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
29th May 2009

Alastair McIntyreElectric Scotland's Weekly Email Newsletter

Electric Scotland - The No.1 Scottish History Site The Aois Community brings you message forums and lots of community services
Electric Scotland's Article Service where you can add your own stories and articles  Send a postcard from our ScotCards service


A comprehensive holiday accommodation Index for ScotlandEdinburgh and Scotland Accommodation, Bed & Breakfast, Self Catering, Guest Houses, Inns, Holiday Tourist AccommodationHoliday in Scotland. An amazing collection of unique holiday cottages, castles and apartments, all over Scotland in truly amazing locations.Check all the Clans that have DNA Projects. If your Clan is not in the list there's a way for it to be listed. House of Tartan brings you kilts, tartans and gifts from Scotland. Find your tartan in our clan tartan database.Holiday Cottages Scotland. Self Catering and Holiday Homes.The All Celtic Music Store. Scottish, Irish and Celtic Music CD's. Buy and download single tracks or complete CD'sVisit the Loch Ness area of Scotland and learn about great accommodation, restaurants and tourism activities in the area.

Dear Friend

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. In the event the link is not clickable simply copy and paste the link into your browser.

See our Calendar of Scottish Events around the world and add your own at

Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
Clan and Family Information
Poetry and Stories
Book of Scottish Story
The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
The Writings of John Muir
Fraser's Scottish Annual
Robert Burns Lives!
Among the Forrest Trees
Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
The Scottish Church
Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish
Recollections and Experiences of an Abolitionist (New Book)
Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
Antique Photographs of the Poncas
Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site

I'm trying an experiment with this newsletter in that I'm attaching it as a pdf file. I've been told by several people that as there are so many links in the newsletter that it is seen as spam and hence it doesn't get through to your email box. I've also been getting a few emails in asking if I can provide information in a pdf file and so started to wonder if this is a way of getting email through to folk and so figured it would be worth a try. So let me know if this works for you and if it does I may start to do it this way in future. All I've done is to go to our archives where I keep all the copies of the newsletter and then just told the adobe reader to "convert" the page to a pdf file

And having just made the above statement I am already getting emails that the pdf file is not going through and all you are getting is a file 2.att and I haven't a clue what that file is.  And so as soon as the last run is complete I'll do another run with the normal email.  I did do a preview to test the attachment and it did work with that just fine which is why I went ahead with it. So sorry for the problems and hope I haven't upset you too much. I have since however found a resolution to the problem in that you can just save the file to your desktop and rename from 2.att to 2.pdf and that will work or you can tell your operating system to load an .att file in adobe.


I might add that I got a couple of wee old Scottish Rhymes in from New Zealand to add to our Street Poetry pages. You can see these at the end of Page 5 at

I haven't actually mentioned these pages for a while now. When we set out to create these pages it was really to create a wee archive of the old rhymes we used to say at school in the old days and at the time we got a lot of wee contributions and hence got 5 pages worth of them. Do feel free to send me in any that you remember and that we don't already have up on these pages.


While I'm at it do any of you remember all the options for dropping cutlery? Like...

To drop a fork means a woman will visit
To drop a knife means a man will visit
To drop a spoon means a child will visit

I'm sure there are more of these as I remember my mother saying these things but also sure there were more options like who would visit if you dropped a teaspoon?

Should you have any knowledge of these things please share them with me :-)


I've been contacted by a company that is willing to take some of our historical book texts from the site and turn them into a book which of course they will then sell. Just thought I'd ask you if any of the books in the first section of our online books page (Complete Books) were turned into books would you purchase a copy and if so what books would you like to see. The list of books are at

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 or on our site menu.

This weeks Flag is compiled by Mark Hirst and he's really just telling a very large story about... "Lockerbie decisions will have far reaching implications for Scots legal system".

