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The Scot in America
Scottish-American Societies


IT is difficult to estimate how many Scottish societies of one name or another there are in the United States and Canada. They far exceed, considering the relative population, those of Ireland or England, and there is hardly a place on the continent where there are half a Hundred Scots settled where they have not organized a society—sometimes two. Possibly the reason for this is a desire of having an outlet for patriotic sentiment, or a wish to preserve the memories of auld lang syne, or an impulse to keep "shouther to shouther" in a strange land, or possibly all three. The underlying reason, however, it seems to us, is an unconscious survival of the old spirit of clanship, which causes Highlander and Lowlander, Mearnsman and Whistler. Gleskie chap and Paisley body to shake hands and fraternize when they meet under a foreign sky with a degree of friendship and sentiment which would never evolve from their inner consciousness were their feet treading their native heath. Then, too, this feeling of clannishness, this making a real live thing of a latent sentiment, becomes more intense, more outspoken, more precious, more demonstrative, the further the Scot is removed from his native soil. On the Pacific coast the Scottish gatherings are generally the most thoroughgoing Scotch affairs in the world, and everything must be redolent of the heather. On the Atlantic seaboard, especially around New York City, where Scotland is only a question of a week's sail, they are not so demonstrative, but even there they are more Scotch—more old-fashioned Scotch—in their gatherings than are the Scots at home. As a rule, more wearers of the Highland costume used to be seen at the annual games of the New York Caledonian Club than at most similar gatherings in the Land o' Cakes, and many a Scot has confessed that he never understood what the word perfervidum meant when applied to Caledonia until after he had been a short time in the New World. In Scotland, St. Andrew is accepted as a figurehead, possessing the same amount of usefulness as the figurehead on an old ship; but in America he is a very real personage, and thousands of acts of thoughtful kindness are done year out and year in under the inspiration of his name.

The Scottish organizations in America cover almost every field in which the Scot abroad takes an interest—charity, patriotism, sociability, and mental or physical improvement. There are the St. Andrew's Societies, Caledonian organizations—clubs or societies—Order of Scottish Clans, Order of Sons of Scotland, Burns clubs, curling clubs, and various others. When a Scot cannot find any of these to his taste, or when he is not numerous enough to form some one of them, he expends his energy in the kirk—which, after all, according to the Reformation dictates, ought to be a complete and perfect club for the requirements of any man. In it the Scot can dispense charity, and when he pushes ahead the Presbyterian standard his patriotism is flattered by a knowledge that in his own sphere he is carrying on the work the foundation of which was laid by John Knox and Andrew Melville, and which was doubly consecrated by the struggle for Christ's Crown and Covenant, which has made Scotland one of the world's landmarks for religious liberty.

The oldest existing Scottish society in America is the Scots' Charitable of Boston, which was founded in 1657, and to which reference has already been made in a previous chapter. It is now virtually a St. Andrew's Society in all but the name. Doubtless there were Scottish organizations in the Colonies before it, but, if so, they have passed away and left no sign, and its precedence in point of age is undisputed.

The St. Andrew's Societies of Charleston, S. C., Philadelphia, New York, and the North British Society at Halifax, N. S., are all over a century old. Many wonder what the early members of these organizations got to orate about as each anniversary came around. They indulged doubtless largely in such sentiments as "Charity," "The Leal Heart," and "Patriotism," and they toasted places, like—"Iona, where Religion and Learning Found Refuge in the Middle Ages," but they could not drink to the genius of Robert Burns or glorify Walter Scott. They knew nothing about the steam engine, or the Free Kirk, or the battle of Waterloo, or Dr. Livingstone, or Adam Smith, or Mungo Park, or the Cardross case, or Carlyle's ideas of heroes and hero worship. Of course, they could talk about Bruce and Wallace, the fight at Largs and the battle at Bannockburn, John Knox and the Reformation, the Union of the Crowns, and a lot of other things. To us these seem to be too far back in the mists of history to evoke much wild enthusiasm, but still the earlier sons of St. Andrew were able to make the air re-echo with their cheers as loudly as do their descendants at the present day. The Scot of 1657 and the Scot of the passing day were alike in one respect—and in so much are they bound together—in pledging with enthusiasm "The Day an' a' wha honour it." Our ancient as well as our modern orators on "The Day" claimed that everything on the earth, above, below, or under the earth which is at all worth thinking about, looking at, or having, was either made by a Scotsman or that a Scotsman bossed the job."

The oldest organization in America bearing the name of St. Andrew is the society at Charleston, S. C., which was founded in 1729. It seemed to fill a want from the first, and its membership roll fully represented the Scotch element in the population. From a historical sketch written by Judge King we quote the following: "in 1731 they were joined by twenty-eight new members, among them being his Excellency Robert Johnston, the Royal Governor, and Robert Wright, Chief Justice of South Carolina. In 1732 they elected eighteen new members, and among them were James Michie, afterward Speaker of the House of Representatives, and who died Chief Justice, and the Rev. Archibald Stobo, who, providentially saved from a fearful hurricane, was long the pastor of the Congregationalists and Presbyterians worshipping together in the same building, and was probably the first who collected the Presbyterians of Charleston into one church. * * * On the death of Mr. Skene, [first President of the society and a member of the Legislative Council,] in 1740, the Hon. James Abercrombie, believed to be of the house of Tulliebody, was elected President. The Hon. John Cleland, a member of the Legislative Council, succeeded him, and on his death, in 1760, Dr, John Moultrie of Culross, one of the original founders of the society, the ancestor of the Moultries in South Carolina, was elected to the Presidency. On the death of Dr. Moultrie, in 1771, the Iron. John Stuart, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, was elected President. He retained the office until the War of the Revolution interrupted the regular meetings of the society. He had been an officer in the army and had distinguished himself by his conduct at Fort Loudon, in the war with the Cherokees, in 1760, * * His son, Sir John Stuart, a native of Charleston, inherited the talents of his father, and at the battle of Maida, in 1806, showed what the inexperienced and raw troops of his father's country can achieve over veteran soldiers." After the war was over, the society began its active work again. One of its first enterprises was to establish a public school, which continued in active operation through its aid until the State put its educational system in operation in 1811. In that same year it was resolved to build a St. Andrew's Hall, and in 1815 the edifice was inaugurated. It proved to be one of the popular gathering places in the city, and in 1825 it was the headquarters of Lafayette when in Charleston. Bit by bit the hall was adorned with pictures and engravings of general interest, besides portraits of prominent members and it had many treasured articles, such as a snuff mull mounted in silver and covered with cairngorms; a magnificent ram's head, with generous horns, and a presiding officer's mallet made out of a bit of Wallace's oak at Torwood, with a handle from a piece of the cedar that first shaded the tomb of Washington. Except for the usual work of distributing charity and the holding of the yearly festivals, the society continued to flourish without much incident to record until Dec. 11, 1861, when its hall was totally destroyed by fire. The paintings, ram's head, snuff mull, mallet, and records were saved. The paintings were afterward sent in haste, when the civil war broke out, to Columbus, Ga., for safe keeping, but were lost when Sherman's troops sacked that city in February, 1865. The other articles, however, were preserved during that trying time, and are now in the possession of the society.

