Monday, December 31, 2007

The Backcountry & the Scots-Irish

From The 1780 Presbyterian Rebellion and the Battle of Huck's Defeat, by Sam Thomas, Curator of History, Culture & Heritage Commission of York County:

    In the Backcountry, due to their isolation from the coast, past resentments could be put aside—at least temporarily. When war arrived after 1776, at first the Scotch-Irish were rather lukewarm toward the idea of independence from Great Britain. Here they were content to remain neutral so long as they were left alone. The conflict as most of the Scotch-Irish saw it was between the British Crown and the Charleston aristocrats, whom they resented as much as the British officials and so it did not involve them. But the problems between the Backcountry and the Crown finally boiled to the surface in 1780 as "The Presbyterian Rebellion." In 1778 an unknown Hessian officer recorded his observations on the war. "Call this war by whatever name you may, only call it not an American Rebellion: it is nothing more or less than a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian Rebellion." George Washington also remarked on the contribution to the war effort with a tribute to the Scotch-Irish from his headquarters at Valley Forge when he declared, "If defeated everywhere else, I will make my last stand for liberty among the Scotch-Irish . . ." It is this Backcountry Rebellion which is so closely identified with the battles of Kings Mountain, Cowpens, Hanging Rock, and Huck's Defeat.