It's your Electric Scotland newsletter meaning
the weekend is nearly here :-)
You can view what's new this week on Electric Scotland at
http://www.electricscotland.com/update.html and you can unsubscribe to
this newsletter by clicking on the link at the foot of this newsletter.
See our Calendar of Scottish Events around the world at
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The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
The Celtic Monthly
The Southern States of America
The Scottish-Canadian Newspaper (1890/1)
Scottish Catholics in Prince Edward Island
Skye Pioneers and "The Island" (New Book)
Scotland's Road of Romance
History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia
Glen Noe Walk
First and foremost let me wish you all a Very Happy New Year and hope it
will be a successful one for you :-)
As usual I took New Year's Day as a holiday and then took some time off the
next couple of days to do my annual accounts. In actual fact I hate doing
accounts although I spent three years of my life doing accounts for
businesses when I was apprenticed to a firm of Chartered Accountants. It's
really just gritting your teeth and getting on with it :-)
I thought I'd start this newsletter by letting you read a couple of pages
from a publication in PEI (Prince Edward Island in Canada) where the subject
matter is a result of one of my newsletter :-(
Eastern Graphic - January 3, 2007
Publisher hands MacAndrew three-month suspension
Questions have been raised about Jack MacAndrew’s December 20 column. The
body of the column contains a listing of 10 excesses that should be enjoyed
at Christmas. It is largely similar to an article making the rounds of the
Internet for years.
Jack MacAndrew admits the column material originated from an e-mail. He
admits that he rewrote portions of that e-mail and included it in his
column. He admits he failed to credit where the material originated. You can
read MacAndrew’s explanation below.
As Publisher it falls to me to interpret the facts and mete out punishment.
The key question centres on whether the lack of attribution was intentional
and whether it was done with a malicious intent to deceive.
At no time in my discussions with Jack MacAndrew did he attempt to hide or
dodge a question. He readily admits where the information came from and how
he used it.
The Internet is a sea of information. But just because the information is
out there does not give any writer the right to use it without proper
credit. Our credibility as a newspaper rests on you trusting what you read
in our pages. Columnists are paid to offer their original opinions, even
during the rushed Christmas season. Trust is everything.
To date trust has not been an issue with Jack MacAndrew. In 20 years of
writing a column for these papers no allegation of plagiarism has ever been
In cases such as this, it is important to look at precedent. One Halifax
Herald columnist was suspended from writing for six months for plagiarism.
Another Halifax writer, whose column appeared in two papers, was fired from
one paper but allowed to continue writing for the other. In another Halifax
Herald case a columnist was fired for plagiarizing material in a column.
Jack MacAndrew’s actions demand severe punishment. At best he committed an
error expected of a rookie, not a journalist with 40 plus years experience.
After weighing all the factors, Jack MacAndrew has been suspended from
writing his View From Here column for three months.
Eastern Graphic - January 3, 2007
A letter from Jack MacAndrew
I owe you as Publisher of The Eastern and West Prince Graphics, as well as
the readers of The View From Here, an apology; in that my column of December
20 was not all my original work, and I did not credit the source material,
as I normally do when using opinions or expressions or a point of view which
are not my own.
Whether what I did amounts to plagiarism of a sort is up to my readers to
decide. I can only tell the story of what happened.
Every week I receive an e-mail from a man named Alastair McIntyre, in the
form of a publication called "Electric Scotland". It is a compendium of
history, anecdotes, an online version of a Scottish nationalistic newspaper
'The Flag In The Wind", submitted stories, and various other items of
interest to those of the Scottish persuasion. I believe the e-mail is
supported by sponsors and advertisers.
In any case, an issue arrived on my computer a week or so before Christmas,
just as I was contemplating some lighter subject as a column, rather than my
usual rants. I scanned down through the various bits and pieces and came
upon this note "Keith Rattray sent me in these Holiday Eating Tips which I
thought I'd share with you." And there they were, and quite funny tips they
So I, in turn decided to share them with you after rewriting them and adding
bits of my own fancy.
