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9th January 2009


Alastair McIntyreElectric Scotland's Weekly Email Newsletter

Electric Scotland - The No.1 Scottish History Site The Aois Community brings you message forums and lots of community services
Electric Scotland's Article Service where you can add your own stories and articles  Send a postcard from our ScotCards service

 

Dear Friend

It's your Electric Scotland newsletter meaning the weekend is nearly here :-)

You can view what's new this week on Electric Scotland at http://www.electricscotland.com/rss/whatsnew.php and you can unsubscribe to this newsletter by clicking on the link at the foot of this newsletter.

See our Calendar of Scottish Events around the world at http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/calendar_help.htm

CONTENTS
--------
Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
Scottish Clans and Families
Poetry and Stories
Book of Scottish Story
History of Glasgow
The Scottish Historical Review
Statesmen and Politicians, from Scots in America
Old Time Customs
MacKenzie, Selkirk, Simpson
Guide to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland (New Book)
Among the Women, from The Scot in America
A Chat with Jim Osborne
This Is What Christmas Is All About
Ebenezer Bain (New Book)


ELECTRIC SCOTLAND NEWS
---------------------
Well I confess my enthusiasm is not high right now due to getting a cold. It's been many years since I last had a cold and forgot all about the general misery involved in dealing with it. Hacking cough and sore ribs, running nose, etc.

The other day despite the cold I had to get some groceries in and it was amazing that when I went into the Grocery store is was all clear outside only to find when I came out the car totally covered in snow. As fast as I cleared the windows they were being covered again.

Anyway... got in lots of things to drink fortified with vitamin c and soups as I don't have much of an appetite right now.

-----

A note from Steve...

As many have noticed the Message Boards have been down for a bit. I was working on it and ran into a few problems that were a bit unexpected. After some review it was decided that it would be a good time to bring up all the newest vBullettin software, as well as all the extras, and run it thru some in-depth testing BEFORE bringing the system into a Production Model. In addition we planned on instituting the $5.00US one-off fee for the system to offset all the time for the Spam Control on the system (as was previously discussed).

In a nutshell I will be spending the next week or so doing a complete rebuild of the system and I will be coming to a few of you to do some testing and such with me while I Crash the system on purpose and ensure it can be rebuilt without any problems. This entire process should take a week or less unless I run into any problems.

I apologize for the problems and make a note that anyone who wishes to volunteer to be a Scottish Guinea Pig should drop me a note at innkeeper@electricscotland.org

-----

On the same subject... I am of the opinion that I'd prefer our community system to be smaller but safe so I'm completely in accord with a one off charge of $5.00 as this makes it highly unlikely that a spammer will pay anything let alone give out their credit card details just to spam the system. I'm perfectly aware that there are many free systems out there and hugely bigger that we are. They do however have a large staff to monitor spam and such like but we don't.

Also... having had some discussions with Steve we want to ensure that should the system ever go down we will have it fully backup within 24 hours. Being down for weeks is just not acceptable and hence this testing that Steve is going through.

When back up we will be enabling features that were disabled due to the bandwidth problems so hopefully this will make the service even better :-)


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 or on our site menu.


THE FLAG IN THE WIND
--------------------
This weeks Flag is compiled by Mark Hirst. As usual he gives us a couple of in-depth articles one of which cover the current Israel/Gaza situation.

In Peter's cultural section he's telling us what Robert Burns is worth to Scotland...

Possibly the last thing on anyones mind when sitting down to enjoy a Burns Supper is just how economically valuable Robert Burns is to his native land. But thanks to Lesley Campbell, an economist with the World Bank, we know that the continuing appeal of our National Bard is worth some £157 million to the Scottish economy. A remarkable figure when you consider that the Bard, on his death in 1796, left £14 in debt. But like the Elvis industry which has grown up around Gracelands, from his death onwards, the Burns cottage at Alloway became a shrine to his memory and is still a mecca to his world-wide admirers. The Burns connection is worth some £100 million to his native Ayrshire economy alone with a further £50 million or so being generated Scotland-wide through visitor spending and Burns Night fare. Supply of haggis comes into its own over the Burns season. With the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns birth this year, his annual worth to the Scottish economy should be on a steeply rising curve, giving Scots yet another good reason to Toast the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns.

