The Scots In America
On this side of the pond, there is a growing interest among writers and academics in the Scottish emigrant experience (see also Clearances books) and in the Scottish contribution to the making of the American nation. Other areas of interest are the Scottish plantation at Darien in Panama and trade with the West Indies in the 18th century.
The famous names from the past with strong American connections - Andrew Carnegie, Allan Pinkerton, Sir Thomas Lipton and John Muir among others - all have biographies devoted to them, while at the other end of the scale, there are books on such fascinating figures as 'John the Painter', a poor Edinburgh boy who became, according to the author of the book, the first modern terrorist with his arson efforts against British shipyards and docks during the American Revolution, and John 'Soolivan' MacLeod, 'Gael, Traveller, Rebel, Convict and Raconteur', a Lewis-born character who emigrated to the States in the 1930s.
Scottish writers with strong connections to the US include Robert Louis Stevenson. His links to Monterey, where he lived for some time, and Hawaii, which he visited, are particularly relevant.
For Americans of Scots descent wishing to research their ancestry we have a list of recommended books (see Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry) and a regional map linking books and writers to particular areas of Scotland.
A new Book of Scottish Connections is in the process of being established by the General Register Office in Scotland offering people from all over the world the opportunity to have births, deaths and marriages recorded of people with Scottish connections. More info available from GRO Scotland.
The Top 5 States with the most people claiming Scottish descent
- New York
- Add to BasketJohn Paul Jones: A Restless Spirit - - Hardback
At sea from the age of 12, John Paul Jones commanded slave and merchant ships until, following a murder charge, he fled to America, where he is regarded as the founder of the US Navy. Controversies about this and about his difficult, pugnacious nature are the main themes of this story of adventure.
- Add to BasketJournal Of A Lady Of Quality - - Paperback
This volume chronicles the travels of Janet Schaw, who journeyed with her brother from Edinburgh to the continent of the 'New World' in 1774. It is her account of the voyage, described in letters to a friend in Scotland, and they reveal the atmosphere of America on the verge of revolution.
- Add to BasketA Life Of Soolivan: Based On The Recollections Of John MacLeod, Gael, Traveller, Rebel, Convict And Raconteur - - Paperback
A born rebel, Iain Tharmoid Uilleam left his native Lewis when he was 16, running off to a life at sea. Completely unsuited to a settled existence, he soon found adventure - and trouble - in many parts of the world. This is the story of a remarkable life.
- Add to BasketThe Noblest Work Of God - Paperback
In the aftermath of the Eyemouth fishing disaster, when 189 men drowned in a devastating hurricane, fisherman John Lough was drawn to a new life in the US, enticed by his wife's cousin, John Craig, the son of a Berwickshire migrant who had made good the American dream. This volume combines the memoirs of John Lough and John Craig.
- Add to BasketOn The Trail Of John Muir - - Paperback
John Muir is a national hero in America, and is gaining recognition in his native Scotland. This historical biography is also a contemporary travel guide to the wilderness areas of North America which he championed.
- Add to BasketOn The Trail Of Robert Service - - Paperback
To many, the Scottish bank clerk who became the Bard of the Yukon is a figure solely associated with the Klondike. Lockhart reveals Service's vagabond years in North America, and his later travels in Tahiti and Russia as well as his response to success.
- Add to BasketPlaying For Uncle Sam: The Brits' Story Of The North American Soccer League - - Paperback
Through interviews with many of the British contingent who accepted the offer of the Yankee dollar, 'Playing For Uncle Sam' recalls one of the most fascinating episodes in football history: the remarkable rise and chaotic collapse of the North American Soccer League.
- Add to BasketScots In The USA - - Paperback
The experiences of Scottish settlers in the United States varied enormously, as did their attitudes to the lifestyles that they left behind and those they began anew once they arrived in North America. This work discusses why they left Scotland, where they went once they reached the US, and what they did when they got there.
- Add to BasketTwa Tribes: Scots Among The Native Americans - Hugo Reid, Alexander Ross And Charles McKenzie - - Paperback
Based on the contemporary writings of three very different individuals, this is an account of the special relationship some Scots developed with the native peoples of North America.
- Add to BasketWhite People, Indians, And Highlanders: Tribal Peoples And Colonial Encounters In Scotland And America - - Hardback
A comparative approach to the American Indians and Scottish Highlanders, this book examines the experiences of clans and tribal societies, which underwent parallel experiences on the peripheries of Britain's empire in Britain, the United States, and Canada.
- Add to BasketYou Have To Be Careful In The Land Of The Free - - Paperback
Jeremiah Brown, a 34-year-old Scot, gambler and drifter, has lived in the USA for several years, fathering a child by a now defunct relationship. He is about to make his first trip home in years when he recalls a time with his ex-girlfriend, and the memories then keep rolling.
More on BooksfromScotland.com
- The Site of the American Scottish Foundation
- Tartan Week New York
- US Scots Association site
- General Register Office for Scotland (births, deaths, marriages)
- Burke's Peerage: Scotland
- University of Edinburgh's Course on Scotland and America
- The Scottish Affairs Office in Washington DC