Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Weekly Mailing List Archives
6th April 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
Tartan Day Celebrations
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
The Southern States of America
History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Presbyterian Banner
The Greatness and Decline of the Celts
Poems and Stories
Sketches of the Wild Sports & Natural History of the Highlands
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Congress in Columbia, Tennessee May 8-11, 1889.
2008 World Gathering of MacIntyres
Clan Newsletters
When the Steel Went Through (New Book)

Stephen sent me in a wee message and asked if I could pass it on to you all... they have now received over 1800 completed survey forms and while we are not responsible for them all we have certainly provided a most significant number of them and hence Stephen's message to us as follows...

I would like to thank Alastair and all Electric Scotland readers for the overwhelming response to We're working on the results, reading every response and this will be fed directly back to the Homecoming Scotland team. If you have offered to help or given us contact details, my company should be in contact soon.

Before launching this survey, I wasn't too sure what reaction we were going to get but I've been humbled by the magnificent response of Scotland's friends around the world. You might be a diverse group but your passion for Scotland is a common theme wherever you are, whatever you do and whatever your relation to Scotland.

The survey is still live and so I can't go into too many details but here are a few highlights so far:

· 'Scenery' and 'Roots' are the most likely terms to be used if you were recommending Scotland to a friend.
· Most respondents weren't born in Scotland but an overwhelming majority have family ties to Scotland sometime in the past.
· Most responses came from the US, followed by Canada and Australia.
· and when you get here, meeting Scottish people and exploring your roots are the main things you feel you must do.

This might not be a surprise to some of you but we're getting a lot of really rich data that will enable us to really start to know what you're thinking.

Again, a big thanks to you and see you all in 2009!

Yours aye

Stephen Budd
Highland Business Research for Homecoming Scotland

PS Should you still not have completed the survey you can still do so at

This week I've started on a new book "When the Steel went through" which is a first hand account of a Scot who was involved in the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. I hope you'll enjoy this one and more about it below.

Next week will see me starting the 6 volume "History of Scotland" which was published in 1828. I am doing this as a series of .pdf files so you'll need the acrobat reader to view it but guess pretty well all of us have this. Should you not have it you can download the free reader at

I scanned in the first two chapters directly to adobe but found the quality wasn't as I'd hoped so from the third chapter onwards I've just scanned in the pages and then imported them to adobe and the quality was much better. I'll give you a fuller review of this publication next week when I've started to post it up to the site.

I am also making headway with another two books... "Romance of War" or "The Highlanders in Spain" which is actually a novel but based on facts. The author was involved in the fighting in Spain and France and so he is well aware of all that happened with the Highlanders in Spain and around this he has woven his novel. So why am I publishing this book? Well having read it I felt it brought out a lot of facts about the time the Highlanders were in Spain and in some ways gives quite an interesting account of those times. So.. a departure from the normal type of book I've added in the past but hopefully you'll enjoy the read.

The other book I have started to work on is the biography of Norman MacLeod a well know and respected divine and again I hope you'll enjoy this one. It was written by his brother who had access to lots of letters and so gives a wonderful insight into the man and the times.

And so I'll be working on these three publications between continued work on the History of the Southern States of America and also the other volumes of the Scotch-Irish Society and of this last I now have volumes 2 - 8 :-)

I will be back in Toronto for the Tartan Day Dinner at Casa Loma on Wednesday 18th April and would certainly be happy to meet any of you that can make it. And if you do please make yourself known to me. The price of a ticket is CAN$150.00 which gets you a free bar, great entertainment, singers, pipe band, and Sandy MacIntyre and his band from Nova Scotia. You also get a great dinner which if it's anything like last year will include wee samplings of haggis, clooty dumpling and lots of our favourite Scottish cakes. Not sure what the main course is yet but it's always good whatever it is and it all comes with free wine :-)

And so you get a lot for your money plus great raffle prizes including free flights to Scotland!!! You'll also get to meet that smashing lady, Jean Watson, the mother of Tartan Day when she receives her "Scot of the Year" award. The proceeds from the event go to fund that permanent chair of Scottish Studies at the University of Guelph where the Foundation pledged $1 million and I believe we're down to the last $150,000.

You can book your tickets online at where you can get further information as well as phone numbers if you want to book your ticket by phone.

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.

Tartan Day Celebrations
I've also been asked if I can tell folk about Tartan Day activity in Toronto and so here are the details...

FIRST ANNUAL TARTAN DAY T.O. in celebration of Scottish-Canadian Heritage.