But I committed the journalistic sin of not crediting someone with the
original work of creating the list. I still don't know who that might be.
Clearly not Alastair McIntyre, nor Keith Rattray, whoever he may be.
Every week I get e-mails from friends and other sources with all sorts of
jokes, cartoons, and what have you. Indeed the Internet is full of such
stuff, passed along without attribution.
But I should have known better than to use the material, especially to do so
without credit, which would have taken me on a tiresome search to try and
find the original source. So I added my own contribution to the hilarity
contained in the list, and e-mailed my column to my editor.
I was neglectful, and I am not paid as a columnist to be either lazy or
I am sincerely sorry, and I apologize to the readers of The View From Here.
I'm an old dog, but I learned a new lesson - don't mess with the Internet,
or what you find on it.
So there you have it... I have used the email form to contact the newspaper
asking for some forgiveness. Let's hope common sense comes into play.
ABOUT THE STORIES
Some of the stories in here are just parts of a larger story so do check out
the site for the full versions. You can always find the link in our "What's
New" section at the link at the top of this newsletter and pick up poems and
stories sent into us during the week from Donna, Margo, Stan, John and
Micro Button Advertisers
It’s 1619 in Scotland, a time of intolerance, when healers are hanged as
witches. A child born of mysterious parentage is given to fisher folk to
raise as their son. Dughall grows up in a family bound by love and morality,
becomes a healer, and displays psychic abilities.
His life is torn apart when he’s claimed by his real father, a cruel and
powerful lord who tries to mold him in his image. Dughall must define
himself, in the midst of a struggle between an Earl, a Duke, and the family
who wants him back. All the while, he’s determined to marry the lass he left
behind, a woodland priestess with eyes as green as a peacock's feather.
"Dark Birthright" is a story reflecting the political, religious, and
cultural dynamics of 17th century Scotland. It paints a picture of life in
the Highlands, as well as the fisher folk and a village of witches
worshipping the Goddess.
You can read bits of the book and order it online at
Because of her strenuous research, this book has all the qualifications a
historical novel requires to be truly head and shoulders above the rest of
the genre, and you will simply love the fast paced action, the facts about
the time period and the location, as well as the language that simply seems
to flow from Mrs. Treat's pen. This book is highly recommended!
- RoundTableReviews.com (click here to read the full review)
At the sight of this 400 page novel, I admit to at first being completely
overwhelmed, but once I let myself into Dughall’s world I wouldn’t dare put
it down! So complete and so intricate were the details of this novel, you
would think that Jeanne Treat walked straight out of the seventeenth century
to tell this story.
Born to a mother that suffered pain at the hands of his father, Dughall is
given to a loving fisher family by the midwife. He grows up learning to love
and respect and to hone the Second Sight he has inherited from his birth
mother. He dreams of a bonny lass named Keira that he met long ago in his
childhood and knows she will be his wife. Of course all of that before his
true father finds him and claims him as his own. Under the rule of the evil
Earl of Huntly, Dughall will endure a pain and suffering like he’s never
I don’t think Jeanne Treat needs me or anyone else to tell her how fantastic
this book is, but if you must know… this book is indeed fantastic. Never
mind the length, grab a mug of coffee and curl up. You will soon find
yourself feeling the spray of the sea on your face and smelling the apple
wood burning on the hearth. This is one book not to be missed.
- LighthouseLiteraryReviews.com - Five Beacon Review October 2006
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
Mind that The Flag is now in two sections (1) Political and (2) Cultural.
The political section is compiled this week by Jim Lynch and he's obviously
happy that this is the year where he hopes the SNP will win this years
election :-) Here is a bit of what he has to say...
Here are some simple points :
Scotland produces more food than we can eat; we can produce even more and
the world needs food.
Scotland is a net exporter of energy; no other country in the world has the
energy resources we have – coal, oil, gas, hydro electricity, wind and wave
Scotland has a vast reserve of water.
Scotland has a skilled and inventive population; the world would grind to a
halt without Scottish inventions.
