It's your Electric Scotland newsletter meaning
the weekend is nearly here :-)
You can view what's new this week on Electric Scotland at
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this newsletter by clicking on the link at the foot of this newsletter.
See our Calendar of Scottish Events around the world at
Electric Scotland News
Scotland on TV
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Clan Donnachaidh (Robertson)
Poetry and Stories
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Fourth Congress at Atlanta
Good Words - Edited by the Rev Norman MacLeod
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland in 1876
Book of Scottish Story
Reminiscences of Old Scots Folk
I was about to embark on publishing the book "The Civil and Ecclesiastical
History of Scotland" by Thomas Innes (1853) when I found a copy on the web.
Due to this I've got a copy of the .pdf file and posted it up for you to
read. You can get to it at
This book was published by the Spalding Club who concentrated on publishing
little known books that they judged contributed significant knowledge and
deserved to be preserved. The period covered in the history is from A.D. 80
to A.D. 818. The file is around 24Mb in size which is of course rather
larger for dial-up users but once down you do have the entire book to read.
Was over in Toronto this week at the Scottish Studies Sail Past event. It
was a beautiful day and everyone seemed to be having a really good time. I
took some photos and a few videos which you can see at
On a personal note I was delighted to see President's Choice launching a Nan
bread and while I have still to do my shopping am looking forward to trying
it. As you may know Nan is a great compliment for us folk that enjoy Indian
Been messaging with a few folk this week that didn't know about our "Mini
Bios" section. This section is devoted to posting up biographies of
individuals and families. And so... if you can sit down with your word
processor and type up a history of your own family you can then submit that
for inclusion in this section. We don't make any judgements on writing style
and you can also include pictures. So why not have a go at your own family
and send it into us. This work is preserved for future generations.
I'll add one story as it relates to this section. I got a message from a
person that told me when her mother died and as they were clearing out her
home she told her brothers to look out for the genealogy her mother had been
doing. Horror... the brothers had in fact binned it along with other papers.
A couple of years later she thought about trying to start up the genealogy
again and was doing a search on the internet when she discovered her mother
had sent me a copy of her research for the Mini Bios section. Needless to
say she was somewhat overwhelmed at finding this.
So do please consider sending us in your family history to include in our
Mini Bios section which you can get to at
For those interested I have added another entry to my Canadian Journal for
the last two months to August 31st, 2007 which you can read at
I just came across a wee publication I picked up from Campbell at the
Spittal of Glenshee around 4 years ago so have at last made it available.
Actually, I was doing a clear out of paperwork and came across it. Campbell
just prints out copies and makes them available at the Spittal pretty much
to cover the cost of the printing. It includes a map, walks, and local
stories of Glenshee. You can read this at
You can also see pictures of the Spittal and the local area at
Although long dispersed from Glenshee, members of the Clan MacThomas Society
return each year to stay at the Spittal of Glenshee on the third weekend of
August and to swear allegiance to their clan chief as he stands on the rock.
And should anyone have any pictures of the clan gathering I'd love to have
copies to post onto the site. So... any Clan MacThomas members reading this?
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
Scotland on TV
Visit their site at
As you know we're still a new site and very much learning about what kind of
content our global audience is likely to be most interested in. And so we
really love it when we see word about the channel spreading and people email
us with their views about what we're doing.
It's fascinating seeing which content people come to view on the site. Last
week's item on the Loch Lomond Seaplane brought in a flood of viewers from
the aviation world, including a French site all about crashes! By all
accounts the sea-plane has an exemplary safety record; however, the news
item on Scotland on TV was about the new route which has opened up from just
outside our office on the River Clyde in Glasgow up to Oban on the west
coast. There are some fantastic aerial shots in the video and well worth a
look if you haven't seen it yet. Just click here and it will take you to
The other piece of news this week is that Flora and Nigel, two of our
video-journalists, made it back from their visit to the Balvenie Distillery
in Dufftown without signs of having imbibed too much of the product they saw
being made. They had a great two days there and Balvenie's Global
Ambassador, David Mair took them through the entire process of malt whisky
making. The guys got such great material that we've decided to make a short
series out of it all called 'The Making of Malt Whisky' (Original title, eh?
But the world of search engines makes us very literal.)
The first part is being edited at the moment and hopefully should be live on
the site late on friday, 7th. It really is a fascinating process, so do drop
in on the channel and take a look.
http://www.scotlandontv.tv is the
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
This weeks Flag is compiled by Jim Lynch. This issue he is talking about the
abolition of Bridge Tolls on the Forth and Tay bridges, the voting fiasco
and proposed new bills going through Parliament.
In Peter's cultural section he talks about a proposed twinning
In commemoration of the 303rd anniversary (10 September 1704) of the
marooning of Largo-born Alexander Selkirk in the Juan Fernandez group of
islands, 500 miles off Chile, we repeat a previous story concerning the
character on whom the story of Robinson Crusoe was based by Daniel Defoe.
Since the feature first appeared Largo Community Council did agree twinning
links with Robinson Crusoe Island.
The proposed twinning between a Fife community and a Pacific island is a
reminder that Scots get everywhere and the fact that English writer Daniel
Defoe based his famous book 'Robinson Crusoe' on the exploits of Largo-born
seaman Alexander Selkirk. Largo Area Community Council has decided to
explore the possibility of twinning Largo with Robinson Crusoe Island in the
Juan Fernandez group, which lie several hundred miles off the coast of
Chile. This follows the visit to Largo of Swiss-born photographer Daniel
Bruhin who is now resident on Robinson Crusoe Island. During his visit to
Fife he gave talks and slide shows to the local primary schools and
suggested a permanent twinning arrangement between Largo and his adopted
island home because of the unique link with Alexander Selkirk.
