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Weekly Mailing List Archives
7th September 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
Scotland on TV
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Clan Donnachaidh (Robertson)
Poetry and Stories
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Fourth Congress at Atlanta
Good Words - Edited by the Rev Norman MacLeod
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland in 1876
Book of Scottish Story
Reminiscences of Old Scots Folk

I was about to embark on publishing the book "The Civil and Ecclesiastical History of Scotland" by Thomas Innes (1853) when I found a copy on the web. Due to this I've got a copy of the .pdf file and posted it up for you to read. You can get to it at

This book was published by the Spalding Club who concentrated on publishing little known books that they judged contributed significant knowledge and deserved to be preserved. The period covered in the history is from A.D. 80 to A.D. 818. The file is around 24Mb in size which is of course rather larger for dial-up users but once down you do have the entire book to read.

Was over in Toronto this week at the Scottish Studies Sail Past event. It was a beautiful day and everyone seemed to be having a really good time. I took some photos and a few videos which you can see at

On a personal note I was delighted to see President's Choice launching a Nan bread and while I have still to do my shopping am looking forward to trying it. As you may know Nan is a great compliment for us folk that enjoy Indian curries :-)

Been messaging with a few folk this week that didn't know about our "Mini Bios" section. This section is devoted to posting up biographies of individuals and families. And so... if you can sit down with your word processor and type up a history of your own family you can then submit that for inclusion in this section. We don't make any judgements on writing style and you can also include pictures. So why not have a go at your own family and send it into us. This work is preserved for future generations.

I'll add one story as it relates to this section. I got a message from a person that told me when her mother died and as they were clearing out her home she told her brothers to look out for the genealogy her mother had been doing. Horror... the brothers had in fact binned it along with other papers. A couple of years later she thought about trying to start up the genealogy again and was doing a search on the internet when she discovered her mother had sent me a copy of her research for the Mini Bios section. Needless to say she was somewhat overwhelmed at finding this.

So do please consider sending us in your family history to include in our Mini Bios section which you can get to at

For those interested I have added another entry to my Canadian Journal for the last two months to August 31st, 2007 which you can read at

I just came across a wee publication I picked up from Campbell at the Spittal of Glenshee around 4 years ago so have at last made it available. Actually, I was doing a clear out of paperwork and came across it. Campbell just prints out copies and makes them available at the Spittal pretty much to cover the cost of the printing. It includes a map, walks, and local stories of Glenshee. You can read this at

You can also see pictures of the Spittal and the local area at

Although long dispersed from Glenshee, members of the Clan MacThomas Society return each year to stay at the Spittal of Glenshee on the third weekend of August and to swear allegiance to their clan chief as he stands on the rock. And should anyone have any pictures of the clan gathering I'd love to have copies to post onto the site. So... any Clan MacThomas members reading this? :-)

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.

Scotland on TV
Visit their site at

As you know we're still a new site and very much learning about what kind of content our global audience is likely to be most interested in. And so we really love it when we see word about the channel spreading and people email us with their views about what we're doing.

It's fascinating seeing which content people come to view on the site. Last week's item on the Loch Lomond Seaplane brought in a flood of viewers from the aviation world, including a French site all about crashes! By all accounts the sea-plane has an exemplary safety record; however, the news item on Scotland on TV was about the new route which has opened up from just outside our office on the River Clyde in Glasgow up to Oban on the west coast. There are some fantastic aerial shots in the video and well worth a look if you haven't seen it yet. Just click here and it will take you to that video. 

The other piece of news this week is that Flora and Nigel, two of our video-journalists, made it back from their visit to the Balvenie Distillery in Dufftown without signs of having imbibed too much of the product they saw being made. They had a great two days there and Balvenie's Global Ambassador, David Mair took them through the entire process of malt whisky making. The guys got such great material that we've decided to make a short series out of it all called 'The Making of Malt Whisky' (Original title, eh? But the world of search engines makes us very literal.)

The first part is being edited at the moment and hopefully should be live on the site late on friday, 7th. It really is a fascinating process, so do drop in on the channel and take a look. is the link 

This weeks Flag is compiled by Jim Lynch. This issue he is talking about the abolition of Bridge Tolls on the Forth and Tay bridges, the voting fiasco and proposed new bills going through Parliament.

In Peter's cultural section he talks about a proposed twinning arrangement...

In commemoration of the 303rd anniversary (10 September 1704) of the marooning of Largo-born Alexander Selkirk in the Juan Fernandez group of islands, 500 miles off Chile, we repeat a previous story concerning the character on whom the story of Robinson Crusoe was based by Daniel Defoe. Since the feature first appeared Largo Community Council did agree twinning links with Robinson Crusoe Island.

The proposed twinning between a Fife community and a Pacific island is a reminder that Scots get everywhere and the fact that English writer Daniel Defoe based his famous book 'Robinson Crusoe' on the exploits of Largo-born seaman Alexander Selkirk. Largo Area Community Council has decided to explore the possibility of twinning Largo with Robinson Crusoe Island in the Juan Fernandez group, which lie several hundred miles off the coast of Chile. This follows the visit to Largo of Swiss-born photographer Daniel Bruhin who is now resident on Robinson Crusoe Island. During his visit to Fife he gave talks and slide shows to the local primary schools and suggested a permanent twinning arrangement between Largo and his adopted island home because of the unique link with Alexander Selkirk.