Taken all of these as read, it is downright silly to pontificate that
Scotland would be a basket case, and if somehow we are a basket case at
present, what recommendation is that for the inefficient London government
that has mismanaged our economy on such a massive scale? Or if you wonder at
their general incompetence, just consider the undernoted, as one aspect :
The following quote is attributed to Aneurin Bevan, although some sources
say Ernest Bevin; it is dated 18th May 1945.
"This island is almost made of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an
organising genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish in Great Britain
at the same time."
And as we are not quite into serious times Jim also gives us this...
INSIDE ENGLAND TODAY
This is a time for national pride and this week we are giving ourselves a
pat on the back, by depicting a day in the life of an Englishman.
He rises in the morning and has a typical English breakfast of toast and
marmalade (invented by Mrs Keiller of Dundee). He slips on his national
costume, a soiled raincoat (patented by Charles Macintosh, a Glasgow
chemist) and walks over the Kirkcaldy linoleum in his hall out into an
English lane (surfaced by John Macadam of Ayr).
He climbs aboard an English bus (which runs on pneumatic tyres invented by
John Dunlop of Dreghorn), and on the way to the station he lights an English
cigarette (first manufactured by Robert Gloag of Perth).
The English train which takes him up to Town works on a principle devised by
James Watt of Greenock.
At the office he opens the mail (the adhesive stamp was invented by Chalmers
of Dundee) answers the telephone (invented by Alexander Graham Bell even
answers his boss (sure to be another Scot).
In the evening, his wife is preparing his national dish - the roast beef of
Old England (Buchan beef). He feels very patriotic, and whistle "Ye Mariners
of England" (by Thomas Campbell of Glasgow) for roast beef is one of the
revered institutions (like the Crown which has rested on a Scottish head
After dinner there follows a scene of typical English domestic bliss. Young
Albert goes off to the Boys Brigade (founded by Sir William Smith in
Glasgow). Young Ted goes out to the Scouts (the present Chief Scout is Sir
Hector McLean of Duart) while little Ethel plays on her bicycle (invented by
Kirkpatrick Macmillan, a Dumfriesshire blacksmith). Mum is in the kitchen
steeping the wash in bleach (a Scottish invention) while Dad watches
Television (invented by John Logie Baird of Helensburgh).
After the kids come home Dad supervises the homework. The maths jotters will
be full of logarithms (invented by John Napier of Edinburgh). The English
course is stuffed with books like "Treasure Island" (Robert Louis Stevenson)
and Robinson Crusoe (based on the life of Alexander Selkirk of Largo). He
may even discover that the Flower of English Chivalry, King Arthur, was a
Scotsman, as were all his knights, and the English history book will dwell
on political economy (fathered by Adam Smith of Glasgow).
To get away from the Scots, Dad will pick up the Bible, but the first name
is that of a Scot (James VI, who authorised the translation).
If he takes to drink, we supply the best in the world. If he tries to put
his head in the oven , coal gas was discovered by William Murdoch of
Ayrshire. So he takes a rifle and tries to blow his brains out (the breech
loading was invented by a Scot).
Anyway, if he survives they’ll put him on a table and pump him full of
penicillin (discovered by Sir Andrew Fleming of Darvel) give him an
anaesthetic (by courtesy of Sir James Young Simpson of Bathgate) and perform
an operation (antiseptic surgery was pioneered at Glasgow Infirmary).
The first thing he would hear on awakening would be the voice of the
Scottish surgeon telling him he was as safe as the Bank of England (founded
by William Paterson of Dumfries).
His only hope is that he would receive a few pints of good Scots blood and
thus claim kinship with the race, or else emigrate and join them.
And so Jim gives us a good start to the New Year :-)
And not to be out done Peter gives us some interesting historical facts in
his Cultural section and surely a new holiday is needed?
With the New Year celebrations behind us once again, it is back to auld
claes an parritch , the usual routine again. That would not have been the
case in past centuries when workers could look for ward to Handsel Monday –
the First Monday after New Year which was described in Jamieson’s Dictionary
The first Monday of the New Year; so called because it has been the custom
from time immemorial, for servants and others to ask or receive handsel on
The poet R Anderson recorded how past generations looked forward to Handsel
They waited till the Auld Kirk bell
Struck twal’ then at the final knoll,
The ladies a’ set up a yell –
‘Hurrah forr Handsel Monday.’
