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19th June 2009


Alastair McIntyreElectric Scotland's Weekly Email Newsletter

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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. In the event the link is not clickable simply copy and paste the link into your browser.

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

CONTENTS
--------
Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
Poetry and Stories
Scottish Clans and Families
Book of Scottish Story
The Writings of John Muir
Fraser's Scottish Annual
Robert Burns Lives!
The Scottish Church
Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish
Pioneer Life in Zorra
The History of the Linlithgow and Stirlingshire Hunt 1775-1910
John Stuart Blackie (New Book)
Memoirs of a Highland Lady (New Book)
The Heather on Fire (New Complete Book)
Scotch-Irish Settlers in the Valley of Virginia


ELECTRIC SCOTLAND NEWS
----------------------
I came across a company on the web that claimed to have demographics on Electric Scotland. According to them we're the 21,327th most popular web site. We get 55% of our visitors from women and 45% from men. Our visitors age ranges are 3-11 7%, 12-17 18%, 18-34 17%, 35-49 33% and 50+ 26%. 59% of visitors have no kids and 41% have kids 0-17 years of age. In terms of earnings 23% earn between $0-30k, 28% $30-60k, 28% %60-100k and 21% $100k+. And in education 41% have no college, 43% have college and 16% are graduates. Finally 87% of our visitors are Caucasian. They also claim that 11% of our visitors account for 25% of our traffic.

I haven't a clue how they get all that but thought I'd pass it on for what it is worth :-)

I note also that our lowest traffic day is Saturday and the highest traffic days are either Monday or Tuesday.

-----

Couple of announcements about upcoming events in Scotland...

A 2 day event on Robert Burns and the Scots Diaspora which you can learn about at http://www2.napier.ac.uk/depts/pas/Staff/Burnett/burnsindex.html

This two-day conference being held at Edinburgh Napier University will explore various aspects of the Scottish migrant experience, nationalism and national identity, and the politics, language and iconography of Burns.

Homecoming Scotland Leadership Conference “Scotland and Her Diaspora – Partners for the Future” Monday July 27, 2009.

We are very pleased to announce that Michael Russell MSP, Minister for Culture,
External Affairs and Constitution has most graciously agreed to deliver the Homecoming Scotland Leadership Conference's opening address. He has also agreed to participate in the panel discussion entitled "Homecoming Scotland and The Scottish Diaspora - a Dialog". The dialog offers an unparalled opportunity for those of us active in Diaspora organizations to participate in a forum with representatives of the Scottish government and other key institutions that is designed to encourage an open exchange of views regarding way in which to enhance, for mutual benefit, the relationship that exists between Scotland and its Diaspora.

You can learn more about this event at http://www.chicago-scots.org/scottish-north-american-leadership-conference.html.

Both of these events give you the opportunity to exchange views on what Scotland should be doing to reach out to the Scots Diaspora.

-----

Started a couple of new books this week, "John Stuart Blackie" and "Memoirs of a Highland Lady". The first book is of a very interesting Scotsman but is also interesting because of the detail given about him growing up which in turn gives us an insight into what Scotland was like in his day.

The second book is also of interest as it's rare that you find a Scottish lady writing about her life and so this gives an insight into how women lived in her day. Also, The Highland lady was a clanswoman of the Rothiemurchus Grants, and is therefore of special interest to American readers, since it was from that same branch of the ancient Scottish family that Gen. Ulysses S. Grant claimed descent.

For more details on both books see below.

-----

I've also started work on a book about Marshall MacDonald of France. I discovered this book from notes in the Inverness book of him visiting his parents old home in Scotland which made me hunt for it.


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 Jim Lynch in which he is highlighting the strong growth in support for the SNP quoted from the YouGov web site. Certainly makes interesting reading.

You can read the Flag at http://www.scotsindependent.org

Christina McKelvie MSP's Weekly diary is available at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/mckelvie/090618.htm


Poetry and Stories
------------------
John sent in another poem this week...