You can read the Flag at

Christina McKelvie MSP's Weekly diary is available at

Clan and Family Information
Got in the Winter 2008/9 newsletter from COSCA where Electric Scotland gets a nice wee mention which can be read at

Got in the Clan Leslie Society International May newsletter which can be read at

Clan Leslie will be at the Leslieville 125th Anniversary celebration in Toronto on June 20th. They will have a Clan Leslie Tent there to give people information on the Clan Leslie and Harold Leslie, who is related to George Leslie, founder of Leslieville.

Poetry and Stories
John sent in another poem this week...

"The Speug Thit Spak" at

You can also read other stories in our Article Service and even add your own at

Book of Scottish Story
Our thanks to John Henderson for sending this in for us.

This week have added...

Elphin Irving, the Fairies' Cupbearer
by Allan Cunningham

Here is how it starts...

Chapter 2

Meanwhile, the rumour flew over the vale that Elphin Irving was drowned in Corriewater. Matron and maid, old man and young, collected suddenly along the banks of the river, which now began to subside to its natural summer limits, and commenced their search; interrupted every now and then by calling from side to side, and from pool to pool, and by exclamations of sorrow for this misfortune. The search was fruitless: five sheep, pertaining to the flock which he conducted to pasture, were found drowned in one of the deep eddies; but the river was still too brown, from the soil of its moorland sources, to enable them to see what its deep shelves, its pools, and its overhanging and hazelly banks concealed. They remitted further search till the stream should become pure; and old man taking old man aside, began to whisper about the mystery of the youth’s disappearance : old women laid their lips to the ears of their co-evals, and talked of Elphin Irving’s fairy parentage, and his having been dropped by an unearthly hand into a Christian cradle. The young men and maids conversed on other themes ; they grieved for the loss of the friend and the lover, and while the former thought that a heart so kind and true was not left in the vale, the latter thought, as maidens will, on his handsome person, gentle manners, and merry blue eye, and speculated with a sigh on the time when they might have hoped a return for their love. They were soon joined by others who had heard the wild and delirious language of his sister : the old belief was added to the new assurance, and both again commented upon by minds full of superstitious feeling, and hearts full of supernatural fears, till the youths and maidens of Corrievale held no more love trysts for seven days and nights, lest, like Elphin Irving, they should be carried away to augment the ranks of the unchristened chivalry.

The rest of this chapter can be read at

The other stories can be read at

The Concise Household Encyclopaedia
Added four more pages which include Curry, Curry Comb, Curtains, Curvature of the Spine, Cushions, Cusparia Bark, Custard.

You can read about these at

The Writings of John Muir
We have now started on the 6th volume.

The chapters added this week are...

Chapter III. The Yosemite National Park
Chapter IV. The Forests of the Yosemite Park
Chapter V. The Wild Gardens of the Yosemite Park
Chapter VI. Among the Animals of the Yosemite
Chapter VII. Among the Birds of the Yosemite
Chapter VIII. The Fountains and Streams of the Yosemite National Park
Chapter IX. The Sequoia and General Grant National Parks

I had a chat with Ranald McIntyre this week and he's been reading this series as we've posted it up. He commented that Muir was talking about climate change in one of these chapters which just shows how much he was ahead of his time.

Here is a bit from Volume 6 chapter V...

WHEN California was wild, it was the floweriest part of the continent. And perhaps it is so still, notwithstanding the lowland flora has in great part vanished before the farmers' flocks and ploughs. So exuberant was the bloom of the main valley of the state, it would still have been extravagantly rich had ninety-nine out of every hundred of its crowded flowers been taken away, - far flowerier than the beautiful prairies of Illinois and Wisconsin, or the savannas of the Southern states. In the early spring it was a smooth, evenly planted sheet of purple and gold, one mass of bloom more than four hundred miles long, with scarce a green leaf in sight.

Still more interesting is the rich and wonderfully varied flora of the mountains. Going up the Sierra across the Yosemite Park to the Summit peaks, thirteen thousand feet high, you find as much variety in the vegetation as in the scenery. Change succeeds change with bewildering rapidity, for in a few days you pass through as many climates and floras, ranged one above another, as you would in walking along the lowlands to the Arctic Ocean.

