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Weekly Mailing List Archives
10th August 2007

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

You can view what's new this week on Electric Scotland at and you can unsubscribe to this newsletter by clicking on the link at the foot of this newsletter.

See our Calendar of Scottish Events around the world at 

Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Clan Newsletters and Information
Poetry and Stories
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Fourth Congress at Atlanta, GA., April 28 to May 1, 1892
History of Scotland
Good Words - Edited by the Rev Norman MacLeod
Perth on the Tay
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland in 1876
The Island Clans During Six Centuries (New Book)
Highlander and his books
Robert Burns Lives!
A wee chuckle

Got a CD in from Michael Craig who took photos of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in North Carolina for me. He had all the photos arranged in different folders to reflect the various subjects which made my life a whole lot easier. Mind you it still took me a full day to get them all up.

Should any of you that attended this event have any other photos I'd be pleased to add them to this collection. And should you notice yourself in any of the pictures and would like your name added to it then just identify the photo and email me with the information and I'll add you in :-)

The photos can be seen at

I've also made a start at a great wee book, "Island Clans over six centuries", which I hope you'll enjoy and of which more below.

I am looking to visit the Fergus Highland Games in Ontario this Saturday so if you spot me please feel free to say hello :-)

Some of the stories in here are just parts of a larger story so do check out the site for the full versions. You can always find the link in our "What's New" section at the link at the top of this newsletter and pick up poems and stories sent into us during the week from Donna, Margo, Stan, John and others.

Mind that The Flag is now in two sections (1) Political and (2) Cultural.

This weeks Flag is compiled by Jim Lynch. He has an interesting article about "Greasy Polls" in which he discusses whether the new Prime Minister might call an early election and also discusses the debt or lack of it of the major political parties.

In Peter's cultural section I notice an old favorite recipe...

In by-gone days before the turnip was introduced as winter food for animals, Martinmas, 11 November, was the time of year for killing the animals which Scots could not afford to keep during the winter. It was a busy time of year as families strove to ensure that nothing was wasted. Meat was salted down and the innards made into black and white mealie puddings.

Most people now-a-days buy puddings at the butcher but Skirlie is still made at home. Skirl-i-the-pan is made with the same ingredients as mealie puddings but is fried in a pan rather than boiled in a skin. Also known as Poor Man's Haggis, Skirlie is splendid with neeps an tatties and also be used as stuffing for any kind of poultry or game. Here is the Aberdeenshire and North-East Scotland method of cooking:-


Take oatmeal, suet, onion, salt and pepper. Chop two ounces of suet finely. Heat a pan very hot and put in the suet. When it is melted add one or two finely chopped onions and brown them well. Now add enough oatmeal ( about four ounces ) to absorb the fat - a fairly thick mixture. Season to taste. Stir well till thoroughly cooked ( a few minutes ). Serve with potatoes.

You can read the Flag, listen to the Scots Language, enjoy the Scots Wit and lots more at

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

Now onto the H's with Horner, Horsburgh and Horsley added this week.

Here is the account of James Horsburgh...

HORSBURGH, JAMES, F.R.S., a distinguished hydrographer, was born at Elie, Fifeshire, September 23, 1762. His parents, though in a humble sphere of life, were pious and respectable. At the age of sixteen, having acquired the elements of mathematical science, book-keeping, and the theoretical parts of navigation, he sailed in various vessels, chiefly in the coal trade, from Newcastle and the Firth of Forth to Hamburgh, Holland, and Ostend. In May 1780 he was captured by a French ship of twenty guns, close to Walcheren, and detained in prison at Dunkirk for a short time. After his liberation he went on a voyage to the West Indies, and on his return proceeded to Calcutta. In 1784 he was made third mate of the Nancy, bound for Bombay, in which trade he continued for about two years. In May 1786, when proceeding from Batavia towards Ceylon, as first mate of the Atlas, he was wrecked upon the island of Diego Garcia, owing to the incorrectness of the charts then in use. On his return to Bombay he joined, as third mate, the Gunjava, a large ship belonging to a respectable native merchant, and bound to China. On the vessel’s arrival at Canton, he became first mate, in which capacity he continued to sail, in that and other ships, between China, Bombay, and Calcutta, for several years.

Mr. Horsburgh’s experience and observation had enabled him to accumulate a vast store of nautical knowledge, bearing especially on eastern hydrography. By the study of books, and by experiments, he familiarized himself with lunar observations, the use of chronometers, &c. He also taught himself drawing, etching, and the spheres. During two voyages to China, by the eastern route, he constructed three charts, one of the Strait of Macassar, another of the west side of the Philippine Islands, and the third of the tract from Dampier Strait, through Pitt’s Passage, towards Batavia, accompanied by a Memoir of Sailing Directions, which were published under the patronage of the court of directors of the East India Company, for the use of their ships.

