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Weekly Mailing List Archives
30th March 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
Grower Flowers
Dark Birthright
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
The Southern States of America
History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
The Greatness and Decline of the Celts
Poems and Stories
Sketches of the Wild Sports & Natural History of the Highlands
Scotland in the Middle Ages
Scotch-Irish in America
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Congress in Columbia, Tennessee May 8-11, 1889. (New Book)

Many many thanks to you all for completing the Homecoming Scotland Survey and should any of you not have managed to complete it you can still do the survey at

In the first 24 hours I was told that over 700 of you completed this survey and I very much appreciate your help with this. I also got in a few emails saying you were having problems getting in or completing it. I'm told that you really tested the service and totally amazed and WOW'd the researchers. [grin] Stephen told me that they hoped at the upper limited to get at least 700 completed surveys from all sources and so looks like we managed to beat this all by ourselves... so well done you! :-)

Due to the heavy usage of the survey in such a short period they did experience some problems and am told these are now fixed so if you didn't manage to complete it or get it loaded you should be able to do so now.

I just think it's great how you all demonstrated that if you get a chance to help then you will. I hope this will open folks eyes a bit back in Scotland and as a result they'll do better at communicating with us in the future.

In April there will likely be lots of Tartan Day celebrations and I have been told of a site at for the Colorado Tartan Day Celebration.

I've also noted a web site for the Scottish American Society of Canyon County at

Should you be in the Toronto area then the Scottish Studies Dept. at the University of Gulph are having their Sring Colloquim at Knox College, University of Toronto, 59 St. George Street, Toronto (Room 4) on Saturday 31st March. $25.00 which includes lunch with registration at 12:15. Email:

They tell me they've almost filled the room so if you can contact them if you intend to attend that would be a big help as they may need to move to a larger room.

This week also sees me embarking on a new project which is to bring you the first 8 volumes of the Scotch-Irish Society Congresses in the USA. Each volume is dedicated to a single congress and in it they provide us with the addresses and historical papers presented at the congress. I hope this will give us considerable insight into the Scotch-Irish race in America. I also note the use of the term Scotch-Irish which are also known as the Scots-Irish or Ulster Scots. More on this below.

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.

Grower Flowers
This is a great company sending fresh flowers along with a free vase and the flowers come from both Canada and the USA but they can actually deliver to most parts of the world.

They have special Mother's Day offerings available from March 30, 2007.

A Mother`s Love - 3029 - SR $46.95
Just For Mom - 3018 - SR $36.95
Mommy Magic - 3013 - SR $39.95
Mom`s Delight - 3028 - SR $39.95
Mother`s Day Bouquet - 3011 - SR $44.95
Thanks Mom! - 3014 - SR $37.95
To Mom with Love - 3024 - SR $49.95

They also provide gift baskets which can be added to your order.

Visit them at

Dark Birthright
Jeanne Treat, the author of the book Dark Birthright, has sent us in a wee collection of Traditional Fisher Folk Songs of Northeast Scotland that are featured in her book. Here is one to read here...

Who would be a fisherman's wife?

"Who would be a fisherman's wife?
To go to the mussels with a scrubber and a knife
A dead out fire
And a reveled bed
Away to the mussels in the morning

See the boat come beatin' in
With three reefs to the foresail in
Not a stitch
Upon his back
Away to the mussels in the morning"

There are many songs referenced in this book, taken from traditional Scottish folk music. Most of these compositions are over 100 years old and in the public domain, with one exception. "Mairi's Wedding" was written by Johnny Bannerman in Gaelic in 1935 for his friend Mairi McNiven, and translated into English a year later by Hugh Roberton.

You can read the others at

Learn more about her book at

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

It's Donald Bain's turn this week and he's covering the European Union this week and this makes an interesting read. I thought I'd include his first article here just to give you a little information on the European Union and here it is...

Civic nationalism flourishes as the European Union matures

The EU’s 50th birthday passed off last week with rather muted celebrations and an almost total absence of the federalist rhetoric often associated with such occasions. As usual the institution is in crisis – crises are an essential part of the way the EU operates – this time as a consequence of the French and Dutch electorates’ rejection of the European Constitution. And, also as usual, no-one seems particularly worried.

Back in Scotland the EU has been allotted, thus far, only a minor walk-on part in the election drama. This is a pity because the urgency of gaining separate Scottish representation in the EU Council of Ministers is so great as to constitute in itself an irresistible argument for independence.

Unfortunately popular perception of the European Union tends to be shaped by the xenophobic English press and a Westminster-based political class that views EU membership as a means of containing rather than encouraging pan-European initiatives. There is little awareness of the radical changes in power within the EU in recent years and the exceptional opportunities these provide for an independent Scotland.

The two key changes that have occurred in the last few years have been the deep erosion of the powers of the European Commission, mainly to the benefit of the Council of Ministers, and the growing influence and prosperity of the smaller countries relative to the larger states. Put simply, the nation states have regained control of the Union and those most adept at playing by the new rules are the small and medium countries. The result is more like the Nordic Union than the dream/nightmare of a United States of Europe.

While this fundamental shift is surprisingly little analysed in Europe itself it is attracting the attention of North American academics and commentators. One example is a perceptive recent article by Tom Hundley in the Chicago Tribune (24th March) entitled “Small nations discover benefits of EU membership”.