And to the variety due to climate there is added that caused by the topographical features of the different regions. Again, the vegetation is profoundly varied by the peculiar distribution of the soil and moisture. Broad and deep moraines, ancient and well weathered, are spread over the lower regions, rough and comparatively recent and unweathered moraines over the middle and upper regions, alternating with bare ridges and domes and glacier-polished pavements, the highest in the icy recesses of the peaks, raw and shifting, some of them being still in process of formation, and of course scarcely planted as yet.

Besides these main soil-beds there are many others comparatively small, reformations of both glacial and weather-soils, sifted, sorted out, and deposited by running water and the wind on gentle slopes and in all sorts of hollows, potholes, valleys, lake basins, etc., some in dry and breezy situations, others sheltered and kept moist by lakes, streams, and waftings of waterfall spray, making comfortable homes for plants widely varied. In general, glaciers give soil to high and low places almost alike, while water currents are dispensers of special blessings, constantly tending to make the ridges poorer and the valleys richer. Glaciers mingle all kinds of material together, mud particles and boulders fifty feet in diameter: water, whether in oozing currents or passionate torrents, discriminates both in the size and shape of the material it carries. Glacier mud is the finest meal ground for any use in the Park, and its transportation into lakes and as foundations for flowery garden meadows was the first work that the young rivers were called on to do. Bogs occur only in shallow alpine basins where the climate is cool enough for sphagnum, and where the surrounding topographical conditions are such that they are safe, even in the most copious rains and thaws, from the action of flood currents capable of carrying rough gravel and sand, but where the water supply is nevertheless constant.

The mosses dying from year to year gradually give rise to those rich spongy peat-beds in which so many of our best alpine plants delight to dwell. The strong winds that occasionally sweep the high Sierra play a more important part in the distribution of special soil-beds than is at first sight recognized, carrying forward considerable quantities of sand and gravel, flakes of mica, etc., and depositing them in fields and beds beautifully ruffled and embroidered and adapted to the wants of some of the hardiest and handsomest of the alpine shrubs and flowers. The more resisting of the smooth, solid, glacier-polished domes and ridges can hardly be said to have any soil at all, while others beginning to give way to the weather are thinly sprinkled with coarse angular gravel. Some of them are full of crystals, which as the surface of the rock is decomposed are set free, covering the summits and rolling down the sides in minute avalanches, giving rise to zones and beds of crystalline soil. In some instances the various crystals occur only here and there, sprinkled in the gray gravel like daisies in a sod; but in others half or more is made up of crystals, and the glow of the imbedded or loosely strewn gems and their colored gleams and glintings at different times of the day when the sun is shining might well exhilarate the flowers that grow among them, and console them for being so completely outshone.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The rest of the chapters can be read at

Fraser's Scottish Annual
These are articles from the 1900 - 1904 issues of Fraser's Scottish Annual. This week we've added...

Margery Scott's Epitaph
Early Scotch Merchants of Montreal
The Old Scottish Ballads
The Muckle Fair
The Canadian Pioneers
Celtic Manuscript Illumination
Leading Scottish Books of the Year

Here is one of the stories from "The Old Scottish Ballads"...

By John D. Ross, LL.D.

I HAVE always had a tender and sincere regard for the old Scottish ballads. In my boyhood days they were a continual source of delight to me, and I used to pore over them at all convenient hours. A goodly portion of them were also committed to memory, and to-day I can repeat them and enjoy them as much as I did in the years gone by. What a curious collection of old legendary lore they are, to be sure. What wild adventures on land and on sea do they chronicle; what wonderful deeds of daring in love and in war; what heroic self-sacrifices; what hairbreadth escapes; what mysterious doings of spirits, water kelpies, goblins, fairies, and so forth. Really, when I take up a volume of these old favorites I am always sure to immediately alight on one that just suits the particular mood in which I may happen at the moment to be. Even the particular haze of antiquity which envelopes so many of them has a strange fascination for me, and I love to linger in their company. Well do I remember the first of these ballads that attracted my attention. It was the little one entitled "Geordie." How dramatically it opens:

There was a battle in the north,
And nobles there were manie;
And they hae killed Sir Charlie Hay
And laid the blame on Geordie.

