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
13th 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
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
The Southern States of America
Poems and Stories
Clan Newsletters
Highlander and his Books
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Congress in Columbia, Tennessee May 8-11, 1889.
When the Steel Went Through
History of Scotland (New Book)
Highlanders in Spain (New Book)
Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745
The Old Castles and Mansions of Scotland
Natibity and Parentage of Marshal MacDonald, Duke of Tarentum

This week sees two new books started "The History of Scotland" and "The Highlanders in Spain". The first is being done as a series of .pdf files and the other is being ocr'd in as text.

I'm also getting near the end of the third volume of the History of the Southern States which is all I had intended to do. That said I'd be interested to hear if you'd like me to do any of the other volumes? The volumes are...

Vol 4. Political History
Vol 5. Southern Economic History
Vol 6. Southern Economic History
Vol 7. History of the Literary and Intellectual Life of the Southern States
Vol 8. History of Southern Fiction
Vol 9. History of Southern Oratory
Vol 10. History of the Social Life of the Southern States
Vol 11. Biography
Vol 12. Biography

I do actually intend to look through the two Biography volumes to see if I can spot any interesting ones of Scots Descendants.

I have had a few emails in telling me you have been enjoying these so you might let me know if any or all are of interest and if I get enough of a response will consider doing more volumes.

Got a wee email in... Sixth Annual Highland Games and Celtic Fest to be held in Aiken, SC, May 19, 2007. We have great food, of course, wonderful vendors to begin your Christmas Shopping, pipe bands, dancers, story tellers, sheep dogs, coos, Alex Beaton Balladeer, The Hooligans Celtic Band, Clan Tents, all the things that make us who we are. For info:

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

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

It's Jim Lynch's turn this week as this is his last Flag before the Scottish Election here is what he is saying...

Next week will be Donald Bain, then Ian Goldie, and I will be doing the Flag on 4th May – later than usual- with some comment on the Election.

Well, this is a unique position I find myself and the Scottish National Party in; in over 40 years there have been ups and downs, more downs, and it has always been my contention that the SNP always peaked at the wrong time, and that if we could only synchronise our appeal with an election we would sweep to victory.

This time we are into the campaign proper and still rising in the polls; there was a blip, which made headlines! Imagine - a headline in the Scottish press saying Labour was ahead in the polls! We were so used to them being in that position until this year that it excited no comment. Now they are discredited, and it is possible that at this election the whole rotten edifice that is the Labour Party will crumble – but we are not there yet.

Labour launched their manifesto this week, with the First Minister parading with a classful of innocent and unaware young children all wearing T shirts with “Building Scotland” on them; and at the launch of their “positive” campaign he cries : “Education not separation” , and wittered on that Scotland faced either progress or 4 years of turmoil! His idea of positive and mine are obviously poles apart. There is a list of promises, free transport, reduced community charges for pensioners, no tolls on the Forth and Tay Bridges, and more goodies than the Easter Bunny could think up; and of course, no answer as to why they hadn’t already done all these wonders. Labour have been in power for 10 years in the UK, and 8 years in the Scottish Parliament, along with their partners in grime, the Liberals, so surely some of these wonders could have been worked. We cannot tell if their sums on Council Tax add up, because they haven’t done them, as anyone watching Cathy Jamieson on Newsnight Scotland might have noticed.

Mr McConnell claims he is not fighting for his job, but for the future of Scotland. In this respect he must think the electorate has had an irony bypass, because he is fighting for his job. This election, contrary to the Unionist propaganda, is about who runs Scotland for the next 4 years, and not about independence; Labour and Liberal are terrified that with an SNP led government, their whole shoddy performance over the past 8 years will be exposed, and the electorate will see why the Scottish Parliament has been dubbed by so many to be a failure. The placemen – and women- the “servants” of the people, as they hypocritically style themselves, will be shown to be narrow, parochial, and subservient to their masters in London.

After 3 years of an SNP led administration, the people will be asked to choose in a referendum if they wish independence; they will be asked to judge the SNP not on what they have said, but on what they have done. Labour and Liberals are panicking as they are about to be judged not on what they have promised, but on what they have delivered, so they keep talking about constitutional issues to distract the electorate from their abject failure. It is a version of the old adage that the solution to trouble at home used to be war abroad; this lot have already made war abroad an unacceptable, and illegal, alternative, so they have to find something else.

Labour was most upset at the Sunday Mail poll published on 8th April; this showed the SNP 12 points ahead of Labour on the Constituency Vote, and 11 points ahead on the Regional Vote. This would translate into 56 SNP seats and 40 Labour seats.

Just ask yourself – where is all the talk of turmoil, splits, job losses, financial ruin coming from? Yes, Labour and the Liberals, with the Tories in the background, singing slightly small.

Scotland deserves better.


Haven't heard from Linda for a wee while. I had hoped we'd get a bit of an insight into the Elections from her but we can but hope we get another diary entry before and after the elections.

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

In Peter's cultural section we get...

Towards 1pm, 251 years ago, the Jacobite guns on Drummossie Moor opened fire which prompted an immediate response from their Hanoverian opponents. The government fire power was to prove superior and around an hour later 1,000 Jacobites lay dead, rising to 1,500 in the aftermath of the bloody battle. The Gaelic poet and Jacobite soldier John Roy Stuart summed up the Jacobite defeat –

‘Woe is me for the plaided troops scattered and routed everywhere at the hands of these utter foxes of England who observed no fairness at all in the conflict; though they won the battle, it was not from the courage or the skill of them but the westward wind and the rain coming down on us from the lands of the lowlanders.’

