Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845) (new book)
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Fouth Congress at Atlanta, GA., April 28 to
May 1, 1892
History of Scotland
Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario.
Good Words - Edited by the Rev Nornan MacLeod
Perth on the Tay
Some of you will likely know John Henderson from his doggerels and his
Recounting Blessings series which he mainly writes from his retirement home
in Cyprus. Well he took time to visit me in Chatham while on his Canadian
visit and we had a good natter.
John is big on genealogy and his trip this year is to touch base with family
members in Canada and the USA that he's discovered from his research.
This week also sees me making a start at the New Statistical Account of
Scotland published in 1845 and more of this below.
Last Saturday I visited the Chatham Highland Games and met up with clans
MacKenzie, Rattray, Wallace, MacIntosh and Elliot. I took a wee selection of
pictures and some videos which you can see at
I might add that there were so many pipe bands that it was hard to fit them
all into the parade square at the end of the event so I wasn't surprised to
hear that they may move the event to another larger location next year.
I also got my laser surgery for both my eyes this Thursday. I'm told they'll
need to see me in around 8 weeks to ensure all is healing as it should.
Jeanne and Michael Craig got a press pass on behalf of Electric Scotland for
the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games on the same weekend and I hope to
bring you lots of pictures next week of the event. Michael did send me a
couple of pictures of the band Albannach and I did a wee page about them and
included three music tracks which you can view at
And finally... I have made a change to the newsletter list by adding a new
list called ES Weekly News. All I'm doing with this list is sending out a
weekly announcement with one simple sentence such as...
This is to let you know that this weeks ES weekly newsletter for x date can
be read at... and then give you the url for the newsletter on the web site.
Hopefully this will get to those that aren't able to get the newsletter.
I have also done a change to the page where you can sign up for the
newsletter to bring this new option to you. I might also add that on that
page you can also unsubscribe to either newsletter. Of course if you are
getting this newsletter you don't need to do anything to keep getting it :-)
I should add that those that do get the newsletter will this week get a
second one telling you of this new option as I'm obviously hoping to reach
the ones that don't get it with this simple text message :-)
Oh yes! I got my railings up at long last so my steps to the house are now
complete and so it's now onto other projects which I hope won't take as
long. I might add that the quality of the work has been excellent :-)
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
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
Mind that The Flag is now in two sections (1) Political and (2) Cultural.
This weeks Flag is compiled by Richard Thomson and this week he's
speculating on the next UK election.
In Peter's cultural section we have an interesting recipe...
The inspiration for this new column came from the historic canoe journey
made by Oliver Brown Award winners, Sir Alastair M Dunnett and James (
Seumas ) Adam, from Bowling on the Clyde to Skye in 1934. The expedition led
to them being known as The Canoe Boys and the foodstuff which provided the
back-bone of their diet, a foodstuff which had sustained Scots for
centuries, was oatmeal. They preferred to have it, at least twice a day, in
the form of oatmeal brose rather than as porridge. An account of how they
made their brose was provided by Sir Alastair M Dunnett in 'Quest By Canoe',
the story of their adventure published in 1950 and reprinted in 1995.
Oatmeal brose was the true foundation of the expedition, and the correct
method of making it must be put on record. A quantity of coarse oatmeal -
with salt 'to taste' as they say - is placed in a bowl and boiling water
poured over it. The water must be boiling hard as it pours and there should
be enough of it to just cover the oatmeal. A plate is immediately placed
over the bowl like a lid. You now sit by for a few minutes, gloating. This
is your brose cooking in its own steam. During this pause, slip a nut of
butter under the plate and into the brose. In four or five minutes whip off
the lid, stir the mass violently together, splash in some milk and eat. You
will never again be happy with the wersh and fushionless silky slop which
passes for porridge. This was the food whose devotees staggered the legions
of Rome; broke the Norsemen; held the Border for five hundred years; and are
standing fast on borders still. It is a dish for men. It also happens to
taste superbly. We ate it twice a day, frequently without milk, although
such a simplification demands what an Ayrshire farmer once described to me
as a 'guid-gaun stomach'. He is a happy traveller who has with him a bag of
oatmeal and a poke of salt. He will travel fast and far.'
Note: Me (Alastair), being a bit of a softy, confess to liking a wee bit of
sugar in mine :-)
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
Now onto the H's with Herd, Herriot, Heron and Herries added this week.
Here is a bit from the Heriot account...
