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Newsletter for 3rd March 2023

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  • Newsletter for 3rd March 2023

    Electric Scotland News

    I've been watching reports on the SNP elections and it seems to me that Kate Forbes is probably the best candidate as she sees growth as the main target.
    Any thoughts you'd care to share on who you think would make the best candidate for First Minister of Scotland of the three that are standing?


    I also note that John Swinney, the deputy First Minister is resigning and will return to the back benches. For some background information about him read the BBC article at:

    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.

    Kate Forbes favourite in SNP leadership race, poll suggests
    The survey put Forbes ahead of her rivals despite the first days of her campaign being rocked by criticism over her views on social issues.

    Read more at:

    Nicola Sturgeon Has Only Made Scottish Independence Harder
    The union between Scotland and England was partly born of catastrophic financial failure

    Read more at:

    Plans to turn farm built by Robert Burns into visitor attraction
    Ellisland Farm, on the banks of the River Nith in Dumfries and Galloway, was built by the poet in 1788 for his wife Jean Armour and their family.

    Read more at:

    Our Scottish Future
    Scotland's Shaken Kaleidoscope

    You can view this at:

    Remote Scottish island seeking couple for once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity
    Anyone looking to take a break from the stress of modern life should consider applying for a unique job on the tiny Isle of Rona, which is completely off the grid.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    Riding Via Rail's Corridor Service Video
    Business Class-Toronto-Ottawa-Montréal. Added this as the second video on our page at:

    African Canadians
    Breaking Chains: Thornton and Lucie Blackburn's Journey from Enslavement to Freedom. Added this YouTube video as the third video down on our African Canadian page at:

    Thunder Bay, Ontario
    Added a video on there history and other information including 3 books from the Thunder Bay Historical Society and links to other of their publications.

    You can view all this at:

    Sudbury, Ontario
    Added a video on there history and other information.

    You can view all this at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - the 26th day of February 2023 - Lent
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can view this at:

    The Sky Pilot in No Man's Land
    A Novel by Ralph Connor (1919) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Programs of The London and Middlesex Historical Society
    Transactions 1902-1907, Pioneers of Middlesex by Sir John Carling and Founding of London by Cl. T. Campbell, M.D. (1908) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Electric Scotland

    Beth's Video Talks
    March 1st 2023 - Get out of Jail Free 2/2

    You can watch this at:

    History of the Religious House of Pluscardyn
    Covent of the Vale of Saint Andrew in Morayshire by Rev. S. R. MacPhail, A.M., Liverpool (1881) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    How Scotland Lost Its Hold of the Bible
    By Iain H. Murray (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Biography of James Patton
    A Scots-Irishman in America (pdf)

    An interesting account which you can read at:

    Hall Russell & Co., Ltd., Shipbuilders
    Footdee, Aberdeen - The 1960s by Stanley Bruce (2023) (pdf).

    Over 300 pages with much of interest which you can read at:

    You can also read his many other books at:

    The Works of the Honourable James Wilson LL.D. Late one of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, and Professor of Law in the College of Philadelphia, published under the direction of Bird Wilon, Esquire in 3 volumes. (1804) together with an article on James Wilson, Nation Builder (1742—1798). Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Stalwart Nationalist in the Continental Congress, Great Leader in the United States Constitutional Convention, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States on its Establishment. A Biographical Monograph by Lucien Hugh Alexander, M. A., of the Philadelphia Bar (1907) (pdf) Around a third of the way down the page at:

    The Invereshie Book
    A Clan MacPherson Treasure (pdf)

    You can read this book at:

    James and William Tassie
    A Biographical and Critical Sketch with a catalogue of their Portrait Meddallions of Modern Personages by John Miller Gray FSAScot (1894) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Clan Elliot Origins
    By Mark S. Elliott (2015) (pdf)

    You can read this wee book at:

    Concerning the Forefathers
    Being a Memoir, with Personal Narrative and Letters of Two Pioneers Col. Robert Patterson and Col. John Johnston the paternal and maternal grandfathers of John Henry Patterson of Dayton, Ohio, For whose children this book is written by Charlotte Reeve Conover (1902) (pdf)

    You can read this book at:


    Two short biographies for you this week one on Sir Patrick Manson from Aberdeen and one on Thomas MacMurray a Scots-Canadian.