April 6th 1320 celebrated the signing of the Declaration of Abroath - and Toronto is recognizing this date by acknowledging April 13th 2007 (April 6 falls on a Good Friday this year) with a Free Outdoor Concert with special guests:

- Scotland's Tenors Caledon, thanks to the generosity of ZOOM Airlines
- Canada's own Peter Ian McCutcheon
- The Royal Scottish Country Dance Association
- The 48th Highlanders of Canada Pipes and Drums

The event will be hosted by Edward Patrick, President and Founder of Companions of the Quaich.

The Scottish Studies Foundation, an organization that has a mandate of raising awareness of the Scottish Heritage throughout Canada, is involved in supporting this event and has plans to work with the organizers to make this a yearly event.

TARTAN DAY T.O. will be held at Nathan Phillips Square and will run from Noon - 2 pm.

Mayor David Miller is declaring a Proclamation that April 13th, 2007 is officially Tartan Day throughout the City of Toronto for 2007.
Tartan Day T.O. will feature Scottish Country Dancers, Pipers and giveaways from the Scottish Executive in the form of balloons, pins and flags and brochures from to raise awareness of tourism for those interested in traveling to Scotland. (see

The following evening, Saturday, April 14th, a fundraising Concert - The “Kirkin of the Tartan” will be held at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church on King Street West in downtown Toronto to help raise monetary assistance for the 48th Highlanders Museum located in the basement of the Church. (see

The Scottish Studies Society holds a yearly Dinner at Casa Loma in celebration of Tartan Day and every year the Society names The Scot of the Year during this prestigious Gala on Wednesday, April 18th, 2007. This year the Award will go to Jean Watson from Nova Scotia who through her unrelenting efforts succeeded in establishing the concept of Tartan Day which is now celebrated all over the world. (see for further details)

For further information contact:
Natasha Slinko 416-699-4446 or 416-699-1548
Urban Angel

There will be many other Tartan Day celebrations during April so do check out your local newspapers to see if your town or city are holding an event. You can also wear a tartan tie or scarf or even just a swatch of tartan during the celebrations showing your support for Scotland, Scots and Scots descendants :-)

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

It's Richard Thomson's turn this week and he's coverinng the prospects for the SNP winning the Scottish Elections in May. He show "The Times" headlines.... "Labour faces meltdown as SNP heads for power".

Peter in his Cultural section is reminding us about all the Tartan Day celebrations around the world...

Today (Friday 6 April 2007) there will be Saltires flying and commemoration events throughout Scotland to mark The Declaration of Scottish Independence made on 6 April 1320 at Arbroath Abbey in the presence of Robert I, King of Scots. In the past that was not the case but fortunately over the past few years an increasing number of events have been made to mark Freedom Day. One body which deserves great praise in keeping the Arbroath message alive has been the Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society. The Society founded in 1947 has staged a full pageant re-enactment every few years in August with a tribute on the anniversary of the 1320 letter to the Pope asking him to recognise Scottish Freedom each April. The next full Arbroath Pageant will be staged in August 2009 but you can catch their annual tribute today at 1pm at Arbroath Abbey. The message to celebrate this important date is growing and if you visit you will find a variety of events.

Much of this revival of interest is due to the decision of our cousins in America and Canada to centre Tartan Day on 6 April 1320 and the Declaration of Scottish Independence and the eternal verities which it contains, both in terms of nationhood and fledgling democracy. Indeed the Letter from Arbroath was an inspiration to the Americans in drawing up their own Declaration of Independence. The decision to hold Tartan Day has given thousands out-with Scotland the opportunity to remember their Scottish roots and to revel in the internationalist outlook of the Scots. Tartan Day events are already being held in America. Last Friday the Scottish Parliament’s outgoing Presiding Officer George Reid opened the Tartan Village in New York which will be visited by thousands. He has a full programme of events to attend over the next fortnight and will conclude by taking the position of Grand Marshal as thousands of pipers and drummers make their way down New York’s 6th Avenue on Saturday 14 April 2007. He is well worthy of the position of Grand Marshall for George Reid as Scotland’s Presiding Officer has brought a quiet dignity to the role and done much to enhance the national and international standing of the fledgling Scottish Parliament over his four year tenure. He told his American audience –

“Our programme of activities has a strong cultural theme this year. Scots have played an influential role in the development of society in North America – something the Scots in Quebec exhibition currently at Holyrood illustrates all too well.

The role of Grand Marshal for the parade is one I am pleased to accept. To experience the streets of New York lined with people from across North America who are so proud of their Scottish heritage will no doubt once again be an emotional experience.”

Visit for more details.