Born in Lower Largo in 1676, the son of a cobbler, by all accounts Alexander Selkirk was a rather hot-tempered chiel who after several close calls with the authorities fled to sea at the age of 27. He joined the hydrographer, navigator and explorer-turned-buccaneer William Dampier and became sailing master of the Cinque Ports. In 1704, having quarrelled with his captain, Selkirk requested to be put ashore on an uninhabited island in the Juan Fernandez group, where he lived alone for four years and four months, before being rescued by another privateer under the command of Woodes Rogers. He returned to Largo in 1712 and an account of his experiences published the following year inspired Daniel Defoe to write 'Robinson Crusoe'. Defoe, of course, was no stranger to Scotland and the Scots, having been an English spy in Edinburgh in the run-up to the incorporating Union of 1707between England and Scotland. Selkirk, unable to resettle on his native heath, returned to sea and at his death in 1721 was a lieutenant in the Royal Navy. A suitable statue of Alexander Selkirk, dressed as 'Robinson Crusoe' stands on the site of the cottage where he was born and is a popular tourist attraction. The local hotel is also suitably named 'The Crusoe'.

This week's recipe , Port of Ness Cod, comes from an island, but one rather nearer home than Robinson Crusoe Island, the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. It is a simple way of cooking and serving cod.

Port of Ness Cod

Ingredients: 1 1/2 lb ( 750 g ) cod, on the bone; salt and peper; 2 oz ( 50 g ) butter; 2-3 tbsp milk; 2 lb ( 1 kg ) potatoes, boiled and mashed; garnish - parsley

Method: Put the cod into a pan and just cover with water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cod. Remove cod from the pan, skin and bone. Put flakes into a large heated ashet and put pats of butter on top. Moisten with a little of the cooking liquor and sprinkle liberally with chopped parsley. Add the milk and a little of the butter to the potatoes and cream them. Serve round the fish on the ashet.

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 on the I's with Irvine, Irving and Isles

Here is how the account of Isles starts...

THE ISLES, Lord of, an ancient title, possessed by the descendants of Somerled, thane of Argyle, who in 1135, when David I. Expelled the Norwegians from Arran and Bute, and some other of the islands, appears to have got a grant of them from that monarch. To secure himself in possession, however, he married, about 1140, Effrica, or Ragnhildis, the daughter of Olave the Red, king of Man, from which marriage sprung the dynasty so well known in Scottish history as the Lords of the Isles. By her he had three sons: Dugall, Reginald or Ranald, and Angus. The Chronicle of Man adds a fourth, Olave. By a previous marriage he had one son, Gillecolane. According to the Celtic genealogists, this Somerled (the name is Norse, in Gaelic Somhairle, in English, Samuel) was descended, through a long line of ancestors, from the celebrated Irish king Conn Chead Chath, or Conn of the hundred battles. He assisted his son-in-law, Wimund, the pretended earl of Moray, when he invaded Scotland in 1141, and on the death of David I., accompanied by the children of Wimund, he landed with a great force, in Scotland, 5th November 1153, in order to revenge the wrongs done to him. Having, however, encountered a more vigorous opposition than he had anticipated, he found it necessary to agree to terms of accommodation with Malcolm IV., an event which was deemed of so much importance as to form an epoch from which various royal charters were dated.

His brother-in-law, Godred the Black, king of Man, had acted so tyrannically that Thorfinn, one of the most powerful of the insular nobles, resolved to depose him, and applied to Somerled for his son, Dugall, then a child, whom he proposed to make king of the Isles in Godred’s place. Carrying Dugall through all the isles, except Man, Thorfinn forced the inhabitants to acknowledge him as their king, and took hostages from them for their obedience. One of the chief islanders fled to the Isle of Man, and informed Godred of the plot against him. That prince immediately collected a large fleet, and proceeded against the rebels, then under the guidance of Somerled, with a fleet of eighty galleys. After a bloody but indecisive battle (1156) a treaty was entered into, by which Godred ceded to the sons of Somerled what were afterwards called the South Isles, retaining for himself the North Isles and Man. Two years afterwards, Somerled invaded the latter island with a fleet of fifty-three ships, and laid the whole island waste, after defeating Godred in battle.

Somerled’s power was now very great, and for some time he carried on a vexatious predatory warfare on the coasts of Scotland, till Malcolm required of him to resign his possessions into his hands as his sovereign, and to hold them in future as a vassal of the Scottish crown. Somerled refused, and in 1164, assembling a numerous army, he sailed up the Clyde, with 160 galleys, and landed his forces near Renfrew, where he was met by the Scots army, under the high steward of Scotland, and defeated, he himself and his son Gillecolane being amongst the slain. According to tradition, he was assassinated in his tent by an individual in whom he placed confidence. This celebrated chief has been traditionally described as “a well tempered man, in body shapely, of a fair piercing eye, of middle stature, and of quick discernment.” According to the then prevalent custom of gavel kind, whilst Gillecolane’s son, also named Somerled, succeeded to his grandfather’s superiority of Argyle, the insular possessions were divided among his sons descended of the house of Man. Dugall, the eldest of these, got for his share, Mull, Coll, Tiree, and Jura; Reginald, the second son, obtained Isla and Kintyre; and Angus, the third son, Bute. Arran is supposed to have been divided between the two latter. The chronicle of Man mentions a battle, in 1192, between Reginald and Angus, in which the latter obtained the victory. He was killed, in 1210, with his three sons, by the men of Skye, leaving no male issue. One of his sons, James, left a daughter and heiress, Jane, afterwards married to Alexander, son and heir of Walter, high steward of Scotland, who, in her right, claimed the isle of Bute.

