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The Scot in America
Among the Poets


FOR a variety of reasons, it is a difficult matter to reflect in a single chapter any true idea of the variety and value of the contributions which Scotsmen in America have made to the poetic wealth of the continent. We hold that, even though the Scottish poets domiciled in America continue to write in their native Doric, and though their utterances are redolent of Scotland, it is American literature that is enriched by their song. Time has shown that it is seldom the song uttered on the soil of the New World is carried back across the sea: indeed, the instances of that could be counted on the fingers of one hand, and the Scot in America who commits the sin of rhyme has mainly to look to the land in which he lives for a clientage, and for that need of praise which he regards as his due.

Scottish-American singers have been, in proportion to their numbers, as plentiful as their brothers at home, and, while for none can be claimed the possession of the very highest gifts, yet there are not a few whose songs have added to the pleasantness of life and the brightness of the world: and by the Scottish-American writers of the passing clay there are many songs being contributed to the national anthology which will live for, at least, some years after the singers have laid down the harp and Joined the silent realms—to us—of the great majority. We do not join in the cry against mediocre poets and poetasters and the like. Every honest effort, no matter in what direction, ought to be encouraged rather than sneered at, and even if a man's song does no more than soften and mellow his own heart, or afford a glint of happiness to his ain ingleside, the song has not been written in vain. By constantly tuning the harp a song might be evolved, even by chance, to which the world will listen; but, if not, there is an exalted pleasure in the work for the worker. Men who even "dabble" in poetry are rarely found in any ranks but those who are earnestly striving to make the world better. Even when they are not, the moral of their fall is so evident that the life-story is of some value to the world.

Except for the fact that he wrote one song—"Rural Content"—which is still a favorite in the south of Scotland, Andrew Scott would doubtless have been forgotten long ere this. But he was a sweet singer whose whole life was cast in hard lines. Born in 1757, in the parish of Bowden, Roxburghshire, a shepherd's son, he died, in 1839, an agricultural laborer, although his appointment as church officer, or "minister's man," in his later years eked out his scanty means a little and recognized the worthiness of his life. When he grew to manhood, Scott got tired of herding sheep and waiting on cattle, and enlisted in the Eightieth Regiment. Before this, however, he had begun to rhyme, the desire thereto being inspired by a copy of Ramsay's "Gentle Shepherd" he had managed to buy, and with which he beguiled many an hour in the fields. Soon after he enlisted he accompanied the regiment to the fighting Colonies in America, and while in camp on Staten Island, Scott's poetical abilities became generally known among his comrades, and he was ever ready to weave a rhyme to express their sentiments, or compose a song to lighten their hearts. He served in five campaigns, and was with the army that surrendered under Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1783. On retiring from "sodgerin'," Scott returned to Bowden, and there passed his remaining years, the monotony of life being varied by the publication on three occasions of a volume of his poems, all of which were favourably received and won him many friends, but yielded no alleviation of the hardships of his condition; yet he never grumbled and continued singing to the end of his journey.

Mrs. Anne Grant of Laggan, by her "Memoirs of an American Lady," has won a place in American literature that undoubtedly is permanent, for her descriptions of American life before the Revolution are so vivid and so full of character that their value will remain, no matter how much literary fashions may change. Mrs. Grant was the slaughter of Duncan McVicar, an officer in the British Army. Although born in Glasgow, in 1755, Mrs. Grant's first impressions were of America, for, having been sent to the Colonies with his regiment, McVicar's family followed him across the Atlantic when Anne was only some three years of age. Quick in observation and unusually receptive in her studies, the young girl's early education was sufficiently attended to by her mother and by a Sergeant in her father's company so that she lost nothing by the want of ordinary school facilities, and during the years in her girlhood when she resided with the Schuyler family at Albany—of whom she afterward wrote so lovingly—she acquired not only the usual accomplishments and graces of young women of her time, but became an adept in the Dutch tongue, then generally spoken among the grandees of Albany society. Ill health compelled her father to return to Scotland in 1768 with his family, even at the cost of sacrificing some land he had purchased, for it remained unsold, and was confiscated when the Revolution broke out. In Scotland he secured the position of Barrackmaster at Fort Augustus, and it was while residing there that Anne met her future husband, the Rev. James Grant, the military chaplain of the fort. Shortly after their marriage, in 1779, Mr. Grant became minister of Langan. There his wife's happiest years were spent. She acquired a knowledge of the Gaelic tongue, was beloved by her husband's people, and her own large family idolized her as they grew to appreciate her tenderness and devotion. Her happy home, however, was broken up by the death of her husband, in 1801, and, past the meridian of life, Mrs. Grant had to face the world and enter upon a struggle for existence, with eight children depending on her for support. She secured the lease of a small farm, and, with it as a standby, commenced her literary career in 1803 by publishing a volume of her Poems. This was so well received that it enabled her to pay off all her debts and purchase several necessary articles for the farm, and by this much her anxieties and troubles were lessened. Her "Letters from the Mountains," published in 1806, soon passed through several editions, and gave her a place among contemporary writers that henceforth made her depend solely upon her pen. In 1810 she settled in Edinburgh, where her home became a literary centre, and Henry Mackenzie, Walter Scott, and the Scottish literary lights of those days were among its visitors. Every work which she published deepened the hold she had upon the reading public, especially in Scotland, for, as Sir Walter Scott once wrote: "Her writings derive their success from the Scottish people; they breathe a spirit at once of patriotism and of that candor which renders patriotism, unselfish and liberal." But their great charm is that it is always an educated, refined woman who speaks, one who knows the world and is full of shrewd common sense and of that sympathy for others which is inseparable from the highest type of womanhood. In 1825 Mrs. Grant was awarded a pension from the Crown of £100 per annum, and that, with the income from her books, made her last years free from pecuniary care, and the sunset of her life had no shadows except the kindly ones of the gathering night. She died, in 1838, when in her eighty-fourth year, and her faculties remained unimpaired to the end.

Mrs. Grant will be remembered by her prose writings rather than by her poetry, though at least one of her lyrics, "O Where, Tell .Me Where," has won a place in all the collections of Scottish song and in the popular anthologies. Her "Memoirs of an American Lady" has run through many editions here, and is still reprinted. Its sale in America far exceeded what it enjoyed in Scotland, as might naturally be expected, but from that sale she failed to realize a dollar. That may be natural and legal, but it is not honest.

Few men outside of the fighting professions have had to undergo more changes in their lifework than did John Burtt. The peculiarity about his career is that it is sharply divided into two parts, the one in the Old World being a constant scene of trouble, ignominy, and despair, while in the New his path was one of quiet usefulness and dignity. He was born at Knockmarlock, near Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, in 1790, and after receiving the usual country school education was apprenticed to a weaver in "Auld Killie." His few spare hours were devoted to supplying the deficiencies of his scholastic training, or, rather, to carrying it beyond the point at which the village teacher was forced by circumstances to stop, and what Burtt accomplished during these leisure hours in the way of study was really wonderful. When sixteen years of age he was ":pressed" into the navy while on a visit to Greenock, and compelled to serve his sovereign at sea for five years. Then he managed to escape, and, making his way back to Kilmarnock, he worked at the loom for a while, and then taught school there and afterward in Paisley.

