump and Bill Gates of Microsoft (sorry to computer geeks but I have yet to do a genealogical research on the Linux penguin or Steve Jobs of Apple).
On a political front we can include 12 U.S. Presidents
US North Carolina congressman Mike Mclntyre, recently combined an official visit to Scotland to search through family records for clues to his past. Not surprisingly there are more people in that one state of North Carolina who boast Scots ancestry than there are people in the whole of Scotland. IMagine over 5 million Scottish Americans in one state alone. What about all the others? Has anyone done any research on the total number of Scottish Americans in all 50 states?
Mike Mclntyre said: “My ancestors came from Argyll (West Scotland) and were married in the church at Lismore. They sailed to the US in the late 1700s and early 1800s. This has been a great odyssey for me, and I am thrilled to make the final link between both sides of the Atlantic.”
Read more about Scots who changed the world we live in.