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Calvinism, and one too so historically opposed to her own. So the larger portion of this exodus, sailing week after week in the comfortless little ships of that day from Belfast and Derry, headed for Philadelphia, while a substantial minority made for Charlestown, South Carolina. It would seem in both cases that the Ulsterman had made up his mind to have nothing more to do with any Governments, British or Colonial, civil or religious. In South Carolina, though a fairly tolerant province, he made his way rapidly through civilisation and settled along the then unoccupied foothills that rise gradually to the most southern section of the Alleghanies. The larger northern stream pressed through the fat sea-board Quaker districts of Pennsylvania, pushed past the German farmers of the second belt, and flung themselves with no little daring upon the perilous Indian frontier and the straggling northern section of that mighty forest range.?
Now the Alleghanies traverse a south-westerly course, roughly speaking from Pennsylvania to Georgia ; a huge natural wall, forming at that day the western barrier of Maryland, Virginia, and the two Carolinas; a deep range of successive ridges, rising in places to four, five, and in North Carolina even to six thousand feet.
Between the Alleghanies and the Atlantic lay the lower country, from one to two hundred miles in width : where in this eighteenth century dwelt the whole population of our middle and southern colonies, say a million whites and four hundred thousand negro slaves. In 1730, to take a pertinent date, these provinces had some hundred years more or less of existence, and were rapidly growing in population, with but slight assistance from immigration, which, save in Pennsylvania, had long ceased to arrive in any strength. The sea-coast regions were the seats of now old-established communities, giving gradual way to a back belt of country still in process of taming by the first or second generation of its occupants. There was still a great forest solitude between this 'back country' and the Alleghanies, and into this along the foot of the mountains the bulk of the Scotch-Irish pressed their way. As will have been gathered, they struck the range near its two extremities at points some 700 miles apart. The larger groups in the Pennsylvania foothills pushed gradually south, while the Carolina borderers pressed north, till long before the Revolutionary war the two streams had met and
1 Some of the Scotch-Irish emigrants did go to New England, where they found themselves in many cases compelled to pay dues to the Congregational churches.
2 Some did not go so far, but settled on the edge or within the radius of * back-country' civilisation, and were supplied with ministers by the Scottish Presbyterian Church.
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linked together a continuous and steadily advancing barrier against the Indian, who roamed among the troughs of the Alleghanies and was in considerable strength behind them.
These mountains were then the western limit of the British Empire. Behind them, short of the Spanish and French territories in the remote West and far South-West, all was a shadowy no-man's-land, vaguely claimed by three nations but virtually held by the most formidable savage warrior, in his own woods, that the world has ever seen. It was the Scotch-Irishman's destiny-if deliberate choice can be so termed-to encounter him in the continual twilight of his own thick forests for three, or even four, generations, and finally to push him out of the far richer transmontane country of the Ohio and Eastern Mississippi basin. Mention too may be incidentally made of the great French scheme of trans-Alleghany dominion, and indeed of a French North America'; the attempt at which took shape in 1754 and culminated in the American wing of the Seven Years' War, Wolfe's victory on the Plains of Abraham, and the ultimate expulsion of the French power from the continent.
But the long-drawn line of Scotch-Irish fortified settlements cared less than nothing for British Imperial conquests, and very little at that time for Pennsylvanians, Virginians, or Carolinians, within whose several jurisdictions they nominally lived. Indeed, they saw nothing at all of their fellow-colonists but such detached fragments as broke away from colonial civilisation from time to time and went West to join them. They remained, in short, a people unto themselves; whether planted upon the headwaters of the Potomac, the James, the Roanoke, or the Peedee, just mountainy men,' as they were called by these others, sheltering far in their rear and themselves less capable of fighting Indians, from whom they had long been removed, than even the British regular of Braddock's day. But the passion for the wilderness which turned these Ulstermen into experts provoked at the same time the inevitable hostility of the savage. The farmer or weaver of Ulster underwent no little transformation amid such grim and stern surroundings, though his grit one may be sure lost nothing by them, and when he emerged again into the civilisation that his fathers had won from the wilderness, he found no trouble in playing a leading part in it. But in the meantime a glance at him during the process would assuredly have astonished his stayat-home kinsfolk in Antrim or Down! He was a farmer so far as was needful and practicable out of reach of all markets, though as often as not his corn was planted and his grass mown with the long-barrelled, short-stocked, ponderous, small-bore rifle, . upon which his life so often hung, placed ready and loaded against a handy stump. What sheep he could protect from the bears and wolves, together with a patch of flax, provided his family with
covering and clothing. Swarthy as an Indian and almost as sinewy, with hair, the object sometimes of no little pride, falling to his shoulders from beneath a coon-skin cap, a buck-skin hunting-shirt tied at the waist, his nether man encased in the Indian breech-clout, and his feet shod in deer-skin moccasins completed the picture. A hunter, indeed, pre-eminently, not merely for the venison, wild turkey, and bear-meat that more than supplemented his frugal fare, but pelts were almost his sole marketable commodity. Once a year trains of pack-horses laden with the season's spoil of a settlement would go jangling eastward to the border market-towns, returning with salt and iron, articles of vital import to backwoods life. Indeed, a bushel of salt, so laborious was its carriage, was worth a cow and a half !
Such, in the rough, as regards externals, was the Ulster borderer : a'type of thousands in the transition period from the civilisation which, though needing him, heaven knows, badly enough at home, drove him out to be the stoutest creator of that other civilisation of which he became later on such a conspicuous figure.