Some years ago an effort was made to write the biographies of the most noted of the early members of this society, but after a while the attempt was abandoned. This is to be regretted, for such a compilation would give a vast amount of information about many of the early Scots who held high places in the service of the Colonies. It would also introduce us to some very curious characters, a knowledge of whose careers is worth preserving. In the list of names of those who organized the society we find, for instance, that of Sir Alexander Cuming, one of the most curiously compounded mortals who ever lived. He was the head of the fancily of Cuming, or Comyn, of Culter, and descended from the old Earls of Buchan. He was born in 1700, at Culter, and studied the legal profession, but for some reason got a pension of £300 a year from the Government, and gave up all idea of advancement at the bar, or even of continuing practice. The pension, however, was withdrawn in 1721. He married an English lady who was as flighty as himself, and it was in consequence of a dream of hers that he determined to proceed to America and cultivate the acquaintance of the Cherokee Indians. He reached Charleston in 1729, the year the society was formed, and lost no time in making himself known to the Indians. In the following year he was crowned King and chief ruler of the Cherokees. Soon after, with six of his tributary chiefs, he sailed for England, and on June 18, 1730, had an audience with King George II., presented his chiefs, and laid his crown at the King's feet, making his followers also kneel in homage. Sir Alexander, even at the time of his visit, found considerable dissatisfaction existing in the Colonies against the mother country, and proposed as a means of securing their perpetual dependence a series of banks in each of the provinces, these banks to have a monopoly of business in their respective territory, and in turn to be entirely dependent upon the British Treasury and accountable only to the British Parliament. The British Government would not listen to his scheme, though it must be confessed that there was some solid sense in it, for, if the entire finances of a country could be throttled, as he proposed, there would not be much chance for a successful revolution. But in brooding upon the project Sir Alexander went over the narrow line which some assert is all that separates genius or wisdom from madness. He was a zealous student of the Scriptures, and, in the course of his reading, conceived the notion that he was alluded to in several passages as the appointed deliverer of the Jews. Then he opened a subscription with a gift of £500 from himself for the purpose of starting his scheme of American banks and for settling 300,000 Jewish families among the Cherokees. Probably he did not bother himself as to how the Cherokees liked the proposal or whether the Hebrews would care to fraternize with the Indians, for that was too commonplace a detail for his thoughts. The subscription failed ignominiously, and in disgust Sir Alexander turned his thoughts and energy to the study of alchemy. This frittered away what was left of his means, and he not only became deeply involved in debt, but for some time had to subsist on the charity of his friends. Finally he was admitted a pensioner in the Charterhouse, London, where he died in 1775.

The St. Andrew's Society of Philadelphia was organized in December, 1749, by twenty-five Scottish residents of the "Quaker City." For some reason or another, these patriotic and kindly men were afraid lest the purposes of their association would be misunderstood by their fellow-citizens, and to guard against this they issued a long "advertisement" setting forth the objects their society had in view. It read, in part, as follows: "The peculiar benevolence of mind which shews itself by charitable actions in giving relief to the poor and distressed has always been justly esteemed one of the first-rate moral virtues. Any persons, then, who form themselves into a society with this intention must certainly meet with the approbation of every candid and generous mind, and we hope that it will plainly appear by the rules which are to follow that the St. Andrew's Society of Philadelphia was solely instituted with that view."

Having thus defined their position, these philosophic Scots compiled their by-laws and commenced their work. The first application for relief came from an unfortunate countryman named Alexander Ross. According to his story, he was a native of Galloway and a surgeon by profession. He had been captured by the French and Spaniards five or six times, and escaped to America from some Spanish prison. His American reception was not the most hospitable, as it seems, when he made application for relief, he was confined as a debtor in the Philadelphia prison. His prayer was attended to, and 40s. were awarded him. In 1750 the society paid £5 9s. for a "strong box" to hold books, money, and other possessions. The box is still in existence, and is a good, substantial, serviceable article. It is deposited in the Fidelity Trust Company's vaults with the old records of the society. In the same year a curious case came up for consideration which may be related here, as it illustrates the glorious uncertainty of the law which prevailed in those good old times just as much as it does in the present day.

In 1732 Janet Cleland was induced to leave Scotland and take up her residence with her uncle, John Gibbs of Maryland. That individual had pressed her to cross the Atlantic, and promised to make her his heiress, besides agreeing to support her in good style during his lifetime. Relying on these promises, Janet, before she left, like a good, kind-hearted girl, made over to another uncle, a brother of the one in Maryland, a small patrimony which she had in her native land. After her arrival here Janet continued to reside with her uncle, and acted as his housekeeper until he died. The old gentleman appears to have been a peculiar sort of character, one of those personages who, for want of a more fitting name, would nowadays be styled a "crank." He had a terrible temper, and sometimes it so far overcame him that his niece had to leave his house for a few days until its violence subsided. Then, when it had cooled off, she used to return, to his great delight, for he invariably expressed his regret at the cruel treatment and harsh words which had compelled her to seek refuge away from his home. To most of his friends and close acquaintances he often acknowledged his intention of leaving Janet all his possessions, and at one time, in presence of his attending physician, he made a formal will in which he bequeathed everything to her. Finally, in 1747, he died of an ulcer in his head, which, according to the testimony of the medical man who attended him, deprived him of his reason for quite a while before the end. While in this condition the negro slaves, in the absence of the doctor and nurse, used to give him large quantities of rum. By some means or other they prevailed upon him to sign another will. In it he cut Janet and all his relatives off without a cent, made his negroes free, and divided his property among them, with the exception of his plate, which went to comparative strangers, along with a few other legacies. Thus Janet was left penniless, and applied at length to the society for assistance. The last-made will appears to have been offered for probate, and she began a lawsuit to have it set aside. The society, considering her sad case, gave her a donation of £7, and recommended the members to give her all the assistance they could. It appears, however, that Janet lost her suit, and the last will made by her uncle was allowed to stand.