HERIOT, a surname derived from a legal term, hariot or heriot, being, under
the feudal system, a due belonging to a lord at the death of his tenant,
consisting of his best beast, either horse, ox, or cow. In some manors, the
best goods, piece of plate, &c., are called hariots. The word heriot, in the
Saxon, also meant a provider of furniture for the army.
The name is old in Scotland. According to Buchanan, in the time of Edward
Baliols brief usurpation, William, John, and Gilbert Heriot, safely
conducted Robert the Steward out of the reach of his enemies, when eagerly
sought after by the English. The lands of Trabrown in East Lothian were
granted by the earl of Douglas to John Heriot about 1423, and they continued
in the possession of his descendants till the end of the reign of Charles
the First. Of this family was the celebrated George Heriot, founder of
Heriots Hospital, of whom a memoir follows. The lands of Elphonston in East
Lothian afterwards came into their possession, and these they called
Trabrown. The Heriots of Niddrie-Marischal belonged to the same family.
HERIOT, GEORGE, founder of a magnificent hospital at Edinburgh, was the son
of a goldsmith of high respectability in that city, a descendant, as already
stated, of the Heriots of Trabrown. He is supposed to have been born in June
1563. Being bred to his fathers business, to which in that age was usually
added the occupation of a banker, he was, May 28, 1588, admitted a member of
the incorporation of goldsmiths. At the age of twenty-three he married
Christian, daughter of Simon Marjoribanks, a substantial burgess of
Edinburgh, with whom he received a portion of 1,075 merks, but who appears
to have died a few years after, without children. In 1597 he was appointed
goldsmith to Queen Anne, consort of James VI., and soon after he was
constituted goldsmith and jeweller to the king.
On the accession of James to the English throne, Heriot followed the court
to London, and, by diligent application to business, he amassed considerable
riches. Several of the accounts of jewels furnished by him to the queen are
given in constables Memoirs of Heriot, published in 1822. He took for his
second wife Alison, eldest daughter of James Primrose, clerk to the Scottish
privy council, grandfather of the first earl of Rosebery. By this lady, who
died April 16, 1612, he had no issue. His own death took place at London,
February 12, 1624, and on the 20th of that month he was buried at St.
Martins in-the-field. By his will, dated January 20, 1623, he bequeathed
the greater part of his wealth to the clergy, magistrates, and town-council
of Edinburgh, to found and endow an hospital in that city for the
maintenance and education of poor fatherless sons of freemen. He also left
legacies to all his relations, and to two natural daughters, with
remembrances to many of his friends and servants.
The magnificent Gothic structure of Heriots Hospital, from a design by
Inigo Jones, was begun July 1, 1628. The building was interrupted by the
troubles of the period, but was renewed in 1642, and finally completed in
1650, at a cost of £30,000 sterling. It has long formed one of the noblest
public ornaments of the city of Edinburgh. After the battle of Dunbar,
Cromwell took possession of it as a military hospital. In 1658 General Monk
restored to the governors, and, April 30, 1659, thirty boys were admitted.
The number afterwards regularly increased, and in 1854 one hundred and
eighty boys were maintained and educated in the Hospital. By the will of the
donor the governors were directed to purchase lands in the vicinity of
Edinburgh for the benefit of the institution; and, from the great rise in
the value of such property in that neighbourhood, the revenues have very
much increased, particularly within the present century. In 1837 the annual
income amounted to £14,355, and the expenditure to £11,235. The Governors
having procured an act of parliament for the purpose, applied the surplus to
the erection of schools in various parts of Edinburgh for the education of
children of poor inhabitants of that city, those of burgesses having the
preference. Certain statutes for the government of the Hospital were drawn
up by Dr. Balcanquhal, dean of Rochester. There is a statue of the founder
in the court of the institution, and a portrait of him in the Governors
room. A miniature statue of him by Salter was erected at the south-west
corner of the Scott monument, Princes Street, Edinburgh, in April 1854.
Subjoined is Heriots portrait:
George Heriot was a great favourite with James the Sixth, who gave him the
designation of Jingling Geordie, under which name he figures as a
prominent character in Sir Walter Scotts novel of The Fortunes of Nigel.
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Have made a start at this huge publication which will likely be with us for
a few years. The first volume I am dealing with is the one on Aberdeen.
There are some 85 parishes in this volume and a write up on each. The thing
about the 1845 publication is that we get not only the history of the area
but also some information on the industry in each parish. Most of the
parishes will have the same sections such as...
