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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion

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American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion Military history of North America. .

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  #1  
Old 12 Oct 16, 10:26
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Scots and the Klan

A recent documentary on the BBC linked Scottish emigration to the Southern Colonies (States after independence) with the development of slavery, the confederacy and ultimately the KKK.

The line was that the Scots emigrated to America in the c18th to avoid poverty in Scotland. They then became the slave lords seeing themselves 'lairds' in the new country. After the civil war they formed the Klan. Much of the Klan culture, e.g. The burning cross being if Scottish origin.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z3xhhv4
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  #2  
Old 12 Oct 16, 12:21
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The Klan's historic headquarters is in the north (Chicago). Given that slavery was well established in the Colonies in the 1600s, and the Southern elite with of English descent, I would say that it is just another attempt to blame things on the Scots.

Not that the Scots don't deserve a lot of blame on a wide variety of areas, but this one they can dodge.
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Old 12 Oct 16, 15:43
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The klan was founded in Tennessee by six rebels of Scots and Irish decent. The name Klan is Scottish. The burning cross is Scottish. The book the clansmen was written by an American Scot.
While slavery was in the colonies in the 17th century, Scots settlers expanded it and were disproportionately involved in using slaves to farm cotton

And before you think the program was aimed at being anti Scots it was presented by a historian with a reputation of being a Scots nat.
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Old 12 Oct 16, 15:48
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Originally Posted by Surrey View Post
The klan was founded in Tennessee by six rebels of Scots and Irish decent. The name Klan is Scottish. The burning cross is Scottish. The book the clansmen was written by an American Scot.
While slavery was in the colonies in the 17th century, Scots settlers expanded it and were disproportionately involved in using slaves to farm cotton

And before you think the program was aimed at being anti Scots it was presented by a historian with a reputation of being a Scots nat.
So his bias was in a different direction. Who trusts a Scot?

I would have to see hard data proving that Scot settlers were a majority of slave owners before I bought it.

I know where the Klan was started, but as a national movement it was firmly rooted in the North. And still is.
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Old 12 Oct 16, 16:07
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Originally Posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
So his bias was in a different direction. Who trusts a Scot?

I would have to see hard data proving that Scot settlers were a majority of slave owners before I bought it.

I know where the Klan was started, but as a national movement it was firmly rooted in the North. And still is.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan

I take it by north you mean to the north of Texas? Although may be not as the FBI was carrying out anti klan operations in Dallas in the 90s.

The rebel flag was even based on the Scottish flag.
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Old 12 Oct 16, 16:19
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Originally Posted by Surrey View Post
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan

I take it by north you mean to the north of Texas?

The rebel flag was even based on the Scottish flag.
Copying a design is hardly evidence.

And wiki's accuracy is not all it is cracked up to be, especially on topics such as the KKK. The blue states are very careful to gloss over their more colorful bits of local history. They don't like to mention the days when a 'race riot' meant blacks hanging from lamp posts in a major city (Chicago, Detroit, NYC). The USN even had to shell NYC neighborhoods in one case.

But we are drifting. The key issue is whether the numbers exist to support the theory that the Scots amped up the use of slaves.
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Old 12 Oct 16, 16:38
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a) Scots are Celts, not Anglo-Saxons.

b) The St Andrew's Cross is not an uncommon motif in flag design.

c) In emergencies, Scottish clan chiefs would send a burning saltire or - even a brand - to summon their warriors, there were no mythical ceremonies attached.

d) "Clan," is spelled with a, "C."

Were there Scots immigrants among the slave-owners of the South ? Most certainly.

Were some of them among the leading lights of this despicable organisation ? Beyond a doubt.

Was one small group responsible for a mass movement across the entire Deep South ? Pull the other one.

Oh and Neil Oliver is a Unionist to the core - I'm just surprised he didn't try to blame the SNP for this, as he usually does everything else.
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Old 12 Oct 16, 16:56
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Originally Posted by Surrey View Post
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_KlanThe rebel flag was even based on the Scottish flag.
I think you are referring to the Confederate Battle Flag. There were at least three "National" Confederate Flags. The units might fly a Battle Flag and/or a State Flag. Louisiana Troops often flew the state flag, sometimes called the Pelican Flag. The Unionists also flew it. The difference is one nest held three chicks and one held five chicks. I can't recall which was which.

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Old 12 Oct 16, 17:42
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Originally Posted by the ace View Post
a) Scots are Celts, not Anglo-Saxons.

b) The St Andrew's Cross is not an uncommon motif in flag design.

c) In emergencies, Scottish clan chiefs would send a burning saltire or - even a brand - to summon their warriors, there were no mythical ceremonies attached.

d) "Clan," is spelled with a, "C."

Were there Scots immigrants among the slave-owners of the South ? Most certainly.

Were some of them among the leading lights of this despicable organisation ? Beyond a doubt.

Was one small group responsible for a mass movement across the entire Deep South ? Pull the other one.

Oh and Neil Oliver is a Unionist to the core - I'm just surprised he didn't try to blame the SNP for this, as he usually does everything else.
A. Depends on your definition of Scots. Plenty from Edinburgh southwards are as Anglo Saxon as those in Northumberland across the border. But not that relevant to the question of the Scottish connection to the Klan.

B . Yes but considering the prominence of those of Scottish decent in the South e.g Davis you can see where they got the idea from.

C. Yes but popularised by Walter Scott and copied by the Dixon and the Klan.

D you can't expect anyone stupid enough to set up an organisation like th KKK to spell correctly can you? Besides Dixon used C in his book.