We stay in Ayrshire for this week's recipe - Ayrshire Shortbread - a delicious shortbread which has the added delight of cream. Very appropriate as Ayrshire is famous for its milk production.

Ayrshire Shortbread

Ingredients: 8 oz (225 g) flour; 1 tbsp rice flour; 4 oz (100 g) butter; 4 oz (100 g) caster sugar; yolk of egg; 2 tbsp cream

Method: Preheat the oven to 350 deg F/ 180 deg C or gas mark 4

Sieve the flour and rice lour together into a bowl. Rub in the butter and add sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the egg yolk and cream. Knead together lightly to make a fairly stiff dough. Divide into three pieces and roll into sausage-shapes about one-and-a half inch (4 cm) in diameter. Put into a cool place and leave for several hours or overnight. Cut into rounds a quarter inch thick ( 1/2 cm), place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.

You can read the Flag, listen to the Scots Language, enjoy the Scots Wit and lots more at http://www.scotsindependent.org

Christina McKelvie's Weekly diary is available at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/mckelvie/090108.htm


The Scottish Nation
-------------------
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.

Since the last newsletter we've added...

Crooks, Davidson, Dennistoun and Denoon.

An interesting account of Crooks which you can read here...

CROOKS, a surname peculiarly Scottish. A gentleman of this name, a native of Scotland, Mr. Ramsay Crooks, latterly president of the American Fur Company, New York city, formed one of the celebrated expedition to the north-west coast of North America, in the years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814, conducted under the auspices of Mr. John Jacob Astor, an enterprising merchant of New York, and of which Mr. Washington Irving has given an account in his Astoria. He had previously been a trader with the Indians of the south, and had business relations with Mr. Astor. Fuller and more correct details are contained in a work by M. Gabrielle Franchere of Montreal, one of those employed by Mr. Astor in founding his colony, a translation of which was published at New York in 1854. In it the name of Mr. Ramsay Crooks, as one of the most active of the adventurers, finds honourable mention. After enduring all sorts of fatigue, dangers, and heir-breadth escapes, he, as well as Messrs. R. M’Lelland and Robert Stuart, who were also engaged in the expedition, finally reached St. Louis and New York. Mr. Crooks was dead previous to Nov. 20, 1860. His son, also named Ramsay Crooks, was long a merchant of high standing in New York. For some details relative to the expedition above referred to, see life of Donald Mackenzie, post.

You can read all these entries at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/nation/index.htm


Clan and Family Information
---------------------------
Got in the Clan Ross newsletter for November 2008 at
http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/newsletters/ross/index.htm

Of interest to MacIntyre's we have a small review of "A Snowball in Summer". A poetry book by Lorn MacIntyre in which he had provided his poem "A Snowball in Summer" for us to enjoy. You can read this at http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/m/macintyre/snowball.htm


Poetry and Stories
------------------
John also sent in another poem, "Hogmanay an Ne'erday" at http://www.electricscotland.com/poetry/doggerel297.htm

And of course more articles in our Article Service at http://www.electricscotland.com/article


Book of Scottish Story
----------------------
Our thanks to John Henderson for sending this in for us.

This week have added...

Bowed Joseph

and

Part 1 of The Laird of Wineholm

Here is how Bowed Joseph starts...

A Last-Century Edinburgh Character
BY ROBERT CHAMBERS, LL.D.