Topography and Natural History, Civil History, Population, and Industry.
Under Topography and Natural History you will usually find sections such as
"Name" of the Parish, it's "Extent and Topographical Appearances", its
"Climate", its "Geology, Mineralogy, &c".
Under Civil History you can find "Parochial Registers", details of
"Proprietors", "Mansion Houses", "Antiquities", "Famous People", etc. and
notes on General history of the area.
Under Population you will find details of numbers of residents and how this
has changed over the years.
Under Industry you will find details such as Agriculture, Rent, Farm
buildings, Manufacturers, Means of Communication, Ecclesiastical State,
Education, Poor and Parochial Funds, etc.
Clearly we will have fairly huge sections on the larger towns and cities and
of course smaller accounts for the wee parishes. This week you will see two
such diverse accounts of the City of Aberdeen and the Parish of Peterculter.
To give you a flavour of the accounts here is how the Parish of Peterculter
I.Topography and Natural History.
Name.The latter part of the name of this parish is variously written,
Coulter and Culture; in the oldest register of the parish, it is uniformly
rendered Culter. Some think that this word is a Gaelic compound consisting
of Cul, the back, and tir, the country; i. e., the back country, (the parish
being situated on the north side of the river Dee.) Others account for the
name by what they suppose to have been the original orthography of the
parish, viz. Petri Cultura. When Popery was the established religion,
chapels were erected on the opposite sides of the river, and dedicated to
the respective Saints Mary and Peter. To these saints were consecrated not
only the chapels, but also the nearest wells, the one called St Mary's, and
the other St Peter's well. At a small distance from the church there is a
high steep bank called Peter's Heugh.
Extent and Topographical Appearances.From the east, on which it is bounded
by the parishes of Banchory-Devenick and New-hills, this parish extends
south-west and west nearly 7 miles. Between these extreme points, on the
western boundary, it is indented by the parish of Drumoak; so that its mean
length does not much exceed 5 miles. It is in several places nearly 5 miles
broad, its mean breadth, however, does not exceed 4 miles. Its figure is so
very irregular, that it would be difficult to compute its superficial
contents. It is bounded on the south by the river Dee, with the exception of
the small farm of Insch, which lies beyond the river. The surface of the
parish is very rugged and uneven. It is divided by the burns of Leuchar,
Culter, and Murtle, into several distinct parts, and it has numerous slopes,
and hollows, rocky hills, marshy and mossy flats interspersed.
The southern division, with the exception of a small district of flat haugh,
rises in a gentle slope from the banks of the river, and contains the
mansion-houses of Culter, Murtle, Binghill, Countesswells, and Bieldside,
with their respective grounds, gardens, and woods. The situations of these
are most beautiful, and the exposure excellent. The farms in this district
are in a high state of cultivation. There is almost no waste land. The soil
is in general of a sandy early nature. In some places, there are fields of
loam with sandy subsoil.
As we retire from the river towards the centre and back of the parish, the
land becomes high, hilly, rocky, and exposed, large tracts remain waste,
covered with furze, broom, heath, and moss. Considerable improvements have
of late years been effected, more especially towards the west, on Upper and
Nether Angustown. The soil in this western division still continues of an
early, thin, sandy nature, with a bottom of gravel and rock; but on the
northern back district, it partakes more of moss and clay.
Climate, &c.The banks of the Dee are noted for their salubrity of air, and
many places on them have of late years become favourable retreats for
invalids during the summer season. In this parish the variation of climate
is considerable. On the banks of the river the southern exposure, the thin,
dry, sandy soil, the shelter afforded by the numerous enclosures and small
plantations, all combine in giving effect to the rays of the sun, in
rendering the temperature high, the air most salubrious, and the climate
In the garden of Murtle, beautifully situated in a sheltered den, the peach
ripens every year in the open air, and the crops are as early here as in any
part of the county.
In the higher and back districts of the parish, the reverse is the case ;
the situation is more bleak, the land in many places damp and marshy, the
temperature low, and the climate proportionably more unfavourable; the crops
are consequently later, the snow is often deeper, and frost more intense
than on the river side.
On the 4th of August 1829, the river Dee (which is every sea-son subject to
great and sudden floods) was flooded to an extra- ordinary degree. The
haughs of Mill-timber and Murtle, in this parish, (though enclosed by
embankments of extent and strength sufficient for the usual rises of the
river,) were covered to the depth of many feet: the soil and growing crops
were seriously damaged, and great quantities of hay in cocks were floated
away. [See Sir Thomas Dick Lauder's Account of the Moray Floods.]