Born in Lower Largo in 1676, the son of a cobbler, by all accounts Alexander
Selkirk was a rather hot-tempered chiel who after several close calls with
the authorities fled to sea at the age of 27. He joined the hydrographer,
navigator and explorer-turned-buccaneer William Dampier and became sailing
master of the Cinque Ports. In 1704, having quarrelled with his captain,
Selkirk requested to be put ashore on an uninhabited island in the Juan
Fernandez group, where he lived alone for four years and four months, before
being rescued by another privateer under the command of Woodes Rogers. He
returned to Largo in 1712 and an account of his experiences published the
following year inspired Daniel Defoe to write 'Robinson Crusoe'. Defoe, of
course, was no stranger to Scotland and the Scots, having been an English
spy in Edinburgh in the run-up to the incorporating Union of 1707between
England and Scotland. Selkirk, unable to resettle on his native heath,
returned to sea and at his death in 1721 was a lieutenant in the Royal Navy.
A suitable statue of Alexander Selkirk, dressed as 'Robinson Crusoe' stands
on the site of the cottage where he was born and is a popular tourist
attraction. The local hotel is also suitably named 'The Crusoe'.
This week's recipe , Port of Ness Cod, comes from an island, but one rather
nearer home than Robinson Crusoe Island, the Isle of Lewis in the Outer
Hebrides. It is a simple way of cooking and serving cod.
Port of Ness Cod
Ingredients: 1 1/2 lb ( 750 g ) cod, on the bone; salt and peper; 2 oz ( 50
g ) butter; 2-3 tbsp milk; 2 lb ( 1 kg ) potatoes, boiled and mashed;
garnish - parsley
Method: Put the cod into a pan and just cover with water. Season with salt
and pepper and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-5 minutes, depending on the
thickness of the cod. Remove cod from the pan, skin and bone. Put flakes
into a large heated ashet and put pats of butter on top. Moisten with a
little of the cooking liquor and sprinkle liberally with chopped parsley.
Add the milk and a little of the butter to the potatoes and cream them.
Serve round the fish on the ashet.
You can read the Flag, listen to the Scots Language, enjoy the Scots Wit and
lots more at
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
Now on the I's with Irvine, Irving and Isles
Here is how the account of Isles starts...
THE ISLES, Lord of, an ancient title, possessed by the descendants of
Somerled, thane of Argyle, who in 1135, when David I. Expelled the
Norwegians from Arran and Bute, and some other of the islands, appears to
have got a grant of them from that monarch. To secure himself in possession,
however, he married, about 1140, Effrica, or Ragnhildis, the daughter of
Olave the Red, king of Man, from which marriage sprung the dynasty so well
known in Scottish history as the Lords of the Isles. By her he had three
sons: Dugall, Reginald or Ranald, and Angus. The Chronicle of Man adds a
fourth, Olave. By a previous marriage he had one son, Gillecolane. According
to the Celtic genealogists, this Somerled (the name is Norse, in Gaelic
Somhairle, in English, Samuel) was descended, through a long line of
ancestors, from the celebrated Irish king Conn Chead Chath, or Conn of the
hundred battles. He assisted his son-in-law, Wimund, the pretended earl of
Moray, when he invaded Scotland in 1141, and on the death of David I.,
accompanied by the children of Wimund, he landed with a great force, in
Scotland, 5th November 1153, in order to revenge the wrongs done to him.
Having, however, encountered a more vigorous opposition than he had
anticipated, he found it necessary to agree to terms of accommodation with
Malcolm IV., an event which was deemed of so much importance as to form an
epoch from which various royal charters were dated.
His brother-in-law, Godred the Black, king of Man, had acted so tyrannically
that Thorfinn, one of the most powerful of the insular nobles, resolved to
depose him, and applied to Somerled for his son, Dugall, then a child, whom
he proposed to make king of the Isles in Godred’s place. Carrying Dugall
through all the isles, except Man, Thorfinn forced the inhabitants to
acknowledge him as their king, and took hostages from them for their
obedience. One of the chief islanders fled to the Isle of Man, and informed
Godred of the plot against him. That prince immediately collected a large
fleet, and proceeded against the rebels, then under the guidance of Somerled,
with a fleet of eighty galleys. After a bloody but indecisive battle (1156)
a treaty was entered into, by which Godred ceded to the sons of Somerled
what were afterwards called the South Isles, retaining for himself the North
Isles and Man. Two years afterwards, Somerled invaded the latter island with
a fleet of fifty-three ships, and laid the whole island waste, after
defeating Godred in battle.
Somerled’s power was now very great, and for some time he carried on a
vexatious predatory warfare on the coasts of Scotland, till Malcolm required
of him to resign his possessions into his hands as his sovereign, and to
hold them in future as a vassal of the Scottish crown. Somerled refused, and
in 1164, assembling a numerous army, he sailed up the Clyde, with 160
galleys, and landed his forces near Renfrew, where he was met by the Scots
army, under the high steward of Scotland, and defeated, he himself and his
son Gillecolane being amongst the slain. According to tradition, he was
assassinated in his tent by an individual in whom he placed confidence. This
celebrated chief has been traditionally described as “a well tempered man,
in body shapely, of a fair piercing eye, of middle stature, and of quick
discernment.” According to the then prevalent custom of gavel kind, whilst
Gillecolane’s son, also named Somerled, succeeded to his grandfather’s
superiority of Argyle, the insular possessions were divided among his sons
descended of the house of Man. Dugall, the eldest of these, got for his
share, Mull, Coll, Tiree, and Jura; Reginald, the second son, obtained Isla
and Kintyre; and Angus, the third son, Bute. Arran is supposed to have been
divided between the two latter. The chronicle of Man mentions a battle, in
1192, between Reginald and Angus, in which the latter obtained the victory.