The mobs of Edinburgh have ever been celebrated as among the fiercest in Europe. The one which accomplished the death of Porteous, as narrated in the tale of the Heart of Midlothian, was a most surprising instance of popular vengeance, almost surpassing the bounds of belief; though it must sink considerably in our admiration, when we reflect upon the power and ferocity which at all periods have characterised the actions of this monstrous and danger-fraught collective. The time has been, when, in the words of the old song, "all Edinburgh" would "rise by thousands three," and present such a strength to the legal authorities, that all opposition to their capricious will would be in vain. In the younger days of many now living, even the boys of the High School, and of Heriot’s Hospital, could erect themselves into a formidable body, equally resistless and indomitable. It is a fact, ludicrous enough too, that when the lads of these different schools were engaged in any of those squabbles, formerly so frequent and fatal, between them, they always showed a singular degree of political sagacity when assailed by the town-guard, in immediately joining their strengths, and combining against the common foe, when for the most part they succeeded in driving them from the scene of action. When such was the power of boys and striplings in this ill-protected city, and such the disorderliness of holiday assemblies, there is little left for wonder at the ravages committed by a mob formed of adults, actuated by violent feelings of jealousy, bigotry, and revenge.

Of this uncontrollable omnipotence of the populace, the annals of Edinburgh present many fearful records. At the various periods of the Reformation and the Revolution, the Chapel of Roslin was destroyed by a mob, whose purpose neither cooled nor evaporated during a walk of eight miles. James the Sixth was besieged and threatened in his courts, and in the midst of his Parliaments, by a rabble of mechanics, who, but for the stout walls of the Tolbooth, might perhaps have taken his life. The fine chapel of Holyrood-house was pillaged of not only its furniture and other valuables, but also of the still more sacred bones which lay within its precincts, by a mob which rose at the Revolution, and did such deeds of violence and rapine as fanaticism and ignorance alone could have excited. At the unfortunate issue of the Dover expedition, at the execution of Captain Green, at the Union, and at many other events of less importance, the populace of Edinburgh distinguished themselves by insurrection and acts of outrage, such as have alone found parallels, perhaps, in the various transactions of the French Revolution. Even so late as 1812, there happened a foray of a most appalling nature; the sports of an occasion of rejoicing were converted into scenes of frightful riot, unexampled as they were unlooked for. The fatal melancholy catastrophe of this event, had, however, the good effect of quenching the spirit of licentiousness and blackguardism in the Edinburgh youth, and finally undermined that system of unity and promptitude in action and in council by which its mobs had so often triumphed in their terrible resolutions.

In this fierce democracy, there once arose a mighty leader, who contrived, by means of great boldness, sagacity, and other personal merits, to subject the rabble to his will, and to elect himself dictator of all its motives and exploits. The person who thus found means to collect all the monstrous heads of the hydra within the grand grasp of his command was a little decrepit being, about four feet high, almost deprived of legs, and otherwise deformed. His name was Joseph Smith, or more commonly, "Bowed Joseph”. He lived in Leith Wynd, and his trade as a private citizen was a buff belt maker. This singular being—low, miserable, and contemptible as he appeared—might be said to have had at one time the complete command of the metropolis of Scotland. Whenever any transaction took place in the Town Council which Joseph considered to be of very improper tendency ; whenever meal rose to whatever Joseph considered to be an improper price; whenever anything occurred in the city which did not accord with Joseph’s idea of right and wrong; in short, "when they werna gude bairns,” this hero could, in the course of an hour, collect a mob of ten thousand persons, all alike ready to execute his commands, or to disperse at his bidding. For this purpose, he is said to have employed a drum; and never surely had " fiery cross " of the Highland chieftain such an effect upon the warlike devotion of his clan, as "Bowed Joseph’s drum" had upon the finder spirits of the Edinburgh rabble.

The rest of this story can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/books/story/story73.htm

The other stories can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/books/story/index.htm


The History of Glasgow
----------------------
By Robert Renwick LL.D. and Sir John Lindsay L.D. in 3 volumes (1921)

We have now completed this account with...

Chapter LI
The Last Years of the Old Regime

Chapter LII
Reform

Here is how Chapter LI starts...