Geology, Mineralogy, &c.In many places large projecting rocks, and immense
blocks of irregular, hard, irony stone are to be met with on the surface.
These are considered fit for nothing but for building fences. In the
south-west and west divisions, granite is found, both on the surface and in
quarries. In the latter division, there is a quarry of considerable extent,
from which formerly stones were driven to Aberdeen. This trade is now
In the mosses, the traces and remains of forests are met with Wood,
&c.Large, tracts of the parish are under wood. The late Colonel Duff of
Culter, and the late Mr Gammel of Countess-wells, planted a great extent of
surface on their respective estates. These plantations are very thriving,
and consist chiefly of the larch and Scotch fir, to which the soil seems
most congenial. Around Culter House there is a cluster of beech, chestnut,
oak, ash, plane, and pine trees,perhaps the oldest, largest, and most
beautiful that is anywhere to be met with in this or in any of the
neighbouring counties. One of the beeches measures round its trunk 14 feet,
rises between 80 and 90 feet high, and spreads its branches 75 feet. A few
of these trees have been lately cut down.
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Fouth Congress at Atlanta, GA., April 28 to
May 1, 1892
Added several more sections to this volume...
Dr. J. N. Craig's address, introducing Gov. Northen
Address of welcome by Gov. Northen
Mayor Hemphill's address of welcome
President Bonner's response to the address of welcome
Presentation of gavel to President Bonner
Mr. Grady's letter to Mr. Bonner and the reply
Remarks by Dr. Macintosh and ovation to President Bonner
Col. Adair introduced by President Bonner
Mr. Henry Wallace introduced
Prof. H. A. White introduced
Prof. George Macloskie presented
Dr. Henry Quigg introduced
Mr. Frank L. Stanton's poem read
Maj. Charles H. Smith introduced
Col. G. W. Adair's impromptu address
Report of the Executive Committee
Report and remarks of Col. John W. Echols
Report and remarks of Mr. Helm Bruce
Discussion of reports
Report of Nominating Committee
Dr. Maxwell's presentation of Jacksonville's invitation
Meeting of the Executive Council
President Bonner introduces Dr. J. H. Bryson
Impromptu address by Col. G. W. Adair
Petition to close World's Fair
Capt. G. B. Forbes, Rev. Samuel Young, Hon. David D. Roper, and Mr. I. W.
Avery introduced for short addresses
These are mainly smaller accounts as the actual presentations are made in
Part II of the volume but interesting smaller accounts can be found such
It seems to me not only superfluous but almost ridiculous for a stranger to
introduce Col. Adair to an Atlanta audience. I will let his own bright and
smiling countenance be the introduction. [Applause.]
Col. G. W. Adair:
Mr. Chairman, Ladies, and Gentlemen: I thought that when I sprung this suit
yesterday morning that it could not be sprung any more this spring.
[Laughter.] I had no idea of being brought out this way, particularly after
"Bill Arp," who is a professional wit and orator and lecturer, and known all
over the face of the earth, and a good deal in Ireland and Scotland. I don't
think I can venture to speak against the dinner bell. I am a sort of
practical business man, and I never try anything like holding a crowd
against the attractions of a dinner bell. I tried it once at a ball, and
Our distinguished friend from Princeton rather attacked me for not having
mentioned our excellent Mayor, W. A. Hemphill, as being a Scotch-Irishman. I
examined the list of our Society and his name was not on it, and I omitted
him. But I can say one thing which I think will be to the satisfaction of my
friend from Princeton, and that is that from the number of Scotch-Irish
badges I see springing up around me, if Hemphill is not a Scotch-Irishman
now he will be before the next Mayor's election. [Laughter.] In fact, this
thing is sort of taking somehow. I meet people out here who I know are
Scotch-Irish as well as I know that I am, and may be a little better, and
they are beginning to take an interest in this meeting. In fact, there is an
amazing ignorance among the people on the subject, and they need education,
and they need line upon line, precept upon precept, and they need a heap of
these short, ten minute speeches, and a great many nice paragraphs turned by
our able reporters and editors to build this thing up and let it be
understood. In investigating the subject upon which I had the pleasure of
reading a paper yesterday, I was astonished at the magnitude of the whole
field. It growsit is grand. The fact is that when you subtract what the
Scotch-Irish have done for this country from the sum total, there is nothing
left; nobody else has done any thing. I always thought that the Plymouth
Rock fellows were great men, and I had heard something about the Cavaliers
