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17th July 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
The Writings of John Muir
Robert Burns Lives!
The Scottish Church
John Stuart Blackie
Memoirs of a Highland Lady
Old World Scotland
Banished scots in Canada may be in line for a title
Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
The Bark Covered House (New Book)
Fraser's Scottish Annual
Statistical Account of Scotland
How the EU Common Fisheries Policy Permanently Damaged Scotland
Old Scots Humour


ELECTRIC SCOTLAND NEWS
----------------------
I did my visit to Immigration Canada this week and after waiting around half an hour to be seen it only took around 3 minutes. It appears that if you have British citizenship then they don't need to see most of your documents and in fact the immigration officer just wanted to see one which was a real surprise as they asked for a lot more in the document I received giving me the appointment.

I'm told that I might get citizenship by September which is a lot faster than they suggest on their web site.

-----

Numbers are gradually climbing in our Aois community but the messages going into the forums is moving at a much faster rate at 272 to date. Seems most of the ones joining are a chatty bunch :-)

I also note that Laney has 45 high scores in our Arcade with Euan second on 20 and Dame Templer on 16. Of course things may change but Laney has now got an overwhelming lead!!! :-)

I got in a YouTube video of the making of a sculpture dedicated to an Aberdeen fisherman which I've posted up in the appropriate forum.

You can get to our Aois Community at http://www.scotchat.org/vbull

-----

I see a big debate in Scotland over the Johnnie Walker whisky plant. Seems Diageo while making profits from the plant have decided they can make ever more profit by closing it down and thus getting rid of some 700 workers. This is despite the fact that this plant has been going for almost 200 years.

I guess this is just another example of corporate greed that saw the banks put us into a Global recession. I say it's time that these corporates take some note of there social responsibilities rather than just their profits.

You can sign a petition at http://www.gopetition.co.uk/online/29112.html


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 gives us his usual mixture of stories about politics in Scotland. In his compilation is also the Gaelic column along with a translation and also a Scots language article.

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

Christina McKelvie MSP's Weekly diary is not available as the Parliament are now on the Summer recess.


Poetry and Stories
------------------
I should add here that John is taking 4 weeks off to enjoy a summer holiday so no poems or Short Story for the next few weeks.

Margo has sent in a children's poem "Too Much Energy" which can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/kids/poems/poem69.htm

We also got in a poem, "Culloden" from Stuart McFarlane which you can read at http://www.electricscotland.com/poetry/culloden.htm

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


The Writings of John Muir
-------------------------
We're now onto our 9th and penultimate volume. The last two volumes are actually a biography of him including many letters he sent and received.

The Preface gives us a good introduction to these final two volumes...

TWENTY years after the first companies of forty-niners arrived in California, a unique type of Argonaut landed in San Francisco, crossed the Coast Range and the San Joaquin plain, and, passing through the gold-diggings, went up the Merced until he reached Yosemite Valley. Not the gold of California's placers and mines, but the plant gold and beauty of her still unwasted mountains and plains, were the lure that drew and held John Muir. Forty-six years later, in the closing days of fateful 1914, this widely traveled explorer and observer of the world we dwell in faced the greatest of all adventures, dying as bravely and cheerfully as he had lived.

Not only from his large circle of devoted personal friends, but from among the thousands who had been thrilled by his eloquent pen, arose insistent demands for a fuller presentation of the facts of his life than is available in his incomplete autobiography, "The Story of My Boyhood and Youth," and in his other published works. When the present writer, at the request of Mr. Muir's daughters, undertook to edit some of his unpublished journals and to prepare his life and letters, he had no adequate conception of the size and complexity of the task. The amount of the manuscript material to be examined made it vastly more time-consuming than was at first anticipated.

Throughout his life John Muir carried on a prolific and wide-ranging correspondence. His own letters were written by hand, and, with the exception of an occasional preliminary draft, he rarely kept copies. In calendaring the many thousands of letters received from his friends, a systematic effort was made to secure from them and their descendants the originals or copies of Muir's letters for the purposes of this work. The success of this effort was in part thwarted, in part impeded, by the Great War. To the many who responded, the writer expresses his grateful acknowledgments. The Carr series, with some exceptions like the Sequoia letter, was obtained from Mr. George Wharton James, to whose keeping the correspondence had been committed by Mrs. Carr. The preponderance of letters addressed to women correspondents is partly explained by the fact that Muir's men friends did not preserve his letters as generally as the women. It should be added, also, that several valuable series were lost in the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906.