THE ten years which followed the visit of George IV. to Scotland were the last of the old regime in the country and in Glasgow. With the passing of the Parliamentary Reform Bill in 1832, and of the Burgh Reform Bill in 1833, the system of government by aristocracy came to an end, and the great experiment of government by democracy was begun. It will be the business of the historian of the future to compare the efficiency of the two systems, and to ascertain how far the glowing hopes have been realized of the enthusiasts for the new order who, like the poet Tennyson, foresaw a noble future of "freedom broadening slowly down from precedent to precedent."

Meantime, so far as Glasgow was concerned, those last ten years, in which the affairs of the city were managed by a "close corporation," a Town Council which elected its own successors without any popular voting, were years of wise and steady administration. In those years the Town Council rebuilt two of the city churches, St. Enoch's and the Ramshorn, re-named from that time St. David's, at the request of the minister, the Rev. Dr. Ranken; as a heritor in Gorbals it contributed to the rebuilding of the parish church of Govan, and it undertook an extensive repair of the Cathedral, towards which the Government was induced to make a grant of £3000. [Burgh Records, 15th Feb., 28th Dec., 1827; 13th Jan., 1824; 8th Sept., 1825; 18th Feb., 1827; 5th Mar., 1824.] It also erected a new stone bridge at the foot of Saltmarket, and arranged for the rebuilding of the bridge at the foot of Jamaica Street, this last at a cost of £27,979 5s. 8d. [Burgh Records, 4th Feb., 1825; 5th March, 1833; vol. xi. p. 686.] It took an active part in encouraging the development of railways, which was presently to become one of the most outstanding .features of the time. Though it refused to support the project of a railway from the Monkland coalfields to Kirkintilloch, which lay in reality outside its sphere of interest, [Ibid. 5th Mar., 23rd Mar., 1824. This was the first successful locomotive railway line in Scotland—(Mackinnon, Social and Industrial Hist., p. 132) and the first instalment of the great North British system.] it petitioned Parliament in favour of the Glasgow and Garnkirk line, the earliest part of the great Caledonian Railway system, [Ibid. 4th May, 1827.] and in favour of a railway and tunnel for conveying coal from the north-east of the city to the Broomielaw [Ibid. 14th Jan., 13th Feb., 1830; 2nd Feb., 1831.]; it opposed the scheme of the Glasgow and Paisley Railway to cross the river and invade the city streets, [Ibid. 2nd Feb.,1831.] a scheme which was nevertheless carried out fifty years later; and it took action in Parliament against the Pollok and Govan Railway Bill, which threatened to damage the property of the city and of Hutcheson's Hospital on the south side of the river. [Ibid. 22nd Sept., 1831 ; 18th Jan., 1832.] In this last case the Town Council shrewdly foresaw that it would one day wish to use, for an extension of the harbour, the Windmillcroft, opposite the Broomielaw, which the railway projectors proposed to convert into a coal terminus. At a later day the Kingston Dock, Glasgow's earliest harbour basin, was constructed on the spot. At the same time the city fathers were quick to realize the advantages of a proposed railway between Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Leith, and petitioned both the House of Commons and the House of Lords in favour of the undertaking. [Ibid. 16th Mar., 1832.]

Among internal developments, the fashionable terrace, Monteith Row, facing Glasgow Green and looking over the Clyde to the Cathkin Braes, had been named in compliment to the Lord Provost, the great mill-owner, Henry Monteith, and its area was steadily feued and built upon by substantial citizens. [Ibid. 8th July, 1819; 21st Aug., 1823; 6th Aug., 1824.]

You can read the rest of this chapter at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/glasgow/glasgow3_51.htm

The index page of the book is at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/glasgow/historyndx.htm


The Scottish Historical Review
------------------------------
I have added the last of the articles from these publications...