Until late in the 19th century, Handsel Monday was even more important than
Hogmanay or Neerday because it was the only holiday workers were allowed in
the entire year, apart from the occasional local fair. It was a day when
families could get together, couple marry, a day to celebrate and enjoy to
the full. Handsel gifts were given to workers, usually in the form of cash,
and it was recognised as an essential part of servant’s wages. The tradition
started to die out in towns during the 19th century but lingered on in the
country areas until the turn of the century. This week’s recipe, which dates
from 1880, might well have featured on Handsel Monday. Mannies an Horses
(men and horses) is a recipe from the Aberdeenshire village of Insh and were
a market day speciality.
Mannies an Horses
Ingredients: 8oz plain flour; ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda; 1 tsp ground
ginger; 3oz lard; 5 tbsp syrup; little warm water if needed
Method: Preheat oven to 180 deg C/350 deg F/ Gas Mark 4. Beat the lard and
syrup together. Mix the dry ingredients, and work into syrup mixture. Roll
out and shape into mannies and horses. Bake until golden brown.
You can read this weeks issue, see the pictures and listen to the Scots
MSP Linda Fabiani's weekly diary can be viewed at
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us. She is still in a
plaster cast which needs to remain until end of January. I did mention to
her that the plaster makes a great excuse to avoid any washing up :-)
Now onto the D's and added this week are Dunmore, Dunn and Duns.
Here is a bit from the Dunmore entry...
DUNMORE, Earl of, a title in the peerage of Scotland, conferred in 1686, on
Lord Charles Murray, second son of John, first marquis of Athol, by Lady
Amelia Stanley, daughter of the seventh earl of Derby. Being
lieutenant-colonel of General Dalziel’s regiment of horse (now the Scots
Greys) on the death of Dalziel, he succeeded him in the command.
Subsequently he was master of the horse to the princess (afterwards queen)
Anne. On the accession of her father, James the Seventh, he was appointed to
the same office under his queen, Mary, and by that infatuated monarch he was
created, August 6, 1686, earl of Dunmore, Viscount Fincastle, and Lord
Murray of Blair, Moulin, and Tillemot. At the Revolution he was deprived of
all his offices, and in 1692 was committed to prison, with the earl of
Middleton, for a supposed plot in favour of the abdicated monarch. During
the remainder of King William’s reign he lived in retirement in the country,
but soon after the accession of Queen Anne, he was, on February 4, 1703,
sworn a member of the privy council of Scotland. He was a steady supporter
of the Union, and in 1707 was appointed captain of the castle of Blackness.
He died in 1710. He had four sons and three daughters.
As the eldest son, James, Viscount Fincastle, had predeceased his father in
1706, the second son, John, became second earl. He entered the army as an
ensign in March 1704, and fought at the battle of Blenheim, on 13th August
following. He was appointed colonel of the 3d foot guards, 10th October
1713, when only twenty-eight years old. At the capture of Vigo in 1719, he
served as brigadier-general under Lord Cobham, and in July 1731, he became
one of the lords of the bedchamber to King George the Second. In 1739 he
attained the rank of lieutenant-general, and in 1743 he served under the
earl of Stair at the battle of Dettingen. On 22d June, 1745, he was
appointed governor of Plymouth, and the same year was promoted to be full
general. He was elected a representative peer of Scotland in four successive
parliaments. He died, unmarried, 18th April, 1752.
His youngest brother, William, succeeded as third earl. When the Hon.
William Murray of Taymount, he engaged in the rebellion of 1745, but in the
end of April 1746, he surrendered himself to a justice of peace of
Forfarshire, and being sent to London, he was arraigned for high treason at
the court held at St. Margaret’s, Southwark, when he pleaded guilty, and
received his majesty’s pardon. He married his cousin, Catherine, the
daughter of his uncle Lord William Murray, (who became Lord Nairn by
marrying the heiress of that family,) and had three sons and four daughters.
