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Newsletter for 24th February 2023

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  • Newsletter for 24th February 2023

    Electric Scotland News

    I was reading an article in the Aberdeen University Review of 1921 in which it was talking about The Case for the Classics in which they were suggesting the importance of Latin and Greek.

    I know I never took Latin at School but there was a Latin class if you wished to study the language but can't remember there being any offerings on the Greek language.

    You can read the article at:

    I did consider that the study of Gaelic might also be considered important but again this wasn't offered in my school. We did get French though but that was the only language that was compulsory other than English. Mind you I don't actually remember being taught about Robert Burns although we did get taught about Shakespeare.

    While I did very well in History I had to give that up in Form 3 as I had to take Economics and the classes clashed so it was either one or the other. I don't remember getting any Scottish History up to that time.

    In some respects I do regret some of my choices at school and would like to take it over again knowing what I do now but that's of course not possible.

    Mind you looking back I didn't do very well in the French language but in my final year I got a new teacher and I got the highest marks ever and think if I'd had her from the beginning I'd have done very well indeed. Likewise in Form 1 I did very well in Maths but then got put into another class with a different teacher and went downhill fast. I might add that the new teacher was my boarding house master which was even worse. He never offered to help me but of course I also didn't ask.

    I can't help thinking that the teacher you get is very important and some shouldn't be teachers in my opinion as they are lousy at it.

    Did any of you get taught Latin or Greek at school?

    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
    I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland and world news stories that can affect Scotland and as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines it becomes a good resource. I might also add that in a number of newspapers you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish which I do myself from time to time.

    In Canada, complex fraud schemes are targeting homeowners
    A Canadian couple recently learned that their home was sold by fraudsters without their consent while they were out of town. Experts say theft of this nature is rare, but there has been a notable rise of similar cases in the country's most populous city.

    Read more at:

    Conrad Black: Pierre Poilievre is the future. His trouncing of the CBC proves it
    The current status of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is absurd and unsustainable. Its share of audience, never very impressive, has crumbled.

    Read more at:

    Most Scots think Sturgeon is RIGHT to quit (including half of SNP voters) in first poll since First Minister announced she was stepping down
    Two-thirds of Scots - and more than half of SNP voters - believe Nicola Sturgeon is right to be stepping down as First Minister, a new poll has shown.

    Read more at:

    Jean Laidlaw’s genius and Operation Raspberry sunk Hitler’s underwater wolf packs
    She was an unlikely war hero but Jean Laidlaw, 21 and a chartered accountant, would change the course of history and save thousands of lives in the process.

    Read more at:

    Robert Downie: Treasured Memories
    Reflection by Alan McIntyre

    Read more at:

    Total rubbish:
    Scotland's recycling scheme is a complex mess

    Read more at:

    Nicholas Rossi prosecutor buys Scottish castle
    The US prosecutor behind efforts to extradite US fugitive Nicholas Rossi has been revealed as the new owner of a controversial Scottish castle. Utah lawyer David Leavitt said he and wife Chelom would spend the next few years restoring Knockderry Castle in Argyll and Bute.

    Read more at:

    Five graphs that show Humza’s health service disaster
    Humza Yousaf has been described as the continuity candidate in the SNP leadership race

    Read more at:

    You're thinking about food all wrong
    Scientists are asking tough questions about the health effects of ultra-processed diets. The answers are complicated and surprising.

    Read more at:

    Kate Forbes head and shoulders above other SNP candidates in leadership race
    Forbes has been on maternity leave but has been tipped to make a sensational return to Holyrood as the successor to Nicola Sturgeon.