In 1805 Mr. Horsburgh returned to England, and soon after he published a variety of charts, with Memoirs of his Voyages, explanatory of Indian Navigation. In the Philosophical Transactions for 1810 appeared several of his papers which he had presented to Sir Joseph Banks; while others were inserted in Nicholson’s Philosophical Journal. In 1809 he brought out ‘Directions for Sailing to and from the East Indies, China, New Holland, the Cape of Good Hope, and the interjacent Ports,’ compiled chiefly from original journals and observations made in the Eastern seas during twenty-one years. This invaluable work has now become a standard authority. In 1810, on the death of Mr. Dalrymple, he was appointed hydrographer to the East India Company. His energies were now devoted to the construction of various valuable charts and works; amongst which were, an Atmospherical Register for indicating Storms at Sea, published in 1816; a new edition of ‘Mackenzie’s Treatise on Marine Surveying,’ in 1819; and the ‘East India Pilot.’ He also contributed a paper to the Royal Society on the Icebergs in the Southern Hemisphere, which is printed in the Philosophical Transactions for 1830. In 1835 he published a Chart of the East Coast of China, having the names in the Chinese character and in English, translated by himself, which was his last work. He died May 14, 1836. He was married in 1805, and left one son and two daughters, A striking public acknowledgment of his merit is contained in the Report on Shipwrecks of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, which refers to the highly valuable labours of the East India Company’s maritime officers, and “the zealous perseverance and ability of their distinguished hydrographer, the late Captain Horsburgh, whose Directory and Charts of the Eastern Seas have been invaluable safeguards to life and property in those regions."

You can read the other entries at 

New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Have made a start at this huge publication which will likely be with us for a few years. The first volume I am dealing with is the one on Aberdeen. There are some 85 parishes in this volume and a write up on each.

This week have added...

Parish of Fintray at

In the Civil history it states...

Antiquities.—There are two cairns in the parish, but their origin is unknown. The present minister when improving his glebe dug up the foundations of some buildings, supposed to have belonged to the Abbacy of Lindores, in Fife; a branch of which is said to have stood where the principal burying ground of this parish now is; in which burying ground, a vault of extraordinary strength was built a few years ago by the parishioners, to secure dead bodies from resurrectionists; from whence, after remaining perhaps three months or more, the bodies are removed and regularly interred. The proprietor of the lands of Fintray collects and pays to the Exchequer the feu-duties which belonged to the Abbacy of Lindores—several of the landed estates in this part of the country holding of said Abbacy, and paying feu-duty thereto.

The buildings (denominated the Northern Abbey) are supposed to have been erected about the year 1386, from a stone bearing that date having been observed many years ago in the dike of the burying ground, which had probably been composed of fragments of the demolished abbey, whereof no vestige now remains above the surface of the ground; but foundations of its walls occasionally interrupt the digging of graves.

The minister has in his possession a silver cup belonging to the parish, bearing date 1632, which tradition says was formed from a silver head of St Meddan, the tutelar saint of the parish; which, in the days of Popish superstition, was wont to be carried through the parish in procession, for the purpose of bringing down rain, or clearing up the weather, as circumstances might require.

On the index page of this volume you can see a list of the 85 parishes and also a map at

Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Added another issue of this newspaper...

October 8, 1891 at

This issue carries an article about Arbroath Abbey, on the first page.

You can see all the issues to date at

Clan Newsletters and Information
Added an update for the 2008 MacIntyre Gathering in Scotland at

Poems and Stories
Added a .pdf file of the Rayne Parish War Memorial sent in by Stan which you can read at

Donna sent in several new poems which you can read at

Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Fourth Congress at Atlanta, GA., April 28 to May 1, 1892
Added more sections to this volume...

Scotch-Irish in Georgia. By Hon. Patrick Calhoun, of Atlanta, Ga.
The Ireland of To-day. By Rev. Dr. John Hall, of New York
The Scotch-Irish in America—Who are they? and what are they? By Dr. A. Given, of Louisville, Ky.

Here is how The Scotch-Irish in Georgia starts...

Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen: The Scotch-Irish have stamped an imperishable impression upon Georgia. For those homely virtues of thrift, industry, and economy which have caused the people of this state to be termed the Yankees of the South; for that dauntless and invincible courage which has immortalized the conduct of her soldiers upon the fields of battle; for all those splendid qualities which enabled her people to erect the fabric of pure and honest government out of the corrupting chaos of reconstruction, and to move forward so rapidly and successfully in the march of progress as to justly win for her the proud rank of the "Empire State of the South," Georgia is deeply indebted to that noble race in whose history, traced through their career here, and their earlier settlements in the Carolinas, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, back to old Ulster, and further still to the lowlands and craggy highlands of Scotland, the electric search light of the nineteenth century discloses not a single page blurred by servile submission to native wrong or foreign yoke. [Applause.]

How deep is this debt is not readily apparent. The youngest of the colonies, Georgia, has drawn her population largely from her older sisters. The blood of several races mingles in the veins of her people. Intensely American in their lives, their characteristics and their habits of thought, they trace their ancestry back to one of the older states that fought with England for the liberty of this now great and powerful Union. And they could afford to stop there. For what princeling in all Europe has so good a title to that true nobility which should characterize a man as those whose ancestors fought for liberty at Lexington and Concord, Trenton or Monmouth, King's Mountain or Cowpens? The brilliant glory of the American revolution, by the shadow it cast upon antecedent events, veils from view the earlier ancestry of our people. But long before America was even discovered the Scotch-Irish blood which poured out so freely in the battles of the Revolution flowed in the veins of hardy and brave ancestors, who, from prehistoric days, transmitted the power and the strength to their descendants to withstand all forms of oppression.

For that ancestral pride which rests supinely upon the greatness and the glories of the past, there are no words but those of contempt; but in that ancestral pride, which sees in the great deeds of past generations the incentive to purer lives, higher purposes, and loftier ambitions, we have the strongest guarantee for the perpetuation of our institutions. To-morrow will rise upon a Union more homogeneous, and with less cause for sectional division, than ever existed in the past. May I digress to add: May the great Protestant Churches, which are now divided, become as indissolubly united as the states! [Applause.] But below the surface there are evils which are likely, in the not distant future, to grow to grave dangers; and there is no such antidote for the poison lurking in the body politic as to drink deep at the fountain of inspiration flowing from the noble lives and the great deeds of the race to which we have the honor to belong. [Applause.] With these sentiments I enter upon the pleasant task assigned me to-night.

It would be impossible to give the number of Scotch-Irishmen in Georgia who have reached distinction in every walk of life. My friend, Col. George Adair, read to you yesterday a list of a few who have helped to build Atlanta. To read to you a list of those who have contributed to the greatness of the state would more than consume the session of our Convention. The limitations of the occasion necessarily confine me to a few general remarks upon the part the Scotch-Irish have played in the settlement and development of the state; their contribution to its population; their influence upon its civilization; and an observation or two pertinent to the facts presented, and just a word in regard to the duty we owe the present and the future.

The illustrious character and philanthropic motives of Oglethorpe threw a luster about the colony he planted at Savannah. McMaster justly classes him as the most interesting of all the men who led colonists to America. His fame shines resplendent even by the side of the gifted Raleigh's. He was the associate of great men. He lived in the public gaze. Heralded in advance by royal command, every detail in the history of his colony was recorded by polished pens. We can see the good ship "Annie" as she cast anchor off the bar of Charleston on January 13, 1733, and the distinguished reception accorded Oglethorpe by the authorities of South Carolina. We follow the colonists to Beaufort; we note Oglethorpe's visit to Tomo-chi-chi; and we watch him mark out the site of Savannah. We return with him to Beaufort and reembark with the colonists. We stop with them on the way to regale ourselves with the plentiful supply of venison awaiting their coming. The next day when they cast anchor off the bluffs of Yammacraw, we hear the joyous words of hope uttered by the destitute men who had been weighed down with misfortune in crowded old England, as they set foot on unpeopled Georgia.

In what striking contrast was the advent of the hardy pioneers who had left home and fireside, for conscience sake, to seek liberty and freedom in the wildernesses of America! They wrote their history with the rifle and the ax, the sword and the plow! [Applause.] There was no herald of their coming save the splash of the pole as they pushed the rude ferryboat across the upper waters of the Savannah, or the crack of the whip as they urged their tired beasts drawing primitive wagons over rough mountain roads. The record of their coming was lost as the ripples of the river sunk back into its current, or the echoes of the mountain died away in its silence. We know neither the day nor the month nor the year when thousands came. But the fact that they had come was attested by the falling of the trees. Cabins rose and fruitful farms appeared where forests grew and Indians roamed. And not far off the church—the house at once of worship and instruction. What man reared in the country does not recall the old schoolhouse with its backless wooden benches and the Sabbath morn at the country church! The whole community gathered there. Some came on foot, some on horseback, the better to do in wagons and old-fashioned carriages. With what reverence they entered the old church! with what devotion listened to the minister! And after church came the kindly greetings, the words of sympathy and cheer. The highest and the lowest met on terms of equality. Such communities knew not the much talked of aristocracy of the South. No-purer democracy ever existed in the world.

