"I wish they were all here" : Scottish Highlanders in Ohio, 1802-1840
This dissertation investigates the validity of three commonly held beliefs regarding British emigration to the United States after 1781. First, that Highlanders were predominantly loyalists and abandoned their homes in the United States after the American Revolution. Second, that Highland emigration must be defined in terms of landlord action and that it most affected the West Highland and islands. Third, that nineteenth-century British emigrants did not form ethnic or cultural communities in the United States. The first theme was examined primarily through secondary sources and modern loyalist studies. The next two themes have centred on Scotch Settlement, located in Columbiana County, Ohio. These Highlanders, who emigrated between 1801 and 1840, were predominantly from Strathdearn and Strathnairn near Inverness. They, and their descendents, left a rich resource of letters and local and family histories, which, together with other materials, have directed the research. This dissertation firmly suggests that these beliefs regarding British emigration in the nineteenth century are inaccurate. Not only did many Highlanders remain in the United States after the Revolution, but they continued to emigrate there. Emigration significantly affected all regions of the Highlands, especially the parishes near Inverness. Highlanders from this region were not forced from their homes. They, like their landlords, lived in an economically depressed region and all classes used emigration as a coping mechanism. Finally, the Scotch Settlement Highlanders created and maintained a distinct cultural community for at lest 50 years, indicating that it was possible for British immigrants to do so.