He died 1st December 1756.
You can read the rest of this account at
You can read the other entries at
The Celtic Monthly
A magazine for Highlanders
Added the September 1903 issue at
The Late Rev. John MacKay, Colla Ciotach Mac Ghilleasbuig, Log of the "Columba",
Death of MacDonald of Glenaladale, Pipers Two or A Reay Country
Merry-Making, Dunrobin Castle, The Martial Music of the Clans, A Gathering
of the Clans at Durban Natal, History of the Outer Hebrides, Gaelic Society
of London, The Fortunes of an Exile, The Clan Munro, Sea Hunger, The
MacLeans of Crossapol, An Elegy, Highland Hospitality, Wanganui Caledonian
Society, M'Quistan or M'Eystein, The Mothers.
Also made a start at volume 20 for 1912...
January 1912 at
Alexander Fraser FSA Scot Toronto, Sketches of Highland Life and Character,
The Marvel Child of Kircauldy - L. MacBean, The Clan MacLaren, Celtic Notes
and Queries, Records of a Famous Regiment - The 93d Sutherland Highlanders,
Muireach Fail, The Cave Picture and its Painter, The Late Mr. A MacDonald of
Ord, A Tribute to Burns, The Clan MacRae Societyy, Our Musical Page, Lord
Lovat of the '45.
You can see the issues to date at
Got in the final two chapters of this publication and many thanks to Regina
from Austria for doing this book for us :-)
You can get to this book index page at
Some very interesting information on Lake Dwellings and lots of
The Southern States of America
Published in 1909.
This week I completed the History of Kentucky and here is a bit from the
Conditions at the Close of the War.
The state of Kentucky, being the frontier of loyalty, was swept by
Confederate and Union armies, and throughout the war was subject to
formidable southern raids and the continued depredations of guerrillas. The
devastation had gone far and much of the 'productive labor had been driven
from the state.
From the close of the period of neutrality, Kentucky was unhesitatingly
committed to the Union cause. It is true there were many Confederate homes
within its borders and not a little sentiment adverse to the Union, but the
great current of Kentucky life from the moment of this public declaration
never failed in the most unconditional Unionism.
Only a decade and a half preceding the close of the war, the state had
provided for the placing of a block of Kentucky marble in the Washington
Monument to bear the inscription, "Under the auspices of Heaven and the
precepts of Washington, Kentucky will be the last state to give up the
Union," and she meant it with all her heart.
Unreservedly committed to the Union, Kentucky was nevertheless strongly
pro-slavery in sentiment and unswerving in her devotion to the idea of local
self-government. The closing years of the war were marked by a number of
grievances, the first of which was the enlistment of negro troops. The proud
spirit of the Kentuckian resented this as an implication that he could not
do his part for the nation without calling upon the negroes. In a masterly
manner Lincoln answered the objection against the enlistment of negro
troops, and though he did not satisfy all minds, the matter was accepted in
a tolerant spirit.
There was another cause for dissatisfaction. The negroes of loyal men were
set free by the process of enlistment, not only to furnish Kentucky's quota
of troops, but to fill the lists from other states. Such deprivation of
property was pretty hard to bear. The third cause was found in the
restrictions and demands of the commanders in charge of the National troops
in the state.
In the early years of the war the Confederacy undertook to establish a
provincial government within the state, which beat a hasty retreat from
Frankfort within a few hours after the inauguration of its officers. This
action, however, was made a basis for continued claims on Kentucky by the
Confederate government. In the unsettled conditions of a border state,
plundering guerrillas and partisan rangers found large opportunity to ply
their nefarious work without those restrictions which would have existed
wholly within Confederate or Union lines.
Losses from the war may be briefly characterized as those due to the
destruction of life and property, and the loss of the slaves. Since Kentucky
was used as the foraging ground of such Southern troops as were free to make
raids; as the licensed and approved territory of the guerrillas; as the
scene of several battles; since the stock and grain were used on the ground
or carried off for supplies; since houses and barns were burned, bridges
destroyed, roads torn up, there is no question that the devastation was both
serious and expensive. It would take years to make good the loss of even the
slaves themselves. These were valued at $107,000,000 in 1860; $54,000.000 in
1863, decreasing to $34,000,000 in 1864.