"Fermers Maun Thole" at http://www.electricscotland.com/poetry/doggerel321.htm

You can also read other stories in our Article Service and even add your own at http://www.electricscotland.com/article


Scottish Clans and Families
---------------------------
Got in the Clan Leslie Society of New Zealand & Australia Newsletter at http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/newsletters/leslie/GFDU%20JulyAugSept2009.pdf

Got in the Clan MacKenzie Newsletter at http://www.electricscotland.com/mackenzie/images/news47.pdf


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

This week have added...

The Flitting from "My Grandfather's Farm"

Here is how it starts...

It was on the day before the flitting, or removal, that John Armour’s farm-stock, and indeed everything he had, excepting as much as might furnish a small cottage, was to he rouped. - to meet his debts. No doubt it was a heart-rending scene to all the family, though his wife considered all their losses light, when compared with her husband’s peace of mind. The great bustle of the sale, however, denied him the leisure which a just view of his condition made most to be dreaded; so that it was not till late in the evening, when all was quiet again,—his cherished possessions removed, and time allowed him to brood over his state,—that the deep feelings of vexation and despair laid hold of his spirit.

The evening was one of remarkable beauty; the birds never more rapturous, the grass never greener around the farmhouse. The turf seat on which old Hugh was wont to rest, in the corner of the little garden, was white with gowans; the willows and honeysuckles that overarched it all full of life; the air was bland, the cushat’s distant cooing very plaintive;—all but the inhabitants of the humble ,dwelling was tranquil and delighted. But they were downcast; each one pursued some necessary preparation for tomorrow’s great change, saying little, but deeply occupied with sad thoughts. Once the wife ejaculated—

"Oh, that the morn was ower!"

"Yes," said her husband, "the morn, and every morn o’ them!—but I wish I this gloaming had been stormy?

He could not settle—he could not eat—he avoided conversation; and, with his hat drawn over his brow, he traversed wearily the same paths, and did over and over again the same things. It was near bedtime, when one of the children said to her mother—

"My faither’s stan’in’ at the corner o’ the stable, and didna speak to me when I spak to him ;—gang out, mother, and bring him in.”

"If he wad but speak to me !” was the mother’s answer. She went out,—the case had become extreme,—and she ventured to argue with and reprove him.

The rest of this chapter can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/books/story/story90.htm

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


The Writings of John Muir
-------------------------
We are now on the 7th volume, The Cruise of the Corwin, and this week have added...

Chapter XIII. First Ascent of Herald Island
Chapter XIV. Approaching a Mysterious Land
Chapter XV. The Land of the White Bear
Chapter XVI. Tragedies of the Whaling Fleet
Chapter XVII. Meeting the Point Barrow Expedition
Chapter XVIII. A Siberian Reindeer Herd
Chapter XIX. Turned back by Storms and Ice

Here is a bit from chapter XIX...

Steamer Corwin, Arctic Ocean,
Between Herald Shoals and Point Hope,
September 8, 1881.

ON the morning of August 27, having taken on board a full supply of coal and water, and put the ship in as good condition as possible, we left Plover Bay and turned once more toward Wrangell Land.

In passing Marcus Bay, a short distance up the coast from Plover Bay, the Captain wished to make a landing to give some instructions to our Chukchi interpreter and dog-driver, who lives here, concerning the dogs and sleds that were taken at Tapkan. The weather was too thick, however, to allow this, and the ship was put on her course for the western Diomede Island, where we arrived, against a stiff head wind and through thick fog, shortly after noon on the twenty-eighth. We lay at anchor for a few hours, while the wind from the Arctic came dashing and swirling over the island in squally gusts.

In the meantime, while waiting to see whether the wind would moderate before we proceeded through the strait, we went ashore and greatly enjoyed a stroll through the streets and houses of the curious village here. It is built on the bald, rugged side of the island, where the slope is almost cliff-like in steepness and rockiness. The winter houses are wood- lined burrows underground, entered by a tunnel, and warm and snug like the nest of a fieldmouse beneath a sod, though terribly thick and rancid as to the air contained in them. The summer houses are square skin boxes above ground, and set on long stilt poles. Neither the one nor the other look in the least like houses or huts of any sort. But those made of skin are the queerest human nests conceivable. They are simply light, square frames made of drift poles gathered on the beach, and covered with walrus hide that has been carefully dressed and stretched tightly on the frame like the head of a drum. The skin is of a yellow color, and quite translucent, so that when in one feels as if one were inside a huge blown bladder, the light sifting in through the skin at the top and all around, yellow as a sunset. The entire establishment is window, one pane for the roof, which is also the ceiling, and one for each of the four sides, without cross sash-bars to mar the brave simplicity of it all.