"Geordie" is supposed to have been George Gordon, fourth Earl of Huntly, and the time of the incident related in the ballad is in the reign of King James V. Consigned not only to prison, but to death, for a crime of which he is innocent, the earl writes a long letter to his spouse acquainting her with the fact and requesting her immediate presence by his side:

Oh, he has written a lang letter;
He sent it to his ladye
"It's ye maun come to E'nbrugh town
To see what word's of Geordie."

When first see look'd the letter on,
She was baih red and rosy;
But she hadna read a word but twa
Till she turned pale as a lily.

But this was no time for idle grief. She had to be up and doing, and so she brushed her tears aside and gave orders to

"Get to me my gude gray steed,
My men shall all gae with me:
For I shall neither eat nor drink
Till E'nbrugh town shall see me."

And so with her men at arms she mounted her gray steed and rode in all haste to where her lord was imprisoned. Nor did she arrive any too soon, for

First appeared the fatal block,
And syne the axe to heid him,
And Geordie comin' down the stair,
And bands o' airn upon him.

But though he was chained wi' fetters strong
O' airn and steel sae heavy,
There was na ane in a' the court
Sae braw a man as Geordie.

The king, however, seems to have been conveniently near, and she at once appeals to him, in the regulation fashion of the time, for a pardon:

O, she's down on her bended knee,
I wot she's pale and wearie;
"O pardon, pardon, noble king,
And gie me back my deane!

"I ha'e born seven Sons to Geordie dear,
The seventh ne'er saw his daddie;
O pardon, pardon, noble king,
Pity a waefu' lady!"

But alas her appeal found no responsive chord in the heart of James V. Indeed, it seemed only to anger him, for he called out:

"Gar bid the heiding man mak' haste."

Convinced that this line of action will not avail her any, the lady tries to move him to pity through an offer of her worldly possessions.

"O noble king, tak' a' that's mine,
But gie me back my Geordie."

Still the king proved unrelenting, and the lady was just about to call on the men who had accompanied her, to attempt a rescue by force, when a crafty old earl ventured the suggestion:

"Oar her tell down five thousand pounds
And she'll buy back her Geordie."

This suggestion seems to have pleased the king. It harmonized with his own ideas on the subject, and he spoke out accordingly.

But five thousand pounds was a very large sum of money to get together in so short a notice, yet the noble lady was not to be thwarted in her design by such a small matter as that. She immediately appealed to the bystanders, and they seem to have been liberally supplied with spare cash in those days, for

Some ga'e her merks, some ga'e her crowns,
Some ga'e her dollars many,
And she's told down five thousand pounds
And she's gotten again her deane.

And the ballad appropriately concludes with a hint as to what might have taken place had the earl not been liberated, and a compliment from the earl to his lady, which all will agree with me in saying she richly deserved:

She blinket blythe in Geordie's face
Says, "Dear I've bought thee, Geordie,
But there would have been bloody bodies seen
Or I had tint my lordie."

He clasped her by the middle sma'
And he kissed her lips sae rosy;
"The fairest flower of womankind
Is my sweet bonnie ladye."

I do not point out this ballad as being the best, or even one of the best, of the old Scottish ballads, but simply because it was the one which first thrilled me with delight and led me to continue my studies in this direction. I have read many ballads since then, much finer ones in many respects, I will admit, but "Geordie" has a charm for me yet, and ever will have.