It was not of course a Scots versus English affair, it was much more complicated than that but the outcome was vastly different for the two royal cousins who opposed one another on that fateful day. Prince Charles Edward Stewart was forced to take to the heather before escaping to France, all hope of restoring his father to the thrones once occupied by the Stewarts gone for ever, but for his cousin, William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, the adulation for having safeguarding his father’s Hanoverian throne lay ahead. The German had defeated the Italian!

The Battle of Culloden fought on 16 April 1746 only lasted as long as it would take you to walk round the battlefield but it put in motion the death of the Clan system and the death-knell of Gaeldom. Loyal and Jacobite clans were to suffer over the following months – indeed right down through the past 2 ½ centuries. Culloden is one of the most important battles to be fought on Scottish soil and a battle which still divides Scots and emotionally rugs at the heart. Standing on the field at Drummossie, hearing the pipes play is a great heart-rending experience, for regardless of one’s opinion of the Italian Prince, no one can fail but be moved by the courage and loyalty displayed by the Jacobite army. The 45 Rising was full of poignant moments – two I would have liked to witness – the refusal of the Jacobite pipers to play when the greatest-ever Scottish piper Patrick Ban MacCrimmon was held prisoner after the Battle of Inverurie in December 1745 and the advance of Lord George Murray, with pipes playing and colours flying, to lay siege to his ancestral home of Blair Castle on 17 March 1746.

This Saturday (14 April 2007) will see the annual commemoration of the battle at the Memorial Cairn (11am - 12.30pm) and also following work by the National Trust for Scotland to restore the site to how it looked in 1746, the rededication of the battlefield. The chairman of the NT for Scotland Shonaig Macpherson will be in attendance. On the anniversary of the battle (Monday 16 April 2007) a piper will play from 1pm for one hour – the duration of the battle,

Work is progressing to build a new Culloden visitor centre, away from the battle lines – the present centre stands on the Hanoverian lines) – and this should be open in August. From a report on Robbie Shepherd’s Radio Scotland programme on Sunday, the new centre will be well worth a visit. The present centre will be in operation until the completion of the new one.

The meeting at Culloden is one of the highlights of the many events marking the Year of Highland Culture which commenced in January. Visit for full details of a packed and varied programme of events which includes art, drama, music and sport. In tribute to the Highland Year of Culture this week’s recipe is Peach Highland Cream which was devised by chef Paul Rogers while cooking in several British Transport hotels in Scotland. This is a dish which contains the real taste of The Highlands – Whisky.

Peach Highland Cream

Ingredients: 4 fresh peaches; ¼ pt/ 150 ml water; 2-3 tablespoons sugar; 2-3 tablespoons whisky; 4 tablespoons raspberry sorbet; 3 egg yolks

Method: Put the peaches briefly into boiling water to loosen the skins, peel. Put the water, sugar and whisky into a pan and boil up for 5-10 minutes. Poach the peaches very lightly in the syrup – they should be only slightly softened. Remove and leave to cool in the syrup. When cool remove peaches from the syrup, halve them and take out the stones. Fill the centres with raspberry sorbet and put back together again.

To make the sauce beat the egg yolks over hot water till thick. Reduce the syrup to about 3 tablespoons and add to the egg yolks. Beat till fairly thick and half fill four wine goblets. Place the peach on top of the sauce and decorate with some fresh raspberries. Serve slightly chilled with a thin crisp shortbread. Four servings.

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 Gardiner, Garnock and Garthshore.

Here is the Gardiner entry...

GARDINER, JAMES, a distinguished military officer, celebrated as much for his piety as for his courage and loyalty, the son of Captain Patrick Gardiner, of the family of Torwoodhead, by Mrs. Mary Hodge, of the family of Gladsmuir, was born at Carriden, Linlithgowshire, January 10, 1687-8, and received his education at the grammar school of Linlithgow. He served as a cadet very early, and at fourteen years of age had an ensign’s commission in a Scots regiment in the Dutch service, in which he continued till 1702, when he received an ensign’s commission from Queen Anne. At the battle of Ramillies, May 23, 1706, he was wounded and taken prisoner, but was soon after exchanged. In the latter year, he obtained the rank of lieutenant, and on January 31, 1714-15, was made captain-lieutenant in Colonel Ker’s regiment of dragoons. At the taking of Preston in Lancashire, in 1715, he headed a party of twelve, and advancing to the barricades of the insurgents, set them on fire, in spite of a furious storm of musketry, by which eight of his men were killed. He afterwards became aide-de-camp to the earl of Stair, and accompanying his lordship in his celebrated embassy to Paris, acted as master of the horse on occasion of his splendid entrance into the French capital. After several intermediate promotions, he was, July 20, 1724, appointed major of a regiment of dragoons, commanded by his friend Lord Stair; and in January 1730, he was advanced to the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the same regiment, in which he continued till April 1743, when he received a colonel’s commission in another dragoon regiment then newly raised, which was quartered in the neighbourhood of his own house in East Lothian.