According to Hundley the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome comes at a time when the actual European Union has taken a path quite at odds with the federalist ambitions of the original signatories. The process they initiated “has reshaped the landscape of Europe in ways that few would have anticipated or intended back then”.

'One of the most significant of those unintended consequences is that European integration has created a Europe where "Great Powers" are becoming obsolete, and where it is safe, even advantageous, to be a small nation. ….. In terms of pure economic self-interest, it is undoubtedly better to be a citizen of a small nation like Finland or Ireland than a big one like Germany or Britain.'

He quotes Oxford historian Timothy Garton Ash in a recent essay. "Small countries generally don't start wars. They usually don't have the arrogance of larger states. Besides modesty and intimacy, they often enjoy a high level of social solidarity. The nation is like an extended family."

Ironically the prime movers of the European project – France and Germany – saw the new institutions as a means of expanding their own power. For a while it did appear almost inevitable that they would dominate. As Hundley puts it “There was a moment between the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the "Big Bang" EU expansion of 2004 when it seemed the EU might morph into a kind of European superstate - a United States of Europe. “

'But something was happening below the radar. The EU changed the dynamic of power relations between big nations and small. Until then, politics in Europe was strictly a big boys' game. "It used to be that large nations - the Great Powers - would consult with each other and small nations had no say at all," said Hugo Brady, an analyst at the Center for European Reform, a London think-tank. "Large nations still have a say in the EU. But if they try to say to small countries `This is what is going to happen,' then that is what is not going to happen," he said.'

Some analysts would go further. Hundley quotes the Hungarian political consultant Krisztian Szabados as saying “France, Britain and Germany are ‘dinosaurs’. In the EU, it's better to be small."

He could have added: “and essential to be independent”.


Worth reading the other article as well :-)

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

Linda Fabiani has been awarded an honour by the Italian ambassador... here is the article from the BBC...

MSP recognised for Italian links - Linda Fabiani was handed the honour by the Italian ambassador

A Scottish politician has received one of Italy's highest honours in recognition of her work to promote relations between the two countries. MSP Linda Fabiani was awarded the Cavaliere dell'Ordine della Stella della Solidarieta' Italiana.

The accolade, bestowed in Edinburgh, translates as Knight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity. Ms Fabiani, a Nationalist MSP for the Central Scotland area, said the honour would help boost relations.

The accolade was presented by Italian ambassador Giancarlo Aragona during a ceremony at the Scottish Parliament. He said of Ms Fabiani: "She is living testimony of the very successful marriage between Italian and Scottish values, while being very active and successful in Scottish politics."

He added: "Italians have established themselves for a long time in Scotland and I'm very happy to see that many of them are very successful and feel comfortable here."

Ms Fabiani, whose grandfather was from Italy, said of her work to promote Scots-Italian links: "I never thought of it as anything special. I've just been doing what I think is right to be doing."

The honour, instituted by the Republic of Italy in 1947, is awarded to citizens and foreigners for distinguished service to the country or its culture.

You can view MSP Linda Fabiani's weekly diary entries at 
Email Linda at


In Peter's Cultural section we have an article about Easter...

The date of Pasch ( Easter ) is that of the Jewish Passover, which, in turn, coincides with the great pagan festival that celebrated the Spring Equinox - thus Easter is the season of renewal in nature. In pagan times, offerings were made to the Goddess of Spring. The Scandinavians called her Frigga; the Saxons, Eastre or Ostara, whence the English name Easter. In Scots, however, Easter is called Pasch or Pesse, a derivative of the Hebrew pesach, passover, and in Gaelic,Caisg.

Like the Passover, Easter was a lunar date - that of the first Sunday after the full moon, following the Spring Equinox, hence the old Scots rhyme -

First comes Candlemass,
Syne the new mune;
The neist Tyseday aifter that
Is aye Fester Een.
That mune oot
An the neist mune fou,
The neist mune aifter that
Is aye Pasch true.

The custom of baking cakes in honour of their gods and goddesses was widespread among the pagan peoples; the Egyptians made a cake marked with a cross in honour of the Moon; and in Greece and Rome bread similarly marked was used in the worship of Diana, the round bun representing the full moon and the four quarters. After the introduction of Christianity, the cross became a Christian symbol and the Hot Cross Bun became a feature of Good Friday - this year 14 April. In Scotland the Hot Cross Bun is usually more highly spiced than the English variety and has a kenspeckle cross of pastry on the glossy brown surface. Marilyn's recipe makes twelve Hot Cross Buns in readiness for Good Friday.

Hot Cross Buns

Ingredients: 1/2 level teasp sugar: 5 tablesp lukewarm water: 3 level teasp dried yeast: 1 lb strong plain flour: 1 level teasp salt: 1 level teasp mixed spice: 1/2 level teasp cinnamon: 1/2 level teasp nutmeg: 2 oz butter: 2 level tablesp castor sugar: 4 oz mixed dried fruit: 2 oz chopped mixed peel: 5 fl oz lukewarm milk: 1 large egg, beaten: a little extra milk: 2 oz shortcrust pastry: Glaze - 2 tablesp milk: 2 level tablesp sugar.