And talking of Tartan Day... Jean Watson, the mother of Tartan Day, will be honoured as "Scot of the Year" at the Toronto Tartan Day Dinner on 18th April. You can still book tickets for this event at

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

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 has now got her cast off at long last and she's now doing some typing but tells me she's making lots of mistakes so it might be a wee while until she is back up to speed. Always nice to see some steady progress :-)

Now moved onto the G's and added this week are Galloway, Galt and Garden

Here is how the Galloway entry starts...

GALLOWAY, a surname derived from a district in the south-west of Scotland, which took its name from the Gael, Galli, or Irish settlers, in the eighth and two following centuries, and which acquired the name of Gallwalia, Gallawidia, Gallowagia, Gallwadia, Gallweia, Gallway, Galloway. The name may be merely Galliway or Gaelway, the bay of the Gael or Irish. “A Gaelic etymologist,” says Chalmers, “would probably derive the etymon of Galloway from Gallbagh, which the English would pronounce Gallwa or Gallway, the estuary or bay of the strangers or foreigners. It seems more than probably that this difficult name was originally imposed by the Irish settlers, and afterwards Saxonised, from the coincidence of the name. The legends of the country, however, attribute the origin of the name to King Galdus, who fought and fell on the bay of Wigton. This is the fabulous Galdus who is said by Boece and Buchanan to have opposed the Romans, though conducted by Agricola. We may herein see a slight trait of history, by connecting the fictitious Galdus with the real Galgac, who fought Agricola at the foot of the Grampians.” [Chalmers’ Caledonia, vol. i. p. 359.]

Of this surname was a distinguished officer of the Indian army, General Sir Archibald Galloway, K.C.B., who served the East India Company for thirty-five years, and during that long period, besides actions in the field, was present at six sieges and seven storms, in four of which he was closely engaged. He was the son of Mr. James Galloway of Perth, and in 1799 he was appointed, as a cadet, to the 58th native infantry, of which he became the colonel in 1836. He was present at the siege of Delhi, and was one of the handful of men to whom the Company owed the remarkable defence of that city, when besieged by an army of 70,000 men, with 130 pieces of cannon. He was also at the siege of Bhurtpore, under lord Lake, and commanded the corps of sappers, the most distinguished in the army for the hard and hazardous service it had to perform. On two most sanguinary assaults he led this corps at the head of the forlorn hope, and in the latter was desperately wounded. Lord William Bentinck, when governor-general, nominated him to be one of the members of the Military Board under its new constitution, and on his departure from India, he received an expression of the high approbation of the governor-general in council. His services were honoured with public approbation by commanders-in-chief in India, on nine different occasions, and by the supreme government of India, or the Court of Directors and superior authorities in England, on upwards of thirty occasions, the former twenty-one, and the latter eleven times. He was the author of a Commentary on the Moohummuddan Law, and another on the Law, Constitution, and Government of India. His work on Sieges in India, at the recommendation of General Mudge of the royal engineers, was reprinted by the Court of Directors, and used at their military college. It was likewise, by the orders of the marquis of Hastings when governor-general, distributed to the army for general instruction. He wrote also other military treatises. In 1838 he was nominated a Companion of the Bath, and in 1848 a Knight Commander. In 1846 he was elected a director of the East India Company, and in 1849 he officiated as chairman, which office he held at the time of his death, which took place at London on 6th April 1850, aged 70.

You can read the rest of this entry at

You can read the other entries at 

The Southern States of America
Published in 1909.

Added this week are...

The History of Missouri - Chapter III
Missouri, 1820 - 1865

The History of Missouri - Chapter IV
Missouri since the war of Secession, 1865 - 1909

The History of Arkansas - Chapter I
Arkansas from 1539 - 1836

Here is how The History of Arkansas starts...

Early Discoveries — De Soto.

THE discovery of the new world opened up a wide field for adventure. To the old world America was a fairy land of fabulous wealth. The souls of men were fired by stories of it, and men of broken fortunes or of lost reputation came flocking to America. While most of these fortune-seekers failed to accomplish their immediate purpose, they nevertheless did a far better thing — explored the new world and made known its untold resources.