Colonel Gardiner had for many years been noted for his gay and dissolute habits of life, but about the middle of July 1719 a remarkable change took place in his conduct and sentiments, caused by his accidental perusal of a religious book, written by Mr. Thomas Watson, entitled ‘The Christian Soldier, or Heaven taken by storm.’ The account of his wonderful conversion as given by Dr. Doddridge, in his celebrated memoir of him, which partakes of the character of the early miracles of the church, is well known. He was, says his biographer, in the most amazing manner, without any religious opportunity, or peculiar advantage, deliverance, or affliction, reclaimed, on a sudden, in the prime of his days and the vigour of health, from a life of profligacy and wicked ness, not only to a steady course of regularity and virtue, but to high devotion and strict though unaffected purity of manners; which he continued to sustain until his untimely death.

On the breaking out of the Rebellion in 1745 his regiment marched with the utmost expedition to Dunbar, and being joined by Hamilton’s regiment of dragoons, and the foot under the command of Sir John Cope, the whole force proceeded towards Edinburgh, to give battle to the rebels. The two hostile bodies came into view of each other on September 20, in the neighbourhood of Colonel Gardiner’s own house of Bankton near Prestonpans, of which the following, sketched by Mr. J.C. Brown in 1844, is a representation. It was totally destroyed by fire on 27th November, 1852.

On the 21st he fell at the battle of Prestonpans. At the beginning of the action he received a wound by a bullet in his left breast, and soon after received a shot in his right thigh. After a faint fire, his regiment was seized with a panic, and took to flight; at the same moment he saw a party of infantry who were bravely fighting near him, without an officer to head them, on which he said, “These brave fellows will be cut to pieces for want of a commander,” and riding up to them, he cried out, “Fire on, my lads, and fear nothing.” But just as the words were spoken, he was cut down by a Highlander with a scythe fastened to a long pole, and immediately after, being dragged off his horse, another Highlander gave him a stroke, either with a broadsword or a Lochaber axe, on the back part of his head, which was the mortal blow. His remains were interred on the 24th of the same month at the parish church of Tranent, where he usually, when at home, attended divine service. He had married, July 11, 1726, the Lady Frances Erskine, daughter of the fourth earl of Buchan, by whom he had thirteen children, five only of whom, two sons and three daughters, survived their father. One of his daughters, named Richmond, married Mr. Laurence Inglis, depute-clerk of Bills at Edinburgh. She was the subject of a song of Sir Gilbert Elliot’s, ‘Fanny fair, all woe-begone,’ which was originally set to the tune of Barbara Allan. She herself wrote poetry, and in 1781 published at Edinburgh, in a quarto volume, ‘Anna and Edgar, or Love and Ambition, a Tale.’ She died at Edinburgh, 9th June 1795.

You can read the other entries at 

The Southern States of America
Published in 1909.

Added this week are...

The History of Arkansas - Chapter II
Arkansas from 1836 - 1861

The History of Arkansas - Chapter III
Arkansas from 1861 - 1909

The History of Texas - Chapter I
Texas as a part of Mexico

Here is how The History of Texas starts...

PICTURESQUE as this period is, it lacks unity. Since the American element, however, once introduced, was of steady growth and ultimately became dominant, attention must be centred upon what led to its introduction and upon the causes of its final success in directing the fortunes of the province.

Boundaries Variable.

Texas as a part of Mexico had variable boundaries. In Humboldt's time the province of New Mexico was wholly independent of Texas, El Paso being its southernmost garrison. In the first decade of the Nineteenth century, when Humboldt wrote his account of New Spain, the province of Texas belonged to the intendency of San Luis Potosi. The nearest presidio or military post was that at Nacogdoches, some sixty-eight leagues, says Humboldt, from Fort Claiborne, the farthest settlement in Louisiana westward. Against the claim of Louisiana to the land east of the Lavaca stood that of Spain to the land eastward as far as the Rio Mermentas, which flows into the Gulf beyond the Sabine.

On the west the Mexican authorities gave Texas the Nueces and the Medina as her boundaries. The Marqués de Aguayo in the account of his Wtrada in 1721 names the Medina as the boundary dividing her from Coahuila. The Nueces divided her from Tamaulipas. It was not until the Fredonian "War that any Texan claimed the Rio Grande as the western boundary. After San Jacinto the Republic reiterated this claim.

Spain was engaged from the time of her great period of colonization in European struggles, which kept her from making full use of her splendid opportunities in America. Hence two centuries elapsed after the first great voyage of Columbus before Texas even received a name. Legends such as those of the Seven Cities of Cibola, wanderings such as those narrated by the shipwrecked Cabeza de Vaca, authorized explorations such as that of the friar Niza, armed expeditions such as that of Coronado, entradas or official visits such as that of Captains Martin and del Castillo show the gradual growth from story-filled ignorance to actual occupation.

These marches led, naturally, to a claim on the part of Spain to territory northward and eastward of Mexico. The land east of the Rio Grande, however, was not really occupied until the claims of France, based on the last voyage of La Salle, threatened the validity of those of Spain.

Early French Explorations.

