Days Three and Four: Exploring Dublin and Belfast, and thinking about the Campbell’s and Glasites as Colonizers

View of Belfast 1789, Lawson's MapHello all: Days three and four have been slow ones on the research front.  Since I am traveling by train, there are Glasite and Stone-Campbell sites that I could visit that are outside the cities that I just can’t reach without a car.  So, I’ve been unable to check those areas.  Instead, I spent some time exploring Dublin, and yesterday, Saturday, I transited between Dublin and Belfast on the train.  I’ve also taken some time to read and think about Thomas and Alexander Campbell and the role they played as Scotch-Irish settlers in Ulster. Ireland was a colonized area, and it required military force to keep the island a British possession.  The area of Ulster, particularly, was taken over by the British as a settlement.  Starting with the Irish Rebellion of 1798, there were four sustained uprising against British rule by the Irish between then and when Alexander Campbell left Ireland in October of 1808.  Thomas, Alexander, and their family then, as Scotsmen, were foreign colonizers, and Thomas, as a Protestant Presbyterian clergyman in a predominately Catholic nation, was an important part of the dominating English establishment.  As far as I am aware, no research has focused upon Thomas and Alexander as colonizers.  The same could be said of those Glasites who spread the faith from Scotland to Ireland as well.  Of course, the Campbell’s and those Scottish Glasites who went to Ireland did not see themselves as colonizers, but as missionaries, or as simple ministers of the Gospel traveling to Ireland to feed the flocks that were already there.  I wonder, however, what we can learn about both our own movement, and the lives and work of those who transplanted their faith and work from one area to another, in part, as a way to defend and expand an empire.


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