The rest of this article can be read at

The other articles can be read at

Robert Burns Lives!
By Frank Shaw

Robert Burns in England by Chris J. Rollie

Of the many books written to commerate the 250th birthday of Robert Burns, a handful stand out and can be judged to be exceptional. In this case, Chris Rollie’s Robert Burns in England is in that top tier of books on Burns and, in one regard, stands alone in that he is only the third person to have the privileged opportunity to hold in his hands and study Burns’ original journal kept by the Bard while crossing into the “foreign land” of England on three different occasions. The other two were James Currie in 1800 and Alan Cunningham in 1834.

This Burns journal has been in the hands of the John Murray publishing family for nearly 200 years and has been kept out of public eye except for the two times mentioned above. Much has been written about the other tours of Burns, and all are well documented. This journal of Burns, kept while on horseback during his forays into England, is eye opening regarding his feelings while traveling south of Scotland. Published by the New Cumnock Burns Club, Rollie’s book sheds new light on this important time in Burns life which, until now, has been largely untouched by other authors. I feel we are indeed fortunate to have this treasure chest of fresh information presented to us for the first time. What a joy you will have exploring these pages on Burns.

You can read the rest of this article at

And you can read other articles in this Robert Burns Lives! series at

Among the Forrest Trees
or How the Bushman Family got their Homes, by being a book of facts and incidents of pioneering life in Upper Canada, arranged in the form of a story, by Rev. Joseph H. Hilts (1888)

We have several more chapters up now which also concludes this book...

Chapter XXV - More Glimpses of Bush Life
A Tobacco-chewing Christian - A Strange Clock - A Big Scare - A Race for Life - Plucky Canadians - Killed by Indians.

Chapter XXVI - The Mills Completed
The First Grist - The First Preacher - The Meeting-house - The Post Office - The Store - Sylvanus Yardstick.

Chapter XXVII - Some Old-Time Customs
Seeking Information - The Logging-Bee - Husking-Bees - Red Corn and Kissing - The Spinning-Bee - How to Treat a Dude.

Chapter XXVIII - Twenty Years of Progress
Drawbacks and Discouragements - Cheap Butter and Eggs - No Whiskey - General Success - Johns Dream Realized.

Here is how Chapter XXVII starts...

"I say, Will, did you ever attend a logging-bee?"

"No; I never saw anything of the kind."

"Well, I never saw one, either. But I have heard mother say that grandfather used to come home from logging-bees with an awful black shirt, when she was a girl. The coal-dust was something terrible, and to wash the clothes that had been worn at one of those places was something that tried the strength and patience of the women beyond anything."

This talk was between James Ballpitcher and William Batter, as they were coming home from a game of lacrosse, between a company of Indians and a club of high-school boys, the Indians having come out a little ahead.

"Well," said James, "my uncle, Peter Pinetop, is at our house on a visit. He lives in a part of the country where logging-bees are a common thing. You come across the fields to-night, and we will ask him to give us full information about them."

"That would be a good idea," said William. "We young Canadians are almost in danger of losing sight of the customs and manners of our forefathers. Things have so changed that we know but little, practically, of what the pioneers of this country had to do, and how they did their work. There are a number of things that we need to be posted upon, and I am going to get all the information I can. And I know of no better or safer way than to ask the old people to tell us."

"Yes," replied James; "we must get the old folks to talk more on these subjects. They will soon be gone, and when it is too late we will wish that we had oftener got them to tell of the earlier times. I have heard some of the old people speak of husking-bees, and spinning-bees, that used to be common when they were young. These things are not heard of now, you know. In fact, Will, I believe that many of us young people in this country have a better knowledge of what the Spartans and old Romans did in their day, than we have of what our ancestors did in this land seventy-five or a hundred years ago. Will you come this evening, and we will begin our efforts to get information on these subjects?"

"Yes, James, I will come, for I agree with you that we are not so well informed on matters of everyday life among our ancestors in this country as we ought to be. I could tell more about Rome, in the time of the Caesars, than I can tell about my native country at the time that my grandfather was a boy," answered William.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The other chapters can be read at

Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
By John Blue, B.A. (1924)

We now have now completed Volume 1 with the following chapters...