He was killed, in 1210, with his three sons, by the men of Skye, leaving no
male issue. One of his sons, James, left a daughter and heiress, Jane,
afterwards married to Alexander, son and heir of Walter, high steward of
Scotland, who, in her right, claimed the isle of Bute.
You can read the rest of this entry at
You can read the other entries at
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.
This week have added...
Parish of Aberdour at
Parish of King Edward at
Here is the Antiquities of Aberdour...
Antiquities.—At a place called Chapelden, in the land of Auchmedden, the
ruins of a Roman Catholic chapel are still to be seen, on a haugh opposite
the Toar of Troup. The walls are completely demolished, and nothing remains
but a heap of stones, which have been held sacred by the husbandman; for
although in the midst of a cultivated field, they have never been touched by
the plough. The only fort, or castle, in the parish is that of Dundargue,
for a particular description of which, reference is made to the former
Statistical Account. In addition to what is there stated, it may be proper
to observe, that when Edward Baliol came to claim the kingdom of Scotland,
Sir Thomas Beaumont accompanied him, and took and garrisoned the Castle of
Dundargue in right of his wife, she being the eldest daughter of Cummine,
Earl of Buchan, who had no male issue, and to whom the castle belonged.
There are numerous cairns and tumuli scattered through the parish. Such as
have been opened have been found to contain a rude stone coffin, enclosing
the bones or ashes of a human body. A cairn on the farm of Towie, on the
estate of Auchmedden, called Brodie's Cairn, deserves particular notice. My
informant remembers three cairns of the same name, but with regard to this
one in particular, the tradition is as follows: A farmer of the name of
Brodie murdered his mother, whose body was brought to the gate of the
church-yard of Aberdour, and every individual in the parish called upon to
apply the hand to the naked corpse, under the superstitious belief that the
blood would gush upon the murderer. It was observed, that during the time
this was going on, her son carefully kept at a distance, and showed great
reluctance to approach the body, and that, when recourse was about to be had
to compulsion, he confessed the murder. The tradition farther states, that
the murderer was drawn and quartered, and that his four limbs were buried on
the sides of four roads leading to the church of Aberdour. So much for
You can read the rest of this account at
On the index page of this volume you can see a list of the 85 parishes and
also a map at
Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
The September issue is now available at
A letter from your editor:
A few things to think about....
Over the past couple of games seasons, I have heard discussions about
smaller crowds, less volunteer participation, less clan participation, clans
who are losing membership, etc. I know of more than a few games that simply
are no more. I've had some time to think about all of this...and although
you might not be particularly happy to see what I've thought...I hope you'll
take a few minutes to read and then think about what you've read.
I've had occasion to try and contact some Highland Games, some clans, even
businesses...some entertainers... and it turned out to be a very hard chore
to actually find anyone. These groups and individuals seem to rely on their
website and/or email to be their public presence and their principle means
of communicating. Many brochures, even websites, have no phone number, no
way to contact a person with whom you can speak and exchange information..
I've tried leaving a message on websites - only to be 'pinged' that the
mailbox is full. I've tried using the email, but many times the mailbox is
full or you never receive a reply. Even if you do find a phone number, the
call is seldom returned. My goodness, this publication is on the Internet
and electronic media has its place. However, I promise, you may phone me,
email me or write me a letter or note and I will be back to you as soon as
is humanly possible.
I understand that having someone to answer the phone and talk to people is
much more trouble than just leaving everything to electronics. However,
could it be that this lack of human communication might prevent people from
attending your event or joining your group? Could it be that potential
attendees or participants just need to speak to a person? It surely doesn't
hurt to try.
I'm sure this isn't the only reason for the decline in attendance at
Highland Games...but it might be one of the reasons. Years ago, I had a
little list of things called 'What it takes to be a champion...' The list
was primarily for 4-11'ers...but I read it and remember a few of the things
that I've tried ever since then to make a part of myself. One of the things
on the list was, 'Always return phone calls promptly.' Another thing I
remember, although my Grandmother had already taught me this, was, "Be sure
and say 'please' and 'thank you.'"
So, please think about these little things.
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Added the final issue of this newspaper...
November 6, 1891 at
This issue carries an article about Aboyne Castle, on the first page.
You can see all the issues to date at
Our thanks to James Irvine Robertson for sending us in articles from the
Clan Donnachaidh annual magazines of which he has been editor for some 10
years. You can see the collection of articles at
Got up additional articles this week including...
The Early Medieval Landscape of Struan
Crannogs and Clan Donnachaidh
Here is how Crannogs and Clan Donnachaidh starts...
Dr Nick Dixon and his American-born wife Barrie Andriaan have an obsession.
Some 25 years ago Nick began his life’s work in exploring the crannogs - in
fact one in particular - in Loch Tay. Since then he has uncovered a huge
storehouse of artifacts and information about an aspect of Highland heritage
that was virtually unknown. As a byproduct of his work, he and Barrie have
also created one of the country’s premier visitor attractions as a way to
raise money to continue their research.