Spain had failed to push the advantage given her by the wonderful westward raid of De Soto; and France, moving up the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, had floated in the person of La Salle down the Mississippi and repeated the discovery of De Soto. Winning thus the favor of his great king, La Salle sailed once more at the head of a royal expedition to plant a fortified post near the mouth of the mighty river. Sailing beyond it, he reached what is now Matagorda Bay. Taking this for one of the mouths of the Mississippi, he landed and encamped. Further misfortunes and losses, along with recognition of the fact that he was not on the Mississippi, led him to build a fort and then try to make his way to his proposed destination. The fort, called St. Louis, was erected on a river named by La Salle La Vache, later the La Vaca of the Spaniards. The banner of the lilies now floated over the soil of Texas.

The summer of 1685 swept most of the garrison away. La Salle made two trips eastward to no avail, and in a third attempt to reach the desired region he was assassinated by one of his own men. The settlement on the Lavaca did not long survive him. When the Spaniards reached it in 1689 they found it deserted.

You can read the rest of this chapter at 

The book index page is at

Poems and Stories
Margo has continue to send us in some of her children's poetry which you can read at

Here is one of her poems to read here and I might add that each one comes with a painting that Margo has done to accompany each poem.

Jack, Jack and Jill

There was a small town named Igglepop,
Surrounded by hills so green.
A church stood in the center of town,
With the trees and gardens of beans.

One bright sunny more when the birds sang
And the sky was bluer than blue,
Jack, Jack and Jill went for a walk;
Anxious for something to do.

“Let’s climb the hill,” Jack said to the others.
“It’s such a nice day, you see.”
So Jack, Jack, and Jill started down at the bottom
And hiked up the hill, past a tree.

They carried a stick to help them along
As the hill was steep as can be.
Jill ran ahead with Jack right behind.
“Wait up!” Jack said. “Wait for me.”

When they reached the top of the hill so steep
They sat in the shade of an oak,
Looking down on Igglepop, their small town,
Listening to birds sing and a frog’s deep croak.

All day long they watched from above.
The people in the town looked like ants.
Jack looked down at his legs and screamed,
“OH NO! I’ve torn a hole in my pants.”

They had to leave and go back down
So Jill ran as fast as she could.
Jack and Jack couldn’t keep up with her,
Since they used canes of strong wood.

As the sun set that night in Igglepop
The two Jacks finally made it back home.
Jill was waiting for them and let out a sigh.
“Next time we had better go to ROME.”

“You’re much too slow for me,” she said;
“I’d rather walk with a snail.”
Jack and Jack thought for a while and said,
“Next time you can carry water in a pail.”

Donna sent in a craft story, Before and After Closet Doors at

Got in a wee tale of Alexander McPhee which you can read at

Nola sent in a homily she gave on 1st April which you can read at

Clan Newsletters
Got in the April 2007 newsletter from Clan Colquhoun at

Highlander and his Books
Frank sent us in a book review of "The Art of Scottish-American Cooking" by Kay Shaw Nelson

Here is a wee bit from his review...

In Kay Shaw Nelson’s cookbook you will learn about Scottish men and women who impacted our eating habits in the United States. You might be surprised at the list: John McIntosh (apple); Mary Johnson (hand-cranked ice-cream freezer); Philip Armour (Armour & Co.); Rev. Sylvester Graham (Graham cracker); Joseph Campbell (soups); another Campbell family along with the Hutchinson family (Moon Pie, one of my favorites as a child along with an RC Cola); David Jack (Monterey Jack cheese); Julia Child (cookbooks and television shows); Rev. Elijah Craig (Bourbon whiskey, my kind of minister!); Dr. James Crow, (Old Crow Bourbon whiskey); and let’s not forget James Beard and Craig Claiborne (a Scotch egg lover) who probably did more to refine the food tastes of America than any other two people. These folks all have one thing in common – they are Scots or have Scottish ancestors.

You can read the rest of his review at

Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Added another two issues of this newspaper...

June 4, 1891 at

June 11, 1891 at

The June 11 issue contains 2 pages on the death of Canadian Premier John A MacDonald.

You can see all the issues to date at

Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Congress in Columbia, Tennessee May 8-11, 1889.
Have now completed this volume with the following chapters...

Addresses by...

Hon. Benton McMillin - General Address
Rev. John S. MacIntosh, D.D. - John Knox in Independence Hall
Hon. W. S. Fleming - Scotch-Irish Settlers in South Carolina, and their Descendants in Maury County, Tennessee

Here is how the address given by Hon. W. S. Fleming starts...

It is not my purpose, in this paper, to dwell at any length upon, or to magnify and extol the racial characteristics of the Scotch-Irish — nor to investigate the causes which led them to leave their homes in Scotland, and to find new homes in the province of Ulster, Ireland; nor to inquire into the motives, be they civil or ecclesiastical, which induced or impelled them to seek an abode in the then wilds of America. All this has been done and will be done by abler pens than I can wield, and tongues in strains more eloquent than I could ever dare to attempt. My humble purpose is to trace in brief the history and progress of one colony or society, more or less connected with each other by ties of affinity and consanguinity. And instead of entering into an elaborate discussion of or treatise upon the manners, customs, habits, and genetic characteristics of the race in detail, I will attempt to illustrate their distinctive traits of character by a very brief historic sketch of this little colony; for its history is that of many others, if not nearly all, who emigrated from Ulster to America. In the language of the Roman poet:
"Ex uno disce omnes."

