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Sketches Illustrating the Early Settlement and History of Glengarry in Canada
Chapter 11


The Reverend John Bethune, First Presbyterian Minister —Chaplain First Battalion Eighty-Fourth Regiment.— Minister of St. Gabriel Presbyterian Church, Montreal.—Removes to Glengarry.—His Death in 1815.— His Sons.—Bishop Stachan's School at Cornwall.— The Reverend Roderick Macdonell (Leek), First Catholic Priest.—Letter from Lord Sydney, Secretary of State, to Lieutenant-Governor Hamilton, Introducing Him.—Knoydart Emigration to Glengarry, 1786.—-Other Early Settlers in the County.

Among the first settlers of the County, few names ha\e come down to us of men who in their day were held in greater or more deserved estimation than the Reverend John Bethune, and although the connection which existed between Mc family and the County has been severed for many years, yet so intimate was the association in early days that any record of those days would be incomplete which did not make some mention, however imperfect, of this learned and worthy divine.

As all relating to Mr. Bethune, who was the first and for many years the only Minister of the Kirk of Scotland, not only in Glengarry but in Upper Canada, must necessarily be of interest to man)-, I may mention that that gentleman was born in the Isle of Skye in 1751. The family trace their lineage very far back in Scotch and French historical records. The first of the name who left Normandy for the British Isles came to Scotland in the reign of Malcolm III., a contemporary of William the Conqueror, in the eleventh century Many men famous in Scotch history belonged to this family, among whom may be mentioned Cardinal Beaton (the name is frequently spelled and pronounced in this way), and Archbishop Bethune of Glasgow.

The Reverend Robert Campbell, in his book, which contains so much that is of interest connected with the early settlement of the country, "History of the Scotch Presbyterian Church, St. Gabriel Street, Montreal," mentions that Mr. Bethune had been Chaplain to the Royal Militia in North Carolina, was taken prisoner and confined in gaol by the Revolutionists. He obtained his release from the hands of the rebels at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War owing to an exchange of prisoners which took place, and made his way to the steadfast Province of Nova Scotia, residing for the time at Halifax, taking almost immediately thereafter an active part in organizing the Eighty-Fourth or Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment, (of which an account is given in another place and in which he was appointed Chaplain to the First Battalion. "When that Regiment was disbanded, the United Empire Loyalists and others of the Presbyterian faith in Montreal, naturally rallied around Mr. Bethune when he proposed to organize a Presbyterian congregation there. Nor was the assistance which he received confined to those of his faith alone, Mr. Campbell stating that many Highland Catholics, and some who belonged to the Episcopal Church as well, with characteristic high feeling and national pride, open-handed as they were brave and patient in enduring hardships suffered for conscience sake, generously responded to the appeal of their fellow-countryman, and subscribed according to their means to the building fund of St. Gabriel's Church, of which Mr. Bethune Was the founder, and in which he preached to his small but interesting congregation until May 6th, 1787.

Mr. Bethune had however, received the grant of land apportioned to his rank in the army—3,000 acres, the same as a captain —and it being located in Glengarry, and having a growing family to provide for, each of whom, on arriving at age, would also be entitled to an allotment of two hundred acres, removed to Williamstown, then the leading settlement in Glengarry ; but though he went to reside upon his property, he did not forget his ministerial vows, but resumed professional work in the new sphere to which Providence had led him. He was a faithful and zealous missionary, and to this day the fruits of his vigour and efficiency remain in the large and prosperous congregations organized by him not only in Williamstown, but in Martintown, Cornwall and Lancaster. He baptized altogether 2,379 persons during his ministry in Glengarry. His wife was a lady of Swiss birth, Veronica Wadden, and together they struggled bravely against poverty and privations manifold incidental to life in the bush, "having little more to live upon than his half-pay as a retired Chaplain," and brought up their large family of six sons and three daughters, instilling into their minds high principles, and imparting to them that culture which, emanating from so many Scottish manses, has led on clergymen's sons to distinction and honour.