Crannogs are artificial islands set in the shallows of lochs, most surviving
today as little more than submerged boulder-mounds or islets topped by
stands of trees. However, these defensive homesteads figured prominently
throughout Scotland's past as flourishing waterborne communities that lasted
for centuries and came to play an important part in clan refuge and warfare.
They were occupied as early as the Neolithic period, some 5,000 years ago,
until the 17th century AD.
Most Scottish crannogs appear to have consisted of a single thatched
roundhouse, deliberately built out in the water for protection from wild
animals and invaders. Based on the results of Nick’s underwater surveys and
excavations, we now know that the crannogs were built as free-standing
timber pile-dwellings in the lochs of woodland environments, and as circular
or sub-circular stone buildings on man-made or modified natural rocky
islands in more barren environments.
There are many crannogs in Ireland, one known example in Wales, but none in
England. More than 400 are known in Scotland but, as there are more than
30,000 lochs in the country, the total number is likely to run into
thousands. In Loch Tay, Perthshire, where Nick’s Scottish Trust for
Underwater Archaeology has been excavating periodically since 1980, there
are 18. At one of these, the late Bronze Age/early Iron Age site of Oakbank
Crannog, waterlogging has made the preservation of organic materials
spectacular. Surviving structural remains include the original pointed alder
posts of the supporting platform, floor timbers and hazel hurdles forming
walls and partitions, as well as the posts that once provided a walkway to
The finds from the site paint an amazingly clear picture of the lifestyle of
the crannog-dwellers in the area, and increase our knowledge of this period
in prehistory. Wooden domestic utensils, finely woven cloth, beads, and even
food and plant remains have all been well preserved. We know that the
crannog-dwellers kept cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs, and produced dairy
products including butter, which in one instance was found still adhering to
a wooden dish probably only discarded because it had split apart.
Most crannogs are situated opposite good agricultural land, and the
discovery of a wooden cultivation implement at Oakbank Crannog, together
with grain and pollen evidence, indicates a local population of peaceful
farmers. They grew a range of cereal crops including spelt, an early form of
wheat previously thought imported by the Romans. These loch-dwellers also
cultivated a taste for parsley which is not indigenous to Scotland, and
therefore perhaps indicative of trade with people further south or on the
You can read the rest of this entry at
Poems and Stories
John Henderson has sent in Chapter 58 and 59 of his Recounting Blessings
series which you can read at
Donna has started a new recipe section, H-Factor Recipes, great recipes for
Stan Bruce, the Bard of Banff, was in Jerusalem and sent in a poem about his
visit called LouLou which you can read at
Donna sent in a journal entry, Reprieve, Town Site Cafe which you can read
John sent in a .pdf file recalling his 1000 pts for Jordanhill RFC - ‘The
Boot’ which is about his first-class rugby football career in Scotland from
1958 to 1966 when he played for Jordanhill College and Glasgow and in the
process gathered 1062 points for his club. You can read this at
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Fourth Congress at Atlanta, GA., April 28 to
May 1, 1892
Added more sections to this volume...
Andrew C. Black, Springfield, O.
Col. William M. Irvine, Richmond, Ky.
Hon. John Jay Knox, New York
Samuel Willson, Mantorville, Minn.
Dr. J. M. Deaver, Lancaster County, Pa.
Here is the Obituary of Hon. John Jay Knox, New York
NEW YORK TIMES, FEBRUARY 10, 1892.
John Jay Knox, President of the National Bank of the Republic, died at his
residence, 19 East Forty-first Street, on the 9th of February. Mr. Knox had
been ill with pneumonia for several days, and toward the last his physicians
had given up all hope of saving his life. John Jay Knox had been a
conspicuous figure in the financial world during the last two decades. He
was born in Oneida County, this state, on March 19, 1828. His father's
ancestors were Scotch-Irish, and came from Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland,
in 1759. He received his education at the Augusta Academy and the Water-town
Classical Institute, and was graduated from Hamilton College in 1849. He
began his business career in the bank at Vernon, of which his father was
long President, as teller, at a salary of $300 a year. He held that position
until 1852. He afterward was with the Burnet Bank, at Syracuse, and then was
appointed cashier of the Susquehanna Valley Bank, at Binghampton.
In 1857 Mr. Knox and his brother, Henry M. Knox, started a bank in St. Paul,
Minn. He came into prominence as a financier in the discussion which
preceded the establishment of the national banks. He took a conspicuous part
in the agitation of the questions that then arose, and made many valuable
suggestions regarding the currency. He strongly advocated a safe and
convertible currency, the issue of a uniform series of circulating notes to
all the banks, and the guarantee by the government of circulation secured by
its own bonds.
In 1862 Mr. Knox was introduced by Secretary Chase to Hugh McCullough, then
the Controller of the Currency. Mr. Chase had. his attention attracted to
Mr. Knox by the financial articles that appeared under his name in various
magazines. Mr. Knox accepted a clerkship under Treasurer Spinner, but
subsequently was transferred to the office of Mr. Chase as disbursing clerk,
at a salary of $2,000 a year. After holding the position three years he
accepted a position as cashier of the Exchange National Bank, at Norfork Va.
The Southern climate did not agree with him, so he returned to Washington.
