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The Life of Hugh Miller
A Sketch for Working Men (1862)

The following Sketch of the Life and Character of Hugh Miller, originally formed a series of articles which appeared in the Northern Daily Express, tinder the heading, "Sketches of Working Men." These articles excited considerable interest at the time of their appearance, and the Compiler of these pages thought it desirable to give them a form in which they would obtain a wider circulation and exert a more permanent influence than could be expected from isolated articles, running through a long series of the numbers of a local newspaper. He therefore applied to the Proprietor of the Northern Daily Express for permission to reprint the Sketch in its present form.

To this application Mr. J. H. Rutherford, Manager of the Express, courteously replied, and stated, that there was no objection to the compilation of the articles referred to, and the applicant was at perfect liberty to quote his authority.

It only remains for the Compiler to express his earnest wish, that the reading of his little book may be as useful to all into whose hands it may fall, as its compilation has been to him.


Chapter I.
Hugh Miller's Parentage—The Story of the Little Doggies-—His Father goes to Sea— Character of his Father—The Mutiny—Service in the Royal Navy—His Father's First Marriage and Early Bereavement— The Ship-wreck.

Chapter II.
The New Ship—The Second Marriage—Birth of Hugh Miller—An Apparition—Another Skip-wreck and the Father Drowned—A Second Supernatural Appearance—Hugh Miller's Widowed Mother—His First School—Early Reading.

Chapter III.
Hugh Miller's Maternal Uncles—Mode of spending Sabbath Evenings—The Grammar School—Attempts to Learn Latin—The Story-teller.

Chapter IV.
Hugh Miller Obtains Access to a Good Library—Commences his Geological Studies—Studies the Art of War—His Naval Pursuits—The Gunpowder Plot.

Chapter V.
Reasons for Giving the Foregoing Details— Autumn Journies to the Highlands—Removal to a New School—Insubordination—Conscientiousness in the Choice of a Calling—He is Bound Apprentice to a Mason—Enters the Quarry where he Re-commences the Study of Geology—Character of his Master—Resolves to Guard against Intemperance.

Chapter VI.
Hugh Miller's Lessons in the Quarry—Friendship with William Ross—Loyalty to his Master in Seasons of Adversity—A Night Scene—Mad Bell.

Chapter VII.
Termination of Hugh Miller's Apprenticeship-Visits Edinburgh—Returns to Cromarty out of Health—Goes to Inverness in Quest of Work—Amusing Interview with a Scotch Minister—Publishes his First Volume—Death of Uncle James.

Chapter VIII.
Dawn of Hugh Miller's Literary Fame— Writes his Autobiography—Casual Interview with his Future Wife—Appointed Accountant in a Commercial Bank—His Marriage—Continues his Literary Labours—Enters the Arena of Church Controversy—Letter to Lord Brougham—Appointed Editor of the Witness—His Independence and Success.

Chapter IX.
Motives for Entering the Arena of Strife— Donald Roy of Nigg—A Remarkable Secession.

Chapter X.
Spirit of the Witness—Geological Papers— His Lecturer—Effect of severe mental Labour —Moody Apprehensions—Last Contribution to the Witness—Frightful Symptoms—The Closing Scene.

You might also like to read his book, "My Schools and Schoolmasters".

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