His patriotism, of which he had given such striking proof in his youth, grew with his advancing life and helped to deepen in the whole district the loyalty which has ever characterized the men of Glengarry. His name is found second on the list on the loyal address presented to Sir Gordon Drunimond, President of the Province of Upper Canada, on the 21st December, 1814, at the conclusion of the Second American War, Mr. Alexander (afterwards the Bishop) Macdonell's name being first. The mention of Bishop Macdonell's name suggested to Mr. Campbell an interesting incident of those days, illustrative of the kindly sentiments which the Gaelic-speaking people of Glengarry, Protestant and Roman Catholic, cherished towards each other. Some dispute had arisen between Mr. Bethune and his parishoners, as still sometimes happens in the best regulated congregations, which they failed to settle by themselves. The happy thought occurred to some one to submit the difficulty in question to Bishop Macdonell, their respected Catholic neighbour at St. Raphaels, and this course was mutually agreed on. After the hearing of parties, the Bishop, who might be expected to give the benefit of the doubt to his Protestant confrere, by way of upholding the principle of authority, not only gave judgment in his favour, but gave the people a good lecture on the duty of respect and obedience which they owed their ecclesiastical superior, which exhortation the congregation received in good part, and the breach between them and their pastor was healed. In addition to this instance of the utter absence of intolerance, I may mention that in cases of emergency the Bishop was often sent for to administer consolation to dying neighbours not of his faith, but who, unable to procure their own minister in time, wanted his prayers, which he could offer up in the beloved Gaelic, which he spoke as well as English—better indeed, for it was his mother tongue. These evidences of regard and confidence naturally greatly gratified the Bishop, who used to declare that he knew lots of good Protestant prayers. Mr. Campbell mentions as another illustration of the relations subsisting in those days that the Church of the Recoliet Fathers in Montreal was placed by the priests at the disposal of the Presbyterians in 1791 until their own church on St. Gabriel's Street was completed, and that they gladly accepted of this hospitality, and their sacraments were administered in it, the Priests "declining to accept of any compensation by way of rent, but were induced to accept as a present from the congregation two hogsheads of Spanish wine and a box of candles, quainting expressing themselves as being 'quite thankful for the same.' "

Mr. Bethune died on the 23rd September, 1815, deeply regretted by the community among whom he had lived and laboured so long, the Montreal Gazette remarking at the time of his death, in a highly eulogistic obituary notice, that he was a man remarkable for the mildness and agreeableness of his manners, but at no time deficient in that spirit which is requisite for the support of a Christian and a gentleman, understanding what was due to the powers that be without; losing sight of that respect which was due to himself, while the position held by his family in society proved that as a husband and a father he must be numbered among those who had done their duty well.

A tablet with a subscription commemorative of his excellence in the various relations of life, admirable for the delicacy yet warmth of respect and tenderness of affection which it breathes, was erected to his memory in the Church at Williamstown by his six sons, Angus, Norman, John, James, Alexander and Donald. It is a proper and most excellent tribute to the memory and virtues of a gentleman by those who themselves were gentlemen, and is creditable to both alike.

Among his sons were two who subsequently gained high rank in the English Church, the Very Reverend John Bethune, who became Dean of Montreal, and the Right Reverend Alexander Neil Bethune, D.D., who succeeded the Honourable and Right Reverend John Strachan as second Anglican Bishop of Toronto. It is a strange coincidence that both Bishop Strachan and Bishop Bethune, who rose to such eminence in the English Church, should both originally have been Presbyterians, and both have begun life in Canada in the immediate vicinity of Glengarry and amongst its people, Mr. Strachan's school in Cornwall was an unequalled seminary in its day. It was a school for Protestants and Catholics alike, where not only there their minds improved and an education given such as enabled those who were fortunate enough to partake of it to achieve in after life the highest positions in the gift of the country, but where were also impressed upon them those sound and loyal principles which actuated the Bishop himself throughout his life, to the great advantage of the country, which benefited by his eminent services not only as a divine but as a patriot whose cloth alone, like his friend and compeer of the Catholic faith, forbade in time of greatest danger his also being a soldier. But if he could not be a soldier his pupils were, and from the Cornwall School there graduated a long list of men who distinguished themselves as much in early life in the War of 1812 as they did afterwards in time of peace at the Bar, on the Bench and in all the learned professions and other walks of life. It is needless to say that such of the families from Glengarry whose means permuted their sons educated by Mr Strachan. Mr. A. N. Bethune, amongst others, was a pupil, and afterwards when Mr. Strachan removed to York, as he did, I believe, at the request of General Brock joined him there as classical tutor, and subsequently studied divinity under him, was admitted to Deacon's orders, and in 1824 ordained Priest by Bishop Mountain at Quebec. He was subsequently appointed Coadjutor to Bishop Strachan in 1867 with right of succession, and died in Toronto in 1879.