Before my mind rises the picture of an old stone church built in the last century, surrounded by a beautiful grove of oak and hickory; and near by, the old graveyard, with its fence crumbling to decay, and its rude stones mouldering in the dust of time, marking in more than one instance the final resting place of men of national reputation. Statesmen worshiped there; plain Scotch-Irishmen, who helped to mold and sway the destinies of the nation.

Oglethorpe's colony encountered many privations. It was threatened by Spaniards, it fought with Indians, and it languished under restrictions more crushing than either. Dark clouds gathered o'er its fated head, rent only here and there by the arrival of fresh emigrants. Most noted among these were the brave Scotch colonists, who, when told at Savannah that at the place chosen for their settlement the Spaniards could fire on them from their fort, replied: "Very well, we will take the fort and find homes already built." [Applause.]

As I have said, I cannot individualize, but who can speak of that colony without mentioning the immortal name of Mcintosh. [Applause.] Who could fail to recall Gen. Lachlan Mcintosh as he took charge of the first regiment in Georgia raised to fight for American independence; or the reply of Col. John Mcintosh to the English colonel 'who demanded the surrender of Sunbury under a threat of destroying the town, "Come and take it" [applause]; or the gallant James Mcintosh who fell at the head of his columns at Moleno del Rey.

In 1752 the trustees of the Georgia colony, harassed by complaints, beset by difficulties, and unable to maintain the colony, surrendered their privileges to the king. A year later the entire white population is estimated to have been only 2,381. In the language of McMaster, Oglethorpe's noble charity "had failed;" and in the language of Bancroft, Georgia was indeed "the home of misfortune." But English policy and English folly, operating in distant fields, uninfluenced by the broad principles of philanthropy, but governed alone by the narrow lines of bigotry and intolerance which would force men's consciences to conform to the dogmas of an established Church, were then, and had been for more than half a century, laying the foundation for the independence of America and the greatness of this state. Thirty-eight years later the site of old Ebenezer, the town of the Salzburger settlement, was a cow pen; New Ebenezer scarcely more than a name. [McMaster, Vol. II., p. 3.] Frederica was in ruins; Sunbury, which the New England colonist had built with so much hope, had fallen to decay; the Medway no longer bore upon its bosom the proud ship of commerce; and Sunbury's docks slowly rotted away. And yet Georgia was a sovereign state, a free compeer among the sisters of an independent republic, and its population had grown to eighty-two thousand, fifty-two thousand of whom were whites. Forty-seven thousand of these lived in the counties of Burke, Franklin, Greene, Richmond, Washington, and Wilkes.

Whence came these people? Chiefly from the mountain and Piedmont regions of the Carolinas and Virginia. And whence came their ancestors? The answer to that question tells the part the Scotch and Irish have played in the settlement of Georgia.

You can read the rest of this at

You can get to the index page of this volume at

History of Scotland
In 9 volumes By Patrick Fraser Tytler (1828)

Now started the 9th and final volume with...

Title, Preface and Contents at

Chapter I (Pages 1 to 39) at
James the Sixth, 1586-7-1589

Chapter II (Pages 41 to 117) at
James the Sixth, 1590 - 1593

Here is what the Preface has to say...

The letters of Queen Elizabeth given in the Appendix to this Volume, and now printed for the first time, are taken from originals written entirely in the Queen's own hand, or from contemporary copies of such originals. They were her private and confidential letters; a circumstance which renders them highly valuable, both as throwing light on the personal character and peculiarities of this famous Queen, and on the secret history of the times.

The letters of Elizabeth, which have hitherto been given to the world, have been almost exclusively letters of State, written by Lord Burghley, or some other of her Councillors, and signed by the Queen. It is scarcely necessary to point out the difference between the generality of these last, which are indeed public papers, and the individuality of the letters printed in this Volume, which were strictly sealed, and meant only for the eye of the Prince to whom they were addressed.

Of these latter, some of the most curious are preserved in the MS. Collections of the Right Hon. Sir George Warrender, already alluded to in the Preface to Volume Eighth of this History; and of which his liberality has, for the last two years, permitted the Author the fullest use.