Soon after settling in Paisley, Burtt became prominent among the local Radical leaders, and his position among them was, in time, so marked that for his own personal safety, to say nothing of his welfare, he determined to leave Scotland and try to win fortune in the young Republic. He arrived in America in 1817. After studying theology at Princeton, he was licensed to preach, and became minister of a Presbyterian church at Salem, N. J. In 1831 he edited a religious newspaper at Philadelphia, and two years later he moved to Cincinnati, where he continued his ministry and edited a religious paper called the "Standard." After a year or two spent as professor in a theological seminary at Cincinnati, he took pastoral charge of a church at Blackwoodtown, which he held until 1859, when he retired on account of his advancing years. He returned to Salem, and resided in that village till his death, in 1866.

Burtt published two volumes of his poetry. The first was issued at Kilmarnock in 1816, and the second appeared at Bridgeton, N. J., under the title of "Florae Poeticae: Transient Murmurs of a Solitary Lyre."

A name now almost forgotten, that of John Beveridge, for many years Professor of Languages in the College of Philadelphia, deserves remembrance for his own abilities as a Latin scholar and poet as for the indirect influence lie had upon the shaping of the career of Robert Burns. Iie was born in the south of Scotland, and taught school in Edinburgh and other places. Among his pupils was Thomas Blacklock, and Beveridge took a particular interest in directing the blind lad's thought to poetry, thinking that the pleasures of fancy might atone, in some degree, for his deprivation of sight. It was Beveridge who first brought out and fixed in Blacklock's mind the poetic impulse that made him cling to poetry as the solace of his life, and it was this poetic impulse that carried Blacklock to write the letter commendatory of Burns's writings which turned the thoughts of that brilliant genius from Jamaica to Edinburgh. In 1752 Beveridge emigrated to New England, and, after drifting around for several years, settled in Philadelphia in 1757 as a teacher. He could hardly be called a success in this profession, for he was a poor disciplinarian, and his short stature, shabby dress, and awkward manners made his pupils feel anything for him but reverence. Yet he turned out some excellent scholars, and he was always willing to encourage and applaud their efforts, although sometimes his good intentions in this regard were thwarted by his own unintentional indiscretions. Thus, in 1765, he published at Philadelphia a volume of his Latin poems, with English translations by his pupils. In the preface he announced: "They [the translations] are done by students under age, and if critics will only bear with them until their understandings are mature, I apprehend they are in a fair way of doing better." The pupils might be proud to see their efforts in print, but their pride would certainly receive a sharp fall when they read these apparently contemptuous words.

Literary theorists who are fond of asserting that the poetic spirit, or, rather, the faculty of giving expression to it, never descends from a father to his children would be well to consider the history of the humble Paisley family of Picken. The father, Ebenezer, was a poet of more than ordinary ability, and some of his lyrics rank among the indispensables in every Scottish collection. His son, Andrew B. Picken, inherited all his father's genius; his muse even essayed higher flights, but its full soaring was unquestionably retarded by the vicissitudes of his life. Poverty undoubtedly chained him to the earth, while his fancy might have been roaming through the spheres. In 1822, when in his twentieth year, he was induced to take an interest in a silly expedition to Poyais, on the Mosquito Coast, and his sufferings and adventures in that unfortunate episode formed afterward the themes for a series of vivid sketches in poetry and prose from his pen. From that scene of desolation Picken made his way to the West Indies, and, after getting employment there for some time, saved enough money to convey him back to Scotland, in 1828. But even there the fates were against him, and two years later he sailed for the United States. His fortunes did not improve by the change, and he suffered dire vicissitudes, and tried his fortune in many cities. His last field of operations was Montreal, and there he earned a fairly decent livelihood as a teacher of drawing until his death, in 1849. In poetry, Picken's best work is his "Bedouins," a production running through three cantos, which ought to be better known than it is at the present day, while his "Plague Ship" shows that he was a graceful, forceful, and interesting writer of prose. During the latter part of his life he was a regular and welcome contributor to Canadian newspapers and magazines.

Picken's footsteps were directed to Montreal by the fact that an elder sister resided there, supporting herself by teaching music, and doubtless it was her influence that induced him to settle down in that beautiful city and give up his weary wanderings. Joanna Pelfrage Picken was born at Paisley in 1798, and arrived in Montreal in 1842. She was a writer of verses of at least respectable merit, and was a regular contributor to the "Literary Garland" and other publications. Her writings were never gathered together and issued in book form, although there was some talk of this being done shortly after her death, in 1859.

One of the strongest personalities in Scottish literary history of the eighteenth century was James Tytler, better known to readers of Scottish poetry, probably, as "Balloon Tytler." He was born in 1747 at Fern, Forfarshire, of which parish his father was minister. He studied medicine, made two voyages to Greenland, tried to build up a practice in Edinburgh, and finally became a literary hack, and in that capacity compiled, abridged, and wrote many books, and prepared others for the press, although he is now remembered mainly as the writer of a couple of fairly good songs. He was a most ingenious man, invented several mechanical contrivances, and had invariably on hand some grand scheme by which his own fortunes, or those of the world in general, were to be improved. He was also a busy man; always devising, always writing, and always in extreme poverty. Sometimes he was glad to seek refuge from his creditors by confining himself within the limits of the debtors' Sanctuary at Holyrood, although it seems impossible to imagine how the most optimistic creditor could even dream of ever recovering money from him. While in Edinburgh, in the Winter of 1786-7, Robert Burns formed the acquaintance of Tytler, and was frequently thrown into, his society. In 1792, when the latter issued the prospectus of a newspaper, to be called the "Political Gazetteer," and which was intended to show up the shortcomings and denounce the repressive policy of the ruling powers against the people, the poet wrote to him: "Go on, Sir; lay bare, with undaunted heart and steady hand, that horrid mass of corruption called politics and statecraft."

The prospects for the issue of the "Political Gazetteer" did not pan out very well, and that same year Tytler tried to arouse the people to a sense of their wrongs by a manifesto addressed to them. The publication of this handbill was very obnoxious to the Government. Its language was impassioned and intemperate, and its sentiments were clearly seditious, as the laws of sedition were then interpreted. A warrant was at once issued for his arrest, but he escaped prison by flying to Ireland, and when his case was called, in his absence, for trial on January 7, 1793, he was outlawed. From Ireland Tytler managed to sail to America. We first hear of him in the New World at Salem, Mass., where he edited the "Salem Register." He turned his medical skill to account by publishing, in 1799, a "Treatise on the Plague and Yellow Fever," but the newspaper was his mainstay, and he continued to edit it until his death. This took place in 1804, and was the result of an accident. He was making his way home one dark night, and fell into a clay pit, where his body was found the next morning. Surely his was a career strange and wayward enough to form a basis for a dozen romances. Except for his few years in America, life was, at best, but a desolate road for him, and had he not been buoyed up by strong sentiments of hope, we can easily understand how the gloom might have caused his descent into the most abject poverty and defiant sin.