The Alleghanies, with their spurs and lateral ridges, are assuredly the most beautiful mountains in North America putting the Rockies out of consideration as appealing to a quite different standard. The Adirondacks, the White Mountains, the Laurentians of Lower Canada are at a distinct aesthetic disadvantage from the almost unrelieved monotony of pine forest which covers them. This great eighteenth-century frontier rampart, on the other hand, was clad to its very summits, ridge behind ridge, as it often is yet, with a rich canopy of deciduous foliage. Oak and chestnut, poplar and maple, beech and hickory, elm, walnut and ash here interlace their boughs. Intervals of pine, hemlock, or cedar strike but sombre note here and there amid the lush verdure of early summer, or the gorgeous curtain of red, gold, and saffron which, with a radiant splendour unmatched in New England or Canada, hangs from the blue autumnal skies. For a touch of the Southern atmosphere begins to creep over these mountains. A certain indescribable hardness,' which attaches to the region of greater climatic extremes to the northward, sensibly vanishes. The lights become softer and richer, the sun both in its rising and its setting more lavish of great effects. Among the woods, too, is always the music of falling waters : pellucid mountain-streams, burrowing their way down tortuous glens, ablaze in June, beneath the grey columns of the forest, with the purple fare of rhododendrons and the ivory gleam of kalmia.
Such was the country which confronted the Scotch-Irish borderer, along his far-extended line, till quite late in the century
his vanguard crossed to the fat lands that proved his ultimate reward. The first generation, whose apprenticeship must have been severe and pangs of nostalgia acute, had to find consolation in the absence of bishops and all forms of interference by any Government. Their sons, accomplished frontiersmen, knew no other life, while the constant influx of later recruits from oversea had in these pioneers ready instructors in the arts of the wilder
The Scotch-Irish, to be sure, by no means monopolised the whole strength of this frontier. But they formed its backboneits controlling element—and set the tone to which all comers conformed. For numbers of adventurers or needy souls from the settled regions cast in their lot with them. Wild or penniless younger sons from the plantations, where entail and primogeniture still flourished, passed through the back counties, their usual resort, and were caught by the fascination of the wilderness. Rough men, too, of wandering habit came here, whether of English, Scotch, Swiss, or German blood : Daniel Boone was of English stock; George Rogers Clarke was an Anglo-Virginian, Sevier, a Huguenot; while Shelby was of Welsh origin-to mention a few conspicuous names. But Scotch-Irish was the dominant strain, and once a mountain-man, nationality had little further significance.
Their small settlements lay mostly in the well-watered valleys among the foothills of the main range. Two rows of cabins of squared logs would stand face to face, their back walls thus forming a compact outer defence; loopholes were pierced for the longbarrelled rifles, while the end of the little street could be readily closed at a crisis.
In the more dangerous posts-for localities naturally differed in this respect—there was a block-house to which the defenders, if hard beset, could retire with their families as the garrison of a medieval castle in like predicament abandoned the inner bailey for the keep. Around the village spread the clearings, their outer fringes still bristling with raw stumps, such as you may see anywhere in the folds of the Alleghanies to-day, and beyond the stumps or the huge skeletons of belted’ trees was the interminable mysterious forest, whence issued every enemy of the settler, human fiend or predatory beast. Every borderer was an expert shot and a skilled axeman, for the rifle and the axe were the tools essential to life. Physical courage and normal honesty were his title to recognition. Nothing else very much mattered. Their rifles were inordinately long and heavy, bored out of solid iron for small bullets of sixty to the pound, and carrying with precision up to about eighty yards. In past years spent near this old stamping-ground of the Scotch-Irishman I have frequently handled surviving specimens of these portentous, ill-balanced
weapons, some of which were nearly six feet long, and I have seen one or two that only a strong man could hold to his shoulder. But the old backwoodsmen, as a matter of fact, fired when possible from a rest. Every settlement, or group of settlements, possessed a rough military organisation with an appointed leader. But effective discipline, with such heady individualists, was out of the question. The advantage here lay, curiously enough, with the Indians, who by this time were all armed with the rifle, and almost as good shots as the borderer. But efficient as the latter became in every art of forest-warfare and the chase, he could never conceal himself or follow a trail with the consummate craft of the savage. The latter, too, in an action between large war-parties could maintain an extended line in the thick woods with an accuracy beyond the power of any large body of white men. Lastly, he was obedient to his leaders, and, above all, knew exactly when to give up the game and vanish, at which he was a pastmaster. Of ordinary fear the Red Indian knew nothing, but he held on principle that to fight on for mere bravado and court defeat or even a drawn battle was mere foolishness-poor strategy, in short. For his numbers were limited, and he was really anxious ‘to fight another day' to better purpose. In the innumerable sanguinary contests on the frontier between single men or small groups, the borderer held his own : combats that began with the rifle from behind trees or logs, to be often continued by a hand-to-hand fight with tomahawks, and always terminating with the last horror of the scalping-knife. As regards hostilities on a larger scale, however, the battle of the Great Kenawha in 1774, where over a thousand of either colour were engaged, is said to be the first occasion in which a force of borderers ever defeated an equal number of Indians. This is subversive of our accepted ideas of savage warfare, which are accustomed, with good reason, to picture small companies of Britons defying the rage of heathen hosts. But the conditions here were peculiar, as will be patent on a moment's reflection.
The borderers were in a chronic state of more or less warfare with the Indians. The country just beyond the Alleghanies was the common hunting-ground at that time of both the NorthWestern and the Southern tribes. They resented the intrusion of the long hunters' who, in twos and threes, or even alone, would thread the remotest forests for months at a time, under incredible hardships and dangers, fascinated, as it were, by their own dare-devil powers. But, above all, the savage dreaded the slow advance of the settlements, with the result that these last could never feel really secure, and a successful raid on a frontier settlement was in truth a frightful thing. For it meant not merely death and destruction, but for the men protracted horrible