Cant Family
Inquiries have been made about the Scottish family of Cant in connection with the parentage of Hans or John Cant or Kant of Memel, who was grandfather of the philosopher Immanuel Kant and was (as slated by Immanuel) a Scotsman. The name occurs in Scottish records of the fifteenth century as connected with Edinburgh and Dunfermline.

Communion Tokens
During the past few years a great deal of interest has been taken in the old Communion Tokens used in various Scotch churches.

You can read these articles at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/articles/review


Old Time Customs
----------------
Memories and Traditions and Other Essays
By John Burgess Calkin, M. A. LL.D. (1918)

Have added further chapters...

Chapter VI
Cups that Cheer and yet Inebriate

Chapter VII
The Surprise Party

Chapter VIII
Fashions

Chapter IX
Signs and Charms

Chapter X
Disease and Remedy

Here is how the account of "Cups that Cheer and yet Inebriate"...

THE DESIRE for stimulants seems to be characteristic of the human family in all ages and in all lands. Our immediate ancestors, including all classes of society, were no exception. Indeed, the use of intoxicants was more common in their day than it is at the present time. It was the custom throughout the Province for dealers in general merchandise to keep wines and rum which they sold by the gal-on. In 1786, when Halifax had a population of about three thousand, there were, according to reliable statement, "upwards of one hundred Iicensed houses, and perhaps as many more which retailed liquors without license; so that the business of one half of the town was to sell rum and of the other half to drink it."

Rum was chiefly from the West Indies. It was rich in alcohol and was usually diluted with water before being sold at retail. Nor was the traffic considered at all disreputable. Nearly everybody used it,--some as an every day beverage; others occasionally, as in haying time, raising buildings and on social occasions to welcome a friend. The clergyman, when calling on his people, was not thought to be properly entertained without being offered "some thing to drink."

It is related that in a certain part of the Province of Nova Scotia a clergyman announced at the Lord's Day service that he intended to visit a certain section of his congregation on the following day. On Monday morning, meeting a boy on the street, he said to him, "Does your father know that I will be at his house this afternoon to catechise you children?" "O, yes," replied the lad, holding up a bottle, "and I am now going to the store to get it filled."

The following story is told of the rum traffic in another part of the Province. The rum cask was getting low and the dealer drove away early in the morning to a neighboring seaport to see if new supplies had arrived by a vessel that had just come in from the West Indies. On his return home he asked his clerk how the rum had held out. "Fine, I put several pails of water in it" was the reply. "Ah" gruffly retorted the merchant "you've spoilt it. I put in as much as it would stand before I went away."

Another story of the same merchant will show how the day's work began. On entering his store in the morning his salutation was—`Have you sanded the sugar?" "Yes, Sir." "Have you watered the rum?" "Yes, Sir." "Come in to prayers."

You can the rest of this chapter at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/articles/oldcustoms6.htm

You can read the others at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/articles/oldcustoms.htm


MacKenzie, Selkirk, Simpson
---------------------------
The Makers of Canada, By Rev. George Bryce, D.D. (1910)

We're working at the MacKenzie biography and have added the following chapters this week...

Chapter VI - A Wider Horizon
Chapter VII - Winter on Peace River
Chapter VIII - Over the Great Divide
Chapter IX - First to the Pacific and Return
Chapter X - Fame Achieved and the Ebbing Tide

Here is how "Winter on Peace River" starts...

HIS object in Great Britain having been gained, Alexander Mackenzie returned during the summer in time for the great meeting at Grand Portage in August; and the affairs of the traders being arranged for another year, he hurried back to Athabaska to meet his cousin and talk over future plans. His design, until then kept secret, was made known. He had early in the season sent word to Fort Chipewyan that a small party should be sent on to Peace River to cut square timber for a house, go on with its construction, and surround it with palisades.

This was not the first expedition to Peace River, for it will be remembered Alexander Mackenzie sent, in 1788, trader Boyer to found a post on the Peace River, where the soil is exceedingly fertile and the climate mild enough to allow the growth of turnips, carrots, parsnips, and potatoes. The spot selected by Boyer had in the four intervening years already gained the name of the "Old Establishment."