An even sadder story is that of John Lowe, who may he called the foremost of Scotland's single-poem poets. There are doubtless in Tytler's career many things which command our respect, for he was so much the victim of circumstances, so much a product and victim of the ill government of his times, that we can pity his misfortunes while we admire his undoubted genius. But in the case of John Lowe there is no room for pity, and all the misfortunes which came upon him he richly deserved. He was born at Kenmure, in Galloway, in 1750. His father was a gardener, and, like most of the Scottish peasants, desired to see his son engage in the ministry, and denied himself so that the necessary education might be provided. In due time young Lowe graduated, and found his first employment in the family of Mr. MacGhie of Airds as a tutor. The family included several beautiful daughters, one of whom captured the heart of the young tutor, or thought she did. He certainly captured hers. Another of the young ladies was engaged to be married to a young gentleman named Miller, and it was the news that Miller had been drowned at sea that inspired the song which has given Lowe a prominent place in the ranks of Scotland's song writers. Like every other heartless man, he could pour out any amount of sympathy for other people's sorrows, but had none to spare for woes of which he himself was the cause. He tried hard to get a church in Scotland, but somehow failed, and despairing of obtaining either position or preferment in his native land, he resolved to seek them in the American Colonies. With the fondest vows, and professions of undying affection, he parted from his love at Airds and sailed for America in 1771. So far as can be seen, he forgot all about his plighted love very soon. Settling at Fredericksburg, Va., he tried to earn his living by teaching, but was only moderately successful. Then he fell in love, or professed to fall in love, with a Virginian lady, but she would have nothing to do with him, and married another. Her sister, however, seemed to have an attachment for him, and he married her out of gratitude. Meanwhile he had taken holy orders in the Episcopal Church, and was established as rector of a congregation at Fredericksburg, but he did not prosper in a worldly way. He speedily tired of his wife, she discovered he was by no means the angel she had believed him to be before marriage, and her conduct was certainly not conducive to his comfort, to say nothing of his happiness. Everything went wrong with him, somehow, and to soothe his misery, like many a fool, he took to drink. Then the end came rapidly, and he laid down the burden of life at Windsor Lodge, Va., in 1798, leaving behind him as his most useful legacy only the moral of a shipwrecked life—a life which would not have been shipwrecked if truth had only been its rudder. Lowe wrote several poems, but they are all forgotten with the exception of "Mary's Dream," yet that alone is sufficient to give him immortality.

A pathetic memory is that of John Graham, once well known in New York as the "Blind Scottish Poet," but of whose career little can now be gathered. Some of the old Scotch residents of whom the writer made inquiries in the seventies remembered him well, and spoke kindly of him, but their recollection was simply that of a respectable old man, a man of quick, intelligence, who earned a scanty living by selling books, especially those compiled or written by himself. He was blind, but made no complaint on that score or sought charity on account of his affliction, and his features were readily aroused into expressive play from the usual placid repose of total blindness by any reference to Scotland or mention of anything pertaining to Scotsmen. So far as could be gathered, he was a native of Stirlingshire, and settled in America in early life. How or when he lost his eyesight is not known. He resided in New York, making a livelihood of the poorest sort, until 1830, when he migrated to the vicinity of Albany and managed a small property which had been bequeathed to him, and there his later years were spent in comparative comfort. He died about the year 1860.

One of Graham's principal works was published in 1833, and, under the title of "Flowers of Melody," gave a capital selection of Scottish songs. The notes, critical, biographical, and illustrative, with which he graced the work stamped him as being a man of taste, research, and intellect. It is a valuable book, and capable of ranking with later and more pretentious publications. With another of his works, however, we have more to do. This is his "Scottish National Melodies," published in 1841, with music. Although his verses were pleasing, we cannot rank Graham very highly as a poet. His rhythm is far from perfect, while his imagery is commonplace or tame. But throughout the whole there runs a deep patriotism which forces us to admire the writer and read his productions with great interest.

Another intensely patriotic poet, whose connection with America was, however, exceedingly brief—he crossed the Atlantic only to find a grave—was Robert Allan of Kilbarchan. He was born in that poetically famous Renfrewshire village in 1774, and was by trade a muslin weaver. He commenced writing verse in early life, and his inclinations in that direction were much encouraged by the friendship of Robert Tannahill and Robert A. Smith. The latter not only inserted several of Allan's songs in his "Scottish Minstrel," but set most of them to music. Allan also contributed several poems to Motherwell's "Harp of Renfrewshire," and a volume of his writings appeared at Glasgow in 1836. In his edition of Tannahill (which is full of references to Allan) the late Mr. David Semple wrote: "The reception the volume met with greatly disappointed the author. He supposed his merits as a poet had been overlooked, and, brooding over the disappointment, he became irritable in his temper and gloomy in appearance. Some of his friends had emigrated to America and succeeded, and he was determined to follow them. As he was in the sixty-seventh year of his age, several of his acquaintances remonstrated with him, but without success, and he sailed on 28th April, 1841, from Greenock for New York. All went well until the ship reached the banks of Newfoundland, where the vessel was detained eight days by foggy weather, and the poet during that time caught a cold. He landed on the 1st and died on the 7th June, 1841."

From the consideration of such lives as Tytler, Lowe, and Allan, with their inevitable sadness, we turn, for the sake of the change, to the happy and perfectly rounded career of the Rev. Dr. George Scott, one of the many sacred singers whom Scotland has given to America. Dr. Scott was born at Langside, Glasgow, in 1806, studied for the ministry, mainly in Glasgow, and emigrated to America in 1832. Two years later he became pastor of a church at German Valley, and afterward had charge of the First Reformed Dutch Church at Newark, N. J., where he remained till his death, in 1858. He received the degree of D. D. from Lafayette College in 1844, and in 1,848 published a keenly critical and decidedly able dissertation "On the Genius of Robert Pollok." The labor of his life, and latterly its greatest earthly solace, was his lengthy poem of "The Guardian Angel," which saw the light of print about the time of his death. "It is," says the author, "in the form of a dream, a series of conversations concerning the invisible state, the existence and ministry of holy angels, as well as their guardianship over men, held by persons who met accidentally at different places, connected by a slender thread of story." This is not a promising theme for a poem; one would need the genius of John Runyan to build a popular work on such a foundation, and the poem as a whole is, it must be confessed, rather tedious. But it is full of many fine passages, and breathes throughout a deep religious feeling—the phase of religious feeling which, somehow, possibly because it is a true interpretation, inspires hope and peace in the heart of the reader. Religious poetry, it must be confessed, except it be brief productions in the nature of hymns or Sabbath school recitations, or work of surpassing genius like "Paradise Lost," seems to be soon forgotten. All between these extremes appears to serve its day and generation—the generation that knew that writer—and then quietly to pass into the shadows of neglect. There is one peculiarity of this poem, however, which should in this place be pointed out. It is the result of thoughts conceived in Edinburgh and enlarged and extended at such places in America as Niagara Falls and the Mississippi, and therefore owes its inspiration directly to both countries—a true Scottish-American production.