    Read more at:

    The SNP leadership race's contenders to replace Nicola Sturgeon so far
    Kate Forbes, Ash Regan and Humza Yousaf

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    Notes made during a visit to the United States and Canada in 1831
    By Mr Fergusson of Woodhill from the Quarterly Journal of Agriculture, No. XVI. (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Proceedings of the Canadian Institute
    City Sanitation and Sewage Disposal by L. J. Clark (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - the 19th day of February 2023
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can view this at:

    Videos of towns in Ontario
    Added Pembroke, Penetanguishene, and Cochrane

    You can watch these and read some information I found on them at:
    Emigration to British America
    By John M'Gregor

    Found a couple of interesting articles on this topic by John M'Gregor and so include them here for you to read at:

    Electric Scotland

    Scottish Society of Indianapolis
    Got in a copy of their February and February/March newsletters which you can read at:

    Beth's Video Talks
    February 22nd 2023 - Genealogy Research at Home 1/2

    You can watch this at:

    Bits from Blinkbonny
    Or Bell o' the Manse, A tale of Scottish Village Life between 1841 and 1851 by John Strathesk (1885) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    An Old Highland Genealogy and the Evolution of a Scottish Clan
    By Alan G. Macpherson (pdf)

    This is based on the Clan MacPherson and you can read this article at:

    The Annals of a Family
    By Joseph F. Thornton Dedicated to the Descendants of Henry Presley Thornton In memory of the departed (pdf)

    You can read about this Scots-Irish gentleman at:

    Western Approaches Tactical Unit
    Churchill ordered the establishment of the Western Approaches Tactical Unit (WATU) to develop and disseminate new tactics to counter submarine attacks on transatlantic convoys.

    You can read about this unit and one of its Scottish members at:

    A Border Story of Seventy Years Ago by Annie S. Swan (1887) (pdf)

    A novel which was hugely popular at the time and you can read this at:

    The Scotch-Irish
    Or, The Scot in North Britain, North Ireland, and North America by Charles Augustas Hanna in two volumes (1902)

    THESE volumes are designed to serve as an introduction to a series of Historical Collections which the writer expects hereafter to publish, relating to the early Scotch-Irish settlements in America. They are not intended as a history of the Scotch-Irish people, for such a work would require more time and labor than have been expended upon the present undertaking.

    The subject is one, like that of the history of America itself, which must wait for some future gifted historian; but unlike the subject of American history in general, it is also one concerning which no comprehensive treatment has ever been attempted. Such being the case, in order to enable the reader to understand the relation of the Scotch-Irish to American history, it has seemed necessary to make a brief general survey of the origin and old-world history of the race to which the Scotch-Irish belong.

    In doing this, it has not been his purpose to attempt even an outline sketch of the history of Scotland, but merely to condense and connect the record of its most important events, and indicate some of the principal writers upon different aspects of its history.

    The fact is, that the lack of acquaintance of many native-born Americans with the details of Scottish history is such that they require an elementary grounding even in the annals of its most noteworthy events. Such a primer the writer has undertaken to prepare. In doing so, he has found it advisable to compile, epitomize, and consolidate a number of the most compact of the sketches of Scottish history which have appeared in Great Britain, using for this purpose the writings of William F. Skene and of E. William Robertson, the Annals of Lord Hailes, the brief history of Mackintosh and, for the topographical and ethnographical description of Scotland of the present day, the works of the French geographer and traveller; J. J. E. Reclus, of which an edition in English has been published by Messrs. D. Appleton & Company.

    The written history of the Scots in Ireland is in very much the same condition as their history in America. Few attempts have been made to record it; and for this reason, very little of their history can be presented. What is given has been condensed chiefly from Harrison’s monograph on The Scot in Ulster; from Latimer’s and Reid’s histories of the Irish Presbyterians; and from Hill’s Plantation of Ulster. The most valuable features of the present volumes in this connection will be found to be the contemporary documents and reports relating to the inception and progress of the colonization of Northern Ireland by the Scots.

    Scottish history, as has been intimated, is as a sealed book to the great majority of American readers. In the United States, outside of the public libraries in perhaps two or three of the larger cities, it is difficult to find reprints of any of the original sources of information on the history of Scotland, or indeed any commentaries on the subject, except occasional copies of the histories of Dr. William Robertson and Mr. John Hill Burton, neither of which is adapted to present requirements. For this reason, it has been deemed essential by the writer, in giving his references, to print the citations in full; as it seems probable that that is the only means of making them available to the greater part of his readers.

    New York, Dec. 1, 1901.