Besides, when the war had closed, many a soldier from each of the armies
returned to find his home destroyed, his business gone, and his place in the
world all to be made again. Thousands of these gathered the little of their
property that could be found, sold their land for what it would bring, and
sought new homes in the great west. Viewed from the standpoint of the state
welfare, this large emigration of some of the choicest elements of
population was a serious loss.
Kentucky promptly and generously paid nearly $1,000,000 for maintaining
troops for local and state defense. For supplies and expenses met in direct
aid of the Federal government, Kentucky expended for the preservation of the
Union during the war $3,268,224. Of this sum there had been refunded to the
state by the close of 1865 the amount of $1,109,230, leaving a balance in
favor of the state of $2,159,994. Deducting $713,965, the state's proportion
of the direct tax laid by Act of Congress in 1861, the total balance
remaining due against the United States was $1,553,353. From time to time
payments were made, but the war claim was a favorite topic with the
governors in their messages to the legislature, and twelve years after the
war closed, Governor McCreary informs the legislature that he is using every
energy to collect from the National government $397,587.27, the sum yet due.
The delay was in part caused by the cumbersome machinery necessary for the
consideration of the claims, and in part by the need of thorough
examination, in order that no unjust claim might be allowed. Kentucky's
financial conscience was never better than in the war period. Her people,
trained in the long struggle with banks and with the many problems of local
finance, had come at last to understand the importance of prompt and willing
payment for themselves and for others.
You can read the rest of this chapter at
I might add that I've also got up the first chapter of the history of West
The book index page is at
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
This is the weekly newspaper that I acquired a years issues of. Some pages
are missing but not a lot so hopefully you'll enjoy reading this. Due to the
size of this newspaper I have no option but to photograph each page and post
it up as a picture.
Got up the weekly issue for January 22, 1891 at
The issue for January 29, 1891 which includes a tribute to Robert Burns at
Scottish Catholics in Prince Edward Island
Memorial Volume 1772 - 1922.
We've now completed this book and here is a bit from the final paragraph...
List of Scottish Priests
Here are the first three mentioned...
REVEREND JAMES MACDONALD
Born in Scotland. Made his early studies at home. Went to the Scots College
in Rome, where he was raised to the holy Priesthood in the year 1769.
Labored on the Missions of Scotland for three years. Came to P. E. Island
with the immigrants of 1772 and remained with them till his death in 1885.
His remains lie in an unmarked grave, in the old French cemetery at
RIGHT REVEREND ANGUS BERNARD MACEACHERN
First Bishop of Charlottetown. Born in Scotland. Studied with Bishop Hugh
Macdonald, Vicar Apostolic of the Highland District. Finished his studies at
Valladolid in Spain, where he was ordained priest in the year 1787. A
missionary in Scotland for three years. Came to P. E. Island with immigrants
in the year 1790. Became Auxiliary Bishop in 1819. Consecrated Bishop at
Quebec in 1821. Became Bishop of Charlottetown in 1829. Died at Savage
Harbor in the year 1835.
RIGHT REVEREND BERNARD DONALD MACDONALD
Second Bishop of Charlottetown. First native of Prince Edward Island raised
to the priesthood. Born at Allisary, near Mount Stewart. Made principal
studies at the Seminary of Quebec. Ordained there in 1822. Labored on the
missions of the Diocese of Charlottetown for about thirty seven years.
Succeeded Bishop MacEachern in 1836. Consecrated Bishop in St. Patrick's
Church Quebec, in October 1837. Died at Saint Dunstan's College, on the 30th
of December in year 1859. His remains lie under the sanctuary of St.
Dunstan's Cathedral, Charlottetown.
You can read about the rest, and there are a lot of them, at
The book index is at
Skye Pioneers and "The Island"
by Malcolm A. MacQueen (1929).