You can read the rest of this entry at

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 Aberdour at
Parish of King Edward at

Here is the Antiquities of Aberdour...

Antiquities.—At a place called Chapelden, in the land of Auchmedden, the ruins of a Roman Catholic chapel are still to be seen, on a haugh opposite the Toar of Troup. The walls are completely demolished, and nothing remains but a heap of stones, which have been held sacred by the husbandman; for although in the midst of a cultivated field, they have never been touched by the plough. The only fort, or castle, in the parish is that of Dundargue, for a particular description of which, reference is made to the former Statistical Account. In addition to what is there stated, it may be proper to observe, that when Edward Baliol came to claim the kingdom of Scotland, Sir Thomas Beaumont accompanied him, and took and garrisoned the Castle of Dundargue in right of his wife, she being the eldest daughter of Cummine, Earl of Buchan, who had no male issue, and to whom the castle belonged.

There are numerous cairns and tumuli scattered through the parish. Such as have been opened have been found to contain a rude stone coffin, enclosing the bones or ashes of a human body. A cairn on the farm of Towie, on the estate of Auchmedden, called Brodie's Cairn, deserves particular notice. My informant remembers three cairns of the same name, but with regard to this one in particular, the tradition is as follows: A farmer of the name of Brodie murdered his mother, whose body was brought to the gate of the church-yard of Aberdour, and every individual in the parish called upon to apply the hand to the naked corpse, under the superstitious belief that the blood would gush upon the murderer. It was observed, that during the time this was going on, her son carefully kept at a distance, and showed great reluctance to approach the body, and that, when recourse was about to be had to compulsion, he confessed the murder. The tradition farther states, that the murderer was drawn and quartered, and that his four limbs were buried on the sides of four roads leading to the church of Aberdour. So much for ancient superstition.

You can read the rest of this account at

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

Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
The September issue is now available at

A letter from your editor:

A few things to think about....

Over the past couple of games seasons, I have heard discussions about smaller crowds, less volunteer participation, less clan participation, clans who are losing membership, etc. I know of more than a few games that simply are no more. I've had some time to think about all of this...and although you might not be particularly happy to see what I've thought...I hope you'll take a few minutes to read and then think about what you've read.

I've had occasion to try and contact some Highland Games, some clans, even businesses...some entertainers... and it turned out to be a very hard chore to actually find anyone. These groups and individuals seem to rely on their website and/or email to be their public presence and their principle means of communicating. Many brochures, even websites, have no phone number, no way to contact a person with whom you can speak and exchange information..

I've tried leaving a message on websites - only to be 'pinged' that the mailbox is full. I've tried using the email, but many times the mailbox is full or you never receive a reply. Even if you do find a phone number, the call is seldom returned. My goodness, this publication is on the Internet and electronic media has its place. However, I promise, you may phone me, email me or write me a letter or note and I will be back to you as soon as is humanly possible.

I understand that having someone to answer the phone and talk to people is much more trouble than just leaving everything to electronics. However, could it be that this lack of human communication might prevent people from attending your event or joining your group? Could it be that potential attendees or participants just need to speak to a person? It surely doesn't hurt to try.

I'm sure this isn't the only reason for the decline in attendance at Highland Games...but it might be one of the reasons. Years ago, I had a little list of things called 'What it takes to be a champion...' The list was primarily for 4-11'ers...but I read it and remember a few of the things that I've tried ever since then to make a part of myself. One of the things on the list was, 'Always return phone calls promptly.' Another thing I remember, although my Grandmother had already taught me this, was, "Be sure and say 'please' and 'thank you.'"

So, please think about these little things.

Thank you.

Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Added the final issue of this newspaper...

November 6, 1891 at

This issue carries an article about Aboyne Castle, on the first page.

You can see all the issues to date at

Clan Donnachaidh
Our thanks to James Irvine Robertson for sending us in articles from the Clan Donnachaidh annual magazines of which he has been editor for some 10 years. You can see the collection of articles at

Got up additional articles this week including...

The Early Medieval Landscape of Struan
Crannogs and Clan Donnachaidh
Scotch Gent

Here is how Crannogs and Clan Donnachaidh starts...

Dr Nick Dixon and his American-born wife Barrie Andriaan have an obsession. Some 25 years ago Nick began his life’s work in exploring the crannogs - in fact one in particular - in Loch Tay. Since then he has uncovered a huge storehouse of artifacts and information about an aspect of Highland heritage that was virtually unknown. As a byproduct of his work, he and Barrie have also created one of the country’s premier visitor attractions as a way to raise money to continue their research.

