Citation Nicolson C (2009) A Plan "to banish all the Scotchmen": Victimization and Political Mobilization in Pre-Revolutionary Boston. Global Nations? Irish and Scottish Expansion since the 16th Century, University of Aberdeen, 30.10.2009-01.11.2009. http://www.abdn.ac.uk/events/3595/
Abstract A Plan “to banish all the Scotchmen”: Victimization and Political Mobilization in Pre-Revolutionary Boston is a case study of the ethnic and cultural aspects of political mobilization in pre-revolutionary Boston. It focuses on the predicament of a Scottish merchant and importer, Patrick McMaster, originally of Galloway, and an English female sojourner, Ann Hulton, the sister of a senior Customs official. The aborted attempt to tar and feather McMaster and the mobbing of the Hultons’ home in the summer of 1770 reveal (a) how anti-British feelings were part of the protests and (b) how the ideology of British imperialism permeated the thinking of both Scots and English living in Boston during the imperial crisis. Additionally, (c) McMaster and his brothers operated one of the most profitable import businesses in Boston, possibly with Scottish financial backing, and dominated the market in goods imported from Scotland. Finally, (d) The McMaster brothers were part of an influx of British merchants, officials and others to Boston in the mid-1760s and constituted a significant “ethnic” and proto-Loyalist enclave. The paper explores a contentious hypothesis: that the mobilization of popular opinion in the colonial protest movement was predicated on victimizing Britons. The author’s work on the origins of the American Revolution is well-known to American historians, but he is seeking input from Scottish historians familiar with Atlantic trading networks and the regional economies of Glasgow and Galloway, and specifically these areas’ commercial links with Boston, Massachusetts.
Keywords Patrick McMaster; Ann Hulton; Scotland; Scottish migrants; ethnic conflict; Boston; American Revolution; English migrants