He was commissioned by Mr. McCullough to examine the branch mint at San
Francisco. He also was then authorized to select a site for a new mint
there. His report upon the mint service of the Pacific Coast was so valuable
a document that Mr. McCul-lough printed it as a part of his official report
of 1866, with a complimentary notice for the writer. The site for the mint
which he selected was afterward purchased for $100,000 from Eugene Kelly, of
Mr. Knox was next commissioned to go to New Orleans. A deficiency of
$1,100,000 had been discovered in the office of the Assistant Treasurer
there. He took possession of the office, and for some time acted as
The promotion of Mr. Knox to the office in which he was able to do himself
the most credit and perform services to the country which are part of its
financial progress occurred in 1867. At this time a vacancy was brought
about in the Deputy Controllership of the Currency, and Secretary McCullough
appointed him to fill it. Until May 1, 1884, he remained as Deputy, or head
of the bureau, his terms of office being as follows: Five years as Deputy
Controller, from 1867 to 1872; five years as Controller, from 1872 to 1877,
appointed by Gen. Grant; five years, second term, as Controller, from 1877
to 1882, by President Hayes, on the recommendation of Secretary Sherman—the
reappointment being made without his knowledge, before the expiration of the
preceding term, and confirmed by the Senate without reference to any
committee. He was again reappointed by President Arthur, April 12, 1882.
In 1870 he made an elaborate report to Congress, including a codification of
the mint and coinage laws, with important amendments, which was highly
commended. The bill which accompanied the report comprised within the
compass of twelve pages of the Revised Statutes every important provision
contained in more than sixty different enactments upon the mint and coinage
of the United States—the result of eighty years of legislation. This bill,
with slight amendments, was subsequently passed, and is known as "The
Coinage Act of 1873," and the Senate Finance Committee, in recognition of
his services, by an amendment, made the Controller of the Currency an ex
officio member of the Assay Commission, which meets annually at the mint in
Philadelphia for the purpose of testing the weight and fineness of the
coinage of the year.
Through his official report Mr. Knox always exercised great influence over
financial legislation, and he took an active, though quiet and unassuming
part in the great financial movements which resulted in the resumption of
the specie payment. It was in April, 1878, that he came to this city with
Secretary Sherman and Attorney-general Devens. He arranged a meeting between
these two Cabinet officers and the officers of ten of the principal banks,
with the view of negotiating the sale of $50,000,000 of 4½ per cent. bonds,
the avails of which were to be used for resumption purposes. The Presidents
of the banks represented gave Secretary Sherman no encouragement for the
purchase of the bonds at the rate proposed. The Secretary and the Controller
were met at the Fifth Avenue Hotel later in the day by August Belmont, who
had received from the Rothschilds a cable dispatch authorizing the purchase
of the entire issue of bonds at a premium of 1½ per cent. for the account of
the syndicate. When the Secretary and the Controller returned to Washington
and announced that their negotiations had been successful, there was a deal
of chagrin among certain members of the Finance Committee of the House of
Representatives, who were bitterly opposed to the resumption scheme
This negotiation was the first of a series of brilliant financial
transactions preceding and following resumption on January 1, 1879, in which
Mr. Knox was a leading figure. Afterward he arranged a conference, which was
held in the Treasury at Washington in the evening, between leading bank
officials of New York and Secretaries Sherman and Evarts, which resulted in
the admission of the Assistant Treasurer as a member of the Clearing House,
and the receipt by the banks of legal tender notes on a par with gold; and
in 1881, by request of President Garfield, he attended a conference in New
York between the leading financial men of the city and Secretary Windom and
Attorney-general MacVeagh, which resulted in the issue and successful
negotiation of 3½ per cent. bonds.
After Mr. Knox left the public service, in 1884, he was President of the
National Bank of the Republic in this city. He was the author of a book
entitled "United States Notes." It was published by the Scribners and
republished in London. In politics Mr. Knox was thoroughly independent,
taking a personal interest in political matters only so far as financial,
civil service, and tariff questions were concerned. He was the nominee of
the independents for Controller of the city in 1886.
The last address made by Mr. Knox was in Boston at the dinner given by the
Chamber of Commerce of that city. On that occasion he was one of the
representatives of the New York Chamber of Commerce.
The funeral took place on Friday from St. Bartholomew's Church, in Madison
Avenue, of which Mr. Knox was a member.
You can get to the index page of this volume and read the other entries at
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...
Mary's Birthday (Page 75)
Christian Counsel and Teaching for Young Men (Pages 75-78)
"Good Words" concerning the Better Country (Pages 78-79)
An Incident in the Artic Seas (Pages 79-80)
A Winter's Tale (Page 80)
Prayer (Page 80)
Here is A Winter's Tale for you to read here...
It was in January 1841, and in the ancient city of Antwerp. The beautiful
streets were almost deserted, the cold was so intense; but my story leads me
into a dark and narrow lane, and a poor room, in which it was as cold as out
of doors. In this wretched abode, a thinly-clad young woman sat weeping by
the bedside of a child, which looked as if it was soon to be laid in a bed
where cold and hunger are felt no more. Hear the stove, in which, however,
no wood was burning, stood a little boy of about six years, asking for
bread. His mother gave no reply, but, after a while, the request was
repeated —"Do, mother, give me something, if it be ever so little; I cannot
endure the hunger." And the mother gave him a small piece of bread, and
said—"I wanted it for your little sister; but I fear she will not require it
any more." Little Hansel seized it eagerly, but returned half of it for the
sick child. Soon afterwards, the father of the family entered, deep sorrow
and disappointment on his wan countenance. "We are very unhappy, Theresa,"
said he to his wife; "I have stood the whole day at the train with my
wheelbarrow, and have not earned a farthing." Little Hansel asked—"Have you
brought me nothing to eat?" But the father's face was so stern, that the
child was afraid, and said—"I won't ask again." When the father looked at
the sick child, his soul was overwhelmed with distress and anguish. "Nothing
remains for me," he exclaimed, at last, "but to sell my wheelbarrow."