During the Revolutionary period the society probably did little more than maintain its existence, owing, as was reported on one occasion, to "a number of members being out of town, or more particularly on account of the convulsed and unsettled state of the tines." The minute book covering the interesting period between 1776 and 1786 has been lost, if it ever was in existence, which may be regarded as doubtful. The subsequent history of the society is a prosperous one, and may be summarized in the old words "daein' guid an' gatherin' gear." On its long roll of members we find the names of two of the signers of the Declaration of Independence—James Wilson and Dr. John Witherspoon, President of Princeton College. The members took an active part in the erection of the monument to this great clerical statesman which now graces Fairmount Park. The roll also contains the names of two Governors of the State—Hon. James Hamilton (President of the society for several terms) and Hon. Thomas McKean—and three Mayors of the city, Peter McCall, Morton McMichael, and William B. Smith. The roll is also graced with the names of several of the Revolutionary heroes, chief of which is that of Gen. Hugh Mercer, referred to in a previous chapter. The remains of this brave soldier were interred in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, and there a fine monument has since been erected to his memory. The society took the most active part in carrying on the movement for this memorial, and when it was dedicated it occupied a place of honor during the ceremonies.

The St. Andrew's Society of the State of New York was founded in 1756. The intention of the promoters was simply to form a charitable organization, and that feature has really continued to be the prevailing one ever since. These kindly Scots, however, did not forget that under St. Andrew's banner patriotism, as well as charity, could work together, and their constitution provided that a dinner should take place on the 30th of November in each year. Since then these meetings have been held regularly, except during the War of the Revolution.

Among the members enrolled in 1757 we find the name of Col. Simon Fraser, eldest son of Lord Lovat, who was beheaded on Tower Hill, London, in 1747. When the Rebellion of 1745 broke out he was a student at the University of St. Andrews, but was withdrawn by his cunning old father to be placed at the head of the clan. He surrendered himself to the Government in 1746; but, as he had never shown any sympathy for the cause of the Stuarts, and was known to have been influenced solely by affection for his father, he was released in the course of the following year. Refusing military rank in the French service, he raised, in 1757, two battalions of 1,800 men, in command of which he proceeded to New York, and on his arrival he joined the St. Andrew's Society. He served with great distinction at Louisburg and Quebec, and afterward in the War of the Revolution. In 1774 the family estates were restored to him, but the attainder was not removed until 1854, when the old title of Lord Lovat was again placed on the roll of the Scottish peerage.

The titular Earl of Stirling, one of the Revolutionary heroes, filled the office of President from 1761 till 1763. John, fourth Earl of Dunmore, Governor of New York in 1769, was elected President in 1770. His term of office was, however, very short, for in the same year he proceeded to assume the government of Virginia. In 1773 he was succeeded by Lord Drummond, son of the claimant to the attainted earldom of Perth, who came to this country as an officer in the army. A few years later he was taken prisoner by the Americans, but was released by Washington, and permitted to return to New York. His failing health obliged him to proceed to Bermuda, where he died, unmarried, in 1781.

Besides these titled personages, the society has had many members to whom it can point with pride. Some of them, such as the Coldens, Hamiltons, and Livingston, have left their mark upon the early history of the country, and in the long roll of membership may be found the names of the most prominent Scottish merchants and professional men who have resided in this city from the inception of the society until the present time.

Whatever funds the society had prior to the Revolutionary War were dissipated by it. With the return of peace, however, it again exerted itself, and renewed its career of usefulness. Between the years 1787 and 1791 it had bank stocks worth $4,000, which were sold in the last-named year. A site was then purchased where 10 and 12 Broad Street and 8 and 10 New Street now stand, for the erection of a St. Andrew's hall. The price paid for the ground was $4,600. But the building scheme was dropped for some reason or other, and the property was sold in 1794 for $6,750. In 1803 the funds of the Dumfries and Galloway Society, then being wound up, amounting to about $2,300, were transferred to it. The financial standing of the society has since continued steadily to advance, and at the present time its permanent fund amounts to about $80,000. Besides, it owns three beds in hospitals and a plot in Cypress Hills Cemetery.

Very few persons, even after perusing the numerous details furnished in the reports of the society's operations issued every year, can form anything like a just appreciation of the nature, extent, and importance of the charitable work performed by the officers. The number of persons who have fallen into destitute circumstances, through no fault of their own, in a large city like New York, must necessarily be always very great. They include the aged, the blind, the sick, the widow, and the orphan. So numerous, indeed, are such cases that even with the resources at their command the officers are unable to be as generous as they would wish. Still, the aid they give is always timely and welcome, and helps wonderfully in throwing a gleans of kindly light upon darkened lives. By means of the beds at their disposal in the Presbyterian and St. Luke's Hospitals the officers are able to secure proper treatment and the best of medical attendance for many of the sick. The burial plot belonging to the society in Cypress Hills Cemetery, with its exceedingly beautiful and substantial shaft, the gift of Mr. John S. Kennedy, one of the ex-Presidents of the society, tells its own sad story, and shows how the thoughtful kindness of the society, besides ministering to the wants of destitute Scots in life, tries to gratify the last wish of every one by giving his remains a respectable interment.

There is another class to whom the assistance of the society is rendered, and whose cases are often pitiable. This is the immigrants, or transients, as they may more properly be called. The old story is well known of people crossing the Atlantic in search of work, finding none, and landing penniless in the streets. The cases are also common of people who leave places in the interior and conic to New York with the idea that employment can be had here for the asking; and there are hundreds of other causes which somehow end in making able-bodied men become idle wanderers in the great city. A moment's reflection will tell us what this means—it is poverty, hunger, despair, and degradation. The society tries to hell) these cases by providing temporary shelter, by furnishing the means for cleanliness, and in many other ways.