Chapter XXIV
Women's Organizations and Activities


I have also completed the Scots biographies in Volume 2 and made a start at some from Volume 3.

It is our intention to make available the biographies of any Scots in these 2 biographical volumes but we've made the whole list available in the event anyone wants to know if a relation is included. Note also that is was not possible to identify all Scots from the biographies due to lack of information so it's possible we missed a few. I do note with interest that some that we can't identify as Scottish were raised in very Scottish areas such as Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia and also went to Scottish founded universities. Quite a few also went into business with other Scots.]

Volume 2 - Biographical
[Note: some 25+% of the biographies in this volume are Scots or people of Scots descent thus showing the impact that Scots had on the Province of Alberta.]

All these biographies and the final two chapters of Volume 1 can be found at

The Scottish Church
From Earliest Times to 1881, By W. Chambers (1881)

Our thanks go to John Henderson for sending this into us.

we've added another Lecture...

Lecture IV
Pre-Reformation Scotland, 1513 to 1559 A.D., By the Rev. Alexander F. Mitchell, D.D., Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the University of St Andrews.

It starts...

I CANNOT, like my predecessors, complain of the length of the period of which I have to treat. But events of the greatest interest and importance are crowded into it. With the exception of the introduction of Christianity into the world, the Reformation of the sixteenth century is the most glorious revolution that has occurred in the history of our race; and that period of earnest contending and heroic suffering which prepared the way for it, and the story of the men who, by God's grace, were enabled to bear the brunt of the battle, and at last to lead their countrymen on to victory, will ever have a fascination for all in whose hearts patriotism is not extinct nor religion dead.

You can read the rest of this lecture at

The other pages can be read at

Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish
Antiquarian Notes, Historical, Genealogical and Social (Second Series) Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish By Charles Fraser-Mackintosh, FSA Scot. (1897)

This week we've added the following chapters...

Chapter X. Glenelg
The Glenelg men Ferociously attack a Lochalsh Funeral Party
A Macdonell-Macleod Marriage Contract
Leases, Roads, Railways, and Recruiting
The Frasers of Lovat and the Macleods
North Morar

Chapter XI. Ardnamurchan
Arisaig and South Morar—Modern Evictions and Last Century Rentals
Eilean Tioram Castle and Lands
Glenaladale and Prince Charles

Chapter XII. Small Isles
Canna and Elgg---Old Tenants and Rentals

Chapter XIII. Sleat
The Macdonalds
Property left by Sir Alexander—inventory
Roderick Macdonald of Camuscross and his son James
Marshal Macdonald's visit to Skye—a curious salutation

Chapter XIV. Sirath
The Mackinnons of that Ilk
The Elgol and Camusunary Tenants in 1785
The Mackinnons of Corry and others
The Farmer-Minister and the Publican
The MacAllisters in Strath

Chapter XV. Portree
Malcolm Nicolson, Scorrybreck
How a French Invasion was repelled

Chapter XVI. Kilmuir
Duntulm Castle and the Duntulm Centenarian

Here is a wee story from the last chapter...

SIR ALEXANDER MACDONALD had large transactions with Perthshire cattle-dealers, and also regularly sent stock under his own men to the English markets, but great as his handling was, as already shown under the Parish of Sleat, he is found borrowing money to carry on. I have a bond by him to Mr Alexander Nicolson, minister of the gospel, at Aird, in Sleat, for the sum of seven thousand merks, dated at Ord, 22nd October, 1744, and witnessed by Alexander Macdonald of Kingsburgh, and Donald Macdonald of Castleton.

The family at this period had already removed from Duntulm to Monkstadt. When on a previous occasion I was in Skye, I heard that a very old woman, reputed to have passed her 100th year, lived not far from Duntulm. In 1892 she came to the roadside to meet me by request, accompanied by all the women and children of her township. I found the old lady most interesting, her chief story—and on account of which she was best known—was that she had in her youth spoken to a woman who, in her 16th year, attended and danced at the last ball held in the Castle of Duntulm, where Simon Lord Lovat and several Inverness-shire and Argyleshire proprietors were present.

