Scott, George (d.1685) (DNB00)

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SCOTT or SCOT, GEORGE (d. 1685), of Pitlochie, Fifeshire, writer on America, was the only son of Sir John Scott or Scot [q. v.] of Scotstarvet, by his second wife, Margaret, daughter of Sir James Melville of Hallhill. In 1685 he published at Edinburgh ‘The Model of the Government of the Province of East New Jersey, in America; and Encouragement for such as design to be concerned there.’ It was, says the author, the outcome of a visit to London in 1679, when he enjoyed ‘the opportunity of frequent converse with several substantial and judicious gentlemen concerned in the American plantations.’ Among these were James Drummond, fourth earl of Perth [q. v.], to whom the book is dedicated, and probably William Penn. The most valuable part of the work is a series of letters from the early settlers in New Jersey. ‘The Model’ was plagiarised by Samuel Smith in his ‘History of New Jersey,’ 1721, and is quoted by Bancroft; but James Grahame, author of the ‘Rise and Progress of the United States,’ first attached due importance to it. It was reprinted for the New Jersey Historical Society in 1846, in W. A. Whitehead's ‘East Jersey under the Proprietory Government’ (2nd edition 1875). Copies of the original, which are very rare, are in the British Museum, the Edinburgh Advocates' Library, at Göttingen, in Harvard College library, and in the library of the New Jersey Historical Society, and two others are in private hands in America. In some copies a passage (p. 37) recommending religious freedom as an inducement to emigration is modified. In recognition of his services in writing the book, Scot received from the proprietors of East New Jersey a grant, dated 28 July 1685, of five hundred acres of land in the province. On 1 Aug. he embarked in the Henry and Francis with nearly two hundred persons, including his wife and family; but he and his wife died on the voyage. The wife is said to have been well connected. A son and a daughter survived. The latter, named Eupham or Euphemia, married in 1686, John Johnstone, an Edinburgh druggist, who had been one of her fellow-passengers on the disastrous voyage to New Jersey. To him the proprietors issued, on 13 Jan. 1686–7, a confirmation of the grant made to Scot, and their descendants occupied a good position in the colony. Most of their descendants left America as loyalists at the revolution, but some of them are still living in New Jersey.

[Anderson's Scottish Nation, iii. 413; Preface to Whitehead's reprint in Appendix, 2nd edit. 1875, founded on East Jersey records, and his Early History of Amboy; Allibone's Dict. Engl. Lit. ii. 1955; Catalogues of British Museum and Edinburgh Advocates' Library.]

G. Le G. N.