The first white man to touch what is now Arkansas was one of these adventurous fortune-seekers — Hernando De Soto. With a band of 600 followers he landed in 1539 in Florida. He spent two years wandering over the Gulf region east of the Mississippi. In May, 1541, he discovered the Mississippi, called Meschacebe by the Indians, Rio Grande by De Soto. With hastily constructed barges he crossed probably near Helena. The next year, the last year of his eventful life, the great captain spent in traveling over what is now Arkansas. He went up the west bank of the river to northeast Arkansas, passing on the way several Indian villages. Leaving the St. Francis country De Soto journeyed southwest and stopped near Little Rock. Here the natives told him of mountains to the northwest; hither he traveled until he reached some point in northwest Arkansas. Disappointed in not finding gold, he turned south, passed over the Boston mountains, crossed the Arkansas near Dardanelle Rock and came into the country of the Cayas, where they found "a lake of very hot water and somewhat brackish," which most students interpret as the now famous Hot Springs. [Gentleman of Elvas in Publications Arkansas Historical Association, I., 484.]

Somewhere on the Ouachita in South Arkansas he spent the winter, which proved to be a severe one. Here he suffered an almost irreparable loss in the death of his interpreter, Juan Ortiz, a Spaniard, who, with De Narvez, had come to Florida in 1528. On the wreck of the expedition he had joined a tribe of Indians and had learned to speak their tongue. In the spring of 1542 De Soto started south for the Gulf, but made poor progress, for the hardships of the long journey and the severity of the late winter had reduced his force to 300 men of war and forty horses, the latter having gone a year unshod. Exposure and hardship brought on malarial fever, from which De Soto died. As the end approached he commissioned Moscoso as his successor, who buried the great explorer in the river which he had discovered. A recent writer has located the death and burial of De Soto at Helena. [Publications Arkansas Historical Association, I.. 128.] The traditional view is that it occurred near the mouth of the Red River. [For original sources bearing on De Soto's travels, see the account by Biedma and A Oentleman of Elvas in French's Historical Collections of Louisiana, Vol. II., or for the account of that part of his journey through Arkansas, see Publications, Arkansas Historical Association, I., 466-499. Biedma and A Oentleman of Elvas appear to have accompanied the expedition.]

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)

We have now completed this book and you can read the concluding chapters at 

The chapters added this week are...

The Last Page
Appendix 1 - MacVarish family, etc.
Appendix 2 - The College Merger of the Maritimes
Appendix 3 - The New World: Lecture at Inverness in 1920 by J. L. MacDougall

Here is The Last Page to read here...

We have attempted in the foregoing pages to give some idea of our Inverness ancestry. Our task was forced upon us twenty years too late. The real inner story of our older people was buried with themselves, and as a general thing we have no marble, moat or manuscript, to help us tell it now.

In our search for necessary information through the county we missed many, oh so many, "good gray heads" whom we were wont to meet and enjoy in younger years. Never did we appreciate their worth so keenly as when we felt the need of their help and found "they were not there". The younger and smarter folk did not, we regret to say, evince any special interest in a history of their forefathers. We could only do our best in a position that was all but impossible: and, unlike the great William Pitt, we were not able to "trample on impossibilities." We do hope our readers will grant us some indulgence, knowing the dark and lonely road we had to travel.

Some may think that we were representing our ancestors as much too good. We honestly tried our best not to. We confess at once our tender personal feeling for the friends that are gone, and we have no apology to offer for any manifestation of that feeling that may appear in this work. These hardy early settlers can not be judged by the standards and conditions of our day. They lived in lowly circumstances and were in the main, quite illiterate; yet, they possessed and practised, and impressed upon their offspring, many of the finest qualities of humanity.

"Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, or destiny obscure;
Nor grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,
The short and simple annals of the poor."

It is not our purpose either to praise the dead or dispraise the living, but we feel justified in saying this:— to the extent that we, of today disregard, despise or repudiate, the christian qualities of our pioneer fathers, precisely to that extent we degenerate, physically, mentally and morally.

However, lest it be supposed that we are parading the best and concealing the worst of these old people let us make a brief reference to their more prominent faults and failings. And first of all their drinking habits.

All men know from experience that excess of anything is hurtful. Our early settlers drank to excess at times. The habit of drinking to excess is pernicious beyond expression, for it may involve much more, and much worse, than a mere breach of temperance. Some of our forefathers were in the habit of drinking to excess. Such a habit is not to be defended but we think our early settlers are entitled to an explanation concerning it.

That habit did not originate with our forefathers in this country. It came to them without much rebuke from deep down the centuries. All the aged civilized nations of the earth were soaked in it. There was no organized public opinion against it. There were no state laws forbidding it. In the olden times it was not considered degrading to indulge in alcoholic beverages. Men of all ranks did it. The King and his Jester got drunk together. In former centuries liquor was believed to be a necessary stimulant; it was good and cheap then, and as free and plentiful as air or water. Industrialism and commerce had not then reached the stage at which the unauthorized use of strong drink was a perilous source of inefficiency and loss.