Method: Dissolve sugar in the water, sprinkle yeast on top. Leave in a warm place until frothy, about 20 minutes. Sift flour, salt and spices. Rub in fat lightly. Stir in castor sugar, fruit and peel. Hollow the centre. Pour milk, egg and yeat liquid into hollow. Mix to soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and no longer stickie, about 10 minutes. Cover and put in a warm place until double in size - about 2 hours. Turn on to floured surface, knead until smooth. Cut into 12. Knead each piece into a smooth ball, place on greased baking sheet, cover and leave until almost double in size. Preheat a hot oven ( 220 deg C, 425 deg F, Gas 7 ), centre shelf. Roll pastry out thinly, cut into narrow strips 2 to 3 in long. Brush buns with milk, place pastry crosses on top. Bake 20 - 25 minutes until they sound hollow when tapped on base. Dissolve sugar in milk, boil 1 minute. Brush hot buns with glaze. Cool. Eat and enjoy on Good Friday.

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. She was telling me that she gets the cast of this coming week so hopes to resume doing the Scottish Nation for us shortly :-)

Now moved onto the G's and added this week are Fulton, Galbraith and Gall.

Here is the Galbraith entry for you to read here...

GALBRAITH, a surname derived from two Gaelic words, ‘Gall Bhreatan,’ strange Britain, or Low country Briton. Nisbet renders the meaning ‘the brave stranger,’ but the former appears the more correct. The Galbraiths were once a powerful family in the Lennox. The first known is Gillespick Galbrait, witness in a charter by Malduin, earl of Lennox, to Humphry Kilpatrick, of the lands of Colquhoun. In the beginning of the reign of Alexander the Second, the same Earl Malduin gave a charter to Maurice, son of this Gilespick, of the lands of Gartonbenach, in Stirlingshire, and soon after, in 1238, the same lands, under the name of Bathernock, (now Baldernock,) were conveyed to Arthur Galbraith, son of Maurice, with power to seize and condemn malefactors, on condition that the culprits should be hanged on the earl’s gallows. From the Galbraiths of Bathernock, chiefs of the name, descended the Galbraiths of Culeruich, Greenock, Killearn, and Balgair. In the Ragman Roll occurs the name of Arthur de Galbrait, as one of the barons of Scotland who swore fealty to Edward the First in 1296. The family were afterwards designed of Gartconnell.

William Galbraith of Gartconnell is noticed as a person “of good account” in the time of David the Second, about the middle of the 14th century. [Crawford’s Peerage, p. 159, note.] This William had three daughters, coheiresses, the eldest of whom married John de Hamilton, a son of the house of Cadzow, predecessor of the Hamiltons of Baldernock and Bardowie, who in consequence adopted in their arms a boar’s head, part of the arms of Galbraith; the second, Janet, married, in 1373, in the reign of Robert the Third, Nicol Douglas, fourth son of James first lord of Dalkeith, grandson of William lord of Douglas, the companion in arms of Sir William Wallace; by which marriage he acquired the estate of Mains and other lands in the Lennox, still in the possession of his descendant. The third daughter became the wife of the brother of Logan of Restalrig, from whom descended the Logans of Gartconnell and Balvey, long since extinct. In the reign of James the Second, one of the name of Galbraith was governor of the upper castle of Dumbarton.

The family of Galbraith of Machrihanish and Drumore in Argyleshire, of which David Steuart Galbraith, Esq., is the representative (1854), is sprung from the Galbraiths of Gigha, descended from the Galbraiths of Baldernock. They fled from the Lennox with Lord James Stewart, youngest son of Murdoch, duke of Albany, after leaving Dumbarton, in the reign of James the First, and held the island of Gigha from the Macdonalds of the Isles till after 1590. The Galbraiths, in the Gaelic language, are called Breatanuich or Clann-a-Breatannuich, ‘Britons, or the children of the Britons.’

You can read the other entries at 

The Southern States of America
Published in 1909.

Added this week are...

The History of Missouri - Chapter I
The Provincial Period, 1682 - 1804

The History of Missouri - Chapter II
The Territorial Period, 1804 - 1820

Here is how The History of Missouri - Chapter I starts...

Early Explorations of Missouri.

THE name "Missouri," of doubtful origin and meaning, was applied first to an Indian tribe near the mouth of the river, then to the river, and finally to the territory and state. During the French and Spanish period the settlements within the present state boundaries were ordinarily spoken of as the Illinois country, or, with all the posts north of the Arkansas, as Upper Louisiana. "Missouri" was restricted to the settlements on that river. The scope of the present chapter, however, will be determined by the present meaning of the term.

If the more than doubtful visits of De Soto and Coronado be omitted, and the early explorations of the Mississippi be referred to Louisiana history, it may be said that the history of Missouri begins with the founding, about 1700, of Kaskaskia on the eastern bank of the Mississippi. This settlement of French Canadians developed from a mission and trading station into a prosperous agricultural district of several villages and perhaps 1,000 inhabitants, and was the headquarters for the earlier explorations and settlements in Missouri.

The incentives for the earlier explorations westward were twofold; the Indian trade on the Missouri River, and the lead mines on the Meramec and the St. Francois. For the most part these explorers were independent adventurers of the familiar French-Canadian type and left very fragmentary evidence of their activities. The only regular expeditions of importance were those of Du Tisne, who in 1718 ascended the Missouri beyond the mouth of the Osage, and later crossed southern Missouri to the great plains, and of Bourgmont, who two years later established Fort Orleans on the Missouri. This post, intended barrier to the Spanish, was located probably near the mouth of Grand River; it was abandoned in 1726. Meanwhile traders and miners from Kaskaskia were ascending the Missouri every year at least as early as 1705. Little is known of the individuals, but by 1720 the Missouri and its chief tributaries were known as far west as the present site of Kansas City.

