The early settlers of Augusta County were people of the Scotch-Irish race; and, up to the time of the Revolutionary war, very few persons of any other race came to live in the county. Their descendants must wish to know who the Scotch-Irish were, and what induced them to leave their native land and come to America. Therefore a sketch of the origin and history of the people so-called, is not out of place here.
The history of the Scotch-Irish is necessarily a history of the troubles they suffered on account of their religion. It must be borne in mind, however, in this connection, that the great principle of religious liberty was not recognized in the 17th and the early part of the 18th centuries. The opinion prevailed that it was the duty of the civil government to maintain the church; and, the church being divided into various sects, nearly every sect was striving to obtain government recognition and support, to the exclusion of every other. In nearly all European countries some one church was established by law, and nonconformity to it was regarded as disloyal and punishable; and no doubt some good men believed they were doing God service by trying to crush out all those who followed not with them. And it was too often the case that the persecuted became persecutors when they obtained the power. Of course, no church of the present day is responsible for the errors and wrongs of a former age.
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Edited Annals of Augusta County,Virginia, from 1726 to 1871 copyright © 2006-2017 by EagleRidge Technologies, Inc..