We offer these comments as an explanation of this habit of the old people. The explanation is not open to us of today; nor is it an excuse for over-drinking at any time, in any place, under any circumstances.

Another habit of the olden times was to submit all the sharpest personal differences to the ruthless arbitrament of the naked fists.

Frankly that was a tribunal we could never respect: perhaps, because we feared it. We always regarded it as the essence and instinct of raw-boned savagery. But even as to that repugnant custom the men of old have a right to a hearing.

All those men came from lands of perpetual warfare, either international or internecine. Many immigrants came here smeared with the boiling blood of battle. Physical force was the determining test and logic of an old civilization. He who was too proud to fight was a poltroon: he who fought well was lionized. In the days of the pioneer settlers of Inverness there were no other tribunals to settle urgent issues. Physical force became an arbiter of honor, a racial distinction, and a necessary law of the wilderness. The habit is not now so general, but "it lingers superfluous on the stage." It is a vicious thorn of barbarism.

The habit of dancing and holding frequent frolics was another fault imputed to our ancestors. In connection therewith we think they are entitled to a special explanation. They were strangers in a strange land. They lived in the forest thousands of miles from the homes of their first impressions. Their labors were arduous and im perative. They had nothing to read, and even if they had libraries only few could use them. They had no clubs, societies, or moving pictures. It was essential that they should preserve their fitness for the task to which their hands were set. How could they preserve that fitness without those light amusements and recreations which their lot imposed and the Lord permitted?

Their "frolics" were informal social gatherings at which the chief functions were music, dancing and story-telling. Their songs and music were but the harmonies of a past history, as dear to them as life itself: their dancing was a beautiful work of art as compared with the spavined and repulsive performances of modern times: and their legends were the nepenthe of an old and turbulent national life. Were these simple recreations things of evil? Honi soit qui mal y pense.

We owe an immensity to our departed fathers. Common prudence as well as natural affection would bid us cherish their memory and good qualities for all time. One quality which our fathers showed notoriously was a wonderful resignation to adversities. We should make it a study to imitate this noble quality. Too often we develop a spirit of selfishness, unrest, impatience and discontentment, Cui bono? Other prominent qualities of our pioneers were their strong and simple faith, their invariable respect for their superiors and all constituted authority. And what of their eager and steadfast devotion to home and family? Verily, it were a wholesome and useful practice for us to recall frequently the lives and sacrifices of our worthy old men.

And now, after many days, we must take leave of our kind and patient readers, very likely for the last time. We have lived among them long: we shall wish them well for ever. Nothing would give us more joy in future than to know that they are prosperous and happy. At the same time, in this act of leave-taking, the last thing we should wish to do were to leave them under any delusion. This world is sternly exacting taskmaster. It abounds in pains and partings, sick-ness and sorrows, trials and disappointments. These probationary penalties can only be met and mastered by a supernatural fortitude of soul.

Wherefore, in this act of parting with our friends, our sentiments are well reflected in the following counsel of a standard, living, authority:—

"I would not bid you not to weep,
For tears of grief shall fill your eyes,
I would not bid you not to care
When you shall lose the thing you prize;
For hurt and pain are hard to bear,
And sorrow cuts into the soul;
But hold you fast, and serve the Truth,
And you shall come unto your goal.

There shall be days when hope is dim,
And days when joys seem far from you;
There shall be rugged hills to climb,
And dreary tasks for you to do:
It is no easy path you fare,
No light or simple game you're in;
Life shall beset and try your strength,
But meet its tests, — and you shall win!"

You can read the rest of the chapters at

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

May 28, 1891 at

The front page this week features Staffa.

Presbyterian Banner
I got in one copy of this newspaper which I confess to not knowing about. The issue is for January 4, 1900 but the paper started I think in 1828. Rather than post it up a series of graphics I've turned it into a .pdf file as I felt the larger print size made it suitable for ocr'ing. I showed the paper to Harold Nelson and he was struck with the great words that are used within the articles. Harold of course is an old time journalist who used to write for the Globe and Mail and was for some 30 odd years the news editor of CBC.

You can read this issue at

I may have mentioned that I also acquired 4 issues of the Scottish American Journal from 1867. As these are double tabloid size there was no way I could do anything with these with my more limited scanner and camera. I have in fact donated these to the MacLaughlin Library at the University of Guelph and in return they will scan these in for me. This will take some weeks as they are just going through a computer upgrade but when complete we'll get them scanned in for us... so something to look forward to :-)

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 Objects and Method of a Sociological Study of the Celts which starts by saying...