You can read the rest of this chapter at 

The book index page is at

History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia
By J. L. MacDougall (1922)

Inverness County is part of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. I am now up to the District Sketches which contain a ton of genealogical information. You can read the chapters at 

The Districts added this week are...

Marble Mountain and Malagawatch
Poplar Grove
Pleasant Bay

Here is how the account of Creignish starts...

This district lies on the coast between the district of Port Hastings and that of Judique. A bold and bleak looking country this, reminding one at once of Scott's "Caledonia, stern and wild". It is hard, hilly and rocky, but far from being repulsive in its frowning glories. From all its various parts, and especially from the elevated heights behind it, there is a wide view of the sea which, in summer, is satisfying and grand. When the stones and boulders are removed, the soil is good; but so difficult of cultivation that only the Highland "hearts of oak" would be willing to try it. Comfortable subsistence among these "crags and peaks" would scarcely be possible by means of farming alone. Consequently, from the time of the earliest settlements, the strong young men of this place "went down to the sea in ships". Thus the sea and its perilous pursuits became a charm for the doughty and dauntless sons of Creignish. In the years of their prime physical strength it was their lot to have

"A house upon the ocean wave,
"A home on the rolling deep."

They fished at home and abroad, along the local shores, in the Bay, on the coast of the New England States, or on the treacherous Grand Banks of Newfoundland. In all their marine experience they were obliged to live and work with all classes and conditions of associates. They followed their fare to the markets of Gloucester, where they usually spent their idle winters. They were among the very ablest men this province ever produced. Some of them acquired the name of being famous fighters. It could not well be otherwise, in such environments. We are told that, "when we are in Rome, we must do as the Romans do". Far more domineering and insistent are the driving desperation of the winds, and the wild welter of the waters. Yes; those redoubtable men of Creignish had the reputation of being wild. But that was when they lived in the storms, and mingled with the minions of disorder. The true test of their character is found in their subsequent lives, after the storms had ceased and a calm had fallen on their path. They, then, settled down into homes of peace and good will. In these homes they found fresh air for their souls; they found rest and human sympathy, they found themselves, these noble natives of Creignish. There was love in those homes.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the rest of the chapters at

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

May 21, 1891 at

Always something interesting in this newspaper and here is a wee article I spotted...

Scotland is noted for the simplicity of its marriage ceremony; but, however simple, people always recognize that by its forms husband and wife are firmly bound together for life. There was once prevalent in Scotland, however, a marital tie of a considerably easier description — one which we are afraid would not universally commend itself nowadays, though it might be much use to those unhappy individuals of both sexes who are constrained to invite the assistance of the Divorce Court in loosening their bonds.

By this custom the two persons were not united for life, but only for a twelve month. This peculiar usage prevailed chiefly in the remote district of Eskdalemuir, where there was little communication with other places. A fair was held every year at a spot at the foot of the parish, close to the junction of the Black and White Esks, at which it was the custom for unmarried persons of both sexes to choose a companion according to their liking till the same period next year. This was called handfasting, or hand-in-fist. If both were pleased with each other by the time the next fair came round they continued together for life; if not they separated, and were free to make another choice, as at the first. The children born under this engagement were reckoned lawful children though the parents did afterwards resile. It is not known when the custom commenced, but it seems to have continued for a long period. In the end of last century an old man was living near Langholm who had been acquainted with an individual named Beaton, and this man was grandson to a couple married in that fashion. This primitive kind of union was entered into on occasion by the higher classes, for it is related in some Scottish histories that Robert II. was thus wedded to Elizabeth More.

The Greatness and Decline of the Celts
by Henri Hubert (1934).
Our thanks to Alan McKenzie for scanning this in for us.

Added this week...

The Romans in Britain at
I. Britain before its Romanization. II. The Roman Conquest. III. The Army of Britain. Arthur.

The End of Celtic Britain and Ireland. Saxons, Scots and Norsemen at
I. The Germanic Invasions. II. The Occupation of Brittany. III. The Independent Celts of Scotland and Ireland. IV. The Inroads of the Scots. V. The Scots in Scotland. VI. Christian Ireland to the Scandinavian Invasions. VII. The Scandinavian Invasions. VIII. The Wars of Independence; 1. Wales; 2. Scotland; 3. Ireland. IX. Conclusion of this History.

These are .pdf files for which you need the Acrobat reader.


The unceasing inroads of the Picts which disturbed Britain in the fourth and fifth centuries seem to point to a renewal of vitality. But, though we know the dates of their expeditions, we have no information about the Picts themselves or the Caledonians of Scotland. We only know that the Picts had been founding settlements in Ulster since the fourth century, and that they were formidable fighters. [MacNeill, CCCCXLI, p. 141.]

You can read this at

Poems and Stories
Margo has continued her series "Apollo's Soldiers" and we're now up to Chapter 30 which you can read at

Margo has send in more Children's poems which you can read at

Sketches of the Wild Sports & Natural History of the Highlands
by Charles St. John (1878).

Have made more progress with this book which you can read at

Chapter XXVI
The Muckle Hart of Benmore.

Chapter XXVII
Different kinds of Gulls: Large Collections of — Breeding-places — Islands on a Loch — Eggs of Gulls — Young Birds — Food and Voracity of Large Gulls: Salmon-fry killed by — Boatswain-Gull - Manner of procuring Food.