Beyond question the sweetest and best of all the Scottish-American lyrists was Hew Ainslie, who died at Louisville, Ky., in 1878. His "Ingleside" has long been a favorite in America, and the lines beginning "It's dowie in the hint o' hairst" have been popular among all classes in Scotland, especially since they were introduced so pathetically in Dr. Norman Macleod's beautiful story of "Wee Davie." Ainslie was born at Bargeny, Ayrshire, in 1792, his father being a farmer. After being educated at Ballantrae, he was put to work on the Bargeny estates for the benefit of his health, and when eighteen years of age became apprenticed to a lawyer at Glasgow. But he had become enamored of the life he had been leading in the woods, and to escape beginning his apprenticeship he fled from his father's house and took refuge with some relatives at Roslin, near Edinburgh. There his father soon followed, and took up his own residence. Young Ainslie's first employment was that of a bookkeeper in an Edinburgh brewery, and then he got a position as copyist in the General Register Office in the Scottish capital. He also married about that time, and soon was busy solving the oft-attempted puzzle in human life of supporting a wife and weans on a small salary. A short season employed as amanuensis to Professor Dugald Stewart was a pleasant interlude in a life which seemed to carry nothing but gloom in its future, and then, in 1821, Ainslie made up his mind to emigrate to the United States. Before doing so, he paid a farewell visit to Ayrshire in company with two friends, and the story of the trip was told in a little volume—his first—entitled "A Pilgrimage to the Land of Burns." It appeared in 1822, and was reprinted in the memorial volume, containing Ainslie's memoirs and a selection from his writings, published at Paisley in 1891. The work has some fine descriptive prose passages and a few good songs. Shortly after its publication Ainslie bade farewell to Scotland, and settled on a small farm in Rensselaer County, N. Y. A year later he was joined by his wife and children. In 1842 he moved to New Harmony, Ind., as he had thrown himself with all his heart into Robert Oven's social schemes, and thought he saw in the settlement at New Harmony the beginning of an earthly paradise. The practical working of the scheme did not, however, come up to his expectations, and after a while he removed to Shippensport, Ohio, where he established a small brewery. After brief residences in various towns, he finally settled in Louisville, which became his home in 1829, and was regarded as such until the end. In 1852, however, he visited New York at the invitation of the Wellstood family, (the well-known engravers already referred to,) and continued with them for over ten years. In 1862 he revisited Scotland, and spent there two very happy years among scenes that had long been but a memory. He was warmly welcomed on every side, and carried back with him over the Atlantic a host of fresh reminiscences and the good wishes of many new as well as old friends, which made Scotland dearer to him than ever. Soon after returning, he settled again at Louisville, and his declining years were tempered by the devoted care of his family, then all grown up and "weel-daein."'

Ainslie will ever hold a place among the poets of Scotland—not in the foremost rank, certainly, but along with Beattie, Wilson, Motherwell, Rodger, and others in the second circle, He wrote much, and often carelessly, but sufficient came from his pen to make a volume of verse excellent enough in quality to give him a recognized position as a poet in any literature. He delighted in the use of the Doric; his years of toiling and excitement and worrying in America seemed to make it dearer to him as he advanced in life, and it uplifted his muse out of the levels, for everything which he wrote which was not "in guid braid Scots" seems flat and tame and little else than rhymed prose—prose that would have been better expressed had it not been hampered by rhyme. "Mr. Ainslie," wrote Dr. John D. Ross in a memoir in his valuable volume on "Scottish Poets in America," "was a poet in the truest sense of the word. His love for Scotland, no doubt, stimulated his muse to sing forth her praises in songs which will ever retain a place in the hearts of his countrymen, but apart from this he has left us numerous ballads and lyrical pieces which we could not willingly let die. Many of these are of a very pathetic nature, and, in addition to their being very beautiful, they contain excellent sentiments expressed in the simplest of words." Three editions of his poems were published in this country during his lifetime, and contributions from his pen appeared in "Whistlebinkie," and selections from his writings in all modern collections of Scottish poetry or song.

William Wilson, bookbinder and bookseller, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., is still remembered as a pleasing writer, some of whose songs will long keep his memory green and give him a place in American literature. He was born at Crieff in 1801. His father having died in infancy, William began, at the age of seven years, the hard battle of life by being sent to help in herding sheep, and when fourteen years of age was apprenticed to a "cloth lapper" in Glasgow. He afterward removed to Dundee, where he varied the tedium of his trade by contributing to the local papers. Then he went to Edinburgh, where he was enabled to start in business as a dealer in coal. In 1833 he emigrated to the United States, and, a year later, settled in Poughkeepsie, where he conducted a book business successfully until his death, in 1860. His son, James Grant Wilson, has done good literary work as editor of several important publications, as well as by much original writing.

William Wilson's poems have twice been published, and received very considerate treatment at the hands of the critics. One of them wrote: "He was a genuine son of song, and his genius is deserving of even wider recognition than it receives at present. Simplicity and kindness are his greatest characteristics, and are shown in every line he writes. He is earnest and direct in his teaching, and whether singing the praises of his native land or the glories of the land in which he died, whether mourning beside the grave of a loved one, or warbling Stanzas to a Child, the hearty, whole-souled character of the man shines clearly forth."

A truly gentle life was that of Mrs. Margaret Maxwell Martin, who died a few years ago at an advanced age at Columbia, S. C. She was born at Dumfries in 1807, and crossed the Atlantic with her parents in 1815. They settled at Columbia, S. C., and there Margaret not only received her education, but married William Martin and spent her many years of useful life. For over seventeen years she managed and taught a female seminary at Columbia, and she published many volumes of poetry and prose, among which her "Religious Poems" (1858) and "Scenes and Scenery of South Carolina" (1869) must hold a prominent place.

A man of much promise, full of poetic spirit and rich fancy, but which, however, never developed at all in keeping with early hopes, was William Kennedy, who is better known to readers of Scottish poetry as the friend of William Motherwell than for anything he contributed to the minstrelsy of his native land. He was born at Paisley, or near it, in 1799; contributed, with Motherwell, to the " Paisley Magazine," and published in 1827 a volume of poems, which was flatteringly received. He afterward removed to London and entered upon the career of a man of letters. Although fairly successful, lie gladly accepted an offer to accompany Lord Durham, Governor General of Canada, to his post in the capacity of private secretary. When Lord Durham's term of office expired Kennedy was appointed British Consul at Galveston, Texas, and held that office for many years. His observations at this pleasant post were published in two volumes, at London, in 1841, under the title of "Rise, Progress, and Prospects of the Republic of Texas." In 1847 he left America, and, with the aid of a government pension, took up his residence near London. He died in 1849. His best-known poem is one he wrote after a visit to the grave of Motherwell, in the Glasgow acropolis, and a set of stirring lines to Scotland, written on leaving it. One or two of his songs, notably "The Serenade" and the "Camp Song," were once very popular in the United States, and are still favorites in Texas.

It seems a pity that the exacting jealousy of journalism should have kept David Gray, long editor of the Buffalo "Courier," from devoting time to poetical composition; otherwise, there seems no reason to doubt he might have obtained a foremost place among the world-renowned poets of America. But a man must live, and the thousand and one cares and anxieties of journalistic life are not conducive to the peace which permits the muse to essay lofty flights. So what we have to show for the poetic gift in Gray is mainly fragmentary compositions, "verses of occasion," although here and there his soul fairly gave itself up to the reign of fancy and, in the case of the verses called "The Last Indian Council on the Genesee," we have something that arrests attention, that carries us with the spirit of the author into realms beyond the veil, something that is bound to hold a place in literature. Gray was born at Edinburgh in 1836, and settled in America when a boy. In 1859 he secured a position on the Buffalo "Courier," and in 1867 became its editor in chief. He held that position until 1882, when his health compelled his retirement. Afterward he acted as secretary to the Niagara Park Commission, and in that capacity did good work in restoring that great example of nature's mighty handiwork to a condition as free from evidences of the commercial instincts of mankind as possible. But his health continued poor, and in 1888, when he had just started on a proposed journey to Cuba for rest, he was killed in a railroad accident near Binghamton, N. Y. Soon after that sad accident two elegant volumes, containing his life, letters, and poems, were published at Buffalo, and sufficiently indicate how valuable was the life thus summarily ended. Gray was proud of his Scotch birth and parentage, and took an active interest in Scotch affairs in Buffalo. As a journalist, he was the equal of any man of his time, while in private life his home was long one of the literary centres of Buffalo—a city of which literature is by no means one of its distinguishing features.