At the close of the Revolutionary War, such of the soldiers who were married, and had not already brought their wives and families to Canada, returned to the Mohawk Valley for them. Great indeed, almost surpassing our conception, were the trials and privations of the women, many of them bearing their children on their backs a good part of the distance, for the men had to carry with them their arms and such of their household goods as they could. They had to endure perils by land and perils by water—in daily risk of death from hostile Indians and wild beasts, and those who had successfully revolted and held these "Tories" as accursed things—their food often being the flesh of horses and dogs, and even the roots of the trees. Little wonder that those who were nurtured by such mothers fought with desperation in 1812, and held in abomination the disseminators of republican and revolutionary- doctrines whom four regiments from Glengarry turned out to suppress in 1837-8.

A good story is told of one of the old warriors, who, having seen much service, knew well the country from the neighbourhood of Schenectady, where the families lived, and took charge of one of these parties in their journey through the wilderness to Canada. John Roy—we will call him—lived to a good old age, and was treated with much consideration by all, especially those whom he he had led to their homes. As years went on, the number of John's party naturally increased with his years, and the frequency with which he told to the open-mouthed listeners the perils and hardships of the journey. A very distinguished Scottish officer, who had served in Canada for some years, was returning home, and, passing through Glengarry, spent a few days with Bishop Macdonell, then the priest at St. Raphael's. He told the Bishop he would like to meet some of the old veterans of the War, so that he might hear their tales and tell his and their friends in Scotland how their kinsfolk in Canada had fought and suffered for the Crown in that far-off land. Amongst others, the Bishop took him to see old John Roy. That was too good an opportunity to be lost, and John told the General in Gaelic the whole story, omitting no details—the number of men, women and children he had brought with him, their perils and their escapes, their hardships borne with heroic devotion ; how, when on the verge of starvation, they had boiled their mocassins and eaten them; how they had encountered the enemy, the wild beasts and Indians, beaten all off and landed safely in Glengarry. The General listened with respectful interest, and at the termination, wishing to say something pleasant, observed it was most wonderful. "Mr. Macdonell," he remarked, "the only instance I know that 1 can at all compare it to is that of Moses leading the children of Israel to to the Promised Land." Up jumped old John. "Moses," said he, "compare me to Moses! Moses be d-! He lost half his army in the Red Sea, and I brought my party through without losing one man !"

I tell the tale as it was told to me. I am not responsible for the accuracy of the charge against Moses.

Immediately after their settlement in Glengarry, those of the Catholic persuasion took steps towards procuring the services of a clergyman of their faith, and one acquainted with their language, many of them knowing no word of English. Representations were therefore made to Mr. Roderick Macdonell, who was a brother of Captains Archibald and Allan Macdonell (Leek), K.R.R.N.Y., and closely related to others of the officers, and known to and respected by the men, to join them in that capacity. He had, I believe, been educated at the Scots' College at Valodolid, in Spain, where or at Douay most of the gentlemen of the name received their education in former days, and had ministered to the people of .is native Glengarry previous to his coming to Canada. He therefore placed himself in communication with Lord Sydney, the Secretary of State, who represented the circumstances to the Ring, the result being that Mr. Roderick Macdonell was sent to Canada with the following letter to Lieutenant-Governor Hamilton :—

"Lord Sydney to Lieutenant-Governor Hamilton
"Whitehall, 24 June, 1785.