    You can read these two volumes at:

    On the Forest and other Trees of Aberdeenshire
    By G. Dickie, M. D., Lecturer on Botany in the University and King’s College of Aberdeen (From the Quarterly Journal of Agriculture for March 1843) (pdf)

    You can read this small book at:

    Discourses suited to the administration of the Lord's Supper
    By John Brown, D.D. (Third Edition) (1863) (pdf)

    I was trying to find information on how the Lords Supper and Communion was celebrated in the old days in Scotland and found this book which answered many of my questions and you can read this at:


    Ter-Centenary of the Birth of New Scotland
    From The Aberdeen University Review Vol. IX. No. 25 November, 1921

    AT Annapolis Royal on 31 August, in presence of a distinguished assemblage, three bronze tablets were unveiled commemorative of the granting of the charter of Nova Scotia three hundred years ago, of the establishment of English Common Law in Canada two hundred years ago, and of the arrival in Annapolis one hundred years ago of Thomas Chandler Haliburton (“Sam Slick”), the celebrated jurist and author. These symbolised the three-fold dowry of Race, Law, and Literature, which Nova Scotia gave to Canada. Greetings were read from the Lord Chancellor of Great Britain and the Chief Justice of the United States, William Howard Taft.

    A paper on the “Charter of New Scotland, 1621,” byagraduate of Glasgow, Colonel Alexander Fraser, M.A., LL.D., D.Litt., is contained in the Official Report of the proceedings, copies of which may be obtained on application to L. M. Fortier, Esq., President, Historical Association, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Dr. J. Murray Clark of Toronto delivered an address upon the relations between the Dominion of Virginia and the Dominion of Canada in which he reviewed the coming of the common law of England to “The English Nation of Virginia,” so called by Sir Walter Raleigh in dedicating the colony to his beloved Queen Elizabeth. We take the following report of Dr. Clark’s address from the Toronto “Globe” of 1 September.

    From Virginia, he explained, the Dominion received its heritage of justice, in the form of the common law which now ruled in all of Canada, except Quebec, and in all the United States of America, except Louisiana. He here pointed out that, in spite of the fact that the statute books of the United States had been loaded at the rate of 62,000 enactments within five years, more than 90 per cent, of the important disputes in that country had been decided by the principles of common law.

    In 1721, he said, Governor Richard Philipps, in announcing the form of government to be observed in the Province, said that he had been directed to make the laws of Virginia the rule and pattern for the Government until such time as the Government should be settled according to the laws of Great Britain. Those laws had been brought to Virginia by settlers, among whom were many who had aided in defeating the Spanish Armada, who, with the “sure heritage” of British precedent to go upon, had developed during the century that followed the sound, safe and sane laws upon which almost all Canadian jurisprudence was later to be founded.

    Dr. Clark emphasised the fact that common law developed by reason of natural evolution, based upon the needs of the people, and was akin to the inexorable laws of nature, whereas statute law more than often defeated the very ends for which it was enacted, citing in one instance the laws designed to lower rates of interest, which, he said, in every case had worked out directly opposite. At the same time Dr. Clark did not underestimate the value of statute law, when enacted by those who possessed a thorough knowledge of all the circumstances surrounding the subject to which the legislation was directed.

    “The common law,” he reminded his hearers, “is founded upon liberty, justice and truth, which are mighty and will prevail.”

    In leading up to an attack upon radical Socialism and Communism, Dr. Clark quoted Lord Bryce’s words: “ The two safeguards upon which democracy must rely are law and opinion He then went on to show that whenever and wherever Communism had been tried it had resulted in starvation. He quoted from the words of one of the Communists who wrote of the Socialistic trials in the early days of Virginia and said: “The most honest men among them would hardly take soe much true paines in a weeke as now for themselves they will doe in a day; neither cared they for the increase, presuming that howsoever the harvest prospered the generall store must maintain them so that wee reaped not so much come from the labours of thirtie as three or foure doe provide for themselves.”

    Thus, because profit was an absolutely essential attribute of property, the elimination of profit meant the destruction of property. It was, therefore, plain that if the elimination of profit destroyed property it also destroyed liberty and all true freedom, because no man was really free who was denied the right to acquire, hold and enjoy, private property.

    To illustrate his point Dr. Clark referred to the ancient classics and touched upon experiments in Communism through the centuries up to the establishment of the Soviet system in Russia.


    Weekend is almost here and hope it's a good one for you.