At the principal of the many enthusiastic celebrations, in January, 1859, of the centenary of the birthday of Robert Burns in New York Henry Ward Beecher, then in the very zenith of his marvelous power as an orator, was selected to deliver one of the speeches. There was some dubiety in many minds as to how he would treat the memory of the bard as a whole, and how he would view some of his shortcomings. At that juncture before the centenary festival came off, the following lines formed part of a Poem which appeared in one of the New York papers and created considerable discussion:

His few sma' fau'ts ye need na tell;
Folk say ye're no o'er guid yoursel;
But De'il may care:
Gin ye're but half as guid as Rab,
We'll ask nae mair.

A century hence, an' wha can tell
What may befa' yer cannie sel'?
Some holy preacher
May tak' the cudgels up for ane
Ca'd Harry Beecher."

Mr. Beecher did the poet all the justice that his fondest admirers could desire. The history of the poem did not cease, however, with the event which suggested it. It appeared at irregular intervals and in a desultory fashion until Mr. Beecher and his old friend Theodore Tilton had their memorable struggle in the law courts. Then some one remembered it. Several expressions in the verses quoted were deemed peculiarly applicable, and it was felt that the prophecy of the poet had been realized within a quarter of the century she had allotted for the need to arise for a defender of the preacher. So the lilies were then reprinted in nearly every paper in the land and sagely commented on. Very little seems to be known of Mrs. J. Webb, the authoress, except that she was a resident of New York, frequently contributed to the poets' corners of the New York papers, and died in this city about 1862. She was a woman of undoubted genius, a true poet, and every one of her effusions we have seen are of more than ordinary merit.

A contemporary of Mrs. Webb's in New York City, and who was well known not alone as a writer of poems, but as a sculptor, was George W. Coutts, a native of Edinburgh, who settled in New York about 1856. He was one of the early members of the Caledonian Club, and not only took a deep interest in its welfare, but executed several exceedingly lifelike and skillfully modeled busts of its prominent members. During the visit of the Prince of Wales to America Coutts published a volume of his poems, which he dedicated to the Prince, and of that transaction he was very proud. He did not prosper in America for various reasons, and early in 1870 returned to Scotland. His death took place at Colchester, Essex, in 1895.

Many years ago a family of musicians used to give entertainments throughout the United States, in Canada, and long were general favorites. The Fairbairn Family was known all over the continent, and clever they all were—the father and two, perhaps three, daughters. But the style of their programmes did not vary much, and the craving for something new that possesses the amusement world—Scottish as well as other sorts—drove them to the wall. Their last appearances in New York—in the seventies—were dismal failures, although every one admired the cleverness displayed, and soon after they left that city they got stranded somewhere in the upper part of the State of New York, and were finally heard from as living quietly—from necessity—on a small farm they had secured or bought in Canada. The father of the family, Angus Fairbairn, was an undoubted man of genius, and had he only possessed some share of business tact ought to have made a fortune by his own talents and those of his family. But life seemed to be for him a continual struggle, a constant present disappointment, with plenty of hopes, however, in the future—only they always remained there. He was born near Edinburgh in 1829. While comparatively a young man he began his career as a lecturer and vocalist in London, and the success of his efforts led to his making a tour through the United Kingdom, giving similar entertainments, combining lecture and music, as Wilson, the "king of Scotch vocalists," and which were afterward introduced all over the world by David Kennedy. In 1868 Fairbairn published in London a volume of his verses under the title of "Poems by Angus Fairbairn, the Scottish Singer." Very soon afterward he removed to Canada and commenced the career of public entertainer which ended in the melancholy and unsatisfactory manner which has been related. Poor Fairbairn was worthy of a better fate. He was a warm-hearted man, full of national enthusiasm, and possessed a rich vein of fancy—a vein that colored his whole life and gave him many glints of sunshine in spite of the clouds that hovered around him from the dawn to the darkness.

In 1872 the Scottish community at Montreal was startled by news of the death by accident of John Fraser, better known among them as "Cousin Sandy" the poet. He had been on a visit to Ottawa, and while enjoying a ramble among some rocks near the Parliament Buildings fell into the river and was drowned. He was a native of Portsoy, Banffshire, where he was born in 1810. A tailor by trade, he early imbibed pronounced political opinions, for the tailor's "board" was then often transformed into a forum, and Fraser became a Chartist. He also began writing for the press, and such publications as "Reynolds's Newspaper," "The Northern Star," and "Lloyd's Weekly" received his contributions gladly. But somehow things went against him, and he concluded, in 1860, to settle in Canada, where his father had taken up his abode some years previously. He arrived at his father's home at Stanstead, P. Q., only to find that his parent had died a few days before. He started in business as a tailor, and did very well, but he got tired of life in the country and removed to Montreal, where he became traveling agent for a bookselling and publishing concern. In that capacity his business took him all over Canada, and he made friends everywhere. In 1870, after being known for many years as a poet by his contributions to newspaper and periodical literature, he published a volume of his poems, a slender volume, printed on only one side of each page and entitled a "Tale of the Sea," the name of its opening and lengthiest piece. He sold the volume as he went along on his journeys, and the edition, which met with a very kindly reception at the hands of the newspaper critics, was soon exhausted. Fraser might have held political office but for his known advanced Radical opinions, and for the fact that in his Poems he mercilessly ridiculed whoever or whatever displeased him—whatever he thought was wrong—in party or individual, statesman or politician. He was by no means a great poet, and he expended too much of what ability he had in merely passing themes, though it is easy to see that his ability was great enough to have won for him a higher and more popular position in the ranks of Canada's poets than is now even likely to be accorded to him. His principal poem, the "Tale of the Sea," contains many stirring—even beautiful—passages, its story is graphically told, but its theme hardly becomes the dignity of poetry. So, too, with much of his political pieces, their "snap " and vitality have departed with the causes which inspired them.

There died in Brooklyn on May 12, 1894, a Scottish poet and song writer who had long enjoyed considerable popularity on both sides of the Atlantic and been awarded a prominent place among the lyrical writers who have given to Scotland the richest body of song in the world. This was Thomas C. Latto, one of the original "Whistlebinkians," who for many years prior to his death led a life of comfortable leisure amid the companionship of his books, and beguiling the days to the end by adding to his own literary work. Latto was born at Kingsbarns, Fifeshire, where his father was schoolmaster, in 1818. After studying law for five sessions at St. Andrews he went to Edinburgh, where for some time he was employed in the office of the late Sheriff Aytoun. He also resided in Dundee for a time, and for two years was engaged in Glasgow in a commission business. From the time he went to Edinburgh he became known as a poet, and his contributions were everywhere welcomed, as was a volume of his collected pieces which he ventured upon publishing. His "Whistlebinkie" songs and several pieces that appeared in Blackwood's Magazine showed he had caught the public taste, and a bright literary future in Scotland seemed to be within the grasp of the young writer. Burt fate ordained otherwise, and in 1854 he crossed the Atlantic to begin life anew under strange conditions. Settling in New York City, he soon made hosts of friends among his countrymen, and so high was their appreciation of his genius that it was in his interests the company was formed that started the Scottish American Journal in 1857. Latto was editor, and the business management was intrusted to William Finlay, another Scotsman, a newspaper man of much enterprise, who afterward died under distressing circumstances in Canada. The two men were ill matched, and the paper soon passed into other hands, and ultimately won a high rank among American weeklies. Mr. Latto finally moved to Brooklyn, and for a long time was connected with the "Times" of that city. A volume of his poems was issued in 1892 at Paisley under the title of "Memorials of Auld Lang Syne," but while it met with a flattering reception at the hands of the critics, it failed to command Public interest. It really contains some of his best work and deserved a wider degree of popularity than seemed to be its fate. About the same time Mr. Latto issued a substantial volume containing a memoir and selection of poems of his old friend, Hew Ainslie, and it enjoyed a wide sale.