At the time of his death Muir had in preparation a second volume of his autobiography. Though very incomplete, it was found so important that it seemed best to incorporate it in the present work, whose form of presentation and selection of materials had to be accommodated somewhat to make this possible. It is chiefly in the letters, however, that the reader will find revealed the charm of Muir's personality and the spontaneity of his nature enthusiasms.

In conclusion, the writer desires to acknowledge special obligations to William E. Colby for frequent suggestions and assistance in verifying facts, to Elizabeth Gray Potter for working out a valuable and convenient system of arrangement and indexing for the collection of Muiriana, and to his wife, Elizabeth LeBreton Bade, for much practical help and advice.

WILLIAM FREDERIC BADE
BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA
September 23, 1923

We now have up the first two chapters of Volume 9 which can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/muir/vol9.htm

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


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

Robert Burns - Writer of Songs by Robert H. Carnie

The following questions come from an email interview with Andrew Carnie, son of the late Robert H. Carnie, in December, 2008. Robert Carnie was a Burns scholar and a fellow Burnsian who would be at home at any academic symposium or in a typical gathering of ordinary men and women who would meet to honor Scotland’s National Bard. Andrew has worked closely with me in providing speeches by his father. As these speeches are read, one will come to the conclusion his speeches did not die the death of so many others which have been filed, locked away, or forgotten after the passing of one who actually had something to say about Robert Burns. By sharing these speeches, Andrew made it possible for his father’s work to live on and be enjoyed by those who read these pages. I tip my hat to Andrew and thank him for his cooperation in giving permission for these speeches to go on this website where his father’s scholarship and love of Robert Burns will continue to live and be enjoyed by all of us. After all, it was Mary, Queen of Scots who embroidered these words before her death:

“En ma Fin git mon Commencement…”
“In my End is my Beginning…”

Interview conclusion:

FRS: Are there other papers, articles or speeches your father prepared on Burns and would you be willing to share any of them with our readers?

AC: He wrote a lot, much of it was published in the professional literature. We do have many of his unpublished talks and speeches but it is all in hard copy -- and I don't have access to it here.

FRS: Did he ever talk about his experiences the summer he studied at the University of South Carolina? If so, how did that time in Columbia influence him regarding Burns? He is remembered at the University with great fondness by Drs. Patrick Scott, and Ross Roy. Both speak very highly of him.

AC: While he was there he made use of Dr. Roy's collection for developing his own research. In particular he was pleased to see and hold items of the collection in person. He thoroughly enjoyed the great opportunity to collaborate and interact with colleagues like Drs. Roy and Scott who shared his passion for the material

FRS: Was your dad working on anything related to Burns at his untimely death? If so, will you share it with our readers?

AC: My dad had many great plans for a new book on 18th century book designers, including many who worked on Burns volumes. Unfortunately a series of strokes in 2000 prevented him from completing this work. Although he occasionally went back to it, his long illness from 2000-2007 meant that he wasn't really able to complete it.

FRS: What sort of library did your dad have on Burns? How large was it and what happened to it? Same for his Scottish library as a whole.

AC: Dad had two or three thousand antiquarian books in our house. Most were Scottish. I'm guessing about 10-15% Burns. The entire collection was donated to the University of Calgary Library in 2006.

FRS: This is an attempt on my part to continue to honor your dad and nothing else. Can you describe the two pictures you sent to Jim Osborne and me?

AC: The studio picture dates from 1993 when The Calgary Burns Club hosted the Federation's annual general meeting. They along with the Rare Book's library put on an exhibition of decorated covers. The other picture is of Dad standing in our back yard. A very typical pose for Dad, he often read like that in Garden, from the late 1990s.

FRS: I notice you have an Arizona.edu email address. How are you affiliated with that educational system?

AC: Yes, I'm a professor of Linguistics here.

FRS: Many thanks for your time and for the pictures.

AC: My pleasure, thanks again for thinking of my Dad and his work.

(FRS: 7.15.09)

You can read the rest of this article at http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/frank/burns_lives59.htm

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


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 XI
The Church from 1843 to 1881 A.D. By the Rev. Archibald Scott, D.D., Minister of St George's Parish, Edinburgh.

It starts...