Chapter XXVIII
Woodcock's Nest: Early Breeding of; Habits of, in Spring; First Arrival of; Anecdotes of; Manner of Carrying their Young — Habits of Snipe — Number of Jack-snipes — Solitary Snipe.

Chapter XXIX
Seals — Destruction to Fish and Nets — Shooting Seal in River and Sea — Habits of Seals — Anecdotes — Seal and Dog — Seal and Keeper — Catching Seals — Anecdotes.

Chapter XXX
Fox-hunting in the Highlands

Chapter XXXI
The Badger: Antiquity of, Cleanliness; Abode of; Food; Family of — Trapping Badgers — Anecdotes —Escape of Badger — Anecdotes — Strength of — Cruelty to.

Chapter XXXII
Autumn day on the Mountain — Stags and Hinds — A Bivouac — Death of the Stag.

Here is a wee story from the chapter about the seals...

My man, one day while we were waiting in our ambuscade for the seals, gave me an account of a curious adventure he had with one near the same spot a few years back.

He was lying at daybreak ensconced close to the water's edge, waiting in vain for a shot at some grey geese that frequented the place at the time, when he saw a prodigiously large seal floating quietly along with the tide, not thirty yards from the shore. Donald did not disturb the animal, but went home early in the day, and, having cast some bullets for his gun and made other preparations, retired to rest. The next morning he was again at the shore, well concealed, and expecting to see the seal pass with the flowing tide; nor was he disappointed. About the same period of the rise of the tide, the monster appeared again. Donald cocked his gun, and crouched down behind his ambuscade of sea-weed and shingle, ready for the animal's head to appear within shot This soon happened, but instead of swimming on with the tide the seal came straight to the shore, not above ten yards from where his mortal enemy was lying concealed. The water was deep to the very edge, and the great unwieldy beast clambered up the steep beach, and was very soon high and dry, a few yards from the muzzle of Donald's gun, which was immediately pointed at him, but from the position in which the seal was lying he could not get a shot at the head, the only part where a wound would prove immediately fatal.

Donald waited some time, in hopes that the animal would turn or lift his head, but at last losing patience, he gave a low whistle, which had the immediate effect of making the animal lift its head to listen. The gun was immediately discharged, and the ball passed through the seal's neck, close to the head. Up ran Donald, and flinging down his gun, seized one of the immense fins or flippers of the beast, which he could scarcely span with both hands. The seal was bleeding like a pig at the throat, and quite stunned at the same time, but though it did not struggle, it showed a kind of inclination to move towards the water, which obliged Donald to stick his heels into the ground, and to lean back, holding on with all his strength to prevent the escape of the enormous beast. "'Deed, sir," said Donald, "if you believe me, he was as big as any Hieland stirk in the parish." Well, there the two remained for above an hour — motionless, but always straining against each other, Donald's object being to keep the seal in the same place till the tide had receded to some distance, and then to despatch him how he best could. Many a wistful glance he cast at his gun, which he had so rashly flung down without reloading; the said gun being, as he said, "but a bit trifling single-barrelled thing, lent him by a shoemaker lad, who whiles took a shot along the shore" — in other words, who poached more hares than he made shoes.

After they had remained in this uncomfortable position for a long time, till Donald's hands had become perfectly cramped and stiff, the seal suddenly seemed to recover himself, and turning round to see what was holding him, looked the man full in the face, with a bewildered air of astonishment; then seeing what kind of enemy he had to deal with, he gave a tremendous shake, casting Donald off like a "bit rag," as he expressed it, and leaving him prostrate in the pool of blood that had come out of the bullet-hole, moved slowly into the water, and quietly went down to the bottom. Donald, in utter disgust and wretchedness at losing his prize, walked straight home, and went to bed to sleep off his disappointment. The next morning, however, on considering over the matter, he came to the conclusion that the seal must be dead, and would probably, as the tide ebbed, be grounded on one of the adjacent sandbanks; so he returned to the bay at low water, and the first thing he saw was his seal lying dead on a sandbank, and looking like a cobble keel uppermost. And a perfect argosy did it turn out, producing more pints of oil and a larger skin than ever seal produced before or since.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

And the other chapters at

Scotland in the Middle Ages
Sketches of Early Scotch History and Social Progress by Cosmo Innes (Professor of History in the University of Edinburgh. 1860).

I have now completed this book with...

Chapter IX - Language and Literature at
Origin and formation of Scotch language — At first the same language as the English — English south and north of Trent — The Northern a well cultivated speech — The separation and progressive diversity of Southern and Northern English — The latter called Scotch — Earliest written Scotch — As found in charters — Earliest literary compositions — Lays or ballads — Ossianic poetry — Never influenced our national literature — Early Northern romances — Remaining Scotch of fourteenth century in writing of that period — Barbour's poem composed then — Earliest copies extant not written for a century after — Scotch used in Parliament at end of fourteenth century — Letters of correspondence then written — Wyntoun's chronicle written about 1420 — Preserved in MS. almost of that date — Progress of Scotch literature in poetry and prose — How far the people capable of appreciating it — Education of the people — Scarcity of books — Modes of instruction — Universities — The pulpit — AElfric's homilies of the eleventh century — Library of the Culdees of Lochleven of the twelfth century —Catalogue of Glasgow Cathedral library 1432 — Burgh schools — Act of Parliament 1496 — Old grammar schools — Grammar school of Aberdeen 1520 — Andrew Simpson's school at Perth before the Reformation — Introduction in Scotch schools of Greek and Hebrew — Scotch Universities — St. Andrews, Glasgow, and Aberdeen — Founded in the fifteenth century — Popular tendency of our authors.

