Craig Gallagher, Visiting Assistant Professor at Boston College, is one of Rauner Special Collections Library's New England Regional Fellowship Consortium Fellows for the 2017-2018 academic year. This Friday, February 23rd, Gallagher will give a brief talk entitled, "Imperial Zealots: Scottish Missionaries and the British-American Frontier, 1763-1800," based upon research conducted at Rauner with the Samuel Kirkland Papers.
Few peoples living in eighteenth-century North America were as zealous about the expansion and security of the British Empire as the Scottish Presbyterian community. These Scots had overcome their status as excluded outsiders operating on the margins of the British Empire in the late seventeenth century to hold leading commercial, military, political, and religious offices in colonial North America in the eighteenth. Their community was bound together by transatlantic merchants and Presbyterian missionaries, many of whom served on British frontiers with Native Americans and Quebecois along the Connecticut, Hudson, and St. Lawrence Rivers.
The Rev. Samuel Kirkland, missionary to the Oneida in the late eighteenth century, was in many ways emblematic of the wider Scottish Presbyterian community because he saw his mission as a means to defend the British, Protestant borders of the Empire from its Catholic, popish neighbors. His mission carried on through the American Revolution, when his community’s relationship with Great Britain was sundered as the United States took its place as the last, best hope for Protestant liberty in the Atlantic World.
To learn more about Samuel Kirkland and the fascinating research that Craig Gallagher has been doing as a NERFC Scholar this year, join us this Friday from 3:30 until 4:30 pm in Rauner Library's Bryant Room for an engaging talk and following discussion. Please contact Morgan Swan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.