Like the societies at Boston and Philadelphia, the North British Society of Halifax, N. S., started, in 1768, with a strong box, and determined to fill the box with money as soon as possible and keep it filled, so that it might help along those among them who fell into poverty or who arrived in their midst in a state that needed a little assistance. The members also resolved to celebrate St. Andrew's Day, and the quarterly meetings were St. Andrew's festivals in miniature, for they appear to have at them mingled pleasure, charity, and patriotism in a marked degree. The society also had another purpose—that of seeing to it that each member should have what the survivors deemed a respectable funeral. For this purpose, one of the articles in the first constitution reads as follows:

"That in case of the death of any member, the charge of the coffin, pall, grave, and attendance shall be taken out of the Box. Six scarves, six hat hands, six pair of black gloves, and six pair white gloves shall be purchased out of the Box as soon as circumstances will allow, and likewise as much as can be afforded to be given to the widow and children of the deceased member for their assistance, the scarves and gloves to be returned to the Box." The record of the society since its foundation has been one continued story of charity, varied by St. Andrew's dinners of all sorts, from the semi-public festival at "the house of Widow Gillespie" to the grand occasion when, in 1794, they reveled in splendor because their principal guest was no less a personage than the Duke of Kent, the father of Queen Victoria. It has also celebrated the centennials of Burns and Scott, and came to the front on all occasions when a Scottish society could exemplify its patriotic and charitable spirit. Its long roll of officials includes the names of the most noted Scots in Halifax, and its history all through is one of which not only new Scotia, but auld Scotia, may justly be proud. Its charity has been liberal, yet thoughtful. One notable gift deserves to be noticed. In 1868, when celebrating in grand style its own centenary, it founded a scholarship in Dalhousie College. The only other instance of a like benefaction on the part of a Scottish society in America of which we are aware is the St. Andrew's Scholarship, given by the society of that name at Fredericton to the University of New Brunswick.

[Note: The Scottish Studies Foundation of Toronto, Canada, raised $1 million towards establishing a permanent Chair of Scottish Studies at the University of Guelph in 2008.]

The St. Andrew's Society of Montreal was established in 1835. It is one of the most active societies of its name in Canada, and yearly accomplishes a wonderful amount of good through its St. Andrew's Home or direct charitable agencies. In a discourse preached to the members by the Rev. J. Edgar Hill, on the occasion of the jubilee of the society, the following reference to the early history of the organization was made: "Previous to 1835 there had been no organized brotherhood of Scotchmen in the city, and therefore no systematic care of immigrants from the old land. From 1835 to 1857 the society had a name, but no place of habitation. Good work it had done, but it would do better. Accordingly, in the early days of June, 1857, St. Andrew's home was opened, so that those who had left a home endeared to them by many tender associations should, in the new land across the sea, at once find a home provided for them till they had made a home for themselves. The idea was a brilliant one, and the time as well as the place was marked by an obvious leading of Providence. For, while the home was opened on June 11, the most pathetic appeal that has ever been made to the St. Andrew's Society, and the most severe test to which her philanthropy has been subjected, was made on the 27th day of the same month, when the `Montreal' was burned to the water's edge a few miles below Quebec, on her passage to this city, and nearly 400 persons either perished in the flames or were drowned in trying to make their escape. The survivors, of course, lost their all. Many of them were widows and orphans, and all of them were sorrowful strangers in a strange land, under circumstances which evoked the sympathy of every tender heart. Most of these were Scottish imrnigrants, and at once the St. Andrew's Society undertook most loyally to provide for every Scot among them. How much money do you want?' was the almost invariable question the collectors were met with—a splendid example of the characteristic Scotch way of answering questions by putting another. Funds flowed in from Scotsmen all over Canada, for Scottish hearts were bleeding for their suffering brothers and sisters."

St. Andrew's societies have probably existed from the time that the Scot abroad first began his travels. In the earlier stages of their history they were merely temporary organizations for the celebration of the anniversary of the patron saint. The Scots' Guards in France rejoiced in a better dinner than usual on the 30th of November, and in our researches into the history of our countrymen on the European Continent we find many evidences that St. Andrew's Day was fondly kept in remembrance. Afterward, when men got settled and Scotch colonies began to arise, the regular society, as we have it now, was commenced. Originally the societies were simply patriotic in their aims, but afterward charity was added, and both of these grand qualities have combined to strengthen the organizations and make them useful as well as sentimental. In Scotland, the few St. Andrew's societies there are simply kept alive in the interests of patriotism and are nearly all modern affairs, with no history of any great interest to any one outside of their own little circles.

If a Scotsman wants to see his patron saint suitably honored he must leave Scotland and sojourn in America, where undoubtedly the kindly memory of the good old missionary is cherished with the fires of loyalty and love. If we were to believe the orators on the closing night of November in each year, in the United States and Canada, we would regard Andrew as the champion saint in the calendar, "the king o' a' the core," and Scotland as a land flowing with milk and honey, whose men are the very cream of humanity, and whose lassies are genuine queens of Parnassus, who have just come down to earth for a little change and relaxation. Patriotism runs high on such nights. Scotland is Scotland and no mistake, and woe be it to any wight who dares to gainsay it. But such a wight never appears, and the next day the high-strung patriot becomes a canny Scot once more, and for the remaining 364 days in the year his patron saint is a quiet, but none the less generous, distributor of charity. There is no more generous Scot to be found anywhere than the one who backs up his nationality with his siller, and while "Relieve the Distressed" is the accepted motto of the societies, "Patriotism and Parritch" would be more pertinent and comprehensive.