From 1730 to 1734, this colony, the parent of one in this county of Maury, to be mentioned presently, migrated to Williamsburg District, South Carolina, of which Kingstree is the county seat. Of those who came during the above period were the following heads of families: James McClelland, William and Robert Wilson, James Bradley, William Frierson, John James, Roger Gordon, James Armstrong, Erwin, Stuart, McDonald, Dobbins, Blakely, Dickey, and perhaps a few others. In the last named year, to wit, 1734, John Witherspoon, of the same family with the distinguished signer of the Declaration of Independence, born near Glasgow, Scotland, in 1670, and who had removed to County Down, Ireland, came to Williamsburg, bringing with him his four sons, David, James, Robert and Gavin, and his daughters, Jennet, Elizabeth and Mary, with their husbands, John Fleming, William James (father of Major John James, of revolutionary memory and distinction) and David Wilson. All these colonists were from County Down, Ireland. They were all members of the Presbyterian Church, or reared and indoctrinated in its faith. Consequently one of their first cares was the erection of a house for the worship of God; and the present, known as Bethel Church, is the representative and successor of the original body constituted and established by them. In 1849 three of the original elders, to wit, William James, David Witherspoon, and John Fleming, died of a singular epidemic, known as the "Great Mortality," which ravaged the country, carrying off no less than eighty persons of the little township. For many of the foregoing facts I am indebted to a historical discourse delivered on the 120th anniversary of this church, in 1856, by Rev. James A. Wallace, its then pastor.

It is proper to notice another family or connection of Scotch-Irish, who, coming down from Pennsylvania through Virginia and North Carolina, settled in or near the "Waxhaws," in Lancaster District, South Carolina. These were the Stephensons, the Dunlaps, the Crawfords, Blairs, Fosters, and General Andrew Jackson's parents, who were nearly related to the Crawfords. I mention these, because both before and after the immigration to Tennessee they became connected by intermarriage with the Williamsburg branch. They were all of the same religious persuasion, and all of the John Knox type. During the War of Independence every man of these settlements capable of bearing arms was in the field on the side of liberty. There was not a "tory" among them in a district abounding with "tories."

You can read the rest of this chapter at

And the other chapters can be read at

I might add that I now have in my possession the next 7 volumes which I will add to the site as I get the time :-)

When the Steel Went Through
By P. Turner Bone

Have continued to put up this book with another 6 chapters...

Voyage to Canada
Winnipeg and Medicine Hat
Mountain Division C.P.R., 1884

And here is a bit from the Calgary chapter...

CALGARY, at the time of my arrival, was in much the same stage of development as Medicine Hat; a town in the making, consisting almost entirely of tents. These were all east of the Elbow River — a tributary of the Bow — and close to the C.P.R. road-bed. West of the Elbow, and bordering on it, were the Mounted Police barracks; and the stores of I. G. Baker & Company — a large American trading company. The Hudson's Bay Company had a small post east of the Elbow near its junction with the Bow.

Burpee's camp was located alongside the storehouse then being used for supplies for engineers' camps, in charge of Colvin, a former Mounted Policeman. It was about three-quarters of a mile south of the C.P.R. roadbed, on the route between Calgary and MacLeod known as the MacLeod trail; and near the present site of the Riverside Iron Works. The office staff consisted of two young Welshmen, one of whom was Jack Griffith. He was Burpee's chief office assistant, and was in charge of the camp. The name of the other was Walters. There was also the cook, and the teamster who looked after Burpee's team.

My work at this camp was, for the most part, helping to prepare the monthly estimates of work done by the contractors. But I was not many days on this job, for Doane and Thompson arrived soon after I did; and another tent was set up in which I resumed my former position with them. We had plans and bills of material to make for the bridges to be built ahead of the track-laying, and this work took up most of our time.

Close to the camp there resided a homesteader named Carney. I visited him one evening and had an interesting talk with him. His homestead was, in after years, acquired by the City of Calgary, and became the city cemetery.

Track-laying was making rapid progress. Some five miles were laid in one day on a stretch about ten miles east of Calgary. This was considered a record for the time; and perhaps for all time in track-laying done entirely by manual labour.

I cannot give the exact date on which the track reached Calgary; but it was in the early part of August, 1883. The laying of the track to this point completed the contract of Langdon & Shepard, an American firm which had the contract to build the railway across the plains to Calgary. The stations Langdon, and Shepard — the last two before reaching Calgary — were so named by the C.P.R. in honour of the members of that firm.

The construction of the Railway was being continued by sub-contractors under the direction of the North American Construction Company.

It had been the expectation of those who had set up tents east of the Elbow, on Section 14, that the station would be located there. But the C.P.R. had other plans in view. Through its subsidiary, the Canada North West Land Company, it had a town-site of its own to develop, about a mile farther west on Section 15. On this section a telegraph office was located, and headquarters established.

Our camp on the MacLeod trail was moved there too, and made part, as before, with Curran's camp.

It would seem that by this time Lougheed had lost faith in Medicine Hat, for he also arrived on the scene, and again took up his quarters with us. So the camp consisted of very much the same personnel as at Medicine Hat, including of course, George.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The rest of the chapters can be read at

History of Scotland
In 6 volumes By Patrick Fraser Tytler (1828)

As mentioned in previous newsletters I have now made a start at this important publication. The first volume starts with Alexander III and goes through the time of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.