In a memorial tribute to Latto, published soon after the poet's death in The Edinburgh Scotsman and other papers, Dr. John D. Ross, who probably knew more of his latest literary work and aspirations than any one else, said: "As a man of letters his place at present may simply be among the minor poets of his country, but he has left poems in manuscript superior even to those acknowledged immortal effusions of his which have already been Published, and these will ultimately procure for him a high position among the prominent Scottish poets of the nineteenth century." However this may be, we can simply judge by the record before us, and we can only say that the memory of Latto and his other works will be kept alive by his lyrical pieces, rather than by anything else from his pen which is now before the world. Such pieces as "When We Were at the Schule," "Sly Widow Skinner," "The Kiss Ahint the Door," and one or two others will always hold a place in the literature of his country and in the hearts of his countrymen.

The late Rev. Dr. Robert L. Kerr, for over sixteen years a minister in the Congregational Church in this country, was the author of at least one volume of poems and several volumes of a devotional cast. He was horn in Kilmarnock, and for a time was minister of a church in Forres. For seven years he was pastor of the Congregational Church at Wakefield, Kan., and then accepted a call to Tomah, Wis., and died in 1895, shortly after entering on his duties there. A volume of poems, mostly in his native Doric, was found in his desk ready for publication, but it has never appeared. Dr. Kerr was a man of superior ability, but never seemed to rise in life in accordance with his deserts.

There was a vein of true poetic sentiment in the mental equipment of Donald Ramsay of Boston, who died at Liverpool while en route to Scotland, in 1892. He was born at Glasgow in 1848, and started the business of life by becoming a printer in a valentine-making establishment. When he died he was managing Director of the Heliotype Printing Company of Boston. Leading an active business life, ;\Tr. Ramsay found little time to devote to the muses, but whatever he permitted to appear in print testified to his gracefulness of diction and the delicacy and exuberance of his fancy. He was proud of Scotland, and, like so many others, when the muse was with him his heart was across the sea. It seems a pity that lie did not gather his poems into a volume before his untimely death. They are, most of them, too good to be forgotten, and that seems now likely to be their fate, scattered as they are through all sorts of publications.

In many respects the most thoughtful, the most richly endowed, of all the Scottish American poets was Alexander McLachlan of Amaranth, Ontario, who died suddenly at Orangeville on March 20, 1836. Somehow his genius never seemed to find the heights into which most people acquainted with the poet deemed it capable of reaching, and though he had a wide circle of readers, it was mainly limited to Canada, and he failed to win that general need of approbation and popularity which has been so often accorded to men who did not possess one tithe of his ability. Circumstances, seemingly, were against him; how or why we cannot exactly determine, but in reviewing the career of this man we cannot help from thinking that circumstances, or, to put it flatly—luck—have as much to do with molding and shaping a man's life career as have his own abilities and resplendent virtues. Of course, this is rank moral treason, according to the Samuel Smiles school of biographers, but no man who has had much practical knowledge of the world will gainsay its truth or be unable to point to more than one illustration in its support.

At all events, McLachlan's life was passed without the recognition it deserved, and in a constant fight with poverty, until, in his old age, the generosity of a number of his benefactors cleared his farm at Amaranth from mortgage and debt, and so made his closing years pass on to their fruition without the perpetual worriment about making ends meet, which had for so long before been painfully in evidence in connection with his literary and business plans.

McLachlan was born at Johnstone, Renfrewshire, in 1820. Like most of the bards of Renfrewshire, that county of poets, he was horn and reared in humble circumstances, but from his earliest years lie imbibed that sturdy sense of independence which is so marked a feature in the Scottish character. When young he learned to be a tailor and worked for a time at that trade in Glasgow. He was a studious young man, according to his opportunities, and developed into a stanch adherent of Chartism. Glasgow and Paisley at that time were strongly stirred by the political movement that promise to enlarge citizen freedom, (and did enlarge it, in spite of Peterloo massacres, prisons, hulks, and other weapons of contentment,) and as a result the flood of oratory on such places as Glasgow Green and the Braes o' Gleniffer was something extraordinary. Among others, young McLachlan caught the art of public speaking, and was always listened to with attention because his words were carefully thought out, and he was a perfect master of every question on which he aired his views, a compliment that cannot be paid to many political orators.

In 1820, seeing no chance for improving his condition in Scotland, McLachlan emigrated to Canada, and soon after his arrival settled on a farm. That occupation was the basis of his career thereafter, but he was known a few years after settling there as a lecturer on literary topics, and in poetry and prose was a frequent contributor to the periodical press of the country. In 1862 he revisited Scotland on a mission to speak upon the advantages of Canada as a field for immigration, and his lectures on that theme were eagerly listened to all over the country and attracted general attention. His reception in his native country was an exceptionally flattering one. He was welcomed on every side, received with many marks of honor, and presented with quite a number of valuable tokens of love from admiring friends.

In 1855 he published his first volume of poetry, and it was followed by two others at short intervals, while in 1875 a collected edition of his writings appeared in Toronto. All these volumes were very highly praised by the press and by critics, but not one of them added much, if anything, to the poet's financial resources. His lecturing expeditions had made him well known all over Canada, and he had friends in every section, but for the last ten or twelve years of his life he confined himself mainly to the farm, beguiling the tedium of each long wintry season by his pen. He continued to woo the muse to the last, and age did not seem to weaken his fancy or to lessen his love for the beautiful in nature. Latterly he soared into realms of thought at which most poets, even the most gifted, enter with dread—the why, wherefore, and whither of life; its mystery, its recompense; the meaning of its signs, its promises; the present and the future, and if he did not succeed in unraveling any of the secrets, if he did not succeed in piercing the veil that separates the seen from the unseen, he at least gives us the impression of one whose whole soul was in the quest of a solution of the mystery of life; that of an intellectual pioneer of a giant mold piercing through the forest and brushing aside all that seemed to obstruct his view of the land that lay beyond, slimly shimmering as at the end of a long and narrow vista among the trees.

In connection with the singers we may be pardoned here for departing from a rule hitherto pretty generally observed so far in this volume, and make reference to a few of those who, in America, are still weaving their lays and adding, in greater or less degree, to the poetical anthology of the land of their adoption. Sons of song are seldom, somehow, overburdened with their store of this world's goods, and as they are all doing something, or honestly trying to do something, to add to the pleasures of existence, attempting it may be to lift men from the contemplation of the mere things of this life to the sweeter realms of fancy, or the still more practical purpose of developing the good that is in them, calling into play, as it were, the exercise of their higher nature, it may be not out of place to gratify some of them at least by a slight reference here. Iii view of this, some notice of the " living choir " may close his chapter. All those mentioned, and others who might be mentioned if space permitted, will be acknowledged as sweet singers, even if it be adnmitted that they have " missed the highest gift in poetry," as a recent reviewer aptly put it in estimating the value of the poetic gifts of the late Bayard Taylor.