Crannogs are artificial islands set in the shallows of lochs, most surviving today as little more than submerged boulder-mounds or islets topped by stands of trees. However, these defensive homesteads figured prominently throughout Scotland's past as flourishing waterborne communities that lasted for centuries and came to play an important part in clan refuge and warfare. They were occupied as early as the Neolithic period, some 5,000 years ago, until the 17th century AD.

Most Scottish crannogs appear to have consisted of a single thatched roundhouse, deliberately built out in the water for protection from wild animals and invaders. Based on the results of Nick’s underwater surveys and excavations, we now know that the crannogs were built as free-standing timber pile-dwellings in the lochs of woodland environments, and as circular or sub-circular stone buildings on man-made or modified natural rocky islands in more barren environments.

There are many crannogs in Ireland, one known example in Wales, but none in England. More than 400 are known in Scotland but, as there are more than 30,000 lochs in the country, the total number is likely to run into thousands. In Loch Tay, Perthshire, where Nick’s Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology has been excavating periodically since 1980, there are 18. At one of these, the late Bronze Age/early Iron Age site of Oakbank Crannog, waterlogging has made the preservation of organic materials spectacular. Surviving structural remains include the original pointed alder posts of the supporting platform, floor timbers and hazel hurdles forming walls and partitions, as well as the posts that once provided a walkway to the shore.

The finds from the site paint an amazingly clear picture of the lifestyle of the crannog-dwellers in the area, and increase our knowledge of this period in prehistory. Wooden domestic utensils, finely woven cloth, beads, and even food and plant remains have all been well preserved. We know that the crannog-dwellers kept cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs, and produced dairy products including butter, which in one instance was found still adhering to a wooden dish probably only discarded because it had split apart.

Most crannogs are situated opposite good agricultural land, and the discovery of a wooden cultivation implement at Oakbank Crannog, together with grain and pollen evidence, indicates a local population of peaceful farmers. They grew a range of cereal crops including spelt, an early form of wheat previously thought imported by the Romans. These loch-dwellers also cultivated a taste for parsley which is not indigenous to Scotland, and therefore perhaps indicative of trade with people further south or on the Continent.

You can read the rest of this entry at

Poems and Stories
John Henderson has sent in Chapter 58 and 59 of his Recounting Blessings series which you can read at

Donna has started a new recipe section, H-Factor Recipes, great recipes for Diabetics at

Stan Bruce, the Bard of Banff, was in Jerusalem and sent in a poem about his visit called LouLou which you can read at

Donna sent in a journal entry, Reprieve, Town Site Cafe which you can read at

John sent in a .pdf file recalling his 1000 pts for Jordanhill RFC - ‘The Boot’ which is about his first-class rugby football career in Scotland from 1958 to 1966 when he played for Jordanhill College and Glasgow and in the process gathered 1062 points for his club. You can read this at

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

In Memorial...

Andrew C. Black, Springfield, O.
Col. William M. Irvine, Richmond, Ky.
Hon. John Jay Knox, New York
Samuel Willson, Mantorville, Minn.
Dr. J. M. Deaver, Lancaster County, Pa.

Here is the Obituary of Hon. John Jay Knox, New York


John Jay Knox, President of the National Bank of the Republic, died at his residence, 19 East Forty-first Street, on the 9th of February. Mr. Knox had been ill with pneumonia for several days, and toward the last his physicians had given up all hope of saving his life. John Jay Knox had been a conspicuous figure in the financial world during the last two decades. He was born in Oneida County, this state, on March 19, 1828. His father's ancestors were Scotch-Irish, and came from Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1759. He received his education at the Augusta Academy and the Water-town Classical Institute, and was graduated from Hamilton College in 1849. He began his business career in the bank at Vernon, of which his father was long President, as teller, at a salary of $300 a year. He held that position until 1852. He afterward was with the Burnet Bank, at Syracuse, and then was appointed cashier of the Susquehanna Valley Bank, at Binghampton.

In 1857 Mr. Knox and his brother, Henry M. Knox, started a bank in St. Paul, Minn. He came into prominence as a financier in the discussion which preceded the establishment of the national banks. He took a conspicuous part in the agitation of the questions that then arose, and made many valuable suggestions regarding the currency. He strongly advocated a safe and convertible currency, the issue of a uniform series of circulating notes to all the banks, and the guarantee by the government of circulation secured by its own bonds.

In 1862 Mr. Knox was introduced by Secretary Chase to Hugh McCullough, then the Controller of the Currency. Mr. Chase had. his attention attracted to Mr. Knox by the financial articles that appeared under his name in various magazines. Mr. Knox accepted a clerkship under Treasurer Spinner, but subsequently was transferred to the office of Mr. Chase as disbursing clerk, at a salary of $2,000 a year. After holding the position three years he accepted a position as cashier of the Exchange National Bank, at Norfork Va.

The Southern climate did not agree with him, so he returned to Washington. He was commissioned by Mr. McCullough to examine the branch mint at San Francisco. He also was then authorized to select a site for a new mint there. His report upon the mint service of the Pacific Coast was so valuable a document that Mr. McCul-lough printed it as a part of his official report of 1866, with a complimentary notice for the writer. The site for the mint which he selected was afterward purchased for $100,000 from Eugene Kelly, of this city.