Seems I am doing a lot on PEI but the local historians do claim that some
68% of the current population have Scots blood in them and this is a very
interesting book. Here is what the Foreword has to say...
BY JAMES T. MITCHELL, F.S.A. (SCOT.)
EDITOR, WESTERN HOME MONTHLY
I am honored in being invited by the publishers to write a word or two in
the form of an introduction to this most interesting volume from the pen of
my good friend Malcolm A. Macqueen.
The author is a successful lawyer and man of affairs, as well as a facile
writer, but he is more than that - he is a Highlander, with that pride of
race surging through his blood-stream that has for years stimulated his
people to high ideals and noble action - and that in brief has brought to
the Gael the respect of all other peoples. Though three generations have
separated him from the land of his fathers, the Isle of Skye, his enthusiasm
has not grown cold, but rather have his affections for all that the
Highlander stands for as a citizen of the Empire and a factor in the world's
civilization been intensified. He combines with a strong admiration for the
early Scottish Canadian pioneers, a mystical and spiritual love for all that
is beautiful in life - a truly Hebridean characteristic.
The book will be received with a real joy not alone by his many friends
throughout Canada and by his ain folk in his beloved Island home, Prince
Edward, but by all who admire the perseverance, endurance and nobility of
character displayed by those who faced the struggles of an unexplored land.
The narrative goes back to 1803 when Lord Selkirk arrived with his first
Canadian settlement of Highlanders. Graphically and tenderly he takes up the
story from the moment of the landing and traces his people in genealogical
succession as well as their influence throughout all parts of the continent
For this masterly labor of love no amount of research seemed too great or
too tedious for the author. Indeed he has placed all of us whose hearts
still go out in warmth to the old home across the seas, under a very deep
obligation. While all other peoples manifest a regard for the place of their
birth and the ashes of their fathers, it seems to me that in the Hebridean
this worthy sentiment finds its most beautiful expression. Time and distance
in his case do not weaken it - neither do generations efface it.
It was because of his admiration for those who set the path and blazed the
trail that we are privileged to read a book of this nature - and a more
worthy subject he could not have chosen.
Fortunate indeed is Canada or any other land that has among its intellectual
citizens men like the author, who from the pressing exactitudes of
professional, commercial and social life, take time to preserve memories
that will always be an uplifting and patriotic influence.
You can read the first chapter at
Scotland's Road of Romance
Travels in the footsteps of Prince Charlie by Augustus Muir (1937).
Now up to chapter 12 and here is a bit from it to read here...
WHY an engineer should have been more good-natured about his personal
belongings than, say, an architect or a chartered accountant, I did not
understand, but I took the word of my hostess for it. To my satisfaction, I
found that the spare shirt and flannel trousers in my pack were dry; and
stripping off my wet clothes, which were to hang for the night before the
kitchen fire, I shuffled downstairs to the sitting-room in the engineer's
dressing-gown and slippers.
He was a young man with a lean pleasant face, and he was filling a huge
briar pipe from a tin of "Country Life " tobacco. When I began to thank him
for the use of his things, and to apologise for thus breaking in upon his
privacy, he laughed and pushed an armchair towards the fire for me. "So
you've been over the Corrieyairack?" he said.
Presently, I learned that my companion was a road-engineer, and his name was
"You were on Wade's road all the way," he explained, "except that new bit
from the Catholic chapel at the Dun. I'm on a rather interesting job here, -
for I'm re-making Wade's roads, and some of them haven't been touched -
except for the potholes - since the old boy made them two hundred years ago
. . . Are you interested in General Wade?"
If the gods had been unkind to me during the day, they could not have made
more generous reparation in the evening. I had been led, as it were,
blindfold to a man who knew every contour of that countryside - and who was
eager to talk about General Wade! There was no place in all Badenoch where I
would rather have spent the night.
"Wade knew his job," said Melville, lighting his big pipe. "Whenever he
could, he laid his roads so that an army couldn't be ambushed on them. He
would often build a road a little way up the hillside when it would have
been easier to put it right down in the valley. A shrewd old chap. When he
came to a marsh he didn't try to dig foundations - that would have been a
hopeless job - he floated his road on hundreds of bundles of wood-faggots.