"Sir,

"Having laid before the King a memorial of Mr. Roderick Macdonell, stating that, at the solicitation of a considerable number of Scots Highlanders and other British subjects of the Roman Catholic persuasion, who, prior to the last war, were inhabitants of the back settlements of the Province of New York, and to whom, in consideration of their loyalty and services, lands have been lately assigned ir the higher parts of Canada, he is desirous of joining them in order to serve them in the capacity of a clergyman, in the humble hope that, on his arrival at their settlement, he shall be allowed by Government an annual subsistence for the discharge of that duty, I enclose to you the said memorial, and am to signify to you the King's commands that you do permit Mr. Macdonell to join the above mentioned settlers and offit late as their clergyman; and with respect to the allowance to be made to him, I shall take an early opportunity of commuucaang to you His Majesty's pleasure.

"I am, etc.,

"Sydney."

In what part of the County Mr. Roderick was stationed I cannot ascertain. He was for many years stationed at St. Regis, where he died, Missionary Priest to the Indians there. It is possible that place may always have been his headquarters, and the U. E. Loyalist settlers, living as we know along the other side of the St. Lawrence, that he may and probably did officiate on both sides of the River, among the Indians on the one and the Loyalists on the other.

Mr John McLennan, formerly MP. for Glengarry, in an account of the early settlement of Glengarry, read before the Celtic Society at Montreal in, I believe, 1885, gives some interesting particulars regarding some of the settlers, which I may be permitted to quote. He mentions that the Grants, McLeans, Murchisons, Roses, Mrs. Bethune (who inherits from the McKays) and others in the Township of Charlottenburgh are all of Loyalist descent.

In addition to the Scotch settlers, there were others, though not many in Glengarry, of English, Irish and German descent. Amongst those who came to Lancaster were William and Ralph Falkner, with their families. They were originally from Lancashire, and appear to have given the name to the Township. Their descendants continue to occupy portions of the land granted them adjoining the Village of Lancaster. Mr. William Falkner had been on the Commission of the Peace in England, and performed the ceremony of marriage during several years, until a clergyman arrived in 1787.

On the east side of the Township, the families of Curry (Irish), Young (Scotch), and Snider and Chne (Schneider and Klein, German) were allotted land Mr. McLennan suggests that the two latter were probably of the Hess in soldiers of George III., as well as the family of Summers (Sommer) who settled in the front of Charlottenburgh. Mr. Isaac Curry, born in 1798, now occupying the homestead of his family, states to Mr. McLennan that the colony on the east side of Lancaster planted com and harvested a supply for their first winter, and one of them, Jacob Snider, built a mill. Their wives and children came into Canada by way of Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River. Among the officers who obtained grants of land in Lancastei were Lieutenant (afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel Sutherland, a Lieutenant K.R R.N.V.. who appears formerly to have belonged to the Twenty-Sixth Regiment, and Mr. Gunn, who is stated in the U. E. List to have also taken part in the conquest of Canada. A grandson of the latter now occupies a part of the grant near the Village of Lancaster, Mr. Charles Westley, a man of education and good position, who left a valuable property in the State of New York, settled on the property now occupied by his grandson, who worthily hears the same name.

In 1786 Captain John Hay established himself on an arm on the River Raisin, naming the locality "Gleana-feoir" (Glen of Hay), He had come in 1773 from Glenfrae, Huntly, in Aberdeenshire. to Prince Edward Island. When the Revolutionary War broke out, he joined the Eighty-Fourth Regiment, serving until the peace in 1784, He was a Presbyterian, married to a Roman Catholic lady. His son, Mr. John Hay, a well-known veteran of 1812, died not many years since. Another well-known son was the late Very Reverend George Hay, Vicar-General of the Diocese of Kingston, and for many years the highly respected Priest of St. Andrews, County of Stormont.

Having endeavoured to show who constituted the U. E. Loyalist settlers of Glengarry, I shall now attempt to trace as far as possible the other immigrations previous to the War of 1812.

Shortly after the close of the Revolutionary War, in 1786, a large emigration of Highlanders, numbering, I believe, some five hundred souls, took place principally from that part of the Glengarry estates known as Knoydart, under the leadership of the Reverend Alexander Macdonell, who settled with their clansmen and kinsfolk in Glengarry. The following extract, taken from Neilson's "Quebec Gazette," relates to this immigration :

"Quebec, 7th September, 1780.