Mr. Knox was next commissioned to go to New Orleans. A deficiency of $1,100,000 had been discovered in the office of the Assistant Treasurer there. He took possession of the office, and for some time acted as Assistant Treasurer.

The promotion of Mr. Knox to the office in which he was able to do himself the most credit and perform services to the country which are part of its financial progress occurred in 1867. At this time a vacancy was brought about in the Deputy Controllership of the Currency, and Secretary McCullough appointed him to fill it. Until May 1, 1884, he remained as Deputy, or head of the bureau, his terms of office being as follows: Five years as Deputy Controller, from 1867 to 1872; five years as Controller, from 1872 to 1877, appointed by Gen. Grant; five years, second term, as Controller, from 1877 to 1882, by President Hayes, on the recommendation of Secretary Sherman—the reappointment being made without his knowledge, before the expiration of the preceding term, and confirmed by the Senate without reference to any committee. He was again reappointed by President Arthur, April 12, 1882.

In 1870 he made an elaborate report to Congress, including a codification of the mint and coinage laws, with important amendments, which was highly commended. The bill which accompanied the report comprised within the compass of twelve pages of the Revised Statutes every important provision contained in more than sixty different enactments upon the mint and coinage of the United States—the result of eighty years of legislation. This bill, with slight amendments, was subsequently passed, and is known as "The Coinage Act of 1873," and the Senate Finance Committee, in recognition of his services, by an amendment, made the Controller of the Currency an ex officio member of the Assay Commission, which meets annually at the mint in Philadelphia for the purpose of testing the weight and fineness of the coinage of the year.

Through his official report Mr. Knox always exercised great influence over financial legislation, and he took an active, though quiet and unassuming part in the great financial movements which resulted in the resumption of the specie payment. It was in April, 1878, that he came to this city with Secretary Sherman and Attorney-general Devens. He arranged a meeting between these two Cabinet officers and the officers of ten of the principal banks, with the view of negotiating the sale of $50,000,000 of 4½ per cent. bonds, the avails of which were to be used for resumption purposes. The Presidents of the banks represented gave Secretary Sherman no encouragement for the purchase of the bonds at the rate proposed. The Secretary and the Controller were met at the Fifth Avenue Hotel later in the day by August Belmont, who had received from the Rothschilds a cable dispatch authorizing the purchase of the entire issue of bonds at a premium of 1½ per cent. for the account of the syndicate. When the Secretary and the Controller returned to Washington and announced that their negotiations had been successful, there was a deal of chagrin among certain members of the Finance Committee of the House of Representatives, who were bitterly opposed to the resumption scheme proposed.

This negotiation was the first of a series of brilliant financial transactions preceding and following resumption on January 1, 1879, in which Mr. Knox was a leading figure. Afterward he arranged a conference, which was held in the Treasury at Washington in the evening, between leading bank officials of New York and Secretaries Sherman and Evarts, which resulted in the admission of the Assistant Treasurer as a member of the Clearing House, and the receipt by the banks of legal tender notes on a par with gold; and in 1881, by request of President Garfield, he attended a conference in New York between the leading financial men of the city and Secretary Windom and Attorney-general MacVeagh, which resulted in the issue and successful negotiation of 3½ per cent. bonds.

After Mr. Knox left the public service, in 1884, he was President of the National Bank of the Republic in this city. He was the author of a book entitled "United States Notes." It was published by the Scribners and republished in London. In politics Mr. Knox was thoroughly independent, taking a personal interest in political matters only so far as financial, civil service, and tariff questions were concerned. He was the nominee of the independents for Controller of the city in 1886.

The last address made by Mr. Knox was in Boston at the dinner given by the Chamber of Commerce of that city. On that occasion he was one of the representatives of the New York Chamber of Commerce.

The funeral took place on Friday from St. Bartholomew's Church, in Madison Avenue, of which Mr. Knox was a member.

You can get to the index page of this volume and read the other entries 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...

Mary's Birthday (Page 75)
Christian Counsel and Teaching for Young Men (Pages 75-78)
"Good Words" concerning the Better Country (Pages 78-79)
An Incident in the Artic Seas (Pages 79-80)
A Winter's Tale (Page 80)
Prayer (Page 80)

Here is A Winter's Tale for you to read here...

It was in January 1841, and in the ancient city of Antwerp. The beautiful streets were almost deserted, the cold was so intense; but my story leads me into a dark and narrow lane, and a poor room, in which it was as cold as out of doors. In this wretched abode, a thinly-clad young woman sat weeping by the bedside of a child, which looked as if it was soon to be laid in a bed where cold and hunger are felt no more. Hear the stove, in which, however, no wood was burning, stood a little boy of about six years, asking for bread. His mother gave no reply, but, after a while, the request was repeated —"Do, mother, give me something, if it be ever so little; I cannot endure the hunger." And the mother gave him a small piece of bread, and said—"I wanted it for your little sister; but I fear she will not require it any more." Little Hansel seized it eagerly, but returned half of it for the sick child. Soon afterwards, the father of the family entered, deep sorrow and disappointment on his wan countenance. "We are very unhappy, Theresa," said he to his wife; "I have stood the whole day at the train with my wheelbarrow, and have not earned a farthing." Little Hansel asked—"Have you brought me nothing to eat?" But the father's face was so stern, that the child was afraid, and said—"I won't ask again." When the father looked at the sick child, his soul was overwhelmed with distress and anguish. "Nothing remains for me," he exclaimed, at last, "but to sell my wheelbarrow."

