We appreciate your willingness to consider contributing production funding for our planned public television documentary AMERICA’S OTHER IRISH. As you read this prospectus, you will see why viewers will recognize your admirable public service for making this program possible.
Our film will recount the little-known but vital role of the people known as the “Scotch-Irish” or “Scots-Irish” in shaping our country’s democratic traditions. It will not be ancestor - worship, but rather an objective history based on solid scholarship. Moreover, it will confound conventional wisdom by underscoring the common bonds between Irish Catholics and Protestants in Ireland and in the U.S., rather than just the differences that have sometimes divided them.
AMERICA’S OTHER IRISH is a fiscally sponsored project of the International Documentary Association (IDA), 501(c) (3) nonprofit arts organization. Contributions in support of AMERICA’S OTHER IRISH are payable to IDA and are tax deductible as allowed by law.
Chris Moser &
George J. Kingsnorth
John H. Felton
Dr. Katharine Brown
We will acknowledge sponsors with “major funding” or “additional funding” credits. These credits will appear at the beginning and end of the broadcast program, in DVD/ download copies, on our website, and in publicity materials.
We have completed research and scripting with preproduction funding from humanities councils in Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, as well as Northern Ireland Screen and the Ulster-Scots Agency.
The film is intended for broadcast on PBS and on public service television in Ireland and the U.K., with accompanying material formatted for digital media. An underwriting grant from your foundation, corporation, or individual philanthropic fund can help bring this long-overdue project to fruition.
PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER JAMES MCGREGOR FREED HIS FLOCK FROM “CRUEL BONDAGE.”
In 1718 McGregor led his entire congregation from Ulster to Boston. But New Englanders scorned the “dirty, uncouth Irish” immigrants and burned down their meetinghouse. The royal governor granted them land on a disputed border with New Hampshire, planting them in the crossfire of a bloody border war.
MARTHA BRATTON HELPED WIN A CRUCIAL BATTLE IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.
Redcoat Captain Christian Huck’s legion swept down on Patriot Col. William Bratton’s South Carolina plantation, finding his family but not him. Mrs. Bratton refused to disclose her husband’s whereabouts. She coolly stood her ground as a Tory militiaman grabbed a reaping hook from a wall and threatened to behead her.
THOMAS LEDLIE BIRCH BARELY ESCAPED HANGING DURING THE UNITED IRISH REBELLION.
The firebrand Presbyterian minister was among some 100,000 Ulster immigrants to the United States between the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Birch lost his ministry in Pennsylvania for passionately advocating Jeffersonian principles. Other clergy – fellow Scotch-Irish but Federalist -- condemned him as a “minister of the Devil.”
ANDREW JACKSON RODE A FIERCE POPULIST WAVE TO THE WHITE HOUSE.
The first Scotch-Irish U.S. President led a Democratic Party strengthened by Ulster immigrants such as Birch. But Jackson’s fealty to the common man extended only to whites. He was a slave-owner and perpetrator of draconian Indian removal policies, which were opposed by prominent Scotch-Irish politicians David Crockett and Sam Houston.
PITTSBURGH TYCOON THOMAS MELLON WAS NOTORIOUSLY CONTEMPTUOUS OF THE IRISH.
The immigrant from County Tyrone honored his Scottish heritage but considered the Catholic Irish savages. “Cromwell was the only ruler who understood their nature, and governed them accordingly,” he wrote. In the mid-19th century tensions between Famine Irish and those Scotch-Irish descendants joining in Mellon’s xenophobia followed political party lines.
SCOTCH-IRISH-DESCENDED ATLANTA MINISTER CAROLINE LEACH BELIEVES IN TURNING HER PRESBYTERIAN FAITH INTO ACTION.
Americans of Scotch-Irish descent today rather closely reflect the politics of white Americans in general. They range in their world view from conservative populist supporters of Donald Trump to progressives such as Presbyterian minister Caroline Leach of Atlanta, Georgia. Throughout her career in the church, Rev. Leach was a tireless advocate for peace and against poverty. In retirement she is still an activist for social justice in a turbulent time.
Research shows 25 million Americans likely have some Scotch-Irish ancestry, and more than three-fourths of them consider that heritage important.
Thus there is a strong built-in audience for this program and its sponsors’ funding credits.
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