Devonshire Place,
December 4, 1843.

As all the chapters are .pdf files I'll just point you at the index page of this publication where you can read the rest of the chapters at

Good Words - 1860 Edition
Edited by Rev. Norman MacLeod

You should note that as this is a weekly publication you'll find larger articles are continued week by week.

This week have added articles on...

Sketches in Natural History - Thoughts on a Coal-Fire (Pages 37-39)
Meditations on Heaven III (Pages 39-41)
Protestantism in France (Pages 41-42)
Christian Counsel and Teaching for Young Men, Chapter II (Pages 42-44)
True Stories of God's Providence (Pages 44-46)

Here is how the article "Sketches in Natural History" starts...

The fireside is peculiarly a British institution, as the people of this country are peculiarly a home-loving and domestic people. When our countrymen travel abroad, they uniformly miss the cheerful fireside of their English home, and feel that the stove, however efficient as a heating apparatus, is a sorry substitue for the enlivening blaze of a coal-fire, even with the occasional drawback of a smoky chimney. To an Englishman, the fireside is the emblem of home comfort. As for our French neighbours, having neither fireside nor home habits, there is no equivalent term in their language to the English word comfort. Cowper was the poet of domestic life, and there is nothing finer in our literature than his tribute to fireside happiness, at the opening of the "Winter Evening" in "The Task;" and the most charming thing about it is the homeliness and truthfulness of the picture, which belongs exclusively to no grade of society, but may, in its essential element, be realised every winter night in the year, in every well-conditioned workman's family in the land. Thomas Campbell expressed his admiration for Cowper's verses in words which render it unnecessary to quote them here, since the reader can find no stronger inducement to turn up "The Task," and peruse, or re-peruse, the passage, than the commendation of one of the last and best of the British poets. "Of all the verses," says he, "that have ever been devoted to the subject of domestic happiness, those in his 'Winter Evening,' at the opening of the fourth book of 'The Task,' are perhaps the most beautiful. In perusing that scene of 'intimate delights,' 'fireside enjoyments,' and 'home-born happiness,' we seem to recover a part of the forgotten value of existence, when we recognise the means of its blessedness so widely diffused, and so cheaply attainable; and find them susceptible of description, at once so enchanting and so faithful."

As we sit absorbed in a brown study, looking into the parlour fire, and perhaps, like Harley in the tale, trying to find a body for a Turk's head we have detected amongst the fantastic shapes of the glowing embers, how rarely does it occur to us to reflect on the far-seeing wisdom and goodness evinced in preparing the vast deposits of coal, iron, and other minerals, which minister in such a remarkable manner to the necessities and comforts of mankind! It was a striking observation of Playfair's, when speaking of the teachings of Hut-ton, the founder of the modern geology, that "the mind seemed to grow giddy by looking so far into the abyss of time; and while we listened," said he, "with earnestness and admiration to the philosopher who was unfolding to us the order and series of these wonderful events, we became sensible how much further reason may sometimes go, than imagination can venture to follow." And surely it is fitted to exalt our conceptions of Divine benevolence to reflect that, throughout the inconceivably remote and prolonged ages which preceded the appearance of man upon the earth, and amidst all the amazing vicissitudes and perturbations which have left their traces upon its surface, creative wisdom was contemplating a prospective arrangement, so manifestly designed and fitted to promote the physical prosperity and social progress of the future race of intelligent beings, as that which has yielded to the successive families of mankind "the chief things of the ancient mountains, and the precious things of the lasting hills." If men could perceive these evidences of the goodness of God and be silent, "the stones would cry out."

The rest of this article can be read at

The book index page is at

Perth on the Tay
A Tale of the transplanted Highlanders by Josephine Smith (1901)

Have now completed this book and here is a bit from the addenda...

The letters and other matter in the Addenda are copied from original correspondence and other official documents in the Canadian Archives; for that reason everything therein contained can be depended on as authentic. They are each worth reading, telling truly the story of long ago, and more vividly than any historian of to-day could write it.

The collecting, arranging and caring for the precious historical matter in the Archives is one of the most important branches of our Civil Service. Dr. Brymner is an ideal archivist, being thoroughly conversant with all points of Canadian history, and devoted to the office. Mr. Duff, assistant, and Miss Casey, are genial and helpful, and can offer many valuable suggestions to the seeker after knowledge of men and manners of the far away past. It cannot but be gratifying to every Canadian to have our history so well guarded, and find the lively interest in and affection for it evinced by all connected with the Archives.

