First published in 1966, R. J. Dickson’s Ulster Emigration to Colonial America, 1718–1775 remains the acknowledged work of scholarship on the eighteenth-century movement of families and individuals from the north of Ireland to the New World. This important book provided for the first time a balanced and professional study of the entire emigration phenomenon and carefully examined the economic, social and political context of emigration. At the time of publication, both Dickson’s approach to the subject and the results of his extensive research represented a major historiographical achievement.
Complementing the essay prepared by Graeme Kirkham for the 1988 reprint, this fiftieth anniversary edition includes a specially written Introduction by Dr Patrick Fitzgerald of the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies in which he considers recent developments in the study of emigration from Ulster. In reviewing Ulster Emigration to Colonial America, 1718–1775, Dr Fitzgerald acknowledges ‘the enduring debt we owe the author for his professional, careful and often painstaking historical research.’ There is no doubt that whatever new documentation and fresh analyses may yet reveal about this subject that Dickson’s study will continue to provide a firm foundation for students of the relationship between Ulster and America.