Clubs or societies organized under the name Caledonian can be traced back in this country for about a century. In the early times they were simply social combinations of Scotsmen who got up some festival, such as a ball, during the Winter, and for the remainder of the year remained in a condition of suspended animation, somewhat after the fashion of many of the Burns clubs at the present day. The oldest existing Caledonian organization in the Dominion is that of Montreal, while in the United States that of Boston claims to be the senior in point of age. But neither of these organizations would have survived for half a decade had they not been organized on definite plans and for specific purposes, and had these purposes not met, or anticipated, a public want. All the clubs or societies which have proved successful have been, to a certain extent, business enterprises, and just as much as they have been managed on business principles so much has been their measure of success. In Scotland the parish or village games have been in vogue from time immemorial, and have generally been held on, or in connection with, a local holiday. It was the reproduction, by the originators of these clubs, of such local holidays with athletic games as a central attraction that caught the fancy and made them popular among "oor ain folk." Americans, too, always noted for their admiration for manly sports, thronged to the gatherings in such numbers that the promoters of the earlier games were often surprised at the crowds which attended them, and the substantial amount of the gate receipts.

The main objects of the Caledonian organizations as at present existing are twofold—first, the encouragement and practice of Scottish games, and, second, the encouragement of a taste for Scottish literature, poetry, and song. These objects are generally stated in their bylaws, not, perhaps, in these identical words, but in others having the same purport. The rules of many of the clubs make it imperative that public games should be held at least once each year, and in the open air.

So far as the first of these objects—the encouragement and practice of games—is concerned, the Caledonian societies of this continent must be credited with having achieved a wonderful amount of success. They have made the old-fashioned Scottish games not only very popular, but the Scottish rules are really the basis on which all athletic contests here are conducted. But even this success has latterly proved so far detrimental to the clubs that their games are not, from a pecuniary point of view, so remunerative as they formerly were. All over the country, during the season, games are held under the auspices of local athletic clubs, and these games are nearly all very similar to those which might be witnessed at Hawick or Inverness. Most athletic clubs have weekly meetings, frequent tournaments with sister clubs, while now and again an amateur "star" goes on a record-breaking tour among them. The result is that these local organizations push the Caledonians into the background, and their frequent meetings seem fully to supply the demand, so far as the public are concerned. There are many other reasons for this. In the athletic world a Caledonian record is regarded with suspicion, even if it should be honored with any regard at all, which is very seldom. The system of handicapping, too, which is so generally adopted in athletic societies, has served to bring a succession of bright young men into the arena year after year, while at Caledonian gatherings it is usual to find the war horses of ten years ago war horses still. The true theory of Caledonian athletes originally was to develop the skill; strength, and agility of their own members, and had this theory been carried out in practice a more satisfactory condition of things would have existed to-day. But one club wanted to have its athletic records as good as another. If a hammer was thrown 90 feet at Yonkers, for instance, the Poughkeepsie folks wanted it thrown as far, if not further, at their games. And so commenced the nuisance of traveling professional Caledonian athletes. These men, of course, were members of sister societies, and from a sentimental point of view were entitled to equal privileges with the members of any club they might favor with a visit. This was all very well for a while, but some of the clubs were not very particular who they received into membership while the athletic craze was strong. The result was that the Scotch games were crowded with such Caledonian athletes as `'Mr. Maloney," "Mr. Euth," "Mr. Sullivan," "Mr. McCarthy," and the like. The most advanced club in this connection was that of Philadelphia, which opened its "Caledonian" games to all comers without distinction of creed, nationality, or previous condition of servitude. The result was that those who, in the Quaker City, went to see Scotch games saw a general scramble for the prizes by negroes, Irishmen, and Germans, as well as Scots.

All these things combined to make the Caledonian games wane in popularity, and it is to be feared that they will never again gain their old measure of success. In fact, the quality of the games as athletic events has vanished, and, while the annual field days of the various clubs may be kept up, they will be more useful for drawing the Scots in their various localities—for making a Scotch holiday, as it were—than for anything else.

As regards the encouragement of Scottish literature, poetry, and song, it must be confessed that the Caledonian clubs have not added much to the national wealth. In Philadelphia for many years a series of literary meetings has been held each Winter. These assemblies are well attended, and at them a Scotch song can always be heard well sung, but the purely literary element is very meagre. This fact is to be deplored, and even wondered at, for in a cultured city like Philadelphia it should be an easy matter to arrange for a short lecture or talk upon some Scottish theme at each meeting. In Montreal a good series of sociables is given each Winter, and the Hallowe'en entertainment is generally the best of the kind on the continent, but such meetings, or the innumerable socials held by other organizations each Winter do little or nothing for literature. In New York they have lectures and a very commonplace debating organization; in Boston such matters seem to be severely passed by without an effort to produce them. In Chicago the effort has been made, but without success. The fact is, the literary element in the clubs is grasped in too half hearted a way to insure success. If the Caledonians copied the Welsh, and offered prizes for the singing of auld Scotch songs, or if they offered prizes for essays on distinctively Scottish subjects, if they organized scholarships in the colleges for the benefit of students of Scottish birth or descent, if they gave prizes in the local schools for the study of Scotch history, if they subsidized a lecturer who could speak on Scottish themes before popular audiences, if they helped a Scottish poet to place his productions before the American public, then they might be credited with doing something in furthering the second of the purposes for which they were primarily established.

The wearing of the Highland costume at public gatherings has been a feature of all Caledonian organizations, and by their activity in this matter they have certainly succeeded in making the "garb of old Gaul" familiar throughout the Northern and Western States and Canada. By frequently giving prizes for the best costume, they have inspired a kindly spirit of rivalry, until at the present time we have on this side of the Atlantic many costumes as complete and as perfect as any that could be seen in Scotland. It is singular, however, that while the Highland dress is thus patronized, the music which is associated with it should be comparatively neglected. Bagpipe playing is neither fostered or regarded by the clubs. Of course, they must have pipe playing, but any one who can "blaw" and use his fingers as though he was manipulating a penny whistle is deemed good enough for any occasion. Real good playing, such as is common at the Braemar, Strathallan, or other gatherings in Scotland, is seldom heard in America, and when heard is not sufficiently appreciated.

In this country and Canada, Caledonian clubs and societies have, in spite of their shortcomings and failures, in the past accomplished much good. They have made many pleasant Scottish holidays; brought Scotsmen and their families into closer friendship with each other, and by their kindly charity and fraternal aid have lightened the load of many a wanderer. They have made Scottish games become the delight of the youth of America, and the laws they have established for the guidance of such sports are generally accepted as the best as well as the most just that could be framed. Their record, on the whole, has been a creditable one, and, while we believe that they will require to seek new fields of operations if they are to maintain their popularity, we believe that in good time these new fields will be entered upon. If athleticism be played out, literature is not, and by cultivating that, and dropping all idea of mere financial success, these Caledonian organizations, clubs, and societies may yet attain a degree of influence and accomplish an amount of good which will make the last, even with all its triumphs, seem trifling in comparison.