It is the custom in Antwerp, that every Friday a kind of auction is held in
the market-place, to which people bring whatever they have to sell. The poor
man brought his wheelbarrow, and waited till his turn came. How, it so
happened, that two rich young ladies were just then passing that way, and,
being struck with the sad expression of the man's countenance, stood beside
him, and heard him telling his story to a neighbour. After consulting with
each other they bought the wheelbarrow for twenty-seven francs, to the great
astonishment and amusement of the bystanders. They paid immediately, and
asked him to take it home for them. He requested them to allow him to go
first to his house, and after hearing where it was, they said that they
could go that way. On their road there they bought potatoes, bread, rice,
and wood. It was all put on the wheelbarrow, and soon they were before the
poor man's door. They followed him into his room, and what a scene presented
itself to their view! The woman lay fainting on the floor, and the little
boy was crying bitterly. Wine was soon procured, a fire lit, and little
Hansel's hunger appeased. They now told the poor man, that the wheelbarrow
and all its contents were his, and that they would in future help him and
give him employment. After having promised to send a doctor to see the
child, they took their leave. The poor parents could scarcely believe in
their deliverance; they were unable to utter a single word of gratitude,—and
the ladies also were silent for a long time on their way home. At last one
of them said—"There can be no greater blessedness on earth, than to be sent
by God to relieve the poor in their distress." From that time they devoted
themselves to the poor, visiting from house to house in the most destitute
streets, and bringing help and consolation to the needy.
You can read the other articles at
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland
Am adding a variety of articles from this publication and this week have
Report on the Improvement of Waste Land
Report on Spade and Fork Trenching
Here is how the report on "Improvement of Waste Land" starts...
By John Yeats, Esq. of Kincorth, Advocate, Aberdeen.
[Premium, The Gold Medal.]
The estate of Kincorth, on which the improvements embraced in this report
have been executed, forms a part of the eastern extremity of the Grampians.
It lies in the parish of Nigg, Kincardineshire, and is from two to three
miles distant from the market-cross of Aberdeen.
On acquiring the property in September 1842, the reporter resolved to
attempt its improvement. Obstacles, by many deemed almost insuperable,
abounded; but Aberdeen, where hundreds of men were unemployed, was near, and
wages were low; and thus a more favourable time for the attempt was not
likely to occur.
The property consists of fertile haugh land, extending along the south side
of the river Dee, and a steep bank of old arable land rising from it. This
bank of land is succeeded by a hill, lying about 250 feet above the level of
the river, both fronting the north. It also consists of an almost level
valley or plain, stretching along the bottom of the hill to the west; and on
the south there stands another hill, now planted, the elevation of which is
some 350 feet above the level of the sea.
The operations on the plain and the hill first mentioned are now reported
The reporter found the plain in a state of nature. It was altogether
useless, producing only heath and whins, amongst which, in many parts, a
blade of grass could scarcely be detected. After a fall of rain, it could be
traversed neither by man nor by beast, without risk. On its surface, where
not covered with large fixed stones (whinstones,) which all around met the
eye, presenting the appearance of one entire mass of rock, were a few inches
of loam or peaty earth; and below, a blue sandy clay, which, at a depth of
from 3 to 4 feet, was found to change into sand. It contains about 44 acres,
and, as need not be stated, was worth nothing while in this dreary state.
In the winter of 1842, and the spring of the year following, the reporter
caused the whole of it to be hand-trenched. The depth of the operation was
16 inches; the surface-sod was taken off, (not more than 6 inches deep)
reversed, and laid flat, and equally divided in the bottom of the trench,
while the remainder of the soil and subsoil was put upon the top of the sod,
and properly levelled on the surface. Whatever stones two men with picks and
levers could move, were raised; and the numerous larger masses of rock were
bored, and blasted with gunpowder.
The contracts for trenching averaged L.7, 7s. 6d. an acre; boring and
blasting the large stones cost 3½d. a foot for inch bores, and 5d. for
larger bores, exclusive of gunpowder; the average, including gunpowder,
being about L.6 an acre.
Stones being superabundant, it was desirable, as regarded both economy and
use, to employ as many as possible in the several operations on the
property; and accordingly, and at the same time to dry the ground the more
effectually, the drains were made 5 feet deep and 27 inches wide, with an
eye 9 inches square in the bottom, and filled above with small stones, till
within 18 inches of the surface of the ground. The expense was 3½d. a yard,
or L.4 an acre.
Substantial stone dykes, dividing the ground into ten fields, were next
erected. These are 4½ feet high, and are built in regular courses over
covered drains, level with the bottom of the trench which is filled to the
surface with small stones. The expense, including the cutting of the
foundation and removing stones, was 10d. a yard. The fields are small,
averaging 4 acres—the reporter having been desirous as well to use as many
stones in the dykes as was compatible with neatness, as to divide his
property into farms comprehending from 40 to 70 acres. Such, in a town
locality, are found to be more advantageous than farms of greater extent.