The Preface to the first volume states...

I have commenced the History of Scotland at the accession of Alexander the Third, because it is at this period that our national annals become particularly interesting to the general reader. During the reign of this monarch, England first began to entertain serious thoughts of the reduction of her sister country. The dark cloud of misfortune which gathered over Scotland immediately after the death of Alexander, suggested to Edward the First his schemes of ambition and conquest; and perhaps, in the history of Liberty, there is no more memorable war than that which commenced under Wallace in 1297, and terminated in the final establishment of Scottish independence by Robert Bruce, in 1328.

In the composition of the present volume, which embraces this period, I have anxiously endeavoured to examine the most authentic sources of information, and to convey a true picture of the times without prepossession or partiality. To have done so, partakes more of the nature of a grave duty than of a merit; and even after this has been accomplished, there will remain ample room for many imperfections. If, in the execution of my plan, I have been obliged to differ on some points of importance from authors of established celebrity, I have fully stated the grounds of my opinion in the Notes and Illustrations, which are printed at the end of the volume; and I trust that I shall not be blamed for the freedom of my remarks, until the historical authorities upon which they are founded have been examined and compared.

I have the first two chapters up for you in the first volume to read at

Highlanders in Spain
By James Grant (1910)

Here is a new book for you to read which I hope you will enjoy...

'In the garb of old Gaul, with the fire of old Rome,
From the heath-covered mountains of Scotia we come;
Our loud-sounding pipes breathes the true martial strain,
And our hearts still the old Scottish valour retain.'

Here is what the Preface has to say...

Notwithstanding so many able military narratives have of late years issued from the press relative to the glorious operations of the British Army, for rescuing Portugal and Spain from the grasp of the invader, the Author believes that the present work is the first which has been almost exclusively dedicated to the Adventures of a Highland regiment during the last war; and he flatters himself that it will not be found deficient in novelty and interest. He acknowledges that, according to precedent, scenes and incidents have been introduced into it which are purely imaginary, and whether he ought to apologize. for these, or to make a merit of them, he must leave his readers to decide, according to their individual tastes and predilections.

It will need no great sagacity to discriminate between this portion and the veritable historical and military details, the result of the experience of one who had the honour of serving in that gallant corps to which this volume more especially relates, during the whole of its brilliant course of service in the Peninsula, and who participated in all the proud feelings which arose when contemplating the triumphant career of an army, whose deeds and victories are unsurpassed in the annals of war.

Most of the military operations, and many of the characters, will be familiar to the survivors of the second division, and brother-officers will recognise many old associates in the convivialities of the mess-table, and in the perils of the battle-field. The names of others belong to history, and with them the political or military reader will be already acquainted.

Few — few indeed of the old corps are now alive; yet these all remember, with equal pride and sorrow,

'How, upon bloody Quatre Bras,
Brave Cameron heard the wild hurrah
Of conquest as he fell.'

and, lest any reader may suppose that in these volumes the national enthusiasm of the Highlanders has been overdrawn, I shall state one striking incident which occurred at Waterloo.

On the advance of a heavy column of French infantry, to attack La Haye Sainte, a number of the Highlanders sang the stirring verses of 'Bruce's Address to his Army,' which, at such a time, had a most powerful effect on their comrades; and long may such sentiments animate their representatives, as they are the best incentives to heroism and to honest emulation!

It is impossible for a writer to speak of his own production without exposing himself to imputations of either egotism or affected modesty; the Author therefore will merely add, that he trusts that most readers may discover something to attract in these volumes, which depict from the life the stirring events and all the romance of warfare, with the various lights and shades of military service, the principal characters being members of one of those brave regiments which, from their striking garb, national feelings, romantic sentiments, and esprit de corps, are essentially different from the generality of our troops of the line.


To give you a flavour of the writing in this book here is how Chapter 3 starts...

One fine forenoon, a few days after the occurrences related in the last chapter, a horseman appeared riding along the narrow uneven road leading by the banks of Lochisla towards the tower. It was Sir Allan Lisle, who came along at a slow trot, managing his nag with the ease and grace of a perfect rider, never making use of either whip or spur, but often drawing in his rein to indulge the pleasure and curiosity with which he beheld (though accustomed to the splendid scenery of Perthshire) this secluded spot, which he had never seen before, — the black and solitary tower, the dark blue waveless loch, and the wild scenery by which it was surrounded.

As he advanced up the ascent towards the tower, his horse began to snort, shake its mane, and grow restive, as its ears were saluted by a noise to which they were unaccustomed.

Donald Iverach, the old piper of the family (which office his ancestors had held since the days of Robert the Second, according to his own account), was pacing with a stately air to and fro before the door of the fortalice, with the expanded bag of the piob mhor under his arm, blowing from its long chaunter and three huge drones 'a tempest of dissonance;' while he measured with regular strides the length of the barbican or court, at one end of which stood a large stoup of whisky (placed on the end of a cask), to which he applied himself at every turn of his promenade to wet his whistle.