of Virginia, and I had read something about Oglethorpe, who brought over
those English gentlemen who could not settle their tailors' bills in the old
country, and I had heard about De Soto coming over here among the Indians
hunting for the " Spring of Life," and about the Spaniards who had settled
at St. Augustine, and the Acadians and the French at the mouth of the
Mississippi, and I never heard anything about the Scotch-Irish. My father,
in his good old conversational way around the hearth of our country cabin,
used to talk about being a Scotch-Irishman, but I didn't know what it meant
until this thing was sprung on me. But now I find that we have done great
things, we have done almost everything, not only in the nation, but right
here in Atlanta, as I tried to show you yesterday; and I want to urge upon
everybody who attends this meeting to mention this matter to your
Scotch-Irish friends and tell them something about it; go to talking shop. I
am talking good sense. Get your friends and bring them up to the captain's
office and let them join the Society, and this gathering will be the nucleus
of a grand social, intellectual, and historical Society that will go out and
do a vast deal of good all over the country. If we will do our duties as our
distinguished President has done his, and Dr. Macintosh and these other
gentlemen, if we will do in our humble way what we, as Scotch-Irishmen,
ought to do, the time will come when we will have in Atlanta, and other
cities as well, Societies whose influence will go out over the states and
the interest will be such that a man may even venture occasionally to speak
against a dinner bell. [Applause.]
History of Scotland
In 9 volumes By Patrick Fraser Tytler (1828)
Now completed the seventh volume with...
Chapter V (Pages 397 to 424)
Regency of Morton
Proofs and Illustrations (Pages 427 to 471)
From Unprinted Manuscripts
In the proofs section we get the get the sense of a murder mystery...
IT has long been known, that some of the principal supporters of the
Protestant cause in Scotland were implicated in the assassination of Riccio;
but it has hitherto been believed that their great ecclesiastical leader
Knox was not privy to this murder. From the language, in which the event is
told in his history it might be inferred, indeed, that he did not condemn
the assassination of one whom he regarded as a bitter enemy to the truth.
After this manner above specified, says he, "to wit by the death of David
Rizzio, the noblemen were relieved of their trouble, and restored to their
places and homes, and likewise the Church reformed, and all that professed
the Evangel within this realm, after fasting and prayer were delivered;" but
in weighing this passage it is to be remembered, that although the Fifth
Book of Knox's history was probably composed from notes and collections left
by the reformer, it was not written by him.
The late Dr. Macrie, his excellent biographer, has this sentence upon the
subject, which from the authority deservedly attached to his life of Knox
may be taken as the present popular belief upon the point. ''There is no
reason to think that he (Knox) was privy to the conspiracy which proved
fatal to Riccio. But it is probable that he had expressed his satisfaction
at an event which contributed to the safety of religion and of the
Commonwealth, if not also his approbation of the conduct of the
As Dr. Macrie had not the advantage of consulting those letters upon thirt
subject which I have found in the State Paper Office, and by which the whole
secret history of the conspiracy against Riccio has been developed, we are
not to wonder that he should have spoken so decisively of Knox's innocence
of any previous knowledge of the plot. I shall now state as clearly as I
can, the evidence upon which I have shed in the text that he was
precognizant of the intended murder - adding, at the same time, Rome letters
which may be quoted in his defence.
Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario.
My thanks to Nola Crewe for typing these up for us.
We got two bios in this week...
The biography of Neil Watson shows how a family spread far and wide... here
is the first couple of paragraphs in which we see Scottish folk ending up in
the West Indies, USA and Canada...
NEIL WATSON, one of the most prominent citizens of Mull, County of Kent, and
who has been an import factor in the advancement of that place, is a worthy
member of one of the most respected families in the country. He was born
June 10th, 1853, on the old farm in Harwich township where his parents
settled in 1839, and has passed all his life in the country. The Watson
family was established in 1830, by three brothers, Robert, John and James
Watson, who came from Argyllshire, Scotland, where the late James Watson was
born in January, 1800. His parents were James and Jane (Ferguson) Watson,
both also natives of Scotland.