"Arrived ship "McDonald," Captain Robert Stevenson, from Greenock, with emigrants, nearly the whole of a parish in the north of Scotland, who emigrated w!th their Priest (the Reverend Alexander Macdonell, Scotus), and nineteen cabin passengers, together with five hundred and twenty steerage passengers, to better their case. Up to Cataraqui."

This Priest was one of the earliest Catholic priests or missionaries, other than French, in Upper Canada. He was born at Scotus House m Knoydart, Glengarry, Scotland, in, I believe, 1750. He was educated in France and ordained priest in Paris in 1778. He was the founder of the Parish of St. Raphaels, the pioneer parish not only of Glengarry, but of all Upper Canada, where he built the first church, known in its day as the "Blue Chapel," and which was succeeded by the present large edifice erected by Bishop Macdonell. He died at Lachine, on his way to Montreal on the 24th May, 1803 Previous to his leaving St. Raphaels for Montreal, where he hoped to obtain medical aid, he addressed the following to the Church Wardens of St Raphaels:

"Gentlemen,

"By virtue of the power invested in me, by the Bishop, as Parish Priest of the Parish of St. Raphael, in the County of Glengarry, I do hereby authorise you to act as formerly in every point in regard as Church Wardens, during my absence, and that as if I was present, and until my return back (if it be God's will), to take charge of said Parish, as formerly, and you are to act, agreeable to late regulations laid down in this Parish, by the Bishop's authority, which established your authority and mine. And as I always and on all occasions, as Church Wardens, never found any of you failing or deficient in any part of your duty, but found you, faithful! honest and trusty, with the greatest probity and integrity, as well toward the public as myself, I have the strongest assurance of confidence that you'll observe this request, for the benefit of all parties concerned.

"Alexander MacDonell,

"Priest.

"Glengarry, 19th May, 1803,

"To Angus McDonell, Pringle. Church Warden; Donald McDonell, John Kennedy, Malcolm McDougal, Archibald McDonald, Lachlin McKinnon, Donald McDonell, Duncan McDonell, Hugh McDonell, Alexander Fraser, John McDonell and Alexander McDonell."

The next Priest at St. Raphaels (the predecessor of Mr. Alexander, afterwards Bishop, Macdonell) was, as will be seen by the following letter, a Mr. Fitzimmons, an Irish gentleman who came with the following letter from Mr Roderick Macdonell, the Missionary Priest at St. Regis. It was addressed to "Mr. Angus Macdonell, Arch-Syndic of the Parish of St. Raphaels," and is now in my possession:

"To the Churchwarrants at St. Raphael:

"I have to acquaint you that the Revd. Mr. Fitzimmons has come to this Country to serve you as a Pastor, and that he is appointed by the Lord Bishop of Quebec for your Parish of St. Raphael. If Mr. Macdonell arrives this year, will rest with the Bishop to appoint him or not, in the meantime you are to receive this gentleman as your lawful pastor, and render him every service in your power. You know that no priest can be a pastor, any parish, unless he is appointed by the Bishop, and that it entirely depends on the Bishop to appoint any one he pleases, therefore Mr Fitsimmons, having been duly appointed by the Bishop of the Diocese, you are bound and obliged to receive him with every mark of esteem and attention in your power. The Bishop will be with you in February, and settle everything respecting your mission, "

I remain,

"Gentlemen,

"Your obedient servant, R. Macdonell

"St Regis, 12th September, 1804."

The Priests who have been stationed at St. Raphaels from the establishment of the Parish to the present day are as follows: 1, Mr. Alexander Macdonell (Scotus'), who arrived in 1786; 2, the Reverend Mr. Fitzimmons; 3, Mr. Alexander (afterwards Bishop) Macdonell; 4, Mr. Angus (afterwards Vicar-General) Macdonell; 5, Mr. John Macdonald, who was afterwards Priest at Alexandria, and died there in May, 1845; 6, Mr. John Macdonald, shortly mentioned; 7, the Reverend Mr. Masterson; 8, the Rev. Mr. Duffus; 9, the Reverend Mr. Kelly, and 10, the present incumbent, the Reverend Mr. Fitzpatrick.