The piper, though of low stature, was of a powerful, athletic, and sinewy form, and although nearly sixty, was as fresh as when only sixteen; his face was rough and purple, from drinking and exposure to the weather; his huge red whiskers curled round beneath his chin and grew up to his eyes, which twinkled and glittered beneath their shaggy-brows; a smart blue bonnet set jauntily, very much over the right eye, gave him a knowing look, and his knees, which had never known covering from the day of his birth,' where exposed by the kilt, were hairy and rough as the hide of the roe-buck; his plaid waved behind, and a richly-mounted dirk, eighteen inches long, hanging on his right side, completed his attire.

Great was the surprise of the Celt when, on turning in his march, he suddenly beheld Sir Allan Lisle, whom he had not seen since the last year, when by the laird's orders he had endeavoured, by the overwhelming noise of his pipe, to drown a speech which the baronet was addressing to the electors of the county. But what earthly errand, thought Donald, could bring a Lisle up Strathisla, where one of the race had not been since the father of the present Sir Allan had beleaguered the tower in 1746 with a party of the Scottish Fusiliers. The chaunter fell from the hand of the astonished piper, and the wind in the bag of his instrument escaped with an appalling groan.

'My good friend, I am glad you have ceased at last,' said Sir Allan; 'I expected every moment that my horse would have thrown me. This fortress of yours will be secure against cavalry while you are in it, I dare swear.'

'I dinna ken, sir,' replied the piper, touching his bonnet haughtily; 'but when pare leggit gillies and red coats tried it in the troublesome times, they aye gat the tead man's share o' the deep loch below.'

'Is your master — is Lochisla at home?' His honour the laird is within,' replied Iverach, as Sir Allan dismounted and desired him to hold his horse.

'Lochisla's piper will hold nae man's bridle-rein, his honour's excepted,' said the indignant Highlander;' put a common gillie may do tat. Holloa! Alpin Oig Stuart; Dugald! Evan! come an' hold ta shentle-man's praw sheltie,' shouted he, making the old barbican ring.

'One will do, I dare say,' said Sir Allan, smiling as he resigned his nag to Evan, Iverach's son, a powerful young mountaineer, who appeared at his father's shout.

I now have up the first three chapters which you can read at

Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745
By Mrs. Thomson.

I found this 3 volume e-text book and as they contain some very interesting accounts of many Scots thought I'd include them on the site.




To give an idea of the quality of content in here I'll give you the Preface to read here...

In completing two volumes of a work which has been for some years in contemplation, it may be remarked that it is the only collective Biography of the Jacobites that has yet been given to the Public. Meagre accounts, scattered anecdotes, and fragments of memoir, have hitherto rather tantalized than satisfied those who have been interested in the events of 1715 and 1745. The works of Home, of Mr. Chambers, and the collections of Bishop Forbes, all excellent, are necessarily too much mingled up with the current of public affairs to comprise any considerable portion of biographical detail. Certain lives of some of the sufferers in the cause of the Stuarts, printed soon after the contests in behalf of those Princes, are little more than narratives of their trials and executions; they were intended merely as ephemeral productions to gratify a curious public, and merit no long existence. It would have been, indeed, for many years, scarcely prudent, and certainly not expedient, to proffer any information concerning the objects of royal indignation, except that which the newspapers afforded: nor was it perfectly safe, for a considerable time after the turbulent times in which the sufferers lived, to palliate their offences, or to express any deep concern for their fate. That there was much to be admired in those whose memories were thus, in some measure, consigned to oblivion, except in the hearts of their descendants; much which deserved to be explained in their motives; much which claimed to be upheld in their self-sacrifices, the following pages will show. Whatever leaning the
Author may have had to the unfortunate cause of the Stuarts, it has not, however, been her intention only to pourtray the bright ornaments of the party. She has endeavoured to show that it was composed, as well as most other political combinations, of materials differing in value--some pure, some base, some noble, some mean and vacillating.

As far as human weakness and prejudice can permit, the Author has aimed at a strict scrutiny of conduct and motives. In the colouring given to these, she has conscientiously sought to be impartial: for the facts stated, she has given the authorities.

It now remains for the Author publicly to acknowledge the resources from which she has derived some materials which have never before been given to the Public, and for which she has to thank, in several instances, not only the kindness of friends, but the liberality of strangers.

A very interesting collection of letters, many of them written in the Earl of Mar's own hand, and others dictated by him, is interwoven with the biography of that nobleman. These letters were written, in fact, for the information of the whole body of Jacobites, to whom they were transmitted through the agent of that party, Captain Henry Straiton, residing in Edinburgh. They form almost a diary of Lord Mar's proceedings at Perth. They are continued up to within a few hours of the evacuation of that city by the Jacobite army. For these curious and characteristic letters, pourtraying as they do, in lively colours, the difficulties of the General in his council and his camp, she is indebted to the friendship and mediation of the Honourable Lord Cockburn, and to the liberality of James Gibson Craig, Esq.