Most of the inhabitants, of whom there are perhaps a hundred, had just returned from a long voyage in their canoes to Cape Prince of Wales, Kotzebue Sound, and other points on the American coast, for purposes of trade, bringing back ivory and furs to sell to the Chukchis of Siberia, who in turn will carry these articles by a roundabout way nearly a thousand miles to the Russian trading post, and return with goods to trade back to the Diomede merchants, through whose hands they will pass to the Cape Prince of Wales natives, and from these to several others up the Inland River, down the Colville, to Point Barrow and eastward as far as the mouth of the Mackenzie River.

The Diomede merchants are true middlemen, and their village a half-way house of commerce between northeastern Asia and America. The extent of the dealings of these people, usually regarded as savages, is truly surprising. And that they can keep warm and make a living on this bleak, fog-smothered, storm-beaten rock, and have time to beget, feed, and train children, and give them a good Eskimo education; that they teach them to shoot the bow, to make and throw the bird speais, to make and use those marvelous kayaks, to kill seals, bears, and walrus, to hunt the whale, capture the different kind of fishes, manufacture different sorts of leather, dress skins and make them into clothing, besides teaching them to carry on trade, to make fire by rubbing two pieces of wood together, and to build the strange houses - that they can do all this, and still have time to be sociable, to dance, sing, gossip, and discuss ghosts, spirits, and all the nerve-racking marvels of the shaman world, shows how truly wild, and brave, and capable a people these island Eskimos are.

You cab read the rest of this chapter at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/muir/vol7_chapter19.htm

The rest of the chapters can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/muir/index.htm


Fraser's Scottish Annual
------------------------
These are articles from the 1900 - 1904 issues of Fraser's Scottish Annual. This week we've added...

Andrea Farara Swords
Druid Temple in Lewis
Scotland's Ancient Constitution
MacKenzie - Glenmore

Here is a bit from "Druid Temple in Lewis"...

THIS is one of the most remarkable Druid remains in the United Kingdom next to Stonehenge and Abury. The form is that of a cross, containing, at the intersection, a circle, with a central stone, an additional line being superadded on one side of the longest arms, and nearly parallel to it. Were this line absent, its form and proportion would be nearly that of the Roman cross, or common crucifix. The longest line of this cross, which may be considered as the general bearing of the work, lies in a direction twenty-four degrees west of the meridian. The total length of this line is, at present, 588 feet, but there are stones to be found, in the same direction, for upwards of ninety feet further, which have, apparently, been a continuation of it, but which, having fallen, like others, through different parts of the building, have sometimes been overwhelmed with vegetation, leaving blanks that impair its present continuity. The whole length may, therefore, with little hesitation, be taken at 700 feet. The cross line, intersecting that now described at right angles, measures 204 feet, but as it is longer on one side than the other, its true measure is, probably, also greater, although no fallen stones are to be seen at the extremities, the progress of cultivation having here interfered with the integrity of the work. The diameter of the circle which occupies the centre of the cross is sixty- three feet, the lines ceasing where they meet the circumference. The stone which marks the centre is twelve feet in height. The heights of the other stones which are used in the construction are various, but they rarely reach beyond four feet; a few of seven or eight feet are to be found, and one reaching to thirteen is seen near the extremity of the long line. The additional line already mentioned extends northwards from the outer part of the circle, on the eastern side. It is, however, very defective, a great number of the stones being absent towards its northern extremity, although there is apparent evidence of their former continuity in one which remains erect, and in others which have fallen from their places. There are no traces of a line parallel to this on the western side, but as some inclosures have been made in the immediate vicinity, it is possible that such might have originally existed.