Landing at Quebec, James Watson soon afterward settled on land near Toronto,
and there engaged in farming for five years. In February, 1833, he was
united in marriage with Miss Mary McVicar, daughter of John and Mary
(McNair) McVicar, the former of whom was born in Argyllshire, Scotland, in
1782, and the latter a few years later. They came to Canada in 1832, on a
sailing-vessel, and settled in Vaughan township, near Toronto, where they
were among the first settlers. There John McVicar died in June, 1864, and
his widow in September, 1865. Of their family three died young, in Scotland,
and the others were: Neil emigrated to the West Indies and died there;
Margaret, the eldest daughter, came to Canada, and married John McEachran,
who settled and died near Toronto, leaving two surviving children Colon,
of the State of Washington, and Donald, of near Toronto; Susan, born in
Scotland, is the deceased wife of Colon McEachran, who settled and died near
Toronto; James settled as a farmer on Lake Huron, and died there (he married
Bell Maloy, and their only daughter, Mrs. Mary Livingston, lives in Briston,
Ontario); Angus, who was a merchant at Kingston, Ontario, married Susan
Birmingham, of Kingston, and died there, leaving children John, a
prominent journalist of Detroit, and Annie, the wife of John Armor, of
Detroit; Donald, born in Scotland, married Mary Armour, of Vaughan township,
and moved to Harwich, there both died, leaving children John, who died in
Toronto (unmarried), and Mary, who married and settled in Canada; Flora,
deceased, married Donald Armour, who is also deceased, lived near Toronto,
and was the mother of twelve children Donald and Angus (twins), Alexander,
Maggie, Flora, Susan, John (deceased), James (deceased) and four who died
young; Mary, who married the late James Watson, was born May 29th, 1815, and
was educated in the schools of Scotland.
Good Words - 1860 Edition
Edited by Rev. Norman MacLeod
You should note that as this is a weekly publication you'll find larger
articles are continued week by week.
This week have added articles on...
Easy Confession, A True Story (Pages 14-15)
Little Things (Page 15)
Good Words for Every Day in the Year (Pages 15-16)
The True Rest for Man - Exposition of Matthew XI. 28-30. (Pages 17-19)
In Memoriam - Professor George Wilson (Pages 19-23)
God's Glory in the Heavens (Pages 23-25)
Here is how the article "The True Rest for Man" starts...
The True Rest for Man
Exposition of Matthew XI. 28-30.
The persons here addressed are those who are in want of rest, the weary and
the heavy laden.
This description is applicable, more or less, to every man, until he finds
rest in Christ. We do not say that men know why they are not finding rest,
or that they will accept of the explanation of their condition which is
given by Jesus; far less that they will receive from Him the rest which He
is willing to impart. What we assert is, that men are seeking a rest for
their being, which they do not find.
A very remarkable instance of this condition, so natural to all men, is that
of Solomon. He, the great king, the great conqueror, the great merchant, the
man of taste, of learning, and of wisdom pre-eminent, records in the book of
Ecclesiastes, his many and varied labours in order to find repose for his
great mind and heart. He says, for example:
"I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart
with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good
for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of
their life. I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me
vineyards; I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of
all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood
that bringeth forth trees: I got me servants and maidens, and had servants
born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle
above all that were in Jerusalem before me: I gathered me also silver and
gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men
singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical
instruments, and that of all sorts. So I was great, and increased more than
all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. And
whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart
from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my
portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had
wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was
vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun."
(Eccles. ii. 3-11.)
That is, he found no rest; yet if any man could have found it in the
creature, or in life without God, it was Solomon. No doubt, after all this
sad experience, he discovered at last where repose was to be found, as well
as where it was not; for he thus sums up the results of all his labours,
"Hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his
commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."
In this weary and restless state Jesus Christ finds every man; all seeking
rest, each in his own idol, but none in the living God; each following his
own path, but all departing from God through unbelief; and to every man
Jesus says, "Come to me, and I will give you rest."
Perth on the Tay
A Tale of the transplanted Highlanders by Josephine Smith (1901)
You should note that many of the conversations in this book are in "Broad
Scots" and so you might find some of this hard to read. Should you persist
you'll likely get into the flow and hopefully enjoy this book.
Now up to chapter 14 and I thought I might give you this whole chapter to
read here to give you a flavour of the book...
"His stately mien as well implied
A high-born heart, a martial pride,
As if a Barons crest he wore,
And, sheathed in crimson, trod the shore."
ALL, this time Rob was learning his life lesson, All though one would watch
him closely to guess it.
A fine manly lad he was, head set squarely on his shoulders, step firm, yet
springy with the elasticity of youth.