Chapter X - Dwellings - Architecture and Arts Connected with it at
Early dwellings — Caves — Subterranean built chambers — Galleries in Orkney — Early strongholds of wood — Circular hill forts — Some very remarkable — Cathertun — Barmekyn of Echt — Vitrified forts — Picts' houses — "Druid's circles" — Some of their purposes — Sculptured monuments — Symbols of unknown meaning — Limitation of the sculptured monuments, as to place (Lowland Scotland) and time (eighth and ninth centuries) — Earliest Christian buildings — Round towers — History of art depending on architecture — Attempt to fix eras of architectural style — Old Whithern and Iona quite gone —First style extant, Norman or Romanesque — Its date — Next, "First Pointed" — Third, "Middle Pointed" — Later style — Collegiate churches — Ornamental arts subserving architecture — A word about heraldry — Stained glass — Symbolical meaning of church architecture — Workmanship in iron and wood — Timber roofs — Stucco ceilings — Wood carving — Dunblane — King's College, Aberdeen — Tiles — Ancient seals, baronial and ecclesiastical — Coins — A charter of 1159 with portraits of David I. and Malcolm IV. — Hoard of silver ornaments found in Orkney — Its date fixed to the ninth century — Architectural art as applied to domestic buildings — Scotch castles of the time of David I. and earlier, all gone — Remains of those of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries — Kildrummy — Lochindorb — Bothwell — Baronial tower of the fifteenth century — Causes of its poor style — Subsequent additions — Ornate style introduced by James IV. and James V. — Stirling — Linlithgow — New style of castle mansion — Lord Dunfermline and Earl of Strathmore its leaders — Fyvie — Pinkie — Glammis — Spread especially in Aberdeenshire — Castle Fraser — Craigievar — Crathes — Craigston, etc. — Dwellings of the people — Never retrograding — Change and improvement — Constant and still continuing — Burgh domestic architecture.

Postscript at

Appendix at
I. Capitular of Charlemagne, De villis imperialibus
II. Aelfric's homilies in Anglo-Saxon .
III. Library of the Culdees of St. Serf's
IV. Lease between the Abbot of Scone and Hay of Leys
V. Catalogue of Books in Glasgow Cathedral
VI. James Melvill's Diary

Glossary at

Here is a bit from chapter IX

To trace the origin of the language which we call Scotch, we must go back to a period when it was known by another name. Long before the Anglo-Saxon government and language had come to an end, the language and literature of the great and more enlightened kingdom of Northumbria were distinguished from the Saxon of Southern and Western England; and when the language of England passed by that strangely rapid transition from the cultivated, grammatical Anglo-Saxon, into the rude unformed English, the northern people still kept a peculiar and very distinct dialect. Down to the end of the fourteenth century, this Doric dialect of English extended all over the ancient province of Northumbria, which included Lothian, and beyond even those bounds, along the whole east coast and lowlands of Scotland. It would be a mistake to suppose it a mere patois or vulgar spoken tongue, uncultivated by men of learning. Not to mention the wealthy abbeys which studded the valleys of Yorkshire and our own Teviotdale — each a little school of good letters — the great Episcopal Sees of York . and Durham, and the Royal Court of Scotland which, down to the fourteenth century, enjoyed more peace and prosperity than fell to the lot of the English monarchs, were the centres of some intellectual cultivation. The northern tongue, so formed and cultivated, possessed a literature which we become acquainted with, in a state of rapid growth, and bidding fair to rival or excel that of the South — spoiled and depressed as it was by the courtly use of French — until the genius of Chaucer turned the balance. Within those wide bounds, from Trent to the Moray Firth, there were, doubtless, numerous small varieties of language and accent, distinguishable among themselves; while to the Kentish man or the Londoner, the epithet "Northern" comprehended the whole; and it is certain that, down to the fourteenth century, a uniform language was used and cultivated, and written by men of education, and for purposes of literature, through that wide district.

Starting from a point of time, a little before Chaucer had given shape and life to the southern dialect — a little before Barbour had composed his national epic, popular from the first among all classes of his northern countrymen, the languages of the northern and the southern were distinct indeed, and marked by recognised peculiarities, but the people of each country understood the speech of the other. This soon ceased to be so. The disputed succession at the end of the thirteenth century interrupted the old friendly communication between the sister nations, and Scotch nationality required her to abandon the English standard of taste as well as policy. The dialects of the two courts, still in their infancy, grew up in independent and separate growth, and differing at first slightly, but both in a state of progress in different directions, came in the course of three centuries to be almost different languages, and that of the one people scarcely intelligible to the other. In this change the southern court naturally drew with it all the district of ancient Northumbria which was not subject to Scotland. London was necessarily the model of speech, from the Land's End to the Tweed; while Lothian and Saxon Scotland looked to the Scotch court as the rule of propriety; and that which had been long known as the northern speech began sometimes to be called "Scotch." Thus it continued, the difference and breach still widening, until the Reformation drew the sympathies of one great class of Scotchmen towards England and English writers as well as statesmen.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the other chapters at

Scotch-Irish in America
By John Walker Dinsmore (1906)

Have now completed this book with the last three chapters. Here is how Chapter 13 starts...