Early in the spring of 1843 these fields were ready for the plough; and,
after having been for a time exposed to the action of the air and frost, and
abundantly manured with Aberdeen police dung and lime, (30 cubic yards of
the one, and 8½ bolls—51 bushels, of the other, being given to the acre,)
they were sown with oats. The crop was sold upon the ground, at prices
averaging L.9 an acre. Five of the fields were sown with grass, and from the
other five fields a second crop of oats (sown out with grass) was taken,
which was also sold upon the ground for about the same price. The grass was
luxuriant, and was sold for L.6 an acre. The subsequent crops have been very
heavy. The ground presents the appearance of having long been successfully
cultivated. It is a sandy blue clay, open soil, slightly mixed with peat
You can read the rest of this account at
You can get to the other articles at
Book of Scottish Story
Kindly sent in to us by John Henderson
The Book of Scottish Story
Historical, Humorous, Legendary, Imaginative
by Standard Scottish Writers Published by Thomas D. Morison, 1896
This week we have the story of "The Lily of Liddisdale" by Professor Wilson
and "The Unlucky Present" by Robert Chambers.
Here is how "The Lily of Liddisdale" starts...
The country all around rang with the beauty of Amy Gordon; and, although it
was not known who first bestowed upon her the appellation, yet now she bore
no other than the Lily of Liddisdale. She was the only child of a shepherd,
and herself a shepherdess. Never had she been out of the valley in which she
was born; but many had come from the neighbouring districts just to look
upon her as she rested with her flock on the hill-side, as she issued
smiling from her father's door, or sat in her serener loveliness in the kirk
on Sabbath-day. Sometimes there are living beings in nature as beautiful as
in romance; reality surpasses imagination; and we see breathing,
brightening, and moving before our eyes, sights dearer to our hearts than
any we ever beheld in the land of sleep.
It was thus that all felt who looked on the Lily of Liddisdale. She had
grown up under the dews, and breath, and light of heaven, among the solitary
hills; and now that she had attained to perfect womanhood, nature rejoiced
in the beauty that gladdened the stillness of these undisturbed glens. Why
should this one maiden have been created lovelier than all others? In what
did her surpassing loveliness consist? None could tell; for had the most
imaginative poet described this maiden, something that floated around her,
an air of felt but unspeakable grace and lustre, would have been wanting in
his picture. Her face was pale, yet tinged with such a faint and leaf-like
crimson, that though she well deserved the name of the Lily, yet was she at
times also like unto the Rose. When asleep, or in silent thought, she was
like the fairest of all the lilied brood; but, when gliding along the braes,
or singing her songs by the river-side, she might well remind one of that
other brighter and more dazzling flower. Amy Gordon knew that she was
beautiful. She knew it from the eyes that in delight met hers, from the
tones of so many gentle voices, from words of affection from the old, and
love from the young, from the sudden smile that met her when, in the
morning, she tied up at the little mirror her long raven hair, and from the
face and figure that looked up to her when she stooped to dip her pitcher in
the clear mountain-well. True that she was of lowly birth, and that her
manners were formed in a shepherd's hut, and among shepherdesses on the
hill. But one week passed in the halls of the highly-born would have
sufficed to hide the little graceful symptoms of her humble lineage, and to
equal her in elegance with those whom in beauty she had far excelled.
The sun and the rain had indeed touched her hands, but nature had shaped
them delicate and small. Light were her footsteps upon the verdant turf, and
through the birchwood glades and down the rocky dells she glided or bounded
along, with a beauty that seemed at once native and alien there, like some
creature of another clime that still had kindred with this—an Oriental
antelope among the roes of a Scottish forest.
Amy Gordon had reached her nineteenth summer, and as yet she knew of love
only as she had read of it in old Border songs and ballads. These ancient
ditties were her delight; and her silent soul was filled with wild and
beautiful traditions. In them love seemed, for the most part, something sad,
and, whether prosperous or unhappy, alike terminating in tears. In them the
young maiden was spoken of as dying in her prime, of fever, consumption, or
a pining heart; and her lover, a gallant warrior, or a peaceful shepherd,
killed in battle, or perishing in some midnight storm. In them, too, were
sometimes heard blessed voices whispering affection beneath the greenwood
tree, or among the shattered cliffs overgrown with light-waving trees in
some long, deep, solitary glen. To Amy Gordon, as she chanted to herself, in
the blooming or verdant desert, all these various traditionary lays, love
seemed a kind of beautiful superstition belonging to the memory of the dead.
With such tales she felt a sad and pleasant sympathy; but it was as with
something far remote—although at times the music of her own voice, as it
gave an affecting expression to feelings embodied in such artless words,
touched a chord within her heart, that dimly told her that heart might one
day have its own peculiar and overwhelming love.
The summer that was now shining had been calm and sunny beyond the memory of
the oldest shepherd. Never had nature seemed so delightful to Amy's eyes and
to Amy's heart; and never had she seemed so delightful to the eyes and the
hearts of all who beheld her with her flock. Often would she wreathe the
sprigs of heather round her raven ringlets, till her dark hair was
brightened with a galaxy of richest blossoms. Or dishevelling her tresses,
and letting fall from them that shower of glowing and balmy pearls, she
would bind them up again in simpler braiding, and fix on the silken folds
two or three water-lilies, large, massy, and whiter than the snow. Necklaces
did she wear in her playful glee, of the purple fruit that feeds the small
birds in the moors, and beautiful was the gentle stain then visible over the
blue veins of her milk-white breast. So were floating by the days of her
nineteenth summer among the hills. The evenings she spent by the side of her
greyheaded father—and the old man was blessed. Her nights passed in a world
of gentle dreams.