Come to think of it," Melville continued, "that's just about what we're
doing to-day. We float the roads over marshy ground on rafts of concrete.
History repeating itself! I don't say Wade was as great an engineer as
Thomas Telford - the Caledonian Canal man. Telford knew a lot more about
bridges than Wade, but he was a great old fellow all the same." And then he
laughed. "Queer to think that General Wade built these roads so that the
Government could keep a closer eye on the clans - and it was these very
roads that helped Prince Charlie to get to Edinburgh before Johnnie Cope !"
Melville was interested to know that I was walking in the footsteps of the
Prince, and was determined to cover all the country through which he passed
both in Scotland and England and as a fugitive in the Isles. My present
destination was Edinburgh, I told him, and later I would go to Derby, then
turn and walk north to Culloden, and finally follow his tracks through the
The idea fired Melville to sudden enthusiasm. "You know the song called 'The
Road to the Isles'?" he said, and began to hum it: "` By Tummel and by
Rannoch and Lochaber I will go, by heather tracks I'll foot it in the wild .
. .' Well, last year I did that walk to the Isles - but it's the Prince
Charlie road for me next time! I dare say the Corrieyairack's the worst bit
. . ."
We were interrupted by supper, and afterwards we talked until the hour of
one chimed on the mantelpiece clock-a clock which, an inscription told me,
had been a prize at a sheepdog trial - and I went upstairs to my bedroom,
where huge sheep-skin rugs lay upon' the floor; and I fell at once into a
You can read the rest of this chapter at
The book index page is at
History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia
By J. L. MacDougall (1922)
Inverness County is part of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. I am now up to
chapter 8 and you can read all the chapters at
Here is how chapter 8 starts about their roads and bridges...
We see by the foregoing table that the County of Inverness has One thousand
two hundred and fifty-eight miles of public roads. And more are needed. Some
of these roads are good, some bad, and some very bad. In our latitudes the
Spring and Fall freshets are the chief enemy of our roads. The people,
through their sins of omission, are another enemy. These roads are often
neglected wantonly. This statement is as strange as it is true. Why should
people neglect their roads? There is no public property which one can call
more intimately his own than the Highways on which he travels. Everybody
needs the roads; everybody uses them.
And yet, we find large sections of these roads are allowed to remain from
year's end to year's end, in a disgraceful state of disrepair. In winter
long stretches of road are sometimes found blocked with snow for months,
while the weary wayfarers are compelled to break the fences and injure the
lands of private citizens. All the wealth of Croesus will never give us good
roads, if we be not constantly alive to their proper maintenance. As a
simple question of natural justice, how can we expect the Governments to
hand us out large appropriations of money for our roads, if we do not,
ourselves, raise a hand to preserve those roads when we do get them. More
than money is required to provide us with good roads. We need skill, willing
labour, proper material, seasonable performance of the work, money well and
wisely applied, and eternal vigilance in the maintenance.
Our ancestors were far ahead of us in the matter of road husbandry. If they
saw a piece of road giving way they would rush to save it; when they saw the
drains filling up, they would clean them out; they would keep the track
clear in winter, as much as possible; and they would perform their "Statute
Labor" with honest patriotism. No shirking, no marking of time. They knew no
science, they had not the skill for road-making which the more modern world
deems necessary, but they did their best according to their light. Do we?
You can read more of this chapter at
Glen Noe Walk
Colin MacIntyre sent in a fact file for those MacIntyre's wanting to see
their old homeland in Glen Noe and you can read this at
Got in the January/February 2007 newsletter for the Utley Family which you
can read at
Some of you may recollect that I enjoy Science Fiction books and when I came
to Canada I found, through Stewart Publishing, the author Jack Bode. I very
much enjoyed his books and have just recently discovered that he has since
produced four more books. So having placed an order for them I also got an
up to date .pdf file which list all of them which I've posted up on the
site. You can read this and sample chapters of some of his books at
And that's all for now and I hope you and your families all have a Very
Happy New Year :-)
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