This essay by Rodney Green on migration from Ulster to the Carolinas, particularly South Carolina, in the period leading to the War of Independence can well lay claim to being years ahead of its time.
Penned in the early 1950s, it anticipates the later work on migration to North America of R.J. Dickson (1966), Kerby Miller (1985) and L.M. Cullen (1994) in a number of regards.
It confirms that Presbyterian ministers continued to be involved in the organisation of congregational removals from Ulster. At the same time, Green’s research is also quite possibly among the earliest to contend that, by the mid-eighteenth century, the motive for emigration from Ulster to the New World being linked to a strong sense of religious persecution had by then been replaced by economic factors, mostly associated with agriculture and land holding in Ulster. Most important of all, perhaps, this intriguing case study identifies links between commercial trade, particularly the importing of flaxseed, with the migratory flow from Ulster ports that continued unabated until the outbreak of hostilities in 1776. By then well over 100,000 – some estimate as many as 200,000 – Ulster migrants, many of Ulster-Scots origin, had taken root in Colonial America, endowing it with many of the characteristics that would be evident in the emergence of a new nation … the United States of America