But, though Amy Gordon knew not yet what it was to love, she was herself the
object of as deep, true, tender, and passionate love, as ever swelled and
kindled within a human breast. Her own cousin, Walter Harden, now lived and
would have died for her, but had not hitherto ventured to tell his passion.
He was a few years older than her, and had long loved her with the gentle
purity of a brother's affection. Amy ad no brother of her own, and always
called Walter Harden by that endearing name. That very name of brother had
probably so familiarised her heart towards him, that never had she thought
of him, even for a single moment, in any other light. But, although he too
called Amy sister, his heart burned with other feelings, and he must win her
to be his bride, and possess her as his wife, or die. When she was a mere
child he had led her by the hand—when a fair girl he had in his arms lifted
her across the swollen burns, and over the snow-drifts—now that she was a
woman he had looked on her in silence, but with a soul overcharged with a
thousand thoughts, hopes, and desires, which he feared to speak of to her
ear; for he knew, and saw, and felt, in sorrow, that she loved him but as a
brother. He knew, however, that she loved none else; and in that—and that
alone—was his hope,—so he at last determined to woo the Lily of Liddisdale,
and win her, in her beauty and fragrance, to bloom within his house.
You can read the rest of this story at
The index page of the book where you can read the other stories is at
Reminiscences of Old Scots Folk
By T. Ratcliffe Barnett (1913)
I might add there are a number of interesting wee colour pictures in this
publication. As it says in the book title...
TO THE OLD SCOTS FOLK WHO DELIGHT TO HEAR THEIR MOTHER TONGUE, AND WHOSE
HEARTS STILL TURN TO THE LAND OF HOME.
Stories added this week are...
Chapter V - Ailie Gordon's Christening Robe, and a Piece of Bread and Cheese
Chapter VI - Heather Jock, the Gaberlunzie Man
Chapter VII - The Shadow among the Hills
Here is how "Heather Jock, the Gaberlunzie Man" starts...
"Heather Jock's noo awa',
Heather Jock's noo awa';
The muircock noo may crousely craw
Since Heather Jock's noo awa'."
HIS NAME WAS WILLIAM BRODIE, BUT over all the westland he was known as
Heather Jock. For "Heather Jock" was his favourite song, and there are few
towns and villages in the west where it was not known. To suit the action to
the song, Jock wore a kenspeckle bonnet all over with feathers and brooches
and bonny blooms of heather. The bonnet had been at Waterloo on the head of
a gallant Scots Grey, when the brave fellows charged at the gallop against
the troops of Bonaparte. And when the trooper came home he tossed his busby
to Heather Jock for an old song. Jock decked it out with heather, which he
gathered on the Gleniffer Braes. He added tinsel brooches, which for many a
day he carried in his wallet for the country lasses to buy; and with the
brass strap beneath his chin, and the geegaws shaking and shining among the
heathery headgear above, he would toss his head at the women and bairns
right gallantly when he was singing his songs.
But Heather Jock had his wand of office too, as large and gorgeous as any
bishop's crozier. A long strong stick it was, with a heart-shaped disc
fastened on the top,and seven or eight small bells below which he jangled
merrily when he sang. On one side of the disc was painted a gamecock
crowing, and this was doubtless the symbol of his own song:—
"The muircock noo may crousely craw
Since Heather Jock's noo awa'."
In his bien days Jock wore a long blue coat with flying tails and brass
buttons—so with the heather bonnet, the long bell-bedecked stick, and the
blue-tailed coat, there was none so gay as he at country fairs or feeing
But Jock himself was far more namely than his dress. A douce, temperate,
decent body, well-built and soople, with a face that was a cross betwixt a
Roman Emperor and a Red Indian chief's, his clear blue eye could search a
crowd like a lantern on a dark night.
Like many another wise-like man, Heather Jock was a Paisley body, born at
Seestu in the year 1802. He tried the weaving shop and the calico printing
as a laddie, but the gangrel blood was in his veins, so he took to the road
with a pack on his back, and joined the ranks of the gaberlunzie men. Like
other folk, he fell in love with his own "Bonnie Annie Laurie," and at Brig
o' Weir set up his house. His homecoming was aye to the Brig o' Weir until
he himself, without any of his oft-repeated play-acting of the part, "lay
doun to dee"; and so those of us who were born in the next parish, among the
habbies of Kilbarchan, have often seen and heard tell of Heather Jock in the
days of long ago.
But the pack failed, because Jock, in his simplicity, was oftener sold than
his wee bit wares. He took to the life of a stravaiging singer then, and
went the round of all the west-country fairs and markets. He was never a
robustious singer, but what he lacked in voice he made up in dress and
play-acting, and could suit the action to the word better than most.
I can hear his high-set, weak, quavering voice yet, as the old gaberlunzie,
with a group of open-mouthed, wondering bairns round him, would sing the
last line of "Annie Laurie," and then lie quietly down with his eyes shut on
the dusty road between Johnstone and Kilbarchan, not far from Storey's
sweetie shop. Ah, Heather Jock, there were many of us standing round you on
the road that thought you were away with it altogether, and we were well
pleased when at last you opened your eyes and got on to your feet again! For
bairns are believing creatures.
You can read the rest of this story at
You can get to the index page where you'll find the other stories to read at
And that's all for now and hope you all have a good weekend :-)
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