Oliver a Unionist? Really? He always seemed ultra Scottish on the documentaries he has done. Pro Stewart on a programme about Bpc and seemed excessively happy when a genetic test showed his ancestry was 'Scottish' as opposed to Saxon.
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Old 12 Oct 16, 18:41
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A. Depends on your definition of Scots. Plenty from Edinburgh southwards are as Anglo Saxon as those in Northumberland across the border. But not that relevant to the question of the Scottish connection to the Klan.

B . Yes but considering the prominence of those of Scottish decent in the South e.g Davis you can see where they got the idea from.

C. Yes but popularised by Walter Scott and copied by the Dixon and the Klan.

D you can't expect anyone stupid enough to set up an organisation like th KKK to spell correctly can you? Besides Dixon used C in his book.

Oliver a Unionist? Really? He always seemed ultra Scottish on the documentaries he has done. Pro Stewart on a programme about Bpc and seemed excessively happy when a genetic test showed his ancestry was 'Scottish' as opposed to Saxon.

My Bold.

Neil Oliver was a prominent, "No," campaigner, and his unbridled hatred for the SNP and the independence movement is legendary.

He's one of the, "Proud Scot, but...." brigade, and his support perhaps extends to a Stuart on the British throne, but he's no nationalist, and is rapidly becoming a laughing-stock in Scotland, particularly for his ill-informed newspaper articles, and his twitter attacks on anyone pro independence.

It should also be noted that the vast majority of Scots emigrants were Highland Catholics, not exactly a prime recruiting-ground for the KKK.
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Old 12 Oct 16, 18:44
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Actually the clans along the English/Scots border are pretty well intermingled. They have been marrying each other for hundreds of years. That does not mean they speak alike. George MacDonald Fraser did a nice historical study called "The Steel Bonnets".

Some Anglo Saxons did reach the Scottish Lowlands but most of the people on both sides of the Border are Celts. Often times the Anglo-Normans intruded into the social elites, but they depended on their followers who were Celts.

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Old 12 Oct 16, 19:07
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My Bold.

Neil Oliver was a prominent, "No," campaigner, and his unbridled hatred for the SNP and the independence movement is legendary.

He's one of the, "Proud Scot, but...." brigade, and his support perhaps extends to a Stuart on the British throne, but he's no nationalist, and is rapidly becoming a laughing-stock in Scotland, particularly for his ill-informed newspaper articles, and his twitter attacks on anyone pro independence.

It should also be noted that the vast majority of Scots emigrants were Highland Catholics, not exactly a prime recruiting-ground for the KKK.
TE the region of Highlanders. More Protestant than Catholic, including the more extreme versions of Presbyterians who ban alcohol, ban going into a Catholic Church even to visit etc.
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Between 1749 and about 1768 at least 21,000 Scottish families settled in North Carolina alone. They came in two waves from the Highlands and from the lowlands. They farmed and owned slaves. Indeed one of the apologists for slavery in the state writing in 1773 used the pen name Scotus Americanus. They appear to have been centered in the main in Pender County. Archaeological investigations suggest that they brought with them Scottish patterns of land holding and inheritance and built farm houses laid out in the pattern of moderately well off Scottish tenant farmers but with clusters of slave cabins

Information extracted from a paper produced for the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and from The Southern Colonial Backcountry ed David Colin Crass
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Between 1749 and about 1768 at least 21,000 Scottish families settled in North Carolina alone. They came in two waves from the Highlands and from the lowlands. They farmed and owned slaves. Indeed one of the apologists for slavery in the state writing in 1773 used the pen name Scotus Americanus. They appear to have been centered in the main in Pender County. Archaeological investigations suggest that they brought with them Scottish patterns of land holding and inheritance and built farm houses laid out in the pattern of moderately well off Scottish tenant farmers but with clusters of slave cabins

Information extracted from a paper produced for the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and from The Southern Colonial Backcountry ed David Colin Crass
Thanks for that.

While the figure is higher than I thought at first, it's hardly remarkable, and slave-owning Scots are hardly unknown.

That immigrant Scots played a part in early Klan history should surprise no-one (we aren't all nice), but to lay the blame for the entire movement on one group is stretching credibility - something Mr Oliver is well-known for if it suits his agenda, as this certainly does.

It may also be noted that in the years following the 1745 Rebellion, it wasn't uncommon to find Scots on the other end of the whip. Like many slaves, some of them would harbour the ambition to become masters themselves.
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Old 13 Oct 16, 12:52
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Scotus Americanus appears to have originated from Islay. He wrote a guide for emigrants from the Highlands and Islands in which North Carolina is painted as a land definitely flowing with milk and honey (and he points out frequently far nicer than South Carolina or Virginia). He rails against the profligacies and licentiousness of the Highland clan chiefs and accuses them of having abandoned the traditional ways and values of the clans. The work is obviously intended to tempt the tenant farmers and smaller lairds to emigrate. He intimates that substantial estates (three quarters of a square mile) and house are available for as little as 60 and tenancies of 90 to 100 acre farms are readily available for 2s 6d quit rent. As an inducement to new tenants, slaves, cattle and horses will be provided by landlords. A new farmer will need five slaves to clear the land in the first year. There is clearly an intention to lure a particular section of Scots society for he mentions how welcome Presbyterians will be as well as members of the Established Church. Roman Catholics are not mentioned. He points out that the former inhabitants of Argyleshire and the Western Isles are already well established.

Whilst this is all doubtless much over egged there is clearly an appetite for Scots settlers in North Carolina and they would become slave owners.
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