While athletics may be regarded as the basis of Caledonian Clubs, insurance is undoubtedly the foundation of the Order of Scottish Clans. This order has passed through the trials of infancy and youth and is now in robust manhood, and claims and takes it place as one of the most useful of Scottish societies in America. It was organized in St. Louis in 1878. For some time its schemes were confined to that city, but after a year or two it was taken up by a number of Boston Scots, and a "boom" was started on its behalf which still continues as vigorous as ever. As the advantages offered by the order became known, clans commenced to spring up all over the country, until at present there are over 100 of these, and several in course of formation. Four or five clans are located in Canada, but across the border the order has not progressed as was at one time expected.

When the Order of Scottish Clans was started the idea was to institute a grand federation of Scotsmen in America, which, by united effort and a display of the truest fraternal spirit, was to combine sentiment and patriotism with more practical matters. The members were to unite in insuring their lives, sick benefits were to be provided, and a helping hand extended to any overtaken by misfortune. The fraternity was to be a secret one, that is, it was to meet with closed doors and have signs and passwords after the fashion of the Odd Fellows. It was to have all the social features which distinguished the Caledonian societies, and, if need be, it would give public exhibitions of old Scottish games. It was to be a complete organization, offering to fill all the requirements of Scottish-Americans, only that its benefits were to be confined to its own members, possibly on the theory that all Scotsmen should be on its rolls.

The original ideas which guided the organization, while well enough for a local society the members of which were known to each other, were too crude to be successfully worked in a large fraternity the members of which were scattered throughout the country. The insurance scheme, that of each surviving member paying a dollar on the death of one of their number, seemed the very essence of simplicity, but experience had demonstrated in other societies that the plan was not so effective or so equitable as it appeared on the surface, and after a few years of the existence of the order doubts on this point began to be entertained by many of its warmest adherents. This, however, might have been expected. In insurance matters no society was ever organized at once on a perfect basis. Experience is the great requirement of them all, and, until that experience has been gained, mistakes are certain to be made. Such societies require to be watchful, to put into practice one year what they learned during the year before, to make changes after consideration and practice shows the necessity for change, and to be constantly strengthening the organization at every point, no matter how trivial. This policy has characterized the leaders and workers of the order during the past few years. They have proved themselves thoughtful, progressive, and capable, and the fraternity has advanced in a surprising manner, as a result of their work. They have had to encounter opposition, sneering, grumbling, and fault-finding; but they have kept on doing their patriotic work, until the full assessment is paid to the relatives of a deceased member. Fault finding does not amount to very much, but $2,000 is a happy, tangible fact.

The great necessity for the welfare of all such institutions is the want of Government, or, in some sections, State supervision. If the law compelled assessment insurance companies to apply for permission to trade, if their promoters were made to give bonds to the State for the honorable carrying out of all their agreements, if the policies were issued with the sanction of the law advisers of the State, and the business books were liable to be examined by some competent officer at irregular intervals, we might regard assessment insurance as being as safe as any other. Fewer companies would then be organized, but those which fulfilled all the requirements would possess stability. The management of this order has been clean. It has paid every debt as it has arisen. Its officers, except the Secretary, receive no emoluments, and its membership is selected with care as regards nationality, moral character and physical health.

The question of grading, assessments according to age, which was a theme of much discussion among the brotherhood for several years, has been equitably and amicably adjusted, and, so far as one can see, there is no obstacle in the way to prevent the order from steadily increasing until every Scottish . workman in the country shall be enrolled on its books. In the States it has practically no opposition to its work, excepting from what is called the American Order of Scottish Clans. which, however, is not numerically strong.

The insurance feature of the order might be that of any society, but in the subordinate clans the Scotch element comes to the front. The membership is confined to Scotsmen and their immediate descendants, and the moral character of each applicant is carefully enquired into. The ritual which is used in the initiation of candidates is founded on Scottish history, and when intelligently rendered is both impressive and instructive. The sick allowance in most of the clans is $5 a week, with free medical attendance, and these benefits, as well as the working expenses of the clan, are provided by the monthly dues of the members. Many of the clans, too, have a funeral benefit of $50, which is paid at once on intimation of death. The meetings are generally well attended, and are managed with both order and decorum, two qualities which are not characteristic of other societies that might be named. Open social meetings at which the relatives and friends of members are invited are frequently given, and the public balls, concerts, and anniversary festivals have generally been successful. Some of the clans have given games, but this feature, although one of the objects laid down in the constitution, has not been attended to as it should have been. Each clan has its regalia, in which its own particular tartan predominates, and the appearance of the members of the order on public occasions, dressed in their costume, is one of the most gratifying spectacles which a Scotsman in America can see.

In many respects the Order of Sons of Scotland, a Canadian organization, runs in much the same grooves as the Order of Scottish Clans in the States. It is economically managed, the meetings of its camps are not only interesting but thoroughly Patriotic affairs, and its operations are yearly extending all over the Dominion.

A Burns club or society, properly speaking, is quite a different .description of organization from any of which we have already treated. It is organized for but one purpose—that of Honoring the memory of Scotia's darling poet. It is eminently a social and literary association, and its entire Horizon is bounded by that filled by the Ayrshire bard. But that is sufficient to infuse vitality and enthusiasm into any body of men, particularly if they are Scots or descendants of Scots.

There is another difference between the Burns and St. Andrew's and Caledonian societies, or clans. The latter are all essentially Scottish, and membership in them is more or less confided to natives, or the immediate descendants of natives, of Scotland. Inasmuch, however. as the fame of Burns is no longer simply confined to Scotland but has spread over all the world, so membership in clubs bearing his name is generally open to all who reverence his memory or admire his genius. It is felt that if these clubs are to be gatherings of lovers of the poet, the members should admit into their circles men of any nationality who recognize the worth of the "High Priest of Scottish Song." This is as it should be. All who acknowledge our bard as the poet of humanity, freedom, fraternity, and love should be welcomed into such clubs, and be received all the more heartily because they do not belong to our nationality, and have to contend with difficulties in the study of the poet which do not fall to our lot.