WE have tried to set forth the main features of the history of the Celts. But another question arises regarding the Celtic peoples; we must inquire what were the bonds which held men together in social organization, how families and clans were constituted, how land was owned (in whole or in part, in precarious possession or in permanent, absolute ownership, in common or individually, in fairly distributed lots or in aristocratic tenures), what was their law, what were their gods, and their priests, how they traded, and travelled, and built. The structure of society; private law; public law and political institutions; religion; economic life; craftsmanship; morphology; art and literature - these are the headings for a description of Celtic society.

You can read this at

Poems and Stories
Margo has now completed her series "Apollo's Soldiers" 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 now completed this book and added this week are...

Chapter XXXIII
Peculiarities and Instinct of Different Animals.

Chapter XXXIV
Coursing Deer.

Chapter XXXV
Tameness of Birds when Sitting.

Chapter XXXVI
Variety of Game.

Here is how the Peculiarities and Instinct of Different Animals chapter starts...

I cannot conclude these hasty sketches without remarking that few people are aware of the numberless subjects of interest and observation to be found in the habits and structure of the commonest birds and animals which pass before our eyes every day of our lives. How perfectly are all these adapted to their respective modes of living and feeding. In every garden and shrubbery the naturalist finds amusement in watching its living tenants. Look at the chaffinch, how it adapts the colour and even the shape of its nest to the spot in which it is placed covering the outside with materials of the same colour as the bark of the tree in which it is. So do also all the other small birds. Again, they line their nests with materials of the same colour as their eggs. The chaffinch lines it with wool and feathers mixed together, giving it a background of nearly the same hue as the shell of the eggs. The greenfinch lines it with light-coloured feathers, collected from the poultry-yard, as her eggs are nearly white. The yellowhammer has a greyish egg with stripy marks; she lines her nest with horsehair. The robin's eggs being of a reddish-brown, she makes use of dried grass and similar substances. The prevailing colour of the hedge-sparrow's nest is green, and her eggs are of a greenish-blue ; and in the same manner all our common and unregarded birds adapt both the outside and the lining of their nests to the colour of the surrounding substances and that of their own eggs respectively. In the same manner they all have bills adapted to the food on which they live — the grain-feeding birds having short, strong mandibles, while those of the insectivorous birds are longer and more slender, and as perfectly adapted for searching in crannies and corners for the insects and eggs that may be hidden there, as the former are for cutting and shelling the seeds and grain on which they feed.

Look, too, at the eggs of lapwings and of all those birds that hatch on the bare ground. Those that lay on fields have their eggs of a brownish green, while those that lay on the stones and pebbles have them of a sandy and brown mottled colour, so like the substances which surround them, that it is most difficult for the passer-by to distinguish the egg from the stone. In the same manner the young of all birds which live on the ground resemble the ground itself in colour, thereby eluding many of their enemies. Look also at the birds whose residence and food are placed in the marshes and swamps — the woodcocks and snipes, for example, who feed by thrusting their bills into the soft mud for the purpose of picking out the minute red worms and animalcules which abound in it, have the bill peculiarly adapted for this purpose. The upper mandible has a kind of nob at the end, which overlaps the under mandible, and not only prevents its being injured, but makes it quite easy for the bird to pass its bill both into and out of the ground without obstruction. How peculiarly well the bill of these birds is adapted for this purpose is perceived at once by drawing it through the fingers. The end of the mandible, too, is full of nerves, which enables the bird to distinguish the soft and minute substances on which it feeds without seeing them. The oyster-catcher, which feeds on shellfish and similar food, has a bill with hard sharp points, with which it can dig into and break the strong coverings of its prey; no tool could be made to answer the purpose better. The curlew's long curved bill is also a perfect implement for worming out the sea-slugs, which it extracts from the wet sands. The birds that live chiefly on the insects and water-plants which are found in swamps and muddy places have their feet of great size and length, which enables them to walk and run over muddy and soft places without sinking. The water-hen and water-rail, indeed, often run along the floating leaves of the water-plants without bearing them down by their weight. The bald coot, too, a bird that lives almost wholly in muddy places, has its feet and toes formed purposely for running on a soft surface. How different from the strongly retractile talons of the hawk and owl, made purposely to seize and hold their struggling prey.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

And the other chapters at

Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Congress in Columbia, Tennessee May 8-11, 1889.
Making steady progress with this book and have got up several chapters this week. Some of these chapters are quite long and detailed and include...