I am not exactly sure when Duntuim was vacated, but believe it was between 1720 and 1730. Supposing this ball occurred in 1728, my visitor had seen and conversed with a woman born in 1712, 180 years before my visit.

Duntulm Castle has been a ruin for more than 150 years, and it is greatly to be regretted that so much of it was destroyed and carried away for base purposes within the memory of many living.

The book index and other chapters can be found at

Recollections and Experiences of an Abolitionist
By Dr Ross (1875)

This is a new book I'm starting and my purpose in doing it was that the Clan Ross invited me to a dedication ceremony in Chatham where a plaque is to be placed for Dr Ross in recognition of his work in freeing the slaves and his work with the Underground Railway. I thus thought that it would be worthwhile to put something up about his work. I will add some pictures of the ceremony at the Freedom Park in Chatham at a later date.

We also have a small biography of him on the site and here is a little of what it says...

Montreal, the eminent Canadian Philanthropist, Scientist and Author, has had a career of striking interest. He was born on December 13th, 1832, in Bellesville, Ontario. His parents were desendants of Scotch Highlanders, who came to Canada from Ross-shire, Scotland, in 1758. In his boyhood he made his way to New York city, and after struggling with many advertisites, became a compositor in the office of the Evening Post, then edited and owned by Willian Cullen Bryant, the poet. Mr Bryant became much interested in young Ross, and ever after remained his steadfast friend. It was during this period that he became acquainted with General Garibaldi, who at that time was a resident of New York, and employed in making candles. This acquaintance soon ripened into a warm friendship, which continued unbroken down to Garibaldi's death in 1882. It was through Dt. Ross's efforts in 1874 that Garibaldi obtained his pension from the Italian government. In 1851, Dr. Ross began the study of medicine, under the direction of the celebrated Dr. Valentine Mott, and subsequently under Dr. Trall, the hydropathist. After four years of unremitting toil, working as compositor during the day and studying medicine at night, he received his degree of M.D. in 1855, and shortly after received the appointment of surgeon in the army of Micaragua, then commanded by General William Walker.

He subsequently became actively and earnestly engaged in the anti-slavery struggle in the United States, which culminated in th eliberation from bondage of four million slaves. Dr. Ross was a personal friend and co-worker of Captain John Brown, the martyr. Although Dr. Ross's sphere of labour in that great struggle for human freedom was less public than that of many other workers in the cause, it was not less important, and required the exercise of greater caution, courage and determination, and also involved greater personal risk. Senator Wade, vice-president of the United States, said, in speaking of the abolitionists: "Never in the history of the world did the same number of men perform so great an amount of good for the human race and for their country as the once despised abolitionists, and it is my duty to add that no one of their number submitted to greater privations, perils or sacrifices, or did more in the great and noble work than Alexander Ross." He has received the benediction of the philanthropists and poet, Whittier, in the following noble words, which find their echo in the hearts of thousands:-

You can read the rest of this account at

I have the first 3 chapters up of his book and they can be read at

Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
The June issue is now available. Beth's Newfangled Family Tree is filled with articles about things Scottish - from events in the USA to famous Orkadians and inside information on travel. You'll find articles of interest to genealogists and news of the Scots Clan organizations as well as Flowers of the Forest.

Get this issue at

Antique Photographs of the Poncas
Wonderful collection of historically important photographs of the Poncas and their family from the 1898-1900's era. Donna Flood has been sending these in and you can view them at

Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site
Got in Update 20 about the Anniversary of the Ballinafad United Church, 3 May, 2009. You can always get to these updates at

I might add that they are now trying to raise funding for this project and they would appreciate some financial support... even $5.00 would be appreciated but more if possible. You can email a pledge to and of course they'll only take your money if the project gets the go ahead.

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


You can see old issues of this newsletter at 

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