The addenda is a .pdf file but here is one of the letters in it...

Quebec, Nov. 21st, 1815

Sir, I have the honor to report to His Excellency that, of the Settlers recently arrived from Scotland in the Transports "Dorothy," "Atlas" and "Baptiste Merechant," and since forwarded to the Upper Province, eight or nine unmarried men have proceeded to Kingston, and are there employed by the Engineer Department on the King's works. At Brockville thirty large families are accommodated in the Barracks, in some adjoining huts, and in the neighboring farm houses, where most of them have procured employment. This station being considered the principal depot of the Settlement about to be formed under the superintendence of Alex. McDonell, Esq.; the Staff Surgeon, Mr. Thorn; the Deputy Adjutant Commissary-General, Mr. Greig; and Lieut. McTier, Act. Deputy Superintendent, are paid for the present. The Barracks are comfortable and in good order, under the charge of -,whom I have ordered to furnish such a proportion of fuel during the winter as may be deemed necessary for the cooking and comfort of the Settlers' families, subject to the recommendation of Mr. Thom, and the approval of the Superintendent.

At Fort Wellington there are a few families whom it is contemplated to settle on the Rideau. These are accommodated in a stone building on the wharf. I found it necessary to direct some slight repairs being made upon the building, which was used during the late war as a barrack and store. It is, I understand, the property of an American now in the United States, but a claim is made to the disposal or letting of it by Col. Hagerman.

The Settlers at this station are under the charge of Acting Lieutenant at Fort, Adjutant Foort, who has been authorized by Major.General Sir Frederick Robinson to perform the duties of the Quartermaster General's department, and whom I therefore take the liberty of recommending to Your Excellency's favourable consideration for a small increase of allowance. A trifling repair has been made in the Barrack at Johnstown, which is now in a tolerable state for the accommociation of Settlers and their families.

At Montreal are a few families whom the confinement of the wives or the sickness of the children rendered unable to proceed.

I beg leave to state, for Your Excellency's information, that as the Major-General, Sir Frederick Robinson, had directed the Superintendent to submit the name of a proper person to fill the situation of secretary and storekeeper, no one has yet been named to that important duty. I therefore, with the concurrence of Mr. McDonell, submit for your approbation the name of Mr. Daniel Daverne, senior clerk of the Quartermaster-General's Department in Upper Canada, as a person well versed in accounts and of a good general information; and recommend at the same time his being allowed ten shillings per
diem and Captain's lodging money.

Q.-M. General

To His Excellency
Sir Gordon Drummond

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the rest of the chapters at

Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland in 1876
Am adding a variety of articles from this publication and this week have included...

On Planting in Exposed and Maritime Situations
On the Soils and Subsoils suited for Planting
On the Cultivation of the Potato

You can see these on the index page of this publication at

On the Cultivation of the Potato article starts...

By Mrs Paterson, now Roger, Potato Merchant, 38 Union Street, Dundee. [Premium—Five Sovereigns.]

What method of cultivation ought to be adopted in order successfully to prevent a total failure of the potato crop, and to produce a vigorous habit and constitution to resist the attacks of disease to which the old varieties have been so long subjected, is a question of vital importance to our country and to the world, the potato being a necessary auxiliary of food, and consequently the cultivation of it a great commercial enterprise. This question, for many years past, has attracted the earnest attention of the statesman, the philosopher, the economist, and the man of science, and now that disease again threatens this palladium against famine (when this phrase was first used, I question much if it was thought the object of the eulogy should itself be the cause of famine and consternation), it must be obvious that great necessity exists in agriculturists devoting their utmost thought, care, and attention to the culture of new varieties of potato.

Potato disease is the result of degeneration and decay, caused by repeated propagation from the old varieties. As a natural consequence the plant must, and will wear out. It becomes weak in constitution, worthless as a cropper, and subject to many forms of disease from the vicissitudes of climate or atmospheric action, not only after it has developed its stems, but before the germ has risen out of the ground.

From the experience I have had of potato raising and potato culture, my conviction is there is no remedial cure for the disease, it being inherent in the plant, caused partly by atmospheric action, the plant having the seeds of disease within itself ready to be developed under favourable circumstances, and that the present stock will be more or less subject to it.