The rest of this article can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/canada/annual/article56.htm

The other articles can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/canada/annual/


Robert Burns Lives!
-------------------
By Frank Shaw

Robert Burns and Slavery by Gerard Carruthers

Gerry Carruthers is always welcome to the pages of Robert Burns Lives! He is uniquely qualified to write about Scottish literature, particularly about Robert Burns. Just take a look at his accomplishments listed below. In this article Professor Carruthers takes a very provocative stance on Burns regarding slavery, that 18th century period of historical disgrace, which showed “man’s inhumanity to man” in its rawest, most bloody and brutal form. Carruthers does not provoke for the sake of provoking, but he does dismantle some myths regarding the subject. By necessity the question is asked, bluntly, I might add, “Why then no poetic word on slavery from the author of ‘A man’s a man for a’ that’?” Ironically, many who have cloaked themselves in the humanity of Burns have chosen to remain silent about him and his absence of outspoken definitive poems or songs on the subject.

You can read the rest of this article at http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/frank/burns_lives55.htm

And you can read other articles in this Robert Burns Lives! series at http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/frank/burns.htm

I might note that Frank is off to Scotland with his family for the next couple of weeks and he's promised he do an article on their adventures when he returns :-)


The Scottish Church
-------------------
From Earliest Times to 1881, By W. Chambers (1881)

Our thanks go to John Henderson for sending this into us.

we've added another Lecture...

Lecture VII
The Covenant, 1660 to 1690 A.D By the Rev. Robert Flint, D.D., LL.D., Professor of Divinity in the University of Edinburgh.

It starts...

THE later, like the earlier, stages of the Covenanting period of Scottish Church History still awaken very different feelings in those who contemplate them from different party points of view. But, of course, the true point of view from which to contemplate them—the only properly historical point of view—is one higher and more general than any which can be appropriated by a party. To this point we must seek to rise. The views obtained from lower elevations will be comparatively narrow and perverted; and we may be assured that in so far as they do not include truth they cannot be useful, and that in so far as they contain error they must be hurtful. Few things are likely to injure a people more than the misinterpretation of any important chapter of its own history. How much humiliation and unhappiness has France suffered during the last fifty years because large classes of her citizens would persist in looking back at her first Revolution and the career of her first Napoleon from the low levels of party prejudice, and through the distorting media of passion, exaggeration, and fiction. No social organisation is more dependent for its welfare on the recognition of historical truth than the Church, which, in so far as it truly lives at all, lives by the truth. Nothing but the truth in regard to its history will do any honest Church real good; and the whole truth, pure and simple, will be always more welcome and more profitable to
such a Church than a part of the truth or a mixture of truth and error.

You can read the rest of this lecture at http://www.electricscotland.com/bible/scottishchurch/hTheCovenant1660-1690AD.pdf

The other pages can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/bible/scottishchurch/


Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish
---------------------------------
Antiquarian Notes, Historical, Genealogical and Social (Second Series) Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish By Charles Fraser-Mackintosh, FSA Scot. (1897)

This week we've completed this book with the following chapters...

Chapter XXXI. Daviot and Dunlichity
The Mackintoshes of Aberarder
Tenants and Rental, Aberarder Estate in 1797

Chapter XXXII. Croy
The Dallasses of Cantray and Budgate
Dalcross Castle and Lands

Chapter XXXIII. Cawdor
The Campbells of Cawdor, and Condition of the Estate in 1796

Chapter XXXIV. Ardersier
The Erection of Fort-George, etc.

Chapter XXXV. Petty
Its Original Owners
Modern Changes

Addenda et Corrigenda

In the final chapter there is an interesting wee note and I might note that I am working on the life of Marshall MacDonald at the moment which is why I took note of this comment...