    Sir Patrick Manson was the son of Mr. John Manson of Fingask, Old Meldrum, Aberdeenshire, who was for many years the agent of the British Linen Bank in Aberdeen. He had intended to be an engineer, but an injury to his spine suffered in the works where he was a pupil turned him to medicine. He studied at Aberdeen University, taking his M.B., C.M. degree with honourable distinction in 1865, and his M.D. degree in the following year. He went out to the island of Formosa the same year (1866), to act as medical officer to a group of merchants and missionaries. It is said that his first impression was that there existed there “a considerable prevalence of diseases, most of which had never been heard of in Aberdeen,” but with the instinct of the born investigator he set himself to study them and to discover their causes. Becoming involved with the Japanese political service for helping China to buy ponies during a Chino-Japanese “scrap,” he left Formosa for Amoy, in China, in 1871. There he acted as medical officer to the Chinese Maritime Customs, organised a Chinese hospital, and began researches into tropical diseases, particularly elephantiasis, from which many of his patients suffered. He pursued these researches for several years, employing his Chinese hospital assistants to collect specimens of blood from their fellow-countrymen. Elephantiasis was known to be due to a small worm named Filaria sanguinis hominis from its presence in human blood, and Manson ultimately succeeded in discovering that persons became infected with the worm through the agency of the mosquito, chiefly at night. As the biographical sketch of Man-son in “The Times” put it: “Kill the mosquito, prevent its breeding, and you will abolish the disease. The science of tropical medicine and hygiene was founded. A new epoch in man’s life in the tropics had begun.”

    Manson’s discovery with regard to filiariasis (on which he published a small book in 1883) led, almost directly, to the discovery of the connection between mosquitoes and malaria, his hypothesis of this connection being demonstrated by the investigations pursued by Colonel Sir Ronald Ross in 1895. The general results that have followed have been described by Sir Alexander Ogston:—

    This discovery [as to the nature of elephantiasis] opened up a new and entirely unknown field of investigation regarding many diseases, and led to the discovery that malarial fever and other diseases were also multiplied and spread solely by their being absorbed from the human blood by the mosquito, nourished in these insects, and conveyed by their bites to infect healthy individuals.

    The knowledge was spread and extended by Manson and many other investigators who followed in his footsteps, with the result that many of the most virulent and important infectious maladies, such as the notorious and deadly yellow fever, are now recognized to be due to similar causes, and can be combated and prevented in a way that had never before been dreamt of. It is owing to Manson that such a medical triumph was obtained as the conversion of the fatal district of Panama into a healthy zone where Europeans can dwell in safety, and that, on his lines, the causation of such diseases as sleeping sickness is being hopefully dealt with in Central Africa and elsewhere.

    Sir Patrick Manson removed to Hong-Kong m 1885, and engaged in general practice. He also founded a Medical College there for the Chinese, and was its first Dean and Lecturer in Medicine. While at Hong-Kong he became a thorough master of the Chinese language, and translated a well-known surgical work into Chinese. His interest in China was manifested in later years when he returned to London, for he was associated with Sir James Cantlie in the romantic episode of the liberation of Sun Yat Sen, the Chinese political reformer, who was kidnapped in the Chinese Legation in London in 1896.

    He returned definitely to England in 1890 and set up as a consultant He became physician to the Dreadnought (Seamen’s Hospital Society) in 1894, and in 1897 was appointed medical adviser to the Colonial Office. He was also Lecturer in Tropical Diseases at St. George’s Hospital and Charing Cross Hospital. A lecture delivered at the former hospital in 1898 on the need of the special study of tropical diseases attracted the attention of Mr. Chamber-lain, then the Colonial Secretary, and the establishment of the London School of Tropical Medicine speedily followed, Manson being appointed its head. In 1900 he was made C.M.G.; the K.C.M.G. followed in 1903, and the G.C.M.G. in 1912. He retired from active practice in the following year, and for a time he travelled in Ceylon and South Africa, noting hygienic problems. On his return he continued to take a deep interest in the conduct of the London School of Tropical Medicine and the progress of his special branches of science.

    The notice of Sir Patrick Manson in the “Lancet” concluded as follows:—

    He exercised great influence upon all who worked with him, for nothing was too big or too small for him to consider; his clinical acumen was sound, so that he made few mistakes. His habit of thought may be summarized in his own words written in 1909 to his son-in-law; “Never refuse to see what you do not want to see or which might go against your own cherished hypothesis or against the views of authorities. These are just the clues to follow up, as is also and emphatically so the thing you have never seen or heard of before. The thing you cannot get a pigeon-hole for is the finger point showing the way to discovery.” His own scientific hypodiesis had a knack of turning out right—for example, his forecast of the life history of Schistosoma hamatobium in the fourth edition of his manual of “Tropical Diseases,” in 1907; also his suggestion in 1903 of the two species of schistoma proved true by Leiper in 1915. Younger men who came under Manson’s influence remarked always that in outlook and in knowledge he remained eager and enthusiastic to the end. His interest in his work never flagged. Only fourteen days before his death he visited the London Schoo of Tropical Medicine and critically examined some microscopical preparations, showing his usual perspicacity in