"THE story which I have to tell, if less interesting, is not so painful as that of the troubles which culminated in the Secession of 1843. Though differing widely as to the principles which by that event were vindicated or condemned, most people now look back upon the contendings that led to it with surprise and regret. In so fierce a display of the perfervidum vigenium Scotorum, candid critics find it very difficult to agree with any party. We are repelled alike by the violence of those who, by persisting in fighting their battle with weapons declared to be illegal, exposed the Church to insult as occupying a false position, and by the doggedness of others who, to maintain a constitutional position, resisted claims which might have been allowed, and more than once evinced a disposition to minimise its rightful independence. We are amazed that the storm should have invaded the calm domain of law, and that judges, allowing themselves to become partisans, could not refrain from accompanying decisions, which in themselves were impugnable, with dicta which were sometimes as indefensible as they were intentionally offensive. And it is especially to be lamented that both Parliament and Government should have proved so unfit to deal with a really national crisis. Misunderstanding, or haply misinformed of its actual gravity, responsible statesmen made almost no endeavour to adjust a movement which manifestly they could not repress, and which issued in a catastrophe which has embittered the national religious life ever since, and threatens still further to rend the unity of the Scottish Church.

You can read the rest of this lecture at http://www.electricscotland.com/bible/scottishchurch/lTheChurchFrom1843To1881AD.pdf

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


John Stuart Blackie
-------------------
We have now completed this biography but have chosen to also provide a 3 chapter book he wrote which went through many re-prints. The book is...

On Self-Culture, Intellectual, Physical, and Moral by John Stuart Blackie, 6th Edition, 1875

The three chapters are...

The Culture of the Intellect
On Physical Culture
On Moral Culture

In the first chapter he starts of telling us...

In modern times instruction is communicated chiefly by means of BOOKS. Books are no doubt very useful helps to knowledge, and in some measure also, to the practice of useful arts and accomplishments, but they are not, in any case, the primary and natural sources of culture, and, in my opinion, their virtue is not a little apt to be overrated, even in those branches of acquirement where they seem most indispensable. They are not creative powers in any sense; they are merely helps, instruments, tools; and even as tools they are only artificial tools, superadded to those with which the wise prevision of Nature has equipped us, like telescopes and microscopes, whose assistance in many researches reveals unimagined wonders, but the use of which should never tempt us to undervalue or to neglect the exercise of our own eyes.. The original arid proper sources of knowledge are not books, but life, experience, personal thinking, feeling, and acting. When a man starts with these, books can fill up many gaps, correct much that is in accurate, and extend much that is inadequate; but, without living experience to work on, books are like rain and sunshine fallen on unbroken soil.

"The parchment roll is that the holy river,
From which one draught shall slake the thirst for ever?
The quickening power of science only he
Can know, from whose own soul it gushes free."

This is expressed, no doubt, somewhat in a poetical fashion, but it contains a great general truth. As a treatise on mineralogy can convey no real scientific knowledge to a man who has never seen a mineral, so neither can works of literature and poetry instruct the mere scholar who is ignorant of life, nor discourses on music him who has no experience of sweet sounds, nor gospel sermons him who has no devotion in his soul or purity in his life. All knowledge which comes from books comes indirectly, by reflection, and by echo; true knowledge grows from a living root in the thinking soul; and whatever it may appropriate from without, it takes by living assimilation into a living organism, not by mere borrowing.

You can read the rest of this chapter at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/blackie/chapter25.htm

You can read the rest of these chapters at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/blackie/


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

We have now completed this book with...

Notes

There are a few good we stories within these notes and here is one...

P. 187. Stories of Macalpine's days.—They are still to be heard by those who bring an ear for the Gaelic. Here are one or two.

The Mackintosh set up a mill just outside the Rothiemurchus west march, and threatened to divert the water from the Rothiemurchus lands. Macalpine, having received Rob Roy's promise to back him, sent a haughty letter to the Mackintosh, who thereupon vowed to march in his men and burn the Doune. Macalpine was at this time at variance with his chief, and could not expect assistance from him, and, being unable to cope alone with so powerful a chief as the Mackintosh, grew very uneasy as time passed and Rob Roy made no sign. The Mackintoshes were assembled in force on the march, and Macalpine sat one night in his room with his head down on his arms on the table, when he felt a heavy hand on his shoulder, and a voice spoke, "What though the purse be empty the night, who knows how full it may be in the morn?" He started up, and there was Rob Roy, alone, with no sign of followers. After a hearty greeting, the laird asked "But where are your men, Rob?" "Take you no heed of that," said Rob, and called for his piper. Up and down in front of the Doune house paced the piper playing the "Macgregors' Gathering"; and as he played, on the opposite side of the Spey in Kinrara appeared two Macgregors, and then three Macgregors, and then two Macgregors, till at last a hundred and fifty of the prettiest men in Rob Roy's band were standing there fully armed, And the piper had orders not to stop playing till all were out, and it nearly burst him. And as the Macgregors came out by twos and threes, the Mackintoshes on the opposite side stole off by fours and fives, until, as the last Macgregor took his place, the last Mackintosh disappeared. Then Rob Roy wrote a letter to the Mackintosh (which is repeated from beginning to end in the original Gaelic), in which he threatened to go through his country and leave not a man alive nor a house unburned if any further displeasure were offered to Rothiemurchus. And he bade Macalpine send for him if occasion arose, and he would come, no matter how far. "But," said Rob, "it's a far cry to Baiquhidder, and no one here who knows the way"; so he left behind him two of his young men, great runners, who would go to hell if he bade them, to be despatched to fetch him if need were, for they would do a hundred miles in twenty-four hours. The Mackintosh's mill was destroyed, and a song was made of it called "The Burning of the Black Mill." The tune is one of the best reel tunes in the country-side.

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

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


Old World Scotland
------------------
Giving Glimpses of its Modes and Manners, By T. F. Henderson (1893).

Added further chapters this week...

Chapter VIII. Scottish Inns
Chapter IX. Vagabonds and Minstrels
Chapter X. Beggars
Chapter XI. The Border Riever
Chapter XII. The Cateran
Chapter XlII. Kirk Discipline
Chapter XIV. The Reformation and Raiment

Chapter VIII starts...

IN Scotland the free and open hospitality which bespeaks a primitive condition of society survived much later than in the better civilised parts of Europe. With a hostile England on her southern marches she occupied a situation peculiarly isolated from foreign influences. The establishment of trading communities was also sadly discouraged by repeated invasions from England, which confined commercial intercourse almost entirely to certain of her sea-coast towns. Even when no active hostilities were afoot her trade with England was extremely limited during the whole period anterior to the union. Thus, although the Scot himself was known as scholar or soldier in many lands, it was but rarely that Scottish ground, except ill the case of an English raid, was trodden of foreign foot. In Edinburgh and other cities frequented by the Court, a tincture of French elegance and refinement imparted a certain bizarre effect to the essential rudeness of the national habit ; but even here the alien influence did not penetrate beyond a very narrow circle. The inland regions, sparse in population and devoid of trade, had scarce any intercourse with the towns—they, were self-supporting and self-dependent. Travellers were mostly one or other species of beggar—pilgrims, poor scholars, friars, bards, minstrels, mountebanks, sorners; for, as the industrial Part of the rural community enjoyed all

fixity of tenure, few of its members had friends or relatives at any distance from their own homes, while such wayfarers as were not beggars were chiefly nobles bound for the castles of their brethren, or for the great hunting gatherings which formed in times of peace their chief occupation and amusement. The commonest resort for lodgings was either the guest-house of the monastery or the noble's mansion ; accommodation and cheer being regulated by the qualities and conditions of the guests. Except in famine years, a rude abundance prevailed throughout the land until at least the fifteenth century ; and as rushes, straw, fern, or heather were deemed sufficient and even luxurious bedding by the majority, the housing of strangers was attended with small inconvenience.