Minutes and Short Addresses
Officers and Committees of the Scotch-Irish Society of America
Action of Committees

Part II

The Harp of Tom Moore

Addresses by...

Ex-Governor Proctor Knott - Ex Governor of Kentucky
Prof. George Macloskie - What the Scotch-Irish have done for Education
Rev. John Hall, D.D. - Scotch-Irish Characteristics
Hon. William Wirt Henry - The Scotch-Irish of the South
Rev. D. C. Kelly, D.D. - The Scotch-Irish of Tennessee
Colonel A. K. McClure - Scotch-Irish Achievement

Here is how the address given by Colonel A. K. McClure starts...

Ladies and Gentlemen:— You have had very excellent samples of the oratory of the Scotch-Irish, and I am not here to deliver an oration, but I will give you a recess from Scotch-Irish oratory, by devoting a short space of the evening to a confidential conversation about our distinguished race. The trouble with me is to know where to begin. If you are asked, Where have the Scotch-Irish been, and where are they now? the answer is, Where have they not been, and where are they not? If you are asked what they have done, the answer of every intelligent citizen must be, What have they not done? If you ask what distinguished places of trust and power they have filled, the logical answer is, What place is there, in civil, military, or religious authority, that they have not filled?

To speak of such a race, is to speak of the history of the past achievements of our land; and, strange as it may seem, this people whose history is written in every annal of achievement in our land, is without a written history. There is not a single connected history of the Scotch-Irish in American literature, and there is not a history of any other people written in truth that does not tell of Scotch-Irish achievement. If you were to spend an evening in a New England library, you would find not only scores, but hundreds of volumes, telling of Puritan deeds; and if you were to study them, the natural inference would be that the only people that have existed and achieved any thing in this land were the Puritans. They have not only written everything that they have done, but they have written more than they have done. The story that they generally omit is their wonderful achievement in the burning of witches. There is a complete history of the Quakers. You find it in connected form in almost every library of any city.

There is a complete history of the Huguenots who settled in Carolina, and there is a connected history of every people of our land, save the one people whose deeds have made the history of this country the most lustrous of all. It is true, that those who write their history in deeds have least need of history in the records of our literature, but the time has come in this land when the Scotch-Irish owe it to themselves, and owe it especially to their children, who are now scattered from eastern to western sea, and from northern lake to southern gulf, that those who come after us shall learn not only that their ancestors have been foremost in achievement, but that their deeds have been made notable in history, as they were in the actions of men.

Some of our more thoughtful historians or students of history will pretend to tell you when the Scotch-Irish race began. I haven't heard even our Scotch-Irishmen who have studied the question do the subject justice. No such race of men could be created in a generation; no such achievements could be born in a century. No such people as the Scotch-Irish could be completed even in century after century; and while you are told that the Scotch-Irish go back in their achievements to the days of John Knox, John Knox lived a thousand years after the formation of the Scotch-Irish character began. He was like the stream of your western desert, that comes from the mountains and makes the valleys beautiful, and green, and fragrant, and then is lost in the sands of the desert. Men will tell you that it disappears and is lost. It is not.

After traversing perhaps hundreds of miles of subterranean passages, forgotten, unseen, it is still doing its work, and it rises again before it reaches the sea, and again makes new fields green, and beautiful, and bountiful. It required more than a thousand years to perfect the Scotch-Irish character. It is of a creation single from all races of mankind, and a creation not of one people nor of one century, nor even five centuries, but a thousand years of mingled effort and sacrifice, ending in the sieges of Derry, were required to present to the world the perfect Scotch-Irish character. If you would learn when the characteristics of the Scotch-Irish race began, go back a thousand years beyond the time of John Knox, and find that there was a crucial test that formed the men who perfected the Scotch-Irish character, after years and years of varying conflict and success, until the most stubborn, the most progressive, the most aggressive race in achievement, was given to the world. Let us go back to the sixth century, and what do we find?

