William Wallace stated that he came from Ireland to South Carolina in 1773. It is likely that he was born in Ireland and that his family had lived there for generations, for most of his children and grandchildren called themselves Irish. Presbyterian Scots were originally introduced into Ireland in the reign of James I (1603-1625), to settle the estates which had been forfeited by the rebellion of several Catholic noblemen. James thus had at his disposal nearly six counties in Ulster, embracing half a million acres. Protestant colonies were transplanted from England and Scotland, but chiefly from the latter, with the intent that the principles of the Reformation should subdue the turbulent natives.

These settlers were subsequently joined by numbers of their countrymen, particularly under the reign of the last Stuart kings, when numbers fled from Scotland to escape remorseless persecution. The commotion in the Highlands of Scotland during the civil wars swelled the number to greater proportions. The rebellions of 1715 and 1745 added a large percentage to the increasing population.

Presbyterians in Ireland were subjected to various disabilities which they felt to be oppressive. A tenth of all their increase was vigorously exacted for the support of ministers of the Established Church (Anglican or Church of England), and they were precluded from various public offices, except on terms which violated their consciences. they also held their lands under leases of which the terms were often oppressive. "Their position was also uncomfortable from the hostility of the native Irish around them, most of them then in a state of rude and almost savage barbarism, who generally adhered with tenacity to the Church of Rome, and in whom the feelings produced by difference of race, language and religion had by various circumstances been nursed into the bitterest antithapy." 1

In 1771, the leases on the estate of the Marquis of Donegal, in Antrim, expired. the rents were placed at exorbitant figures. A spirit of resentment to the oppression of the landed proprietors at once arose, and extensive emigration was the result. "In the two years that followed the Antrim evictions of 1772, 30,000 Protestants left Ulster. One hundred vessels sailed for the New World loaded with human beings. 2

Some of these emigrants became the "Scotch - Irish" settlers of South Carolina. 3




1. Patterson, Rev. George. Pioneers of Presbyterianism in the Maritime Provinces.

2. Mac Lean, J.P. Settlements of Scotch Highlanders in America.

3. Norfleet, Phil. "The Scotch Irish in Ireland and America"



South Carolina





John T.