The following curious incident, communicated by Sir W. A. Mackinnon, K.C.B., connected with the visit of Marshal Macdonald, Duke of Tarentum, to the Isles, is a reminiscence little known. Sir William says—

"When Marshal Macdonald visited the Highlands after the French War, he paid a visit to the Lord Macdonald of that day at Armadale Castle, Skye. My father, the Rev. John Mackinnon, was then minister of Sleat, and was staying with Lord Macdonald at Armadale. Lord Macdonald was much exercised in his mind as to how he could give the Marshal the salute he was entitled to, as there was only one old carronade available, and no one knew how to load and fire it properly. At the time there were extensive building and quarrying operations going on in the vicinity of the Castle, and the idea suggested itself to my father that the blasting of the rocks might be utilised for the purpose of saluting the distinguished Field Marshal with the number of guns his rank required. Accordingly the number of blasts equivalent to the number of guns for a Field Marshal's salute had been prepared and let off at intervals, with excellent effect, so much so that Marshal Macdonald, until informed next day, thought his salute was fired by artillery, and he was greatly amused when the method of saluting was explained to him. It will be remembered that the Marshal's father, Neil Mac Eachen from South Uist, went to France as an exile with Prince Charles."

The book index and other chapters can be found at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/inverness/index.htm


Pioneer Life in Zorra
---------------------
By Rev W. A. MacKay, (1899)

Added further chapters from this book...

Chapter X. Zorra and the Rebellion of '37
Chapter XI. Logging Bees and Dancing Sprees
Chapter XII. Pioneer Songs
Chapter XIII. A Funeral Among the Pioneers
Chapter XIV. Ghosts, Witches, and Goblins
Chapter XV. Pioneer Schools and Schoolmasters
Chapter XVI. Rev. Donald Mackenzie, the Pioneer Preacher of Zorra

Here is how Chapter XI starts...

THERE may be no logical connection between logging bees and dancing sprees, but they were intimately associated in the experience of the Highland pioneers of Zorra. And their union illustrates the truth of Ruskin's statement, that "toil is a condition of enjoyment." It also shows that the pioneers were not a set of dullards, whose life consisted only in a weary round of hard, irksome duties. They were a hardy people, full of energy and vivacity. If they endured much, they enjoyed much.

There were three ways by which the first settlers cleared the land. The first was called "slashing." The farmer slashed the trees down in winnows, and let them thus lie on the ground for three or four yeal's. Then in dry weather he would set fire to the winnows, and soon the whole slashing of ten or twelve acres would be a great mass of smoke and flame. The brush and smaller timber would be burnt up; but the great logs, the beeches, elms, oaks, and maples, would still remain. It was necessary, therefore, to cut them up, so that they could be piled into heaps to be burnt. This was done not altogether with the axe, but largely by means of what were called "niggers," which consisted of fire placed on top of the logs at intervals of twenty or thirty feet, and by means of small dry timber laid across, kept burning until the big log was burnt through, and thus divided into several short sections, such as the oxen could haul.

You can read the rest of this at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/canada/zorra/chapter11.htm

The other chapters can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/canada/zorra/index.htm


The History of the Linlithgow and Stirlingshire Hunt 1775-1910
--------------------------------------------------------------
By James H Rutherford, W.S. (1911)

We've now completed this book with...

Appendices
Hunting Diary of Mr George Ramsay of Barnton
Rules and Regulations of the Hunt Club, 1826
Letters relative to the Proprietorship of the Hounds, 1857
Declaration by George Knight, 1866
List of Subscribers, 1877-1909 (Inclusive)

There is some very interesting accounts in these appendices and certainly worth a look.

The other chapters can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/sport/hunt/index.htm


John Stuart Blackie
-------------------
By Anna M. Stoddart (1895)

This is a new book we've started and here is a bit of background...

Blackie was one of the best-known Scotsmen of his time. Born in Glasgow and educated in Aberdeen, he received his first degree from Marischal College, Aberdeen. This was followed by three 'Wanderjahre' spent at the Universities of Göttingen and Berlin and in Rome. These gave him a life-long love, first of the German language, German student life, songs and culture, and secondly of the Greek language and antiquity. The first were later to inform several of his own books, notably "Musa burschicosa" (1869), "War songs of the Germans" (1870) and "Scottish song" (1889) as well as the initial compilation of "The Scottish Students' Song Book" (1891), of which his nephew Archibald Stoddart-Walker was one of the first editors. Declining to enter the church he took a law degree at the University of Edinburgh and joined the Scottish bar.