Already he was bossand over men nearly three times his age, compelling
respect and obedience.
Sandy would have marvelled, had he seen him. Where had he learned this
woodcraft, and how had he got this knowledge of human nature? for a colonel
of a regiment, or a captain at sea, with a crew collected from the four
quarters of the globe, 'have no more need for special qualifications for the
office than has a shanty boss, are no more autocratic in their power, nor
have they a greater diversity of men to keep at work and at peace. Accidents
happen ; enmities are bred and nurtured; sides are taken; something very
like vendettas are established between factions, and this in the heart of
the primeval forest. A cool, steady headand yet, paradoxical as it may
seem, a quick and ready onewas required, besides a practical idea of what a
tree standing would make in square or round timber. (Heavy shipments of
square timber were made in those days; now, very few rafts of square timber
Rob was all of these things. He was good on an emergency, he held out well,
and could out-guess many a man fifty years in the limits on how many feet a
tall pine would cut.
Oh! those days in the sweet pine woods, resting on Nature's calm heart;
thinking deep, solemn thoughts; gathering strength to wrestle with the many
phases of human passion. Is there a living germ of pure, true humanity, it
is fed, nourished, developed. But not even the quiet shadows of the vast
pine forest can resuscitate a dead germ; and this is why Rob had warring
elements to curb in this domain where he was absolute monarch.
Once, and once only, did he have to demonstrate this.
There was everything thereEnglish, Scotch, Irish, French, with two or three
Indians: big, brawny red-shirted men, with heads in yellow and red, brown
and black, and eyes that in their normal condition were blue, and black, and
gray; but Sunday found many of them more noticeable for the red streaks
caused by bursted veins, and not over half the men went to work of a Monday
morning. All day Sunday cards were played, sometimes harder than wood was
chopped through the week.
"Terry Magane, ye spalpeen! ye've an ace up yer sleeve!" started the row
which, for as long as he lived established Rob's supremacy in the shanties.
He never gave up lumbering until the years crept on him that make all men
want to lay aside the axe and take up the staff. After a few years as shanty
boss he became boss of the limitsone of Canada's lumber kings, a power in
the land, and an employer to whom his men would rather go than to each
"Bad cess to yez fer a lyin'------!" a blow followed the sentence, in
process of which the cause of the dispute fell from Terry's sleeve to the
At this Terry's friends, mortified at the exposť, considered the only way
out of it was to "bate" Mike's following until their memory would carry them
no further back than to the smart of their bruises. Without waiting for
preliminaries, each man set to work on his own account; the shanty floor
(this shanty was floored with boards) groaned under their heavy tread as
they swayed back and forth, some "in holts" wrestling, some fighting with
their fists; the non-combatants, in imminent danger of being trampled under
foot, edged away as fast as they could and scrambled up into the bunks.
L,-------'s shanty was all in one, a building seventy-five feet long, the
huge fire-place at one end, where the sweetest of bread was baked in big,
round, flat-bottomed kettles with iron lids, and where pork and beans that
it makes one hungry to think of were cooked, for a Boston chef can do no
greater justice to this dish than a Canadian shanty cook.
Batiste had finished cleaning up after supper, had ranged his pots and
kettles in their corner, and was just now trying to, so far as possible,
efface himself, lest evil befal him from the fight now progressing without
the slightest regard to army tactics. Squeals were heard from the other
Frenchmen, as they were endeavoring to do the same: it was not their fight,
and where they could not get in a rap without receiving one in return, they
were remaining strictly neutral, though an effort to gain strictly neutral
territory took them to the floor on all-fours, away from the fists and
brawny arms of the beligerents. The table, a not very secure structure, was
upset, the round blocks used as seats were rolling about on the floor; the
Indians were in a far corner of the dormitory, sitting on the floor with
their knees drawn up to their chins, grunting disapproval of the whole
affairtomahawks would have settled matters much more satisfactorily.
With the fighting men, the more they fought the harder they fought; bones
were broken through ugly falls over the rolling blocks; three or four men
were hanging on to their opponents with bull-dog tenacity. Matters had
reached a serious stage when Rob arrived. He had been perhaps a quarter of a
mile away, thinking over the happy, care-free past, planning for a useful
future; even though what his heart cried out for were denied him, he still
had a place to fill in the body politic, and, please God, he would fill it
as a man should. Sounds of strife reached him: there was need for action
immediately thought could wait. Five minutes brought him to the shanty
door. Nearest him was a powerful, maddened Irishman, clutching by the
throat, and fast choking the life out of, one of his own countrymen.