The great night of the year for any Burns Club is the 25th of January, and care is generally taken that it be celebrated in a manner that will really honor the memory of the poet and reflect credit on his native land and on his countrymen at home as well as abroad. The most usual form for the celebration to assume is that of a public dinner. This is often very pleasant for those who are present, and it brings to the front quite a crowd of speakers, and eulogies of Burns without number, and often without common sense or discrimination.

The dues in a Burns Club, outside of what the annual celebration costs, are trifling. There is, indeed, no primal necessity for a fund, and what is over at the end of each year in the Treasurer's hands should be handed to the nearest St. Andrew's society to be dispensed in charity. This would be fully in keeping with the teachings of Burns himself and redound to the credit of the organization. Should the members be willing to assess themselves a little more than is absolutely necessary there are many ways in which their money might be invested. They might purchase copies of Burns's poems and give their as prizes each year in the public schools, or they could offer a bonus for the best poem on Burns or for the best essay on his life or genius. These are not extravagant undertakings, and quite within the reach of almost an' club member, yet we do not know any better means that could be suggested for making the memory of our bard even more beloved throughout the American continent than it is at the present day.

The game of curling has made rapid strides in this country since its introduction, but though it he "Scotia's ain Winter game," and though Scotsmen have naturally been prominent in it, it really sets no national requirement in connection with its membership, and prefers to win success simply as a game—the only purely amateur game in existence. Therefore it claims no extended notice here beyond simply alluding to it as one among the many favors which Scotland has bestowed on the New World.

So, too, might Scotland's share in American Free Masonry be dismissed in a few words were it not for the fact that its history on this side of the Atlantic goes back to a much earlier period than that of curling, and there are many historical facts in connection with it which should not be passed over in a volume of this kind, especially as a claim has been made that the mysteries of the ancient order were first carried over the sea by brethren who owed allegiance to the Grand Lodge at old Kilwinning.

So far as can be traced, Freemasonry in legitimate lodges having their authority from some Grand Lodge. was first introduced into America by warranted lodges working under the jurisdiction of one of the Grand Lodges in the United Kingdom. The records of these Grand Lodges are very defective, especially those of Ireland, as most of its papers were destroyed by fire. The English records appear to have been purposely kept in an indifferent manner, probably from an idea which once prevailed that as little as possible should be committed to writing; concerning Masonry and its doings—even the doings of subordinate lodges. To this erroneous notion is due much of the defective information we have concerning many matters of interest in the general history of the craft.

Among the early lodges in this country which held warrants from the Grand Lodge of Scotland were:

The most noted of these lodges, that of St. Andrew's, Boston, still survives, the wealthiest Masonic lodge in the United States, if not in the world.

The earliest military lodge in the records of the Scottish Grand Lodge was granted, according to Mr. D. Murray Lyon, Grand Secretary, in 1743, by recommendation of the Earl of Kilmarnock, upon petition of some "Sergeants and sentinels belonging to Col. Lees' Regiment of Foot." This regiment has been given the number, Forty-fourth. This regiment was raised in 1741 in England, and had its first experience in actual warfare in this country in 1758. It took part in the expeditions against Ticonderoga, Fort Duquesne, and Fort Niagara, and the engagements of Long island and Brandywine.

What is supposed to have been the outcome of another regimental lode was that in the Twenty-second Regiment, which received its warrant from the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1767. The regiment was in this city in 1781, and was known as Moriah Lodge. It was one of the five which formed the New York Grand Lodge, but outside of that important bit of service it does not seem to have had much to do with the progress of Masonry in this State. The regiment soon afterward was ordered away from New York to another scene of usefulness—or carnage.

The most prominent lodge, however, which, in 1781, took part in the formation of the New York Grand Lodge, was that known as "Lodge No. 169 under the warrant of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, the lodge which afterward adopted the name of "St. Andrew's Lodge," and continued to be active in New York Masonry until 1830, when its charter was surrendered.

The origin of this lodge is not exactly known, but it very likely was in one of the regimental lodges. It is not known even where it got its original charter, and some Masonic writers often mix it up with the St. Andrew's Lodge of Boston. On July 13, 1771, it had obtained a warrant from the Grand Lodge of England with the title of "Lodge No. 169," and it took the name of Scotland's Patron saint officially, so far as we know, in 1786. It is asserted by some writers that the lodge met under its numerical designation in Boston, but this is doubted, and certainly there is nothing on record to prove it, and the general consensus of opinion among Masonic antiquaries is that its first settled home was in New-York.

On the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland there is record of a lodge—St. John, No. 169—at Shettleston, near Glasgow, receiving a warrant in 1771. It is a question whether this had any connection with the Lodge :No. 169 which met in Boston, and whose warrant was dated the same year. Gould, in his "History of Freemasonry," says: "No 169 was established in Battery Marsh, Boston, 1771. This lodge, which is only once named in the records of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, accompanied the British Army to New York on the evacuation of Boston in 1776." Another authority says it is not improbable that the Scottish warrant granted for Shettleston was transferred to an army lodge and Lodge St. John became in time St. Andrew. Another matter which is regarded as very probable is that the origin of the St. Andrew's Lodge of New York was this same regimental warrant held in the Forty-second- Regiment, the famous "Black Watch."

The Scottish regiments in New York from 1770 to the evacuation of the city were the Forty-second, which came here in 1776 for a short stay, returned in 1780, spent a Winter here, had their Headquarters most of the time in Albany, and were in this city some months before the evacuation, Nov. 25, 1783, when they went to Halifax. The Seventy-first (old) was in this city in 1777 and then went South. They had a stirring career in the Colonies until they surrendered with Cornwallis at Yorktown. The present Seventy-first Regiment was never in this country. The Seventy-fourth (old) was represented in this city by a grenadier company in 1779, but after a short stay they were ordered to Charleston, and took part in its siege. The Seventy-sixth (old), or the Macdonald Highlanders, were stationed between this city and Staten Island in 1779, and from here left for Virginia, to surrender in the end with Cornwallis. So far as we have been able to discover, this completes the list. Doubtless many temporary commands were sent over to take part in the great struggle, but such commands would not be likely to apply for or to receive a warrant from any Grand Lodge.