In 1839 he was appointed Professor of Humanity at Marischal College, Aberdeen and in 1860 he achieved his ambition when he was appointed to the Chair of Greek at the University of Edinburgh. At Edinburgh he became a charismatic teacher and a popular lecturer on many subjects. He espoused the causes of educational reform and the Gaelic language, and almost single-handed raised the £12,000 needed to endow the new Chair of Celtic at Edinburgh. His death was the occasion for a national day of mourning, and his funeral stopped the City of Edinburgh in its tracks.

We now have the first three chapters up at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/blackie/index.htm

I might add that I found a few pdf files of some of his publications which I've added as links on the book index page. The books are...

The Life of Robert Burns
Lays of the Highlands and Islands
Scottish Song
What Does History Teach?


Memoirs of a Highland Lady
--------------------------
The Autobiography of Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus afterwards Mrs Smith of Baltiboys 1797-1830.

The Highland lady was a clanswoman of the Rothiemurchus Grants, and is therefore of special interest to American readers, since it was from that same branch of the ancient Scottish family that Gen. Ulysses S. Grant claimed descent.

The first chapter starts...

I WAS born on the 7th of May 1797, of a Sunday evening, at No. 6 (north side) of Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, in my father's own lately built house, and I am the eldest of the five children he and my mother reared to maturity.

My parents had married young; my father wanted a few weeks of twenty-two and my mother a very few of twenty-one when they went together for better for worse. My poor mother!

They were married on the 2nd of August 1796, in the church of the little village of Houghton-le-Spring, in the county of Durham. I have no genealogical tree of either family at hand, so not liking to trust to memory in particulars of this nature, I must be content with stating that my father was descended not very remotely from the Chief of the Clan Grant, and that these cadets of that great house having been provided for handsomely in the way of property, and having also been generally men of abilities in their rude times, had connected themselves well in marriage, and held rather a high position among the lesser barons of their wild country.

My mother was also of ancient birth, the Ironsides having held their small estate near Houghton-le-Spring from the times of our early Norman kings, the cross they wear for arms having been won in the holy wars; the tradition in the family indeed carried back their origin to the Saxon era to which their name belongs, and it may be so, for Saxon remains abound in that part of England.

My parents met in Glasgow in their dancing days, and there formed an attachment which lasted to the very close of their long lives through many troubles, many checks, and many changes; but they did not marry immediately, my father at the period of their first acquaintance not being exactly his own master. His childhood had been passed strangely without any fixed plan, and in various homes under widely different systems, but with the certain future of wealth and station if he lived. The beautiful plain of Rothiemurchus, with its lakes and rivers and forest and mountain glens, offered in those old days but a few cleared sunny patches fit for tillage; black cattle were its staple products; its real wealth, its timber, was unthought of so that as its sons multiplied the laird of the period felt some difficulty in maintaining them; the result in the generation to which my grandfather, Dr William Grant, belonged, was that he with a younger brother, and a set of half-uncles much about their own age, were all shoved off about the world to scramble through it as they best could with little but their good blood to help them. The fortunes of this set of adventurers were various; some fared well, others worse, but all who survived returned to end their days where they began them, for no change of circumstances can change the heart of a Highlander; faithful to the impressions of his youth wherever he may have wandered, whatever may have befallen him, to his own hills he must return in his old age, if only to lay his bones beneath the heather; at least it was so in my grandfather's day, for he died at the Doune, [The name of the house on the Rothiemurchius estate.] still but the laird's brother, surrounded by his relations. He had prospered in his struggle for independence, beginning his medical studies at Aberdeen and pursuing them through several of the continental hospitals, remaining some time at Leyden and then fixing in London, where he got into good practice; turned author so successfully that one of his works, a treatise on fever, was translated into both French and German; and then married an heiress of the name of Raper of a very respectable and highly talented family.

We can get to this chapter at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/highlandlady/index.htm


The Heather on Fire
-------------------
A Tale of the Highland Clearances by Mathilda Blind (1886)

John Henderson came across this book and sent it into us along with some notes of which here is an example...