It is the custom in Antwerp, that every Friday a kind of auction is held in the market-place, to which people bring whatever they have to sell. The poor man brought his wheelbarrow, and waited till his turn came. How, it so happened, that two rich young ladies were just then passing that way, and, being struck with the sad expression of the man's countenance, stood beside him, and heard him telling his story to a neighbour. After consulting with each other they bought the wheelbarrow for twenty-seven francs, to the great astonishment and amusement of the bystanders. They paid immediately, and asked him to take it home for them. He requested them to allow him to go first to his house, and after hearing where it was, they said that they could go that way. On their road there they bought potatoes, bread, rice, and wood. It was all put on the wheelbarrow, and soon they were before the poor man's door. They followed him into his room, and what a scene presented itself to their view! The woman lay fainting on the floor, and the little boy was crying bitterly. Wine was soon procured, a fire lit, and little Hansel's hunger appeased. They now told the poor man, that the wheelbarrow and all its contents were his, and that they would in future help him and give him employment. After having promised to send a doctor to see the child, they took their leave. The poor parents could scarcely believe in their deliverance; they were unable to utter a single word of gratitude,—and the ladies also were silent for a long time on their way home. At last one of them said—"There can be no greater blessedness on earth, than to be sent by God to relieve the poor in their distress." From that time they devoted themselves to the poor, visiting from house to house in the most destitute streets, and bringing help and consolation to the needy.

You can read the other articles at

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

Report on the Improvement of Waste Land
Report on Spade and Fork Trenching

Here is how the report on "Improvement of Waste Land" starts...

By John Yeats, Esq. of Kincorth, Advocate, Aberdeen.
[Premium, The Gold Medal.]

The estate of Kincorth, on which the improvements embraced in this report have been executed, forms a part of the eastern extremity of the Grampians. It lies in the parish of Nigg, Kincardineshire, and is from two to three miles distant from the market-cross of Aberdeen.

On acquiring the property in September 1842, the reporter resolved to attempt its improvement. Obstacles, by many deemed almost insuperable, abounded; but Aberdeen, where hundreds of men were unemployed, was near, and wages were low; and thus a more favourable time for the attempt was not likely to occur.

The property consists of fertile haugh land, extending along the south side of the river Dee, and a steep bank of old arable land rising from it. This bank of land is succeeded by a hill, lying about 250 feet above the level of the river, both fronting the north. It also consists of an almost level valley or plain, stretching along the bottom of the hill to the west; and on the south there stands another hill, now planted, the elevation of which is some 350 feet above the level of the sea.

The operations on the plain and the hill first mentioned are now reported upon.

The reporter found the plain in a state of nature. It was altogether useless, producing only heath and whins, amongst which, in many parts, a blade of grass could scarcely be detected. After a fall of rain, it could be traversed neither by man nor by beast, without risk. On its surface, where not covered with large fixed stones (whinstones,) which all around met the eye, presenting the appearance of one entire mass of rock, were a few inches of loam or peaty earth; and below, a blue sandy clay, which, at a depth of from 3 to 4 feet, was found to change into sand. It contains about 44 acres, and, as need not be stated, was worth nothing while in this dreary state.

In the winter of 1842, and the spring of the year following, the reporter caused the whole of it to be hand-trenched. The depth of the operation was 16 inches; the surface-sod was taken off, (not more than 6 inches deep) reversed, and laid flat, and equally divided in the bottom of the trench, while the remainder of the soil and subsoil was put upon the top of the sod, and properly levelled on the surface. Whatever stones two men with picks and levers could move, were raised; and the numerous larger masses of rock were bored, and blasted with gunpowder.

The contracts for trenching averaged L.7, 7s. 6d. an acre; boring and blasting the large stones cost 3½d. a foot for inch bores, and 5d. for larger bores, exclusive of gunpowder; the average, including gunpowder, being about L.6 an acre.

Stones being superabundant, it was desirable, as regarded both economy and use, to employ as many as possible in the several operations on the property; and accordingly, and at the same time to dry the ground the more effectually, the drains were made 5 feet deep and 27 inches wide, with an eye 9 inches square in the bottom, and filled above with small stones, till within 18 inches of the surface of the ground. The expense was 3½d. a yard, or L.4 an acre.

Substantial stone dykes, dividing the ground into ten fields, were next erected. These are 4½ feet high, and are built in regular courses over covered drains, level with the bottom of the trench which is filled to the surface with small stones. The expense, including the cutting of the foundation and removing stones, was 10d. a yard. The fields are small, averaging 4 acres—the reporter having been desirous as well to use as many stones in the dykes as was compatible with neatness, as to divide his property into farms comprehending from 40 to 70 acres. Such, in a town locality, are found to be more advantageous than farms of greater extent.