Whatever the early history of St. Andrew's Lodge here, it seems to have soon held an important position in the craft. The first meeting to organize what is now the Grand Lodge of New York State was held in its meeting-room, and its paster, the Rev. William `Walter, was the first Grand Master, and was subsequently re-elected twice, relinquishing it only when duty called him to another field of labor. "For a time," McClenachan says, "the history of this lodge seemed to be that of the Grand body, and it stood pre-eminent under the title of St. Andrew's, No. 3, on and after June 3, 1789. In time the Grand Lodge became stronger and was enabled to walk alone; the Grand officers were more widely distributed, and, although No. 3 continued in its constancy, its excessive influence waned."

The first lodge in Maryland of which there is record was organized in 1750, and its first Master was Dr. Alexander Hamilton, and its first Senior Warden the Rev. Alexander Malcolm. In the course of his oration at the centennial meeting of the Grand Lodge of Maryland, Past Grand Master Carter said: "Tradition says there were other and earlier lodges in Maryland, including one called St. Andrew's at Georgetown, now in the District of Columbia, formed by the Scotch settlers some time prior to 1737." One of the early Grand Masters of that State (the fourth) was David Kerr, who was born in Scotland on Feb. 5, 1749. He came to this country when in his twentieth year, just when the Revolutionary movement was beginning to make headway, and took sides with the Colonists. After independence had been won he settled at Easton and prospered in business. He died in 1814, leaving a family which upheld the credit of his name throughout the State.

The Grand Lodge of the State of New York was organized, as we have seen, in the meeting-room of St. Andrew's Lodge in 1781. Its charter was signed by the Duke of Atholl, as being then Grand Master of "the Ancients." This popular Scotch peer was born June 30, 1755, and succeeded his father as fourth duke in 1774. He died in 1820. He was a public-spirited nobleman, raised once a regiment of soldiers—the Atholl Highlanders—for the service of his sovereign; but, except in Masonry, he sought no public honors.

The warrant or charter issued in 1781 authorized the Masons in New York to congregate and form a Provincial Grand Lodge in the City of New York. In 1783 the independence of the United States was acknowledged, and with that independence the provincial lodge became a sovereign Grand Lodge. Of the first Grand Master, Mr. Walter, little is known, save that he was a chaplain in one of the regiments; that he was Master of St. Andrew's Lodge at the time of his elevation, and that he resigned his high office because duty called him to another place. That he was highly respected is shown by the many offices to which he was elected by his Masonic brethren, and by the resolutions of regret which expressed their sorrow at the necessity of parting with him. In this sovereign Grand Lodge there must have been quite a strong Scotch element, if we may judge by the names of its officials. James McCuan (McEwan) was Deputy Grand Master, James Clarke Grand Secretary, Archibald McNeill Grand Steward, etc. McCuan was succeeded in 1783 by Archibald Cunningham, and in that year the Grand Treasurer was Samuel Kerr, a representative Scotch merchant.

Chancellor Livingston was Grand Master from 1784 till 1800, and most of the members of his family belonged to the order. Throughout its history Scotsmen have all along been active in New York's Grand Lodge, and that activity still continues. Mr. William A. Brodie, a native of Kilbarchan, was Grand Master in 1884, and that high and honorable office is now held by Mr. John Stewart—who never fails to boast that he has Scotch blood in his veins.


With this chapter we close our study of the Scot in America. The theme has been an interesting one and has led us into innumerable walks of life, and its subject-matter might easily have been extended over a series of volumes. But enough, more than enough, has been adduced to prove that the record is an honorable one, and that whatever welcome has been given to the expatriated Scot on landing in America, or whatever honors may have been heaped upon him, are amply repaid by his devotion to the country by the care with which he fosters its best interests, and the patriotic efforts he makes to add to its wealth and to its dignity among the nations. The Stars and Stripes raise no loftier feelings or inspire more loyalty in the heart of a descendant of one of the Mayflower party than in the heart of the wanderer from Scotland who has made his home in the United States. The flag becomes his flag, the country becomes his country, and to the defense of the one his blood will be shed if needed, while to develop the interest and maintain the integrity of the other he will devote the same enthusiasm and the same common sense that have served his own country so well. A believer in law, he is ever on the side of authority; a believer in religion, he is a staunch upholder of public, and private morals and of honesty in politics; he does not aspire to political influence, to control a caucus, or lead a district: but he treasures his ballot as the outcome of his civil liberty, the charter of his freedom and equality in the Commonwealth. Whatever adds to the material wealth of the country finds him an effective supporter; in the cause of education he is ever in the ranks of the foremost workers, and in charity his liberality and practical interest are everywhere apparent. Take him all in all, he is a useful citizen, and in that regard is second to none. His patriotism is not that of the orator who believed in "the old flag and an appropriation;" but it is true, reverent, and from the depth of his heart. So, too, in the great Dominion north of the St. Lawrence, no native has a deeper affection in his heart of hearts for "This Canada of Ours " than the Scot who has thrown in his lot in that part of the continent, and he is as proud of the maple leaf as he is of the thistle.

But, while giving himself thus up to the land of his adoption, the Scot in America does not forget the land of his birth. It may be to him but a sentiment, yet the sentiment burns deeper into his heart as the years roll on. It may be forever to him a reminiscence, a dream of the past, and the mournful notes of "Lochaber no more" may sound in his ears as he conjures back to memory the once-familiar scenes and recalls once weel-kenned faces. But, as time creeps on its very name becomes sacred, and his highest hopes are that all that is grand in Scotland, all that has lifted her up among the nations, that has made her be regarded as an unfaltering champion of civil and religious liberty, may be transplanted, preserved and perpetuated in the land which has become his own. He never thinks of Scotland without a flutter, without a benediction; and he is ever ready to re-utter in his own words the sentiments of good old Isabella Graham, when, nearing the end of her earthly pilgrimage, She wrote:

"Dear native land! May every blessing from above and beneath be thine—serenity of sky, salubrity of air, fertility of soil; and pure and undefiled religion inspire thy sons and daughters with grateful hearts to love God and one another."


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