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Annual Whitelaw Reid Memorial Lecture

27 March 2014, 19:00, Assembly Buildings, 2 10 Fisherwick Place, Belfast, BT1 6DW

Runs to 27 March 2014

On Thursday 27th March 2014 the Ulster-Scots Agency will host the third Annual Whitelaw Reid Memorial Lecture with guest speaker Dr. John McCavitt.

The Ulster-Scots and the Second American War of Independence, 1812-1815’.


The lecture will be held in the Board Room of the Assembly Buildings, 2 – 10 Fisherwick Place, Belfast at 7.00pm.


One of the lasting legacies of the War of 1812 is the US National Anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, that will mark its 200th anniversary in September 2014. That the Battle of Baltimore at that time had profound Ulster-Scots connections on both the British and American sides is symptomatic of the War of 1812 in general. Fort McHenry in Baltimore, that was subjected to a Royal Navy bombardment, was named after Dr James McHenry from Ballymena, whose son fought against the British at that time. And on the British side, the army was led by Major General Robert Ross, an Ulster-Scot, from Rostrevor. In penning his lyrics, Key was profoundly influenced by Ross’s victory at the Battle of Bladensburg, followed by his burning of the public buildings in Washington, including the White House and the Capitol.


The lecture will also address Andrew Jackson’s victory at the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815, supported by large numbers of Ulster-Scots Tennessee riflemen, a triumph that is arguably the main reason why he later became the first Ulster-Scots president.  

Other Ulster-Scots characters to feature include Alexander McComb, later to become commander of the US army, as well as Oliver Hazard Perry, victor at the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813. Perry was a scion one of the most famous families in US history. His Ulster-Scots roots will be highlighted, including his bloodline back to ‘Braveheart’!


Entry to this event is free and everyone is welcome.


If you would like to attend please register for the lecture by emailing, telephone (028) 9023 1113 (ask for Catriona or Gillian) or complete the following registration form and post to the Ulster-Scots Agency, Corn Exchange, 31 Gordon Street, Belfast, BT1 2LG.


Download Registration Form (Microsoft Word)





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