The earliest recorded instance of legislative interference on behalf of travellers is an Act of David II., in 1357. The accommodation to be secured by it must have been extremely rude and humble. It provided that in every burgh the sellers of bread and ale should "receive passengers in herbery within their houses," and sell them provisions at the prices enacted from neighbours. All such as refused full payment might be apprehended in the king's name by ''the community of the burgh," which was not to be held responsible for any injury inflicted on the defaulter during his arrestment (a very complete bill of immunity). The Act of James I. (1424) was more cornprehensive in scope. It decreed that in burghs and thoroughfares hostelries should be provided with accommodation and food for man and beast; the intention clearly being the provision of better lodging and entertainment than could be had at the alehouses. As regards the opening of hostelries, the Act appears to have been effectual; the difficulty consisting in making them popular. In the following year the new-made hosts, having waited in vain for custom, presented a grievous complaint to the king against the "villanous" practice of travellers in putting up at the houses of their friends. All travellers on foot or a-horseback were thereupon prohibited from lodging elsewhere than at the inn, special exception being made in the ease of those with large retinues, who, however, were bound to send their followers and servants to the inn. But the ancient custom of free hospitality survived many such enactments, and, passing through long and gradual stages of extinction, died very hard. In the sixteenth century the " hosteller without the town " of Berwick-on-Tweed, in the eyes of the Scots author of "The Friars of Berwick," was "good'' (by contrast, no doubt, with those in Scotland proper); but it seems to have been seldom frequented for lodging, and the bed for the wearied friars was "intill one loft was made for corn and hay." There was an attempt to revive the old Acts regarding inns in 1567 but, so far as the general establishment of suitable hostelries was concerned, they continued to remain a dead letter for two centuries more. Fynes Moryson, in 1589,
did never see nor hear that they have any public house with signs hanging out " (a picturesque feature of the English villages), but the better sort of citizens brew ale, the usual drinke (which will distemper a stranger's body), and the same citizens entertain passengers on acquaintance or entreaty." Plainly the attitude of the taverners towards strangers savoured somewhat of a supercilious independence. Eighty years after Moryson, Thomas Kirke testifies to an exactly similar state of matters.

The rest of this chapter can be read at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/oldworld/chap8.htm

The book index page can be found at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/oldworld/index.htm


Banished Scots in Canada may be in line for a title
---------------------------------------------------
Thanks to Harold Nelson for sending me in this story...

Westminster asked to lift slur against Jacobites

John Ivison, National Post
Published: Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Scotch Canadians whose ancestors supported Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite rebellion may not know it but their family names have officially been mud for more than 250 years.

After the failed insurrection to restore the House of Stuart to the British throne, Acts of Parliament deemed the blood of many rebels "corrupt," confiscated their property and exiled them to North America as indentured servants.

Now, the Scottish Parliament is taking steps to remove any stigma associated with support for the Stuart cause.

Canadians with the last name Drummond, Cameron, Chisholm, Fraser, Gordon, Graham, Laird, MacDonald, Mackenzie, Mackintosh, Mackinnon, Malcolm, Nairn, Ogilvie, Stirling, Mackintosh, MacKinnon, MacLeod, Ross, Stewart or Sutherland may well be the descendants of Jacobites who were exiled after the rebellions.

Many Jacobites were "attainted" by Act of Parliament that denied them their property and disinherited their descendants.

Those affected included national hero Rob Roy McGregor and Flora MacDonald, Bonnie Prince Charlie's rescuer after the Battle of Culloden in 1746, who settled in North Carolina.

Scottish Conservative Jamie Mc-Grigor has tabled a motion, with cross-party support, calling on the Scottish Parliament to back a petition that demands the Westminster Parliament overturn the Acts of Attainder and clear the names of Jacobite families.

Not only could the stigma associated with "corruption of the blood" be overturned, but some Canadians may also find they have legitimate claim on ancient titles that would be restored if the campaign is successful.

Peter Drummond-Murray, a retired banker and heraldry expert who started the petition, said that a number of peerage titles could be affected including the Earl of Kilmarnock and the Duke of Berwick.

"Lots of ordinary people were transported to North America who still have this slur on them. We're petitioning for it to be removed," he said.

He did not rule out that there could be Canadians with claim to old titles, but said that there is no question of successful land claims being launched after nearly 300 years.

The list of those "attainted" included all ranks from peers and lairds to clerks and commoners. As the Jacobite threat subsided in the 19th century, a number of peers were able to afford the procedure of a private bill in Parliament to reverse the attainder process.

However, many families that supported the Stuarts are still stigmatized by what one member of the Scottish Parliament called "historical discrimination."

ATTAINTED NAMES

After 1688, when James VII of Scotland and II of England was replaced by his daughter Mary II and her husband, William of Orange, many who refused to swear allegiance to William and Mary were tried for treason and "attainted." Some were executed, some sent into exile and were punished by Acts of Attainder -- losing their rights and property. This process continued after the Jacobite rebellions of 1715 and 1745. This is a sampling of those who were attainted. Many of their descendants live in Canada now.

-Sir Hugh Paterson of Bannockburn
-Sir Donald Mackdonnald of Slate
-Sir John Preston of Prestonhall
-Sir John Mackenzie of Cowl
-Alexander Mackenzie of Apple Cross
-Donald Mackenzie of Kilcowie
-Alexander Cameron of Dungallon
-Evan MacPherson of Clunie
-Lauchlan MacLauchlan of Castle Lauchlan
-John MacKinnon of MacKinnon
-Charles Stewart of Ardshiel
-Donald MacDonald of Lochgarie


Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
----------------------------------------------------------------
I got a few more biographies sent in by Nola Crewe for which many thanks. I will be adding them to the site over the next week or two. In this week is one of John McKerrall.

