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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
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
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
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.
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
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
Christina McKelvie MSP's Weekly diary is not available as the
Parliament are now on the Summer recess.
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
got in a poem, "Culloden" from Stuart McFarlane which you can read
read other stories in our Article Service and even add your own at
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
September 23, 1923
We now have up the first two
chapters of Volume 9 which can be read at
of the chapters can be read at
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:
Fin git mon Commencement…”
“In my End is my Beginning…”
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?
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
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
FRS: Was your dad working on anything related
to Burns at his untimely death? If so, will you share it with our
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
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.
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
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
AC: Yes, I'm a professor of Linguistics here.
FRS: Many thanks for your time and for the pictures.
pleasure, thanks again for thinking of my Dad and his work.
You can read the rest of
this article at
And you can read other articles in this Robert Burns Lives! series
The Scottish Church
From Earliest Times to 1881, By W. Chambers
Our thanks go to John Henderson for sending
this into us.
we've added another Lecture...
The Church from 1843 to 1881 A.D. By the Rev.
Archibald Scott, D.D., Minister of St George's Parish, Edinburgh.
"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
You can read the rest of this lecture at
The other pages can be read at
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...
Intellectual, Physical, and Moral by John Stuart Blackie, 6th
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,
which one draught shall slake the thirst for ever?
The quickening power of
science only he
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
You can read the rest of these chapters at
Memoirs of a Highland Lady
The Autobiography of Elizabeth Grant of
Rothiemurchus afterwards Mrs Smith of Baltiboys 1797-1830.
now completed this book with...
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
You can read the rest of this chapter at
The rest of the chapters can be read at
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
XI. The Border Riever
Chapter XII. The Cateran
Chapter XlII. Kirk
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
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,
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
The book index page can be found at
Banished Scots in Canada may be in line for a
Thanks to Harold Nelson for sending me in this
Westminster asked to lift slur against
John Ivison, National Post
Published: Wednesday, July
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
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
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
However, many families that supported the
Stuarts are still stigmatized by what one member of the Scottish
Parliament called "historical discrimination."
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
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
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
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
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
Chapter 5. The
Jug of Whisky and Temperance Meeting
You can read these at
Fraser's Scottish Annual
We have added some more articles from this
The Earl of Dundonald in Canada
A Gaelic Service in
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
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
You can read the rest of this article at
The other articles can be read at
Statistical Account of Scotland
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
How the EU Common Fisheries Policy Permanently
A Warning for Iceland By Dr James Wilkie and
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
A wee bit of old Scots Humour
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
Acts of Parliament
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."
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
And that's it for now and
hope you all have a good weekend :-)
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