"Maguire, ye're killin' yon mon! leave go!" yelled Rob; but Maguire paid not
the slightest heed.
Another man, McIntyre, hauled his victim between Rob and Maguire.
"Be jabers! 'tis a foine fight intirely, an' we'll not stop fur that babby!
Yez wur all in the shanties whin he was in his cradle!" landing the blows
thick and fasthis opponent, blinded from blood-trickling wounds, rarely
making a return blow tell. Rob squared himself, planted his left foot firmly
forward, caught McIntyre round the waist, bent him over and rested him on
his own hip until he secured the right hold, then flung him away among
Batiste's kettles, as easy as another man would handle a bag of chaff;
turned, with a side rush against Maguire's arm, broke his grip on the
other's throat, then straight from the shoulder he struck him a smart blow
on the chest; and Maguire fell, a heap of over two hundred pounds of pretty
rough citizenship, jarring the shanty and rattling the pots until McIn-tyre
was roused from his uneven couch.
"Gin there's ony mair fechtin' in this shanty, I'll tak a haun in 't mysel'!
Ye're oop here tae work, no' t' murder ane anither. Pick oop yon table ye
hae thrawn doon, 'n the bit blocks ; wash yersel's 'n sit doon like
Christians, an' no be rampin' roun' like wild beasties!"
There was no "if you please" about it, and there was that in Rob's demeanor
which showed he intended to be obeyed. He was a bad man to handle as he
stood there, thin, lithe, wiry, every muscle firm and hard as steel, and
there was a disagreeable look in his eyes, they were Douglas eyes, and
monarchs had quailed before them ere now.
Maguire and McIntyre were picking themselves up dazed, and in a muddled
fashion were trying to figure out how it all came about. Without a word the
men turned to do as they were told. Long years after Rob's performance was
talked of as "Th' purtiest thing iver ye see'."
A man was despatched for Dr. Wright, everybody turned in and helped
everybody else, the fight was over and ever after that Rob was in every
sense the Boss.
When spring came he went to Quebec with some rafts, then on to Boston to
confer with a firm of ship-builders. More than a year passed before he saw
the Ninth Line again. Letters had been received giving a hint of the
estrangement between the families and something of the cause; Sandy said in
substance that Margaret had flouted Phemie because Douglas wanted to marry
her; but as Sandy also wrote Phemie did not want the lad, he somehow got the
idea it was because Phemie had said no to Douglas that Margaret was
incensed. Rob's position in the matter was that of some of our politicians.
Phemie was his sister, it was quite natural he should espouse her quarrel,
no matter what the cause; but Margaret was Jean's mother, and this so far as
Margaret's side of the affair was concerned, was an "extenuating
It mattered not that Jean had preferred someone else to him, she was Jean
still. How glad he was now that he had never told her of his hopes, her soft
woman's heart would have always had this to sorrow over. For there was but
one fair woman for him; when he could not have her near him he'd have none.
But he'd not waste his life; bye and bye he would like to go to her (happen
she'd hae lads o' her ain then)a choke always accompanied this thoughtand
she would clasp his hand and say, "Rob, ye hae dune weel" And he knew she
would not say this unless he had done wellnot in the amassing of wealth or
the gain of position and influence, but in living as knowing it is not all
of life to live, living that the call might be, "Friend, come up higher."
Among the men there had been no attempt at "preaching," no effort to change
their hereditary religious views, no cant. When a Roman Catholic priest came
up, as they did several times during the season, every opportunity was given
that their ministrations might bear fruit of good behavior. Once Elder Case
came; his years were telling on his once robust frame but the downright,
positive, abrupt, convincing manner was thereand how the Indians welcomed
They each helped Rob himself, and strengthened his hands. Insensibly a
change came over "the gang." Father McCarthy's practical talks, that never
beat about the bush or etherialized earthly sins; Elder Case's sterling
livable piety; and Rob McGregor's every-day-in-the-week example had a
wholesome active effectby Spring the place became known as "McGregor's
praying shanty." If there was not much praying out loud there was hymn
singing, which, done in the proper spirit, has just as Christianizing
Rob had written Douglas, but in his mistaken views of the situation, had
said things that hurt Douglas sorely, so his letter was not answered;
therefore in a year not a word of any sort relating to Jean had reached him.
Early in the golden October of forty-one, he again turned his face for "juist
a look in at hame."
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