On October 10th, 1792, Mackenzie, having arranged to leave Fort Chipewyan under his cousin Roderick's control, prepared to push on to his winter quarters on Peace River. Steering west his two canoes, which were laden with his men and the necessary articles for trade, Mackenzie came to the Vail River, which afforded a passage to Peace River, and in two days was on his way up the Peace River itself. Peace Point was soon reached, this name having been given to a portion of the bank of the river formerly in dispute between the Kinistilicaux (Crees) and the Beaver Indians. Here the quarrel had been settled, and the spot was henceforth memorable. The falls of Peace River, twenty feet high, were avoided by a portage, and the party soon came to the Old Establishment. Mr. Finlay, the Nor'-West trader who had just reached the fort over which he was placed, was overtaken by Mackenzie's party.

On the tenth day after his departure from Fort Chipewyan Alexander Mackenzie reached Finlay's Fort, and was received with the firing of guns and. much demonstration. About this fort, under Finlay's charge, there was an Indian population of three hundred, sixty of whom were hunters. Waiting for two or three days Mackenzie found them coming in till their full numbers were well-nigh reached. During the whole summer it was the custom of the Nor'-westers to give no spirits to the Indians, but now on the approach of winter they made known their desires to the great white chief. Mackenzie thus describes his method of dealing with them:-

"As they very soon expressed their desire of the expected regale, I called them together to the number of forty-two hunters, or men capable of bearing arms, to offer some advice, which would be equally advantageous to them and to us, and I strengthened my admonition with a nine-gallon cask of reduced rum, and a quantity of tobacco. At the same time I observed that as I should not often visit them I had instanced a greater degree of liberality than they had been accustomed to."

You can read the rest of this chapter at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/canada/makers/mackenzie7.htm

You can read the other chapters at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/canada/makers/


Guide to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
----------------------------------------------
By George Anderson and Peter Anderson of Inverness (1850)

This is a new book we're starting and here is the Preface for you to read here...

The Authors having been induced to remodel this Guide, by commencing the Routes between Inverness and the South, not at Inverness as a central point, as in previous editions, but at the opposite extremities, so as better to serve the purpose of the stranger visiting the Highlands, necessarily had to rewrite these portions; and they, with some confidence, anticipate that these alterations produce a very material improvement in all respects. They have again visited several parts of the country, and made personal acquaintance with some other districts which they had not had previous opportunity of inspecting for themselves—thus giving freshness and novelty to the narrative. They have also subjected the whole work to so thorough a revision, and have introduced so much new matter into their pages, that they are encouraged to hope that it will now be found not only a very complete Guide Book to the Highlands and Islands, even in their most remote and sequestered byeways, but also a readable, as well as comprehensive compilation, for the closet or the fireside. To accommodate the Volume to the wants of Tourists throughout the whole of Scotland, a condensed Sketch of the Lowlands has been added, by which the Authors have endeavoured to direct the Traveller's notice to the points of most interest, as well as to promote his acquaintance with the subjects it passes in rapid survey before him.

It is with much gratification the Authors acknowledge the prompt attention they have received from the numerous parties they have applied to for details of information, for this as of former Editions. They have felt called upon already to express their special sense of obligation to the Reverend Charles Clouston of Stromness, in Orkney, for his description of the Orkney Islands—to the late Mr. George Sutherland Taylor of Dornoch —and to Mr. Robert Sutherland Taylor, sheriff-substitute of the eastern division of Ross-shire, by whom the nucleus of the Branch Routes to the North and West of Sutherlandshire was furnished ; and to the Reverend Dr. M`Intosh Mackay of Dunoon, who has kindly supplied the greater part of the description of Islay. But they cannot with propriety continue to avail themselves of the labours of these gentlemen without renewed acknowledgment. Through the kindness of Mr. Thomas Fraser, sheriff-substitute of Skye, several gaps in the delineation of the scenery of that island will now be found to be filled up; and the Authors are indebted to Mr. George May, resident engineer of the Caledonian Canal, for the amended lucid history and account of that national undertaking—the most full and complete yet presented to the public. The details of the Roman Camps at Ardoch, and other particulars regarding Strathearn, were communicated by a gentleman conversant with the antiquities of the neighbourhood—Mr. Thomas Soutar, writer, Crieff.