The list of biographies can be seen at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/canada/kent/index.htm


The Bark Covered House
----------------------
A new book we're starting which was first published in 1876.

With unintentional irony, our choice this year is The Bark Covered House, a narrative of pioneer life in Michigan in 1834, the scene of which is laid almost on the present site of Dearborn, Michigan. The clearing of the woods, the fishing and the hunting in an attempt to keep body and soul together, and the early agricultural endeavor of typical pioneers—hearty, industrious, self-sufficient, and finally prosperous—are all portrayed practically on the site of what is today the great Ford Motor Company.

The narrative of The Bark Covered House is a single document underlying this tremendous story. It relates the experiences of one family among the uncounted number of pioneers who for two hundred years slashed their way through the American forest. Humble men live humble lives, and their commonplace experiences are known only to themselves, and to their immediate associates. The scholar who seeks to reconstruct the story of such a life is commonly baffled because no one has bothered to preserve its ordinary incidents and experiences. Thus the things which are commonplace to one generation become matters wholly unknown to its successor. Occasionally, however, someone is moved to record the story of his life, and if the recorder be competent a precious picture is preserved for the enlightenment of future generations. Such a picture of the life of an English family in pioneer Illinois is Rebecca Burlend's narrative, A True Picture of Emigration, which was reprinted in The Lakeside classics a year ago. The Nowlin family migrated from the older East to the Michigan frontier and like the Burlends its story has been preserved.

For reasons which will presently appear, however, the complete family saga has been seen by but few persons outside the immediate vicinity of its origin. One of the few exceptions to this statement is Mr. J. Christian Bay of Chicago, eminent librarian and bibliophile. In his charming essay, A Handful of Western Books (Cedar Rapids, 1935), he discourses thus of the fascinations of book collecting in general, and of The Bark Covered House in particular: "Each man has some luck, and deserves it, provided he is game when pure luck ceases. In all the many auction sales of Americana which we have had since the Great War, there has figured but one copy, which I luckily obtained, of a Michigan pioneer narrative entitled The Bark Covered House, written by William Nowlin and published in Detroit in 1876. To secure this was indeed luck. A splendid narrative, full of fine accounts of pioneer life and belief, hard struggles and quaint joys. There are one or two copies in Michigan, but I never traced a copy anywhere else."

The reasons for the rarity of the volume become apparent from the circumstances of its authorship. William Nowlin was a farmer whose formal schooling was exceedingly meager. Until his twelfth year he enjoyed such educational opportunities as were afforded by the country school of a century ago, but the westward migration terminated his school days forever. His literary associations in mature life must have been extremely slight, although he enjoyed the good fortune of having as a family friend the Detroit lawyer and litteratcure Levi Bishop. Among the many services of the latter to the cause of education, the encouragement he gave toward printing the Nowlin narrative is not the least. The book was written as a tribute of appreciation to his parents, and was printed primarily for distribution to the friends and relatives of the Nowlin family. Probably the edition was a small one, although one relative thinks he remembers seeing a considerable pile of the books in William Nowlin's home. The same informant states that he does not think the author ever expected or desired to sell any copies. Instead (like Mrs. Tillson's narrative, which was reproduced in The Lakeside Classics in 1919) it was printed for distribution to members and friends of the family.

We have several chapters up for you to read...

Historical Introduction and Reproduction of Original Title Page
Prefatory Note, Key and Preface
Chapter 1. Talking of Michigan
Chapter 2. Disagreeable Music
Chapter 3. How We Got Our Sweet, and the History of My First Pig
Chapter 4. Our Second House and First Apple Trees
Chapter 5. The Jug of Whisky and Temperance Meeting

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


Fraser's Scottish Annual
------------------------
We have added some more articles from this publication...

The Earl of Dundonald in Canada
A Gaelic Service in Edinburgh
A Relic of St Margaret of Scotland
Scottish Character: Its Leading Traits

Here is a bit from "A Gaelic Service in Edinburgh"...

AMONG many of the pleasant experiences on my visit to Great Britain last summer, there is none that I recall with greater pleasure than my visit to a Presbyterian church in Edinburgh, where the service was conducted in Gaelic and according to the primitive simplicity of such services with which I was familiar in my early days.

It was my lot in boyhood to be brought in close contact with the Highland element of the County of Middlesex, where Gaelic was treasured as a language in which the piety and devotion of the fathers of the North of Scotland were embalmed. Apart from the fact that it was the native tongue of many, if not the majority of the people among whom I spent my youth, the language itself had a special charm to them, because it recalled the ministry of such men as Dr. McDonald of Ferintosh, Dr. Cameron of Eddrton, and Mr. Sage of Resolis, and the language of these saints, as they were deemed, contained a spiritual force which could not be obtained in any other way. The old Bibles and Gaelic psalm books, which had directed their thoughts and nurtured their devotion among the glens of Scotland, were then in use. I have one now in my possession dated 1795, from which I heard many a lesson in the log cabin where I first saw the light.

But to my story. A delightful Sabbath morning in August, found me in Edinburgh. I had arrived the previous afternoon to take part in the reception to the Colonials (as we were called), attending His Majesty's Coronation, to whom the Town Council of Edinburgh was giving an official welcome. And a right royal welcome it was, brimful of that generous hospitality so characteristic of the Scottish race; but what was better, there was a cordiality and warmth about the whole proceedings which made one feel as if he were present at a family gathering, where every member of the household rejoiced with him in his successes, his prospects and his good estate. Burns has said that all he could wish for if ever he entered heaven was a Highland welcome. Well, we got it from Provost, Councilmen and citizens generally.

But now it is Sunday morning and the bells are ringing for religious service, and Princess street is filling up rapidly with thoughtful looking people of all ages and conditions moving along deliberately and yet quickly as if they knew whither they were going. Some were crossing the King's Bridge, as if towards St. Giles, or Dr. Guthrie's old church beyond the Gardens— others had their faces directed towards Dr. Whyte's church in the East end. But now where should I go. I had been at St. Giles' church before. I had heard Dr. Whyte on a previous visit in 1886. Dr. Guthrie is gone, but not the memory of his glowing periods as I read them forty years ago in his "Gospel in Ezekiel," or the "City— its Sins and Sorrows." But somewhere I must go—a Sabbath day and not go to church! Impossible.

You can read the rest of this article at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/canada/annual/article71.htm

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


Statistical Account of Scotland
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We have now added the 21 volume set of the Statistical Account of Scotland which was published between 1791 and 1799. This is a publication we've always wanted to add to the site and Google has at last scanned in these volumes.

You should note that in this time period the letter "s" is written as a "f" but apart from that it is quite readable.

You can get to these at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/statistical/oldndx.htm


How the EU Common Fisheries Policy Permanently Damaged Scotland
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A Warning for Iceland By Dr James Wilkie and associates

I got this account in from an email and it is amazing how much the CFP has cost Scotland and thought some of you might like to read it. You can view this at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/articles/fishing.htm


A wee bit of old Scots Humour
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Practical Piety

The following story was told by the Rev. William Arnot at a soiree in Sir W. H. Moncrief's church some years ago.

Dr. Macleod and Dr. Watson were in the West Highlands together on a tour, ere leaving for India. While crossing a loch in a boat, in company with a number of passengers, a storm came on. One of the passengers was heard to say:

"The twa ministers should begin to pray, or we'll a' be drooned."

"Na, na," said a boatman; "the little ane can pray, if he likes, but the big ane must tak' an oar!"

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Acts of Parliament "Exhausted"

A junior minister having to assist at a church in a remote part of Aberdeenshire, the parochial minister (one of the old school) promised his young friend a good glass of whiskey-toddy after all was over, adding slily and very, significantly, "and gude smuggled whiskey."

His southern guest thought it incumbent to say, "Ah, minister, that's wrong, is it not? You know it is contrary to Act of Parliament."

The old Aberdonian could not so easily give up his fine whiskey, so he quietly said : "Oh, Acts of Parliament lose their breath before they get to Aberdeenshire."

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A Spiritual Barometer

There was an old bachelor clergyman whose landlady declared that he used to express an opinion of his dinner by the grace which he made to follow. When he had a good dinner which pleased him, and a good glass of beer with it, he poured forth the grace, "For the richest of Thy bounty and its blessings we offer our thanks." When he had had poor fare and poor beer, his grace was, "We thank Thee for the least of these Thy mercies."


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

Alastair
http://www.electricscotland.com 


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