To the Right Honourable the Earl of Newburgh, the descendant and representative of the Radcliffe family, her sincere and respectful acknowledgments are due for his Lordship's readily imparting to her several interesting particulars of the Earl of Derwentwater and his family. She owes a similar debt of gratitude to the Viscount Strathallan, for his Lordship's communication to her respecting the House of Drummond. To the Honourable Mrs. Bellamy, the descendant of Viscount Kenmure, she has also to offer similar acknowledgments, for information respecting her unfortunate ancestor; and for an original letter of his Lordship; and she must also beg to express her obligations to William Constable Maxwell, Esq., and to Mrs. Constable Maxwell, of Terregles, the descendants of the Earl of Nithisdale, for their courteous and prompt assistance. To James Craik, Esq., of Arbigland, Dumfriesshire, she is indebted for a correspondence which continues, as it were, an account of that family during the later part of the year 1745. To Sir Fitzroy Grafton Maclean, Bart., she owes the account of his clan and family, which has been printed for private circulation. She is also grateful to a descendant of the family of Lochiel, Miss Mary Anne Cameron, for some interesting particulars of the burning of Achnacarry, the seat of her ancestors.

In some of these instances the information derived has not been considerable, owing to the total wreck of fortune, the destruction of houses, and the loss of papers, which followed the ruthless steps of the conquering army of the Duke of Cumberland. Most of the hereditary memorials of those Highland families who engaged in both rebellions, perished; and their representatives are strangely destitute of letters, papers, and memorials of every kind. The practice of burying family archives and deeds which prevailed during the troubles, was adopted but with partial advantage, by those who anticipated the worst result of the contest.

In recalling with pleasure the number of those to whom the Author owes sincere gratitude for kindness and aid in her undertaking, the name of Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, Esq. renews the remembrance of that store of antiquarian information from which others, far more worthy to enjoy it than herself, have owed obligations. The Author has also most gratefully to acknowledge the very kind and valuable assistance of Archibald Macdonald, Esq., of the Register Office, Edinburgh, to whom she is indebted for several original letters; and of Robert Chambers, Esq., to whose liberality she is indebted for several of her manuscript sources, as well as some valuable advice on the subject of her work. To Dr. Irvine, Librarian of the Advocate's Library, Edinburgh, the Author offers, with the most lively pleasure, her sincere acknowledgments for a ready and persevering assistance in aid of her undertaking. Again, she begs to repeat her sense of deep obligation to Mr. Keats, of the British Museum, the literary pilot of many years' historical research.

LONDON, October 27, 1845.

You can read the volumes at...

Volume 1 at
Volume 2 at
Volume 3 at

The Old Castles and Mansions of Scotland
Taken from Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 445, Volume 18, New Series, July 10, 1852.

Here is a paragraph from this article...

Taking the former--the baronial--for our text, we find ourselves now for the first time in a condition to discover the leading features of the Scottish school of architecture, and to connect it with the history of Scotland. We know that until the wars of Wallace and Bruce, the two countries, England and Scotland, could scarcely be said to be entirely separated; at all events, they did not stand in open hostility to each other. Endless animosities, however, naturally followed a war in which the one country tried to enslave the other, and where the weaker only escaped annihilation by a desperate struggle. It is not unnatural, therefore, to expect that the habits of the two countries diverged from each other as time passed on; and this process is very distinctly shewn in the character of the edifices used by the barons and lairds of Scotland. A very few of the oldest strongholds resemble those of the same period in England. The English baronial castle of the thirteenth century generally consisted of several massive square or round towers, broad at the base, and tapering upwards, arranged at distances from each other, so that lofty embattled walls or curtains stood between them, making a ground-plan of which the towers formed the angles. The doors and windows were generally in the Gothic or pointed style of architecture, and the vaulted chambers were frequently of the same. There are not above three or four such edifices in Scotland. The most complete, perhaps, is the old part of Caerlaverock, in Dumfriesshire; another fine specimen is Dirleton, in East Lothian; and to these may be added Bothwell, in Clydesdale, and Kildrummie, in Aberdeenshire.

You can read the rest of this article at

Natibity and Parentage of Marshal MacDonald, Duke of Tarentum
M. de Lamartine having made a mistake in his "History of the Restoration", in describing Marshal Macdonald as of Irish extraction, it may be worth while to state what really was the parentage of that highly respectable man.

When Prince Charles Stuart had to voyage in an open boat from the isle of South Uist in the Hebrides to Skye, he was guided and protected, as is well known, by Miss Flora Macdonald. On that occasion, Flora had for her attendant a man called Neil Macdonald, but more familiarly Neil Macechan, who is described in the "History of the Rebellion" as a 'sort of preceptor in the Clanranald family.' This was the father of Marshal Macdonald. He remained more or less attached to the fugitive prince during the remainder of his wanderings in the Highlands, and afterwards joined him in France, under the influence of an unconquerable affection for his person. It was thus that his son came to be born abroad.

Neil Macdonald, though a man of humble rank, had received the education proper for a priest at the Scots College in Paris. His acquaintance with the French language had enabled him to be of considerable service to Prince Charles, when he wished to converse about matters of importance without taking the other people about him into his confidence. There is some reason to believe, that he wrote, or at least gave the information required for, a small novel descriptive of the poor Chevalier's wanderings, entitled "Ascanius, or the Young Adventurer". (Cooper, London, 1746.)

When Marshal Macdonald visited Scotland in 1825, he made his way to the farm of Howbeg, in South Uist, where his father had been born, and where his ancestors had lived for many generations. He found here an old lady and her brother, his cousins at one remove, to whom he shewed great kindness, settling a pension at the same time upon a more distant relation whom he found in poverty. When about to leave the spot, he took up some of the soil, and also a few pebbles, which he got packed up in separate parcels, and carried back with him to France.

Note: You can read about the Marshall from an online book 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