The Foundation was given the brief by the Ministerial Advisory Group to organise two conferences exploring the myriad and deep connections between Ulster and North America. Accordingly the Foundation hosted, Common Currency: The Shared Inheritance of Ulster and North America on 4 June.

The speakers and topics were:

  • Dr Francis Costello (Queen’s University Belfast), ‘Ulster and the American South – a driven impulse, 1800–50’
  • Dr Linde Lunney (Royal Irish Academy), ‘Aghadowey, 1718 and the beginning of emigration – in 2018 should we celebrate or commemorate?’
  • Dr Brian Lambkin (Mellon Centre for Migration Studies), ‘Ancestral homes and family history: the case of the Mellons of Tyrone and Pennsylvania’
  • Alister McReynolds (writer and historian), ‘“The gentle and thoughtful Scotch Irish” – their contribution to civilisation rather than bloody empire creation’
  • Dr William Roulston (Ulster Historical Foundation), ‘The Reformed Presbyterian Church and antislavery in America’
  • Dr Johanne Devlin Trew (Ulster University), ‘Whose diaspora? Whose migration? Northern Ireland’s overseas connections since the 1920s’
  • Gillian Hunt (Ulster Historical Foundation), ‘Ulster and North America – making family history connections’
  • Colin Magee (Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival), ‘“An American Dream” – a song of emigration to the New World’
  • Prof. William J. Smyth (NUI Maynooth), ‘The enduring connection – Ulster migration to British North America and the emergence of Toronto, the Belfast of Canada’
Common currency minimum
Andrew Jackson Conference Minimum

On 6 July the Foundation hosted Andrew Jackson: Victor of New Orleans, Seventh President of the United States, which provided an objective assessment of the life and career of this controversial President. The speakers and topics were:

  • Kevin Chambers (National Archives, Kew), ‘The Howe Plan – The British blueprint to capture New Orleans and defeat Andrew Jackson’
  • Prof. Don Hickey (Wayne State College, Nebraska), ‘Andrew Jackson’s military leadership’
  • Jason Wiese (Williams Research Center, The Historic New Orleans Collection), ‘Andrew Jackson vs New Orleans’
  • Prof. David Edmunds (University of Texas at Dallas), ‘Andrew Jackson: A Scots-Irish American, the British, and the Indians’
  • Christopher T. George (Co-author of The man who captured Washington), ‘Major General Samuel Smith (1752–1839) and the Scots-Irish of Baltimore’
  • Prof. Daniel Feller (Director of the Papers of Andrew Jackson, University of Tennessee), ‘Andrew Jackson: Irishman in the White House’
  • Dr William Roulston (Ulster Historical Foundation), ‘From 1798 Exile to US Senator: Jackson’s friend and foe Alexander Porter of Louisiana’

Both conferences were held in the Discover Ulster-Scots Centre and representatives of the US Consulate in Belfast were present on each occasion.