These Scotch-Irish were uncommonly "set in their ways." This is often said to their discredit. They are described as a bigoted, stubborn, pigheaded breed; as much given to contentions and quarrels about trivialities; as extremely quick to take offense, and very reluctant to be reconciled, and hence it is said, they were a hard people to live with, and that there were among them many life-long alienations and feuds arising out of matters utterly unimportant and even contemptible. There is a color of truth in this. Their blood was very red and their temper very hot, their heads were hard and their hands heavy, but they were by no means a quarrelsome people.

They were not of kin to Paddy at the Donnybrook fair, strutting about with a chip on his shoulder and provoking a fracas. They seldom invited trouble or picked a quarrel, but once in, they could be depended upon to stay in to a finish. They were bound to have room for themselves, and refused to be too much crowded; hence they were sturdy fighters, and not likely to run away till the trouble was over. This was their way when contending for their civil and religious liberties in other lands; they showed the same trait in the struggle for American Independence, and continued to show it in all things. This mood, temper, or trait of the race was a very marked and persistent one. No doubt there was in the typical Scotch-Irish a vein of what may fairly be called asinine obstinacy. He sometimes thought he was governed by principle and conscience when in fact it was only prejudice and stubbornness. Consequently, many of the alienations in families, neighborhoods and congregations were silly, contemptible and wicked. But it was this very trait in its nobler manifestations, that gave them their strength and heroism.

The very men who were sometimes misled into making battle where there was nothing worth while at stake were precisely the men who were ready to stand, and who did stand unto death for the rights of man and the truth of Christ. The noblest qualities are sometimes the most easily perverted, and they are the very worst when so perverted. It was the conscience and fiery zeal of Saul of Tarsus, perverted, that made him the scourge and the terror of the early Church. An earnest and determined man is always dangerous if he is misled. This is the snare of all able, conscientious and resolute people. Every strong and overcoming man is "set in his ways;" else he would not be strong and overcoming at all. Only the weak and willowy give way when they are challenged. The important thing to be seen to is, that the position taken is right, and that the matter at issue is worth contending for. Herein was the weakness, and sometimes the wickedness of my people.

As a Scotch-Irishman by birth and breeding, in blood and marrow, I call them mine, and claim the right to speak of them freely. I have an honest pride in my race, but not in all their traits and doings. They often made themselves small and contemptible before God and all high-minded men, by their squabbles over things of no importance. Most frequently these contentions were concerning matters of doctrine, or worship, or church administration, for by far the most important interest of life to these people was their religion. Just here is the explanation of the manifold divisions of the common Presbyterians. All branches of this common Presbyterianism hold substantially to the same doctrines and policy, and yet they have been broken up into many divisions by differences of opinion touching a more or less strict construction of some points of doctrine, worship, or administration. This gave us two or three kinds of Covenanters, of Seceders, and of those who called themselves Regulars. These separated branches were not only alienated, but for most of the time, actively belligerent. If the Presbyterian Jew did not openly curse the Presbyterian Samaritan in his synagogue, he at least unsparingly denounced him, and warned his flock against his perilous wiles and pernicious delusions. This was in keeping with the temperament of the people, and we cannot boast of it.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The whole book can be read at

Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Congress in Columbia, Tennessee May 8-11, 1889.
This is a new book I've started which will be the first of 8 volumes completing accounts of the first 8 congresses. It has always been my intention to do more on the Scots-Irish and especially in North America. I feel these first 8 volumes will give us a really good start at building knowledge of the race. In each volume you will find transcriptions of the addresses and historical papers presented at each congress which make excellent reading.

As this is the start of a major volume of work for the site I feel it would be worth while for you to read the Introduction to set the scene and here it is for you to read here...

The Scotch-Irish Congress, it's Objectives and Results
By A. C. Floyd.

The Scotch-Irish people have been second to none in their influence upon modern civilization. Their impress upon American institutions has been especially strong. They have been leaders in every sphere of life, both public and private. They were the first to declare independence from Great Britain, and foremost in the revolutionary struggle; leaders in the formation and adoption of the Constitution, and its most powerful defenders; most active in the extension of our national domain, and the hardiest pioneers in its development.

The associations suggested by a few of the illustrious men of the the stock are sufficient to outline the extent of their influence. Among them were Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, John Witherspoon, John Paul Jones, James Madison, John Marshall, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, and Ulysses S. Grant.

That they have been no less conspicuous in the material development and intellectual progress of the country, is evidenced by the names of Robert Fulton, Horace Greeley, Robert Bonner, and the McCormicks.

These men are but types of the Scotch-Irish, and their achievements are but examples of the numberless illustrious deeds of the race; and yet no distinct and connected history of this people has ever been written. Their marked and distinctive impress upon the country and their proverbial race pride renders this passing strange, especially in this history-writing age, when the Puritan, the Huguenot, the Dutch, and every other class and nationality composing our population, have recorded their deeds with minutest care. In this, they have done nothing more than perform their duty, for it is the duty of all to study great examples and hold their virtues up for the emulation of on-coming generations. Thus is patriotism cultivated and every noble endeavor stimulated. Thoughtful men, indeed, knew the wealth of Scotch-Irish achievement and keenly felt the poverty of its recognition. Where else could nobler types of manhood be found? The hand of the historian, brushing away the dust of time, was alone needed to reveal the grandest figures of the world. The greatness of the fathers still lingered in the traditions of the children, but the delay of a few more years would consign them to an oblivion from which they could never be recovered.

