The Immigrant Author Draws Saint Patrick's Connection to Slavery

Explores Painful, Little-Known Enslavement of Irish and Scottish People in America


Oak Bluffs, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/11/2015 -- Alfred Woollacott, III, author of the critically-acclaimed, well-received book, The Immigrant, which tells the story of a Scottish lad enslaved in colonial America, believes it is fitting, today, to draw the connection between Saint Patrick and slavery. Just as young Saint Patrick was captured and enslaved, so, too, were Irish and Scottish people who were sent to the Colonies as indentured servants. Over 300,000 people were indentured during the 17th and 18th centuries.

"On this day when we celebrate Saint Patrick, we have an opportunity to reflect on the exploitation of Irish and Scottish people who were used to build this country. They, like Saint Patrick, were enslaved against their will," said Woollacott. "In some cases, they experienced good fortune after their periods of indenture were over. But for many, though, it was a death sentence that should not be forgotten."

Woollacott based the main character of The Immigrant on one of his ancestors, who was a Scottish lad captured by Lord Cromwell and brought to The Colonies in chains. He had no family, few friends, and was treated as livestock. Woollacott researched the subject material extensively, learning the forgotten story of the thousands of Britons who lived and died in bondage in colonial America. Many Irish, Scottish, and British "urchins" were swept from London's streets to labor in the tobacco fields, where life expectancy was quite limited. Brothels were raided to provide "breeders" for Virginia. Hopeful migrants were duped into signing as indentured servants, unaware they would become personal property who could be bought, sold, and even gambled away.

The Immigrant is set in Puritan America, covering the historical saga of John Law, who was captured by the English Lord Cromwell's forces during the 1650 "Battle of Dunbar." He survives a death march to Durham, England and is sent to Massachusetts Bay Colony, arriving aboard the "Unity" with some 150 prisoners of war from different Scottish clans. Now an outcast, John starts over as an immigrant in a Puritan theocracy. He is first indentured to the Saugus Iron Works and then to Concord as a public shepherd in West Concord (now Acton, MA). He faces obstacles often beyond his control, and his only ally is his faith.

Woollacott likens his book to the story of Saint Patrick, who was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family's land. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity, working as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. Patrick eventually escaped, and according to his writing, a voice—which he believed to be God's—spoke to him in a dream, telling him to leave Ireland. To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick experiences a second revelation—an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary.

For more on The Immigrant visit

About The Immigrant
The Immigrant is set in Puritan America, covering the historical saga of John Law, who was captured by the English Lord Cromwell's forces during the 1650 "Battle of Dunbar."

Media Contact
Alfred Woollacott, III
Myfourleggedstool Publishers
P.O. Box 2911
Oak Bluffs, MA 02557