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The History of the Highland Clearances
Editor's Preface to Second Edition


MACKENZIE'S History of the Highland Clearances, lvi with its thrilling and almost incredible narratives of oppression and eviction, has been for a long time out of print. In view of the current movement, described by Mr. Asquith as an "organised campaign against the present system of land tenure," it has occurred to the holder of the copyright, Mr. Eneas Mackay, publisher, Stirling, that, at the present juncture, a re-issue might be expediently prepared. He recognised that the story of the great upheaval which, early in the nineteenth century, took place among the Highland crofters would be of undoubted interest and utility to those who follow the efforts now put forth to settle the land question in Scotland. At his request I readily undertook the task of re-editing.

The circumstances, or points of view, having changed in no slight measure since the first appearance of the work, I decided to subject it to a pretty thorough revision—to excise a large mass of irrelevant matter and to introduce several fresh articles. Donald Macleod's "Gloomy Memories" are omitted out of considerations for space, and because it is proposed to reprint them shortly in a separate form. There is included, for the first time, a vindication of the Sutherland Clearances by Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and another by Mr. James Loch, principal factor on the Sutherland Estates during the time the removals were carried out. There are also given graphic and realistic word pictures of these evictions by the Rev. Donald Sage. The general arrangement of the book has been altered to the extent of grouping together the accounts relating to each particular county, and descriptions are added of a number of Clearances which were not dealt with in the first edition.

I have pleasure in acknowledging my indebtedness to Mr. Ian Macpherson, M.P., and Dr. J: H. Fullarton, London, for kindly looking over the proofs.

Special and very sincere thanks are due to Mr. John Henderson, secretary of the National Library Club, London, who manifested the kindest and liveliest interest in the undertaking. Not only did he read the proofs with scrupulous care, but he was ever ready to give advice and offer suggestions when cases of doubt arose. To me, one of the most pleasant memories connected with the labour of editing is the valuable assistance always so promptly and cheerfully given by Mr. Henderson.

I greatly appreciate the courtesy shown by Messrs. Daniel Ross & Co., Ltd., publishers, Wick, in permitting extracts to be taken from Mr. Sage's Memorabilia Domestics.

Regarding the Publisher, I may be permitted to mention that he rendered my task very easy by providing, sometimes at considerable trouble and expense, all works of reference which I considered would be of service in endeavouring to make this History thoroughly accurate and reliable.


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