Though the plan of the first Edition led to greater use being made, than in subsequent Editions, of the benefits of the scientific aid, which the kindness of Drs. Hibbert, Sir W. J. Hooker, Sir Roderick Impey Murcheson, and the Reverend George Gordon of Birnie, put at their command, the Authors would again tender their grateful acknowledgments to these gentlemen. This Edition is enriched with a valuable synopsis of the Geology of Morayshire by Alexander Robertson, Esq., of Elgin.

In conclusion, the Authors would repeat their request, that any inaccuracies or defects may be pointed out to them, in order to future correction.

INVERNESS,
6h August 1850.

We now have up the first 3 chapters which can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/travel/guide/


Among the Women
---------------
A chapter from the book "The Scot in America".

The chapter starts...

IN the course of the present work we have several times mentioned the name of women who have, for some laudable reason or other, acquired publicity or deserved remembrance. But even with the mention of these, scant justice has been done to the claims of "the lassies" to a share in all that has made the Scottish name honorable in America. It may not therefore be inappropriate to make the ladies the text for one chapter in this book, and in the few names we will mention we are sure it will be seen that the fair sex has not been behind the other in good deeds and kindly ways. It is, of course, difficult to get information regarding women's work, for most of them prefer to do what good they can without attracting publicity, and in the quiet of the domestic circle many matters have been suggested and planned and projected which have done grand work in the world. The Scotch-woman is naturally a housewife, bending her energies to the care of the home in which she is recognized as queen, and planning and contriving day out and day in for the comfort of those who look to her for all the pleasures which are associated with domestic life. If she be blessed with children her whole heart goes out to them, and in the development of their minds, their physical and mental progress, as well as their material welfare, she devotes herself with a degree of self-abnegation which is one of the highest and grandest tributes to the real majesty of her sex. But for having been left a widow, with a young family totally unprovided for, it is questionable if Mrs. Grant of Laggan would ever have aspired to the honors of authorship or emerged from the happy obscurity of her own fireside. That wonderful and irrepressible production of nature and art generally called "a woman with a mission" has her representatives in and out of Scotland, but as a general rule Scotswomen who have become famous have become so by force of circumstances bringing into action their innate sentiments of patriotism, charity, and love. Outside of the people of the stage and concert platform, and, of course, outside of the woman with the aforesaid mission whose vanity is the cause of all her silliness, we never yet heard of a Scotswoman who started out in life or cut out a career for herself with the idea of becoming famous or of even acquiring undue publicity. The fame which has come to so many of them has been the result of work well (lone, of service to God and humanity faithfully rendered, and of simple, trustful devotion to duty in whatever sphere and circumstances they happened to be placed.

You can read the rest of this chapter at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/america/scotinamerica_chap11.htm


A Chat with Jim Osborne
-----------------------
By Frank Shaw. Due to the authors death Frank has interviewed a good friend of the author of "Burns Illustrated" at http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/frank/osborne.htm


This Is What Christmas Is All About
-----------------------------------
I really enjoyed this story which was emailed into me and thought I would post it up on the site for others to enjoy and it can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/poetry/christmas_story.htm


Ebenezer Bain
-------------
Quite an amazing character who late in life wrote a small book of poems. He was born and brough up in Scotland and later moved to Canada. This entire book was scanned in for by John Henderson for which many thanks. You can read this at http://www.electricscotland.com/poetry/bainndx.htm


Alastair
http://www.electricscotland.com 

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