Amongst the emigrants from Knoydart was one afterwards well known in Glengarry and elsewhere, and whose memory will always be affectionately cherished in the County, the Reverend John Macdonald, invariably known by the old people as "Mhaister Ian." He was then but a child of three years of age. His parents, John Macdonald and Anna McGillis, brought with them two other children, the eldest, Æneas, being seven years of age at the time. He also became a priest, and resided for forty years a Professor in the College of the Gentlemen of the Seminary at Montreal, where he was distinguished for his piety and learning; a perfect French and Gaelic scholar. He was for many years an ecclesiastic only, being ordained Priest in 1832, during the cholera, when priests were urgently required. They were descended from the Macdonalds of I.uibhe, which in Gaelic signifies a bent arm of the sea. Like many another Highland gentleman, "Mhaister Ian" could trace his genealogy back for six hundred years. He was educated at the Petit Seminaire, Montreal, and studied divinity in Quebec, where he was ordained in the year 1814. He was for some years stationed at Perth, then a new settlement, and there, owing to the extent of his parish and the poverty of his parishioners, endured great hardship. He died at Lancaster, in Glengarry, on the 16th March, 1879, in the ninety-seventh year of his age. It would require a Dean Ramsay to do justice to the many excellent stories which are told of this gentleman, distinguished as much for his wit as for his piety.

One of his sisters, Catherine Macdonald, a nun, and known in the Order of her Sisterhood as Sainte Pelagie, came from Montreal with another religiense to St. Raphaels in 1828, with a view of founding a convent there, but found that the then situation of the Parish and surrounding country would not justify it.

Lieutenant-Colonel R. C. Macdonald, of the Castle Tioram Regiment of Highlanders, Prince Edward Island, published, in 1843, a pamphlet, entitled "Sketches of Highlanders," with an account of their early arrival in North America and some of their distinguished military services in the year of 1812. At page 67 of his work he states :—

"The only Chieftains, or heads of families, who came from the Highlands to the Lower Provinces of British America were the Chieftains of Glenaladale and Keppoch. The history of the former I have already referred to. (1) the latter, the last of the chivalrous Chiefs of Keppoch (Major Macdonell), died in 1808 on Prince Edward Island, leaving no other male representative of the family than one young man, a lieutenant in the army, who was killed in Spain. Thus became extinct in a distant colony the representative of a noble family, which although it had not received a patent of nobility from the hands of the Sovereign, was truly noble for its deeds of valour, its chivalry and its magnamimous patriotism. They disdained to hold their lands by paper or parchment tenure, bonds or charters, because their swords, they said, would always protect their estates against foreign aggression or internal commotion The Keppoch of the eventful year of 1745 maintained the glory and martial spirit of his ancestors; but after that period the influence and name of the family began to decline, and their once powerful swords lost their sway. The family was obliged to surrender their estates, not having the necessity documents to prove their title to them. Many very respectable families emigrated from the Highlands of Scotland to Upper Canada, most of them branches of the Glengarry Clan, such as the Macdonells of Greenfield, the Macdonells of Ardnabee, &c., &c., and the Macdonells of Inch, who are of the Keppoch family; Macnab of Macnab, the Chief of that Clan; Macdonald of Garenish who is by many considered the next heir to the Highland estates of the ancient family of Morar. Although all these gentlemen are now in comfortable circumstances, they are not altogether forgetful of the land they left; but are full of loyalty and affectionate attachment to old England, as their military feats of the War of 1812 and their devotion to the British cause in the Canadian Rebellion amply prove."

Mr. Macdonell of Greenfield, who emigrated in 1792, brought with him, I believe, a number of the people of his clan. He had been married in Scotland to a sister of Colonel John Macdonell (Aberchalder), who in that year was elected Speaker of our first House of Assembly, being one of the members for Glengarry.