We find Ireland the birth-place of the Scotch-Irish. We find Ireland foremost of all the nations of the earth, not only in religious progress, but in literature, and for two centuries thereafter the teacher of the world in all that made men great and achievements memorable. For two centuries the Irish of Ireland, in their own green land, were the teachers of men, not only in religion, but in science, in learning, and ail that made men great. She had her teachers and her scientists, men who filled her pulpits and went to every nation surrounding; and it was there that the Scotch-Irish character had its foundation; it was there that the characteristics became evident which afterward made them felt wherever they have gone. Those Irish were teachers of religion, and yet as stubborn for religious freedom as were the Scotch-Irish. Catholic, they often refused obedience to the Pope. They were men of conviction; they were men of learning. They were the advanced outposts of the progressive civilization of that day, and the cardinal doctrine of their faith, down deep-set in the heart, was absolute religious freedom, and they even combated the Vatican in maintaining their religious rights.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

And the other chapters can be read at

2008 World Gathering of MacIntyres
Have added the most recent information on this gathering in Scotland which you can read at

Clan Newsletters
Added the April 2007 newsletter from the Clan Munro Association of Australia which you can read at

Nola sent us in another two homilies she has given which you can read at

She did an interesting one on the "Prodigal Son" which you might find interesting at

The other one is about "Fishers of Men" which you can read at

When the Steel Went Through
By P. Turner Bone

A new book this week and here is what the flyleaf of the book tells us...

In Turner Bone's delightful volume of reminiscences the reader will find the first narrative which has given a day-to-day picture of the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway across the prairies and over the mountains.

Mr. Bone came to Canada from Scotland as a young man in 1882, having served his engineering apprenticeship in Glasgow. He joined the construction forces which laid lines of steel through the then unknown west and across the Rockies to Vancouver. He writes vividly and gaily of his life and incidentally gives the reader a remarkably fresh and very human picture of early days on the prairies and in the Rockies.

When The Steel Went Through is actually an extract of the history of Canadian railway building, as Mr. Bone was connected with many such projects, including the laying of the Ontario and Quebec line, the short line through Maine, and the north and south C.P. lines out of Calgary to Edmonton and Lethbridge. The book is studded with informal and very good character sketches of men with whom he worked and who became famous, Sir Herbert Holt, Sir William Mackenzie, Sir Donald Mann, and many others.

Railroad men and all who lived through that exciting period will enjoy this engrossing story which is illustrated with many rare and excellent photographs.

Mr. D. C. Coleman, President of the Canadian Pacific Railway, has contributed an introduction...

The writer of these reminiscences, who to the sorrow of his many friends departed this life while the manuscript was in the hands of the printer, was one of the last of the sadly dwindling band of pioneers who assisted in the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and who in later years helped to create in Calgary one of the most interesting and colourful communities in the Western world. Canadians are notoriously careless about preserving records bearing on the early development and expansion of their own country. It is well, therefore, that one so well qualified as was Mr. Turner Bone should have told a great story to thrill and inspire the generations to come. In plain unvarnished prose he relates how the Canadian Pacific, having been hurled across the prairies at reckless speed, stormed the ramparts of the Rockies and the Selkirks and found its way to the peaceful Western sea. There is much information in this book which until now has never found its way into print, and which probably never would have done so had it not been for the acuteness of observation, and the remarkably retentive memory of Turner Bone. While there is no attempt at eloquence or fine writing, the narrative is illuminated from time to time by touches of sentiment which throw a light on the character of a singularly kindly and lovable man. He has left as his memorial a real contribution to Canadian history.

And in the Preface...

In the literary world, there are writers who have done noteworthy work in their declining years. It is on record that Longfellow, for the fiftieth anniversary of his class at college, wrote:

"Cato learned Greek at eighty; Sophocles
Wrote his grand Oepidus, and Simonides
Bore off the prize of verse from his compeers
Who each had numbered more than fourscore years;
And Theophrastus at fourscore and ten
Had but begun his Characters of men."

With such notable examples of successful defiance of age to stimulate me, I have, at "more than fourscore years", made my first literary venture. This appears in form as my reminiscences — which many of my friends have expressed the hope I would write.

A considerable part of this work covers my early days on the Prairies, and in the Rocky Mountains, when I was one of the engineers employed on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. That was sixty years ago. There are few of us now left to tell a first-hand story of that work. So I have felt I should do my part in preserving some record of those days, by relating my own experiences.

In my presentation of these I have naturally mentioned quite frequently those with whom I was most closely associated. However modest the positions which some of them held, they played a necessary part in the construction of the railway; and, later, were prominent in the development of the West. They were worthy pioneers, whose names I have endeavoured to preserve, so that, though they pass out of sight they will not be forgotten.

P. Turner Bone

And so I hope you will all enjoy this story which has the first three chapters up at

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


With Electric Scotland's new site design it is now possible for you to advertise your company on all 150,000+ pages of our site. Email address and contact information can be found at 

You can see old issues of this newsletter at 

For only $10.00 per year you can have your own email account with both POP3 and Web Access. For more details see 

To manage your subscription or unsubscribe visit and select "Manage Subscriptions" at the foot of the Application box.

Return to Weekly Mailing List Archives


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus