In the summer the 1718, five ships that Scots-Irish immigrants from Ulster come in Boston to an uncertain welcome. The Puritan leaders sympathized through their fellow Protestants who likewise endured Anglican intolerance. Yet the newcomers come from one impoverished land, and many Puritans doubted whether they might support themselves.

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Cotton Mather

Cotton Mather wrote in his diary:

But what shall it is in done for the great number of civilization that are transporting us thither indigenous ye phibìc of Ireland?

Had he known that they brought seed potatoes for the very first potato patch in America, he can have invited them joyfully.

Worse 보다 Peasants in Germany

The irish went through tough times throughout the winter of 1717-18. A harsh winter followed bad harvests, and also smallpox and fever raged.

Jonathan Swift composed that travelers to Ireland ‘will solid think self in a land where law, religion, or typical humanity is professed.’ that blamed rapacious landlords, ‘who by screwing or racking your tenants had diminished the people to a worse problem than the peasants in Germany and Poland.’

The scotsman who resolved in Ulster beginning much more than a century earlier were referred to as the Ulster Scots-Irish, or the Ulster Presbyterians. They were squeezed in between hostile ireland Catholics and the Anglican Church, which forced them to salary tithes, however didn’t permit them to host official positions.

Land for the Scots-Irish

In the feather of 1718 the Rev. William Boyd was sent from Ulster to Massachusetts to ask for land because that Scots-Irish families. He lugged a petition signed through the heads of 319 families, all however four the whom can sign your names. Gov. Samuel Shute liked the idea. That envisioned Scots-Irish pioneers stable on the frontiers the Maine and new Hampshire, buffering the colony from French and also Indians.


Samuel Sewall.

They also had the support of the Revs. Noodle Mather and Samuel Sewall, that sympathized v their other Calvinists. Others did no welcome the Scots-Irish.

Coming come Boston

Five or six ships transferring Scots-Irish family members arrived in Boston during the summer of 1718. Some of them come as congregations led by clergymen. One congregation had actually the Rev. James McGregor together their leader. Before leaving Ireland, he ceded a farewell sermon around their persecution.

They to be fleeing Ireland, the said, “to protect against oppression and to have actually an possibility of worshipping God follow to the dictates of conscience and the rules of His influenced Word.”

The first ship probably landed on July 28, 1718, follow to Charles Knowles Bolton in Scotch ireland Pioneers in Ulster and also America.


Boston Harbor roughly 1720

Thomas Lechmere greeted one delivery in 1718. His brother-in-law, Gov. Man Winthrop the Connecticut, had actually instructed that to discover a miller because that his gristmill. Top top Aug. 28, the wrote,

Eleven that ye clock at night. Ships room coming in hourly, but not news; Irish households enough; over 200 souls are come in already, and also many currently hourly expected; for this reason that i wish you were here; they room none to it is in sold, have all paid their passages sterling in Ireland.

The ship likewise brought young civilization without home who come as indentured servants.


Two ships, the Robert and the William, brought Scots-Irish congregations come Boston port on Aug. 4, 1718. Part of the group, led through McGregor, soon settled in Nutfield, N.H., i beg your pardon later ended up being Londonderry. Some went phibìc to Casco Bay, whereby they had actually a soil grant. Castle would have actually starved during the winter, however the Massachusetts general Court granted them 100 bushels that cornmeal. They later on reunited with the remainder of the team in Nutfield.

For years new Hampshire and also Massachusetts disputed the Nutfield territory. What is not discussed is the McGregor planted the very first potatoes in America. He carried seed potato from Ireland and planted castle in Londonderry common Ground (Derry today). They are identified to be the an initial potatoes planted in the united States.


The noble spud.

Londonderry, the Scots-Irish mother town, spawned brand-new settlements in new Hampshire. Follow to one estimate, the Scots-Irish comprised 10 percent of brand-new Hampshire’s population in the 18th century.

More Scots-Irish

The other ships sailed into Boston sometime the summer: the William and Mary, the McCallum, the William and Elizabeth and also the Mary and also Elizabeth.

The Ulster Scots-Irish remained in Boston for a time, then moved to the frontier, voluntarily or not. In 1720, an ordinance happen in Boston ordering ‘certain families showing up from Ireland to move off.’ In 1723, Boston selectmen ordered immigrant from Ulster to register their presence.

Fifty households moved to Worcester, wherein they then created a Presbyterian church. However Puritan resentment versus them flared in 1738, as soon as people shed down their church building.

More Scots ireland arrived in 1720-21, including Ocean Born Mary, a new Hampshire legend. They prospered in the frontier towns. Along with the Scots and Huguenots, they might have consisted of 10 percent of the white population of the Massachusetts Bay colony during the 18th century.


Today, plenty of place name in Maine and brand-new Hampshire reflect their Scots-Irish roots: Derry, Antrim and also Londonderry, N.H.; Belfast and Limerick, Maine; Colrain, Mass.; and Londonderry, Vt.

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Maine this day ranks seventh in the percent of occupants of Scots-Irish descent.

You may additionally like this story about the irish in colonial brand-new England here, or this story around how the Londonderry Scots-Irish saved brand-new Hampshire native Massachusetts here. This story was updated in 2021.