Support for UlsterVirginia.com
• Dean Pittman, US Consul to Northern Ireland
"The connections between America and Northern Ireland are part of the fabric of our country, but sometimes unsung. So I am pleased to welcome this creative way of highlighting the special significance of the state of Virginia where I was born to the early pioneers of Ulster stock.
The legacies of people like Sam Houston and Stonewall Jackson have left an indelible mark in Virginian history, but it was ordinary men and women from places like County Down and County Antrim who had profound influence on the region's culture, politics, and way of life. Neither the fertile lands of the Shenandoah Valley or the idyllic backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains should eclipse the rugged determination these men and women required as they pushed the American frontier deep into unchartered territory.
The Scots-Irish have made a tremendous and enduring contribution to the character and development of the American people. I am sure this creative endeavor will help to inform and educate people from around the world about the contribution of the Scots-Irish who settled in Virginia, or passed through it, in search of a new and better life".
• Thomas and Dorothy Hoobler
Authors of Captain John Smith: Jamestown and the Birth of the American Dream
"...Just four centuries ago, in April, 1707, three small ships made their appearance at the entrance to Chesapeake Bay, the largest natural inlet on the Atlantic coast of North America. Men from those ships established Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Thus was born a trans-Atlantic partnership that - despite some family quarrels in 1776 and 1812 - endures to this day.
Lesser known, but of equal significance, was the settlement established in northern Ireland a year earlier by two Scots, James Hamilton and Hugh Montgomery. Their actions established the Scottish presence that has continued in Ulster to this day.
John Smith, who rose to leadership of the Jamestown settlement and indeed saved it from extinction, has much in common with Hamilton and Montgomery. Smith, about whom we have written a recent biography, had contacts in Scotland as well, having gone there in hopes of becoming a courtier some years earlier. All three of these men were in the vanguard of the British people’s impulse to expand outward from their home islands, beginning a movement that would in time overspread much of the world. We are glad to see a renewed interest in the important role Hamilton and Montgomery played in the history and culture of the trans-Atlantic civilization. We look forward to the fruits of this effort."
• Glen Pratt
President, The Ulster-Scots Society of America
The UlsterVirginia.com initiative is yet another exciting project led by the Ulster-Scots Agency that yields valuable insight into the many storied layers of connections between Ulster and America which are now being uncovered and brought to larger public view. UlsterVirginia.com further deepens and enriches our understanding of the contemporaneous settlements and foundings of modern America at Jamestown and the dawn of the Ulster-Scots of Northern Ireland who contributed so significantly to the establishment of the American Republic, its life, and culture. The importance of rediscovering and reinvigorating these age-old trans-Atlantic connections between America and perhaps her most cherished cultural contributor - Ulster -- cannot be overemphasized.