The potato is only destined to serve its day and generation the same as animal life, and a successive and regular renewal of the esculent from the small seed found in the plum of the potato, thus producing an infusion of new blood, is no doubt the only effectual remedy for disease, restoring vigour and saving the plant from annihilation. It was only about the year 1826 that disease in the potato seems first to have attracted the attention of agriculturists. As to the cause many conjectures were put forth, and all experiments tried that human skill could devise to ward off the epidemic and regenerate the old plant to its original strength, but in vain. Previous to the visitation of the fatal blight of 1846, which in one night nearly destroyed the whole crop of the nation, the potato had become so weakened in constitution from repeated planting, that the plant had almost ceased to flower, and the potato plum so entirely disappeared that I question much if the rising generation were aware that ever the plum existed, or that new varieties could be grown from them. Each plum has its small seeds innumerable, every one of which produces potatoes of varied form, colour, habit, and constitution, and wonderful to relate, perhaps none of them the same as the mother plant, and great difficulty is experienced in getting one good seedling out of the many varieties.

In the year 1853 the potato in this country had ceased to flower or bear plums, which necessitated an amalgamation of varieties blended together by atmospheric action and insect labour, in order to produce plums.

Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) from Central America, Chili, East and West Indies, Australia, and Cape of Good Hope, were imported into Scotland and planted promiscuously with the "Rock" potato (brought into Scotland from Ireland in 1848), in a field of newly taken in land where the atmosphere was damp, and the field previously manured in the autumn with farm-yard dung. Most of these plants produced flowers, but only a few bore plums, and still fewer plums ripened. However, the experiment was successful; new seed was obtained, and from these insignificant looking things have been produced the countless new varieties that have restored the potato to the comparatively healthy state it is now in from the dead rot of 1845, which threatened to exterminate it from off the face of the earth.

You can read the rest of this article at

The Island Clans During Six Centuries
By The Rev. Canon R. C. MacLeod of MacLeod (1920's).

This is a wee gem of a book which I hope you will enjoy. The chapters include...

Chapter I - The Norse Occupation of the Hebrides
Chapter II. - The Clan System
Chapter III. - The Clansmen
Chapter IV. - Home Life
Chapter V. - Internal and External Warfare
Chapter VI. - Scottish Kings and Island Chiefs
Chapter VII. - The Passing of the Old Order
Chapter VIII. - Employment and Unemployment
Chapter IX. - A West Highland Estate During Four Centuries
Chapter X. - Some Island Folklore

I have the first chapter up now which starts...

The Norse occupation of the Hebrides and of some of the mainland of Scotland has left much more important and lasting results than is generally realised. If we consider the length of time during which this occupation lasted it would be strange if it had not exerted a great influence in many directions.

The raids of Norse pirates began at a very early period. There may be some doubt as to whether the burning of the religious houses at Eigg in April 617 was the work of Norsemen, but the repeated attacks on Iona between 794 and 825 were certainly carried out by them, and, indeed, all the West Coast of Scotland as far as Galloway in the south was being constantly laid waste by Norse rovers during the first half of the ninth century.

Probably the brochs and duns were built by the Celtic inhabitants during this period as places of defence against the Norse raiders. These are found in large numbers where-ever the Vikings are known to have come, and they are found in no other part of Scotland. We may look on them, therefore, as records of the appalling period during which the Western Isles were being ravaged by the Vikings.

These raids, however, destructive as they were, could have no permanent results on the character of the people who suffered from them; but, towards the end of the ninth century, the Norsemen began to settle in the Western Isles. Harold Haarfagre had made himself Master of all Norway, instigated by the ambitious lady he wished to marry. The numerous petty kings who had ruled as independent sovereigns on the Fjords of Norway, unable to resist, and unwilling to submit, sailed forth to carve out for themselves new principalities in the west. Some went to England, some to France, some to Italy, some took service in the famed Varangian guard at Constantinople, many found new homes in the Isle of Man and in Ireland, and towards the end of the ninth, and during the tenth century, the Vikings were settling in the Hebrides, reducing the Celtic chiefs to obedience, and making the Islands their own.

They did not exterminate the Celtic inhabitants of the country. It was not to their interest to do so; their own numbers were not very large, and they needed people to cultivate the soil, to row their dragon ships, and to perform other menial duties. Probably some of the Celtic tribes may still have retained possession of their lands, but it is certain that by the end of the tenth century the Norwegians had become predominant in the Western Isles ; as indeed they were in the Orkneys and Shetlands, in the north-east of Scotland, on the seaboard of Ireland, and in the Saxon kingdom of Northumbria.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

Highlander and his Books
Young George Washington and the Battle that Shaped the Man By Alan Axelrod

Reviewed by Frank R. Shaw, FSA SCOT, Atlanta, GA, USA, email: 

Author Alan Axelrod has written an interesting and compelling book which gives us a new, insightful look into young George Washington! Any student of history or Washington will find Blooding at Great Meadows a wonderful and stimulating read, beginning with the title itself. This book is simply as good a book on Washington’s early years as one can find.