Early in the spring of 1843 these fields were ready for the plough; and, after having been for a time exposed to the action of the air and frost, and abundantly manured with Aberdeen police dung and lime, (30 cubic yards of the one, and 8½ bolls—51 bushels, of the other, being given to the acre,) they were sown with oats. The crop was sold upon the ground, at prices averaging L.9 an acre. Five of the fields were sown with grass, and from the other five fields a second crop of oats (sown out with grass) was taken, which was also sold upon the ground for about the same price. The grass was luxuriant, and was sold for L.6 an acre. The subsequent crops have been very heavy. The ground presents the appearance of having long been successfully cultivated. It is a sandy blue clay, open soil, slightly mixed with peat moss.

You can read the rest of this account at

You can get to the other articles at

Book of Scottish Story
Kindly sent in to us by John Henderson

The Book of Scottish Story
Historical, Humorous, Legendary, Imaginative
by Standard Scottish Writers Published by Thomas D. Morison, 1896

This week we have the story of "The Lily of Liddisdale" by Professor Wilson and "The Unlucky Present" by Robert Chambers.

Here is how "The Lily of Liddisdale" starts...

The country all around rang with the beauty of Amy Gordon; and, although it was not known who first bestowed upon her the appellation, yet now she bore no other than the Lily of Liddisdale. She was the only child of a shepherd, and herself a shepherdess. Never had she been out of the valley in which she was born; but many had come from the neighbouring districts just to look upon her as she rested with her flock on the hill-side, as she issued smiling from her father's door, or sat in her serener loveliness in the kirk on Sabbath-day. Sometimes there are living beings in nature as beautiful as in romance; reality surpasses imagination; and we see breathing, brightening, and moving before our eyes, sights dearer to our hearts than any we ever beheld in the land of sleep.

It was thus that all felt who looked on the Lily of Liddisdale. She had grown up under the dews, and breath, and light of heaven, among the solitary hills; and now that she had attained to perfect womanhood, nature rejoiced in the beauty that gladdened the stillness of these undisturbed glens. Why should this one maiden have been created lovelier than all others? In what did her surpassing loveliness consist? None could tell; for had the most imaginative poet described this maiden, something that floated around her, an air of felt but unspeakable grace and lustre, would have been wanting in his picture. Her face was pale, yet tinged with such a faint and leaf-like crimson, that though she well deserved the name of the Lily, yet was she at times also like unto the Rose. When asleep, or in silent thought, she was like the fairest of all the lilied brood; but, when gliding along the braes, or singing her songs by the river-side, she might well remind one of that other brighter and more dazzling flower. Amy Gordon knew that she was beautiful. She knew it from the eyes that in delight met hers, from the tones of so many gentle voices, from words of affection from the old, and love from the young, from the sudden smile that met her when, in the morning, she tied up at the little mirror her long raven hair, and from the face and figure that looked up to her when she stooped to dip her pitcher in the clear mountain-well. True that she was of lowly birth, and that her manners were formed in a shepherd's hut, and among shepherdesses on the hill. But one week passed in the halls of the highly-born would have sufficed to hide the little graceful symptoms of her humble lineage, and to equal her in elegance with those whom in beauty she had far excelled.

The sun and the rain had indeed touched her hands, but nature had shaped them delicate and small. Light were her footsteps upon the verdant turf, and through the birchwood glades and down the rocky dells she glided or bounded along, with a beauty that seemed at once native and alien there, like some creature of another clime that still had kindred with this—an Oriental antelope among the roes of a Scottish forest.

Amy Gordon had reached her nineteenth summer, and as yet she knew of love only as she had read of it in old Border songs and ballads. These ancient ditties were her delight; and her silent soul was filled with wild and beautiful traditions. In them love seemed, for the most part, something sad, and, whether prosperous or unhappy, alike terminating in tears. In them the young maiden was spoken of as dying in her prime, of fever, consumption, or a pining heart; and her lover, a gallant warrior, or a peaceful shepherd, killed in battle, or perishing in some midnight storm. In them, too, were sometimes heard blessed voices whispering affection beneath the greenwood tree, or among the shattered cliffs overgrown with light-waving trees in some long, deep, solitary glen. To Amy Gordon, as she chanted to herself, in the blooming or verdant desert, all these various traditionary lays, love seemed a kind of beautiful superstition belonging to the memory of the dead. With such tales she felt a sad and pleasant sympathy; but it was as with something far remote—although at times the music of her own voice, as it gave an affecting expression to feelings embodied in such artless words, touched a chord within her heart, that dimly told her that heart might one day have its own peculiar and overwhelming love.

The summer that was now shining had been calm and sunny beyond the memory of the oldest shepherd. Never had nature seemed so delightful to Amy's eyes and to Amy's heart; and never had she seemed so delightful to the eyes and the hearts of all who beheld her with her flock. Often would she wreathe the sprigs of heather round her raven ringlets, till her dark hair was brightened with a galaxy of richest blossoms. Or dishevelling her tresses, and letting fall from them that shower of glowing and balmy pearls, she would bind them up again in simpler braiding, and fix on the silken folds two or three water-lilies, large, massy, and whiter than the snow. Necklaces did she wear in her playful glee, of the purple fruit that feeds the small birds in the moors, and beautiful was the gentle stain then visible over the blue veins of her milk-white breast. So were floating by the days of her nineteenth summer among the hills. The evenings she spent by the side of her greyheaded father—and the old man was blessed. Her nights passed in a world of gentle dreams.