The venerable "Bard of Lochfyneside," Evan McColl, still resides in Toronto, enjoying the beautiful sun-set of a life that has been passed in comparative quiet, and broken by no ambition save recognition of his poetic merits, an ambition that was fairly gratified many years ago. McColl was born at the clachan of Kenmore, Argyllshire, in 1808, and received as liberal an education as the parish of Inveraray afforded. By his twenty-third year he had become famous throughout the Highlands for his poems in the ancient language of that region, his mother tongue, which continued to be the tongue of his thoughts throughout his career. His English writings, beautiful as most of them are, are but translations, after all, from the Gaelic in which they were conceived and fashioned and clothed.

In 1836 he published his first volume, a collection of his English as well as Gaelic poems, under the title of "The Mountain Minstrel." It was very heartily received, and the author felt encouraged in 1839 to issue a volume, "Clarsach nam Beann," solely devoted to Gaelic productions, and it widened the measure of his fame in the north, while his other volume made him known to readers un-acquainted with the language spoken in the Garden of Eden. In 1839 he became a clerk in the Customs Service at Liverpool, and ten years later paid a visit to Canada for the purpose of seeing his relatives. To his native land he never returned. He secured a position in the Customs Service at Kingston, Ontario, and there he remained until he was, by dint of long service, permitted to retire on a small pension. He soon became a prominent member of the Scottish colony at Kingston, was active in the work of the St. Andrew's Society, and for many years honored it by acting as its bard, and in that capacity seldom allowed a festival to pass without hailing the occasion with a song. In Canada he has several times published a volume of his poetical compositions, and to the newspapers of the Dominion he has been and is a frequent contributor.

Alexander H. Wingfield, a resident of Hamilton, Ontario, since 1850, is the author of at least one poem—"The Crape on the Door"—that will live long after he has passed over to the land where the poets never cease singing. At one time it was thought that many gemes might be added to the poetry of the continent by his pen, but somehow these high hopes have not been realized. Mr. Wingfield has done some creditable work, and some of his lines, such as "A Shillin' or Twa," are not only far above the average, but stamp him as a true poet; yet he seems to us to have frittered away his gifts on themes that were unworthy the attention of any but the most commonplace poetasters. He was born at Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Dr. Livingstone's birthplace, in 1828, and was early sent to work in a cotton factory in Glasgow. In 1847 he settled in the beautiful town of Auburn, N. Y., and three years later removed to Hamilton, where he secured employment as a mechanic in the shops of the Great Western Railway. In 1877 he received an appointment in the Canadian Customs Department, and in that vocation his days are still passed.

For many years E. N. Lamont, a native of Argyllshire, was one of the best-known writers on the New York press, and for a time was one of the editors of the `'Inter Ocean" of Chicago. A graceful, fluent writer, full of humor and strange conceits, he had the happy art of telling a newspaper story with those little indefinable touches of gracefulness in style and appositeness in thought which is not generally regarded as appertaining to the rush and excitement of newspaper work. As an essayist pure and simple Mr. Lamont was without an equal while in harness, but he has for some years been living a life of placid retirement in Guernsey, one of the Channel islands. During his years of newspaper activity Mr. Lamont was wont to woo the muse as a relaxation from the vexations and heartbreaks incidental to such a career, and many of his verses have been frequently reprinted, often without his name.

Mr. D. M. Henderson, bookseller, Baltimore, is another writer who has done much to make beautiful the strains of the Scottish-American harp. Born in Glasgow in 1851, Mr. Henderson settled in Baltimore in 1873, and found employment as clerk until he was able to enter into business for himself. In 1888 he published a volume containing a selection of his poetical writings, and was gratified at the kindly treatment it received from the critics, as well as its ready acceptance by the public. One of the sweetest of the living Scottish-American poets is Mr. Robert Whittet, one of the best-known citizens of Richmond. Va., and a gentleman whose assistance has often been evoked by the writer of this work in connection with many individuals. Mr. Whittet was born at Perth in 1829, and was long engaged in business as a printer there. In 1869, although his business was fairly successful, he desired a change, and he crossed the Atlantic. Purchasing some four hundred acres of land near Williamsburg, Va., he essayed an agricultural career, but after a time he realized that "there was nothing in it," and he removed to Richmond, started again in his old trade, and now is at the head of one of the best-equipped printing plants in the South. In 1882 he published a volume of verse under the title of "The Brighter Side of Suffering, and Other Poems," which met with a large sale and stamped him as a poet of no ordinary merit.

Mr. D. MacGregor Crerar, ex-President of the New York Burns Society and its Secretary for over twenty-five years, is a writer of no mean ability, whose lines display a fullness of thought, a carefulness of diction, and a concentration of sentiment which are the very essence of poetic composition. Beyond a poem on "Robert Burns," printed at the request of the Burns Society, Mr. Crerar has published nothing in book form, although often requested to do so, especially since he appeared as one of the poetic heroes in Mr. William Black's novel of "Stand-fast, Craig-Royston." Possibly his strongest pieces are his sonnets, although in such lyrics as "Caledonia's Blue Bells" he touches the heart of every reader who possesses even a spark of sentiment, while his lines entitled "The Eirlic Well" and "My Bonnie Rowan Tree" are classical in their beauty. But whatever this author writes has a certain standard below which he never falls, for he believes that the muse is one of the best gifts heaven vouchsafes to men, and that for the gift men should in return clothe its utterances with the utmost care. He is a native of Amulree, Perthshire.

Dr. J. M. Harper of Quebec, one of the best-known educationalists in Canada, is also one of that country's poets. He was born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, in 1845, and has been not only a frequent contributor to the press, but the author of a number of historical and biographical works, while as a lecturer he has won many hearty encomiums. All his poems, whether Scotch "or otherwise," betray a keen sense of the human heart, an intense love for nature, and a hearty appreciation of all that is beautiful and true. He sings frequently of Scotland and on Scottish themes, but his muse is mainly cosmopolitan, and deals with humanity irrespective of land or clime. It might be said that he judges the world through Scotch spectacles, but if that be a fault, this work is not likely to admit it. There is not a namby-pamby line in all Dr. Harper's verses, nothing that is not worth reading for its thought and sentiment, and nothing that will not elevate the reader.

Mr. James D. Crichton of Brooklyn, who was born in Edinburgh in 1847, is a writer very similar in his tastes and sympathies to Dr. Harper. A man of superior intellect, widely read, and investing every subject on which he writes with a peculiar charm, the reading public have a right to expect more from him than has yet appeared. He has not written much, but what he has written is full of melody, and confirms in us the impression that in him poetry—song—is a natural gift, which the world as a right to expect to see utilized to its fullest extent. Another Brooklyn poet who has not written as much as he should have written is Andrew McLean, editor of the "Citizen" and for many years managing editor of "The Brooklyn Eagle." He is a native of Dumbartonshire, but has resided in America since his fifteenth year, and his devotion to journalism has checked his inclination to wander into other fields in which he might have made his mark in literature. Mr. William M. Wood is also a Scotch Brooklyn journalist whose abilities as a poet have never been fully cultivated. As editor of "The Brooklyn Daily Times" his days are fully occupied, but what he has written has stamped him as undeniably capable of yet higher flights. Mr. Wood is a native of Edinburgh and started in life as a printer.