Ref…. In "The Highland Clearances”, Alexander Mackenzie (pages 267, 268) writes,

"The tenants of Knoydart, like all other Highlanders, had suffered severely during and after the potato famine in 1846 and 1847, and some of them got into arrear with a year's and some with two years' rent, but they were fast clearing it off. Mrs. Macdonell and her factor determined to evict every crofter on her property, to make room for sheep. In the spring of 1S53 they were all served with summonses of removal, accompanied by a message that Sir John Macneil, Chairman of the Board of Supervision, had agreed to convey them to Australia. Their feelings were not considered worthy of the slightest consideration. They were not even asked whether they would prefer to follow their countrymen to America and Canada. They were to be treated as if they were nothing better than Africans, and the laws of their country on a level with those which regulated South American slavery. The people, however, had no alternative but to accept any offer made to them. They could not get an inch of land on any of the neighbouring estates, and any one who would give them a night's shelter was threatened with eviction themselves. It was afterwards found not convenient to transport them to Australia, and it was then intimated to the poor creatures, as if they were nothing but common slaves, to be disposed of at will, that they would be taken to North America, and that a ship would be at Isle Orsay, in the Island of Skye, in a few days to receive them, and that they must go on board. The Sillery soon arrived, and Mrs. Macdonell and her factor came all the way from Edinburgh to see the people hounded across in boats, and put on board this ship, whether they would or not. An eye-witness who described the proceeding at the time, in a now rare pamphlet, and whom I met last year at Nova Scotia, characterises the scene as indescribable and heart-rending. The wail of the poor women and children as they were torn away from their homes would have melted a heart of stone! Some families, principally cottars, refused to go, in spite of every influence brought to bear upon them, and the treatment they afterwards received was cruel beyond belief. The houses, not only of those who went, but of those who remained, were burnt and levelled to the ground. The Strath was dotted all over with black spots, showing where yesterday stood the habitations of men. The scarred, half-burnt wooden couples, rafters, and bars were strewn about in every direction. Stocks of corn and plots of unlifted potatoes could be seen on all sides, but man was gone. No voice could be heard. Those who refused to go aboard the Sillery were in hiding among the rocks and the caves, while their friends were packed off like so many African slaves to the Cuban market.”

You can read this book at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/heatheronfire.htm


Scotch-Irish Settlers in the Valley of Virginia
-----------------------------------------------
Alumni Address at Washington College, Lexington, Va., by Bolivar Christian (1860).

The account starts...

Our Alma Mater was born of the habitual esteem for learning among the Scotch Irish settlers of this Valley. It had a genial nurture in the classic taste and training of their pastors—hereditary exemplars for their people, not more in piety than in political virtue. Its primal dowry was a tribute from the Father of his country to patriotism and valor, so long and often illustrated under his own eye, from the fatal day of Braddock's defeat till Freedom's crowning conflict on the plains of Yorktown.

The Alumni of Washington College may well find it a fitting duty to trace out, in all its associations, the unwritten history of the Scotch-Irish Settlers in the Valley of Virginia. Of this race most of the Alumni are themselves direct descendants, and dispersed as they now are in every part of this continent, it can be but a labor of love for each to gather as he may, even from the four winds themselves, some Sybilline leaves, or floating traditions, to illustrate a history rich in story of brave men and noble deeds:

You can read this account at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/articles/washington.htm


And finally a wee bit of humour...

Heaven Before it was Wanted

A Scotch newspaper relates that a beggar wife, on receiving a gratuity from the Rev. John Skinner, of Langside, author of "Tullochgorum," said to him by way of thanks, "Oh, sir, I houp that ye and a' your family will be in heaven the nicht."

"Well," said Skinner, "I am very much obliged to you; only you need not have just been so particular as to the time."


And if you really want to see me dancing and have a laugh you can watch this link that was sent to me by Stan Bruce at http://www.thefamousdaddance.com/ViewDance.aspx?did=c3fd4098-16d1-454b-9c4f-a1876b46e187&mid=2204&referer=EM


And that's it for now and hope you all have a good weekend :-)

Alastair
http://www.electricscotland.com 


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