The section dealing with Washington’s defeat at Fort Necessity (a/k/a Great Meadows) in the western part of what is now Pennsylvania is material worthy of being made into a movie. “Why?” you ask. Because Axelrod’s chapter titled “Anatomy of Surrender” deals with the first of Washington’s many defeats during his military career, and his only battlefield surrender! Leading his first major command, Washington, having been given the honors of war, marched out of Fort Necessity with drums beating and colors raised high. He picked a fight with a superior force and lost. To put it mildly, he simply got thrashed! Although humiliated, young George Washington marched out of Fort Necessity “a soldier, a leader of soldiers - and more”. The French and Indian War had begun and would last seven years. And in a staccato sentence, the author reveals, “The day was July 4, 1754.” But Washington would experience another July 4, this one in 1776, and it would have a different ending.

The 22-year-old Washington returned from his humiliation at Great Meadows, Axelrod writes, neither shocked, cowed, or chastened. He returned bloodied, now a mature soldier, and could recall something charming in the sound of bullets whistling by his head. Axelrod says of Washington that he “fought, led, watched, and learned. Washington survived. More than that, he prevailed.” And, history was to record George Washington as a great leader of men but not a great tactician. Choosing to build Fort Necessity on the site he did was the first of many errors in judgment that Washington would make over a long, distinguished career. After the surrender, it took Washington and his men nearly two weeks to reach Williamsburg where he was generally greeted as a hero since most of his critics were silent. But, that was not the end of the matter.

Horace Walpole said it better than anyone else when he wrote in his Memoirs of the Reign of King George II, “The volley fired by a young Virginian in the backwoods of America set the world on fire”. The book’s subtitle, “Young George Washington and the Battle that Shaped the Man” could just as easily have been “Young George Washington Who As a Man Would One Day Shape the World”.

Ask for Blooding at Great Meadows (Running Press Book Publishers) at your local book store - ISBN-13: 978-0-7624-2769-7 or ISBN-10: 0-7624-2769-8. This publication lists for $22.95, and you’ll be glad you added it to your library. (FRS: 8-06-07)

Now, What Has This Got To Do With Scottishness?

With all due apologies to Alan Axelrod, I will venture into another area of interest to our Scottish readers that has nothing to do with his book. It was Light Horse Henry Lee (father of General Robert E. Lee) in his eulogy of Washington who described him as “First in peace, first in war, first in the hearts of his countrymen.” He has often been referred to as an Englishman throughout history. One author and Scottish scholar, Duncan Bruce (The Mark of the Scots and The Scottish 100), notes that Washington was of “solid English stock”.

However, Bruce goes on to say in The Mark of the Scots that an unusual discovery was made in 1964 by George S. H. L. Washington, himself an Englishman, who found that our George Washington had a Scottish connection to Malcolm II, King of Scotland from 1005-1034. Listen up, this information has been verified and accepted by the Garter King of Arms, the official arbiter of English genealogy. Bruce supports this discovery, as did Nigel Tranter, “Scotland’s Story Teller”. I certainly have found no reason not to! And that, dear reader, is why I’ve reviewed this excellent book by Alan Axelrod on the young George Washington! (FRS: 8-06-07)

You can read more of Frank's reviews at

Robert Burns Lives!
My Favorite Burns Poem

By way of introduction, Dr. Tom Burns, immediate Past President of The Burns Club of Atlanta, has challenged its membership to submit one or more poems by Robert Burns for a book to be published by the club. The book of poems is to be sold at the 35th Annual Stone Mountain Scottish Festival & Highland Games October 19-21, 2007. One contributor to this publication will be Dr. Ross Roy, honorary member, and the world’s leading Burns scholar. The following is my contribution to the project.

My Favorite Burns Poem By Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot, Atlanta, GA email:

You can read Frank's pick and his reasons for it at 

And finally.. I was reading the book "History of Bruce County" and came across this wee story in the chapter on Education which gave me a wee chuckle...

"In a school in Kinloss was a little boy who would persist in saying 'have went.' The teacher kept him in one night and said, 'Now, while I am out of the room you may write "have gone" fifty times.' When the teacher came back he looked at the boy's paper, and there was, 'Have gone fifty times.' On the other side was written, 'I have went home.'"

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


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