If the work was ever to be done, it was necessary that it should be commenced without further delay. These facts were recognized and discussed, but the demand resulted in nothing definite until it took form in the Scotch-Irish Congress held at Columbia, Tennessee, last May.

The objects to be attained were not new; but the Congress, as a means of their accomplishment, was altogether original. The projectors of this gathering fully realized the extent of the work they had undertaken, and desired that it should be done in the most thorough and comprehensive manner possible. A convention composed of representative members of the race from all quarters of the country commended itself to them as the best means of beginning the work.

The addresses of the distinguished speakers, the historical papers submitted, and the reminiscences recounted would form a nucleus for the complete collection of data which it was hoped to accumulate in the course of time. Important as this meeting was expected to be, however, its promoters realized that it could only begin the great work. A permanent organization was necessary to continue it. Besides, a Scotch-Irish association was desirable for social as well as historical purposes. In this, as in the matter of history writing, they were behind all others. Every other people in America had banded themselves together for purposes of mutual pleasure and assistance. When properly directed, these societies had accomplished much good. Why should not the Scotch-Irish organize in a similar manner? Why should not their proverbial and well warranted race pride serve to focus their great energies upon purposes of common good? Among the many great objects to which this organized power could be applied was the collection of the desired historical data and the promotion of social intercourse.

The one would contribute in the highest degree to the cultivation of patriotism; the other would promote the warmest fraternal feeling. A better acquaintance between the northern and southern members of the race would bring a better understanding and a broader sympathy, binding the two sections together in the strong and enduring bonds of real friendship. To effect such an organization was the second great object of the Congress.

Among all the states of the Union, none could have been more appropriate for the gathering than Tennessee, both on account of her geographical position and the blood of her people. Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and North and South Carolina received the first great accessions of Ulster immigration; but swarms from these parent hives, moving westward since colonial days, now make Tennessee about the center of the blood in the United States. Besides, her intermediate position between the extreme North and the extreme South makes her people freer from sectional prejudice than either of these quarters, and, therefore, better fitted to promote the fraternal spirit which the convention was intended to foster. In no other state is the Scotch-Irish blood purer. They were the earliest and most numerous of her pioneers. On the banks of the Watauga, they made the first American settlement west of the Alleghanies, and it was they who led the vanguard in the march of civilization westward through her territory. They filled the armies that subdued the savages of the West and South-west. It was their stern, unalterable courage and determination which prevented Great Britain and Spain from confining the Americans to the Atlantic slope, and secured the Mississippi valley to the Union.

Their numbers and valor in every war in which the country has been engaged has won for Tennessee the proud title of "The Volunteer State." They stamped their predominant characteristics upon their descendants, and gave the prevailing type to the character of the whole people. It was but natural that a convention called to do them honor should meet with warmest approval.
Columbia, the place chosen for the first Congress, lies in the very center of Tennessee, and her Scotch-Irish population, surrounded by a country widely known as "the garden spot of Tennessee" — a country unsurpassed for salubrity of climate, richness and variety of products, and advantages of geographical position. This heart of the Middle Tennessee Basin, now carpeted with a rich growth of blue grass, was originally covered by luxuriant cane-brakes, the infallible sign of a fat soil. It is not strange that the Scotch-Irish should have occupied it first. Always in the foremost ranks of the pioneers, the richest lands became theirs by right of discovery and first occupation, while the poorer country was left to the more timid people, who followed at a later and safer period. The advantages thus acquired, and the characteristic tenacity with which they have been held, go far to explain why the race has ever since been the wealthiest and most influential of the people in the countries first settled by them. The strength of their influence in Maury county is illustrated in Judge Fleming's sketch of Zion Church, and Dr. Kelly's address, published in this volume. Among the distinguished men of this stock whom Maury county has produced was James K. Polk, who went from Columbia to the President's chair.

Another thing that recommended Columbia was her railway facilities. These roads, running north, south, east, and west, make her easily accessible from every quarter of the country. Arrived here, visitors, especially those from the North, occupy an excellent vantage point from which to visit and study the best parts of the South. Within short reach by rail are some of the most famous battle-fields of the late war — Franklin, Nashville, Murfreesboro, Shiloh, and others. In easy communication, also, are Florence, Sheffield, Birmingham, and other manufacturing cities of the celebrated coal and iron fields of the South, affording the finest illustrations of the marvelous industrial progress which this section is now making. These advantages and associations rendered Columbia a peculiarly appropriate place for the gathering.

Having decided that the Congress should be held, and that Columbia was the place to hold it, the initial steps in the arrangements for it were taken in October, 1888. This action was prompted by Colonel T. T. Wright, now of Nashville, Tennessee. To him belongs the honor of having originated this, as well as many other great ideas, which have resulted in much public benefit. He not only originated the idea and inspired the first action for carrying it into effect, but gave the movement, at every stage, the invaluable aid of his advice, time, and means.

The date fixed for the beginning of the Congress was May 8, 1889, the most perfect season of the year in Tennessee. Arrangements for the Congress were vigorously and systematically pushed from the beginning. Some of the most distinguished men of the race accepted invitations to deliver addresses and to prepare historical papers. A thousand leading newspapers published the general invitation to the race issued by Governor Taylor and the Secretary; also, the reports sent them from time to time, as events developed, together with extensive and favorable editorial mention.


I have up a chunk of this first volume already which you can read at

And that's all for now and I hope you and your families all have a great weekend :-)


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