Robert Reid, ("Rob Wanlock,") the "laureate of the Scottish moors," has resided in Montreal for several years and has won an honorable position in Canadian as well as in Scottish literature. It cannot be said that the Dominion has influenced his muse to any extent. He lives in Canada, but his heart is in Scotland, and when his muse is stirred it is by a breeze wafted from the old green hills and dine gray muirs of his ain countree. Born in the pleasant village of Wanlockhead, right on the boundary between the counties of Lanark and Dumfries, it is of the South of Scotland he sings, and the scenery and landscapes of that section give to his lines their peculiar color, just as Argyllshire has colored the Scottish landscape in the poems of that older bard, Evan McColl. Mr. Reid is one of nature's poets, that is to say, he finds his best themes in the lilt of the laverock, the wild cry of the whaup, the brown heather, and the simple affections of the heart, and to read his lines is to get, as it were, a fresh and delightful glimpse of the land he loves so well.

Andrew Wanless, bookseller in Detroit, has published several volumes of his poetry and won a wide circle of readers. He was born at Longformacus, Berwickshire, in 1825. In 1851 he settled in Toronto, where he engaged in business as a bookbinder, but was burned out and lost his all. In 1861 he removed to Detroit, and slowly but surely recovered his losses. He is not only a poet, but an authority on poets, particularly Scotch, and he discusses their merits with rare critical acumen and with a fund of story and illustration which makes him a delightful conversationalist. All his own poems are Scotch, and he handles "our mither tongue" with the ease of a master.

James Kennedy, a native of Forfarshire and many years a resident of New York City, has published a couple of volumes of verse and written much that has appeared in fugitive form. His best effort, "Doran Water," is a pure idyll, redolent of the Scottish countryside and evincing a wealth of imagery that delights the reader. Another New York poet is John Paterson, a native of Inverness, most of whose productions have appeared only in newspapers, where they have attracted marked attention and been frequently reprinted, and Mr. H. Macpherson, a younger bard hailing from the Highlands, has also won recognition as a poet from his efforts in Gaelic as well as in English during his residence in New York.

Mr. W. C. Sturoc, who was born in the auld toon of Arbroath in 1822, has written a large number of verses which speak plainly of the goodness of his heart, the depth of his affection for his native land, and the ripe scholarship and Christian spirit which direct his daily thoughts. An estimable man in every way, a loyal American citizen, and a leader in the society in which he moves, Mr. Sturoc is passing through the sunset of life in his home at Sunapee, N. H., in a way that proves the truth of the promised reward that comes from a well-spent youth and manhood. His poems are equally divided between the old land and the new, and every line he has written shows how equally dear both are to him. John Imrie of Toronto has published two volumes of his poems, and several of his songs, set to music, have become justly popular. He has the lyrical genius strongly developed, and is equally felicitous in his Canadian and Scotch themes. William Murray of Hamilton, Ontario, a Breadalbane Highlander, is a ready and pleasant writer of Scottish verse, mainly on historical themes, which have made his name known far beyond the confines of the town in which he has his home. Mr. William Anderson of Auburn, N. Y., a native of Duntocher, has written several stirring songs, one of which, "Old Glory," has become very popular. An industrious writer is Mr. J. Porteous Arnold of Quebec, and so is William Lyle, too industrious to give his rhyming qualities an opportunity to rise to the heights they seem capable of attaining.

The Rev. William Wye Smith of Newmarket, Ontario, a native of Jedburgh, has become known on both sides of the St. Lawrence as a writer of hymns, as well as of tuneful verses. He is also an adept of the Doric, and probably no man in America has given the language of Robert Burns more patient or critical study. Mr. T. D. Law of Philadelphia is another writer who has a firm grasp of the Doric and can use it with remarkable facility, he is a poet of no mean order, and soon after his arrival in the Quaker City, in 1886, became noted among the Scots resident there for his rhyming gifts. Since then he has become more widely known, for his volume of poems, issued in Paisley a few years ago under the title of "Dreams o' flame" won golden opinions from the press both in Scotland and America, and the edition was speedily disposed of. Mr. Law is a native of Lumsden, Aberdeenshire.

As an example of a purely Scottish-American writer, that is to say, of a writer born in America of Scottish ancestry, we might mention Wallace Bruce, who for several years was United States Consul at Edinburgh, and even now, although his home is again in America, holds the office of Poet Laureate of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, Edinburgh, in succession to Robert Burns, the Ettrick Shepherd, and other well-known Scottish poets. Born in Columbia County, N. Y., Mr. Bruce was educated at Yale University, and afterward traveled over Scotland, England, and a goodly part of Europe. Then, on his return, he ascended the lecture platform and gradually rose in popularity until he was regarded as one of the most brilliant orators of the lyceums. Such themes as "Robert Burns," "Walter Scott," and "Washington Irving" showed that the bent of his mind leaned toward the land of his ancestry, and from time to time the poems which appeared from his pen in various periodicals proved that Scottish literature had been made by him a special field of study. The success which his various volumes of verse--"Old Homestead Poems," "Wayside Poems," "In Clover and Heather" among the number—has met with is satisfactory assurance to his many admirers and friends that his poetic merit is generally appreciated.

This theme, however, might easily be extended through a number of chapters, but a limit must be made, and it is as well to close with the gifted son of song whose merits we have just discussed. It seems hard to pass over with brief mention such undoubted singers as James Linen of California and New York, P. Y. Smith of Wilkinson, Mass.; William Murdock of St. John, N. B., and a score of others; but perhaps the entire subject will some day receive full and fitting attention and treatment.

What has been written, however, imperfect as it is, is sufficient to prove the theory with which the chapter started—that the Scots in America did not leave their harps behind them when they crossed the Atlantic, and that they are as busy helping to build up the literature of America as they are in building up all its other interests.

But the Scot at home has also had a great deal to do with molding and shaping American literature. No poet not a native of the soil is more studied or appreciated than Robert Burns, and nowhere are the lesson of his life and the significance of his mission better understood. Hundreds of editions of his works have been printed in America, and in such compilations as the annual volumes of "Burnsiana" and the monograph on Highland Mary, and in the tributes of such men as Whittier, Longfellow, Emerson, Holmes, and Beecher the national love and reverence for the great poet of the Scottish people has found fitting expression. Every Scotch poetical work of eminence from the days of Ramsay has been reprinted in the States, and sometimes, as in the case of Motherwell's collected writings and Pollok's "Course of Time," the number of American editions exceed those of the old land. Sir Walter Scott's writings in prose, as in poetry, are as thoroughly familiar on the banks of the Hudson as by the side of the Clyde, and, indeed, in reviewing a list of American reprints of Scotch poetical works recently the writer was almost forced to think that the United States had simply adopted the modern poetical literature of his native land and quietly appropriated it as her own.

So, too, with Scotch songs. "Auld Lang Syne" is as much the popular anthem of America as of Scotland, as much adopted and naturalized as though it had passed through a dozen courts of record, and the same might be said of several other lyrics. America as yet has hardly produced a native minstrelsy, but there is no doubt that gradually some volkslied peculiar to herself will be evolved, and we may be sure also that it will be more after the manner of the songs of Scotland than any other. No songs can charm even a cultivated American audience like the simple ditties that first awoke the echoes on the north side of the Tweed, and "Annie Laurie," "Bonnv Doon," "The Lass o' Gowrie," "O' a' the Airts," and "Robin Adair" are as great favorites in America as though they were indigenous to the soil. Indeed, the only approach to a native minstrelsy in America was that introduced by the minstrel troupes—now going out of fashion—and their melodies, on the authority of George Christie, the founder and greatest of all these singers, were most popular when they were re-echoes of, or reminiscent of the songs which were and are the favorites of the people in the Land of Robert Burns.


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