But, though Amy Gordon knew not yet what it was to love, she was herself the object of as deep, true, tender, and passionate love, as ever swelled and kindled within a human breast. Her own cousin, Walter Harden, now lived and would have died for her, but had not hitherto ventured to tell his passion. He was a few years older than her, and had long loved her with the gentle purity of a brother's affection. Amy ad no brother of her own, and always called Walter Harden by that endearing name. That very name of brother had probably so familiarised her heart towards him, that never had she thought of him, even for a single moment, in any other light. But, although he too called Amy sister, his heart burned with other feelings, and he must win her to be his bride, and possess her as his wife, or die. When she was a mere child he had led her by the hand—when a fair girl he had in his arms lifted her across the swollen burns, and over the snow-drifts—now that she was a woman he had looked on her in silence, but with a soul overcharged with a thousand thoughts, hopes, and desires, which he feared to speak of to her ear; for he knew, and saw, and felt, in sorrow, that she loved him but as a brother. He knew, however, that she loved none else; and in that—and that alone—was his hope,—so he at last determined to woo the Lily of Liddisdale, and win her, in her beauty and fragrance, to bloom within his house.

You can read the rest of this story at

The index page of the book where you can read the other stories is at

Reminiscences of Old Scots Folk
By T. Ratcliffe Barnett (1913)

I might add there are a number of interesting wee colour pictures in this publication. As it says in the book title...


Stories added this week are...

Chapter V - Ailie Gordon's Christening Robe, and a Piece of Bread and Cheese
Chapter VI - Heather Jock, the Gaberlunzie Man
Chapter VII - The Shadow among the Hills

Here is how "Heather Jock, the Gaberlunzie Man" starts...

"Heather Jock's noo awa',
Heather Jock's noo awa';
The muircock noo may crousely craw
Since Heather Jock's noo awa'."

HIS NAME WAS WILLIAM BRODIE, BUT over all the westland he was known as Heather Jock. For "Heather Jock" was his favourite song, and there are few towns and villages in the west where it was not known. To suit the action to the song, Jock wore a kenspeckle bonnet all over with feathers and brooches and bonny blooms of heather. The bonnet had been at Waterloo on the head of a gallant Scots Grey, when the brave fellows charged at the gallop against the troops of Bonaparte. And when the trooper came home he tossed his busby to Heather Jock for an old song. Jock decked it out with heather, which he gathered on the Gleniffer Braes. He added tinsel brooches, which for many a day he carried in his wallet for the country lasses to buy; and with the brass strap beneath his chin, and the geegaws shaking and shining among the heathery headgear above, he would toss his head at the women and bairns right gallantly when he was singing his songs.

But Heather Jock had his wand of office too, as large and gorgeous as any bishop's crozier. A long strong stick it was, with a heart-shaped disc fastened on the top,and seven or eight small bells below which he jangled merrily when he sang. On one side of the disc was painted a gamecock crowing, and this was doubtless the symbol of his own song:—

"The muircock noo may crousely craw
Since Heather Jock's noo awa'."

In his bien days Jock wore a long blue coat with flying tails and brass buttons—so with the heather bonnet, the long bell-bedecked stick, and the blue-tailed coat, there was none so gay as he at country fairs or feeing markets.

But Jock himself was far more namely than his dress. A douce, temperate, decent body, well-built and soople, with a face that was a cross betwixt a Roman Emperor and a Red Indian chief's, his clear blue eye could search a crowd like a lantern on a dark night.

Like many another wise-like man, Heather Jock was a Paisley body, born at Seestu in the year 1802. He tried the weaving shop and the calico printing as a laddie, but the gangrel blood was in his veins, so he took to the road with a pack on his back, and joined the ranks of the gaberlunzie men. Like other folk, he fell in love with his own "Bonnie Annie Laurie," and at Brig o' Weir set up his house. His homecoming was aye to the Brig o' Weir until he himself, without any of his oft-repeated play-acting of the part, "lay doun to dee"; and so those of us who were born in the next parish, among the habbies of Kilbarchan, have often seen and heard tell of Heather Jock in the days of long ago.

But the pack failed, because Jock, in his simplicity, was oftener sold than his wee bit wares. He took to the life of a stravaiging singer then, and went the round of all the west-country fairs and markets. He was never a robustious singer, but what he lacked in voice he made up in dress and play-acting, and could suit the action to the word better than most.

I can hear his high-set, weak, quavering voice yet, as the old gaberlunzie, with a group of open-mouthed, wondering bairns round him, would sing the last line of "Annie Laurie," and then lie quietly down with his eyes shut on the dusty road between Johnstone and Kilbarchan, not far from Storey's sweetie shop. Ah, Heather Jock, there were many of us standing round you on the road that thought you were away with it altogether, and we were well pleased when at last you opened your eyes and got on to your feet again! For bairns are believing creatures.

You can read the rest of this story at

You can get to the index page where you'll find the other stories to read at

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


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