Regarding this gentleman, Mr. Mackenzie, in his "History of the Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles," page 529. quotes from Mrs. Grant, of Laggan, a well known Scottish authoress :—

"A few lingering instances of the old superior Highland dress continued to be seen as late as the end of last century, one of its latest examples being afforded by Macdonell of Greenfield, "Ceann Tighe" of a cadet house of the Glengarry family, who is in the latter part of the last century was celebrated for his handsome person, his courtly address, his exploits as a deer-stalker, and general character as a model of the Highland gentleman living in his time. He is described by several of the old people by whom he was remembered, as dressed invariably in the Highland garb—a short round "cota goirid," a bonnet plumed with a tuft of ostrich feathers, belted plaid worn over the trews. The house of Greenfield stood on a beautiful romantic situation, near the head of Loch Garry, on a green knoll, since occupied by the bunting1 lodge, built by the late Glengarry for deer-stalking of Sliabh-garbh."

Mr. Macdonell settled in the Township of Charlottenburgh, calling his place, as did all Highland gentlemen, by the name of his property in Scotland. He commanded the 2nd Battalion Glengarry Militia in 1812, and died in 1819. His sons were men of mark in their generation. The eldest, Hugh, died while being educated at the Scots College of Valodolid, in Spain. Angus was a partner in the Northwest Company, and was murdered there in one of the many conflicts which took place in the Northwest Territories between his Company and Lord Selkirk's, His murderer was brought down and placed on trial at Montreal and acquitted, but was never seen after leaving the Court House. Duncan Macdonell ot Greenfield commanded a Company at the taking of Ogdensburgh and Capture of Fort Covington in 1813, and served also in 1837-8. On his retirement from the Miiitia as late as 1857, it was declared in General Orders of the 3rd September of that year :—

"His Excellency the Administrator of the Government and Commander-in-Chief cannot permit Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan Macdonell of Greenfield to retire from the command of this Battalion (Second Glengarry, Lancaster Regiment) Without recording the sense he entertains of the value of his long and faithful services in the Militia of this Province dating from the last War."

The same gazette contained the appointment of his only son to the command of the Regiment, and that gentleman, Archibald John Macdonell, retaining it until his death in 1864, it afforded probably the only instance of a command of a Regiment of Canadian Militia being continuously retained by three generations of one family foi upwards of half a century, each of them having been out 011 active service with the Regiment. Colonel Duncan Macdonell was by profession a land surveyor, and at the time of his death Registrar of the County. The two younger sons of Mr. Alexander Macdonell of Greenfield—Lieutenant-Colonel John Macdonell and Lieut.-Colonel Donald Greenfield Macdonell, Deputy Adjutant-General of Militia of Upper Canada—both represented Glengarry, and I may have occasion to refer to them hereafter when dealing with the War of 1812-14, in which both took an active part and the former died.

As stated by Mr. McLennan, the County, becoming noted as a Scottish Colony, attracted immigrants as they arrived from time to t: Tie from all parts of Scotland. Several families of Macphersons from Badenoch settled in Lancaster, among them Mr. Murdoch Macpherson, who lived to the age of 107 years, and whose place is worthily occupied by a grandson.

Mr. McLennan is of opinion that the first settlement was made in Lochiel in 1796, probably by some of the Cameron men, who were from Lochiel's Country in Scotland, but am informed by Mr. John McLeod, Surveyor (brother of Mr. Alexander McLeod, the Surveyor, who died some years ago at the advanced age of ninety-two years) that in 1793 his father, Captain Alexander McLeod, of the family of Moale, chartered a vessel and brought with him from Glenelg, in Scotland, about forty families of McLeods, McGillivrays, McCuaigs and Mclntoshes—-his own father, also Alexander McLeod, being among the number. They arrived in Glengarry early in 1794, and proceeded out to the north part of the County, and settled in the neighborhood of Kirkhill, where their descendants still reside. Mr. Alexander McLeod was a Captain of Militia in the War of 1812 in the Regiment commanded by Alexander Macdonell of Greenfield. with whom he was closely related. Each of these families received a grant of two hundred acres from the Crown. The Township, or at any rate a considerable portion of it, was first surveyed by Hugh Macdonell (Aberchalder), one of the two first members for the County, and afterwards, the Consul-General at Algiers, whose career has been previously noticed. The field notes of his surveys were amongst the papers lately procured by Mr. Bain, the indefatigable Public Librarian of Toronto, which were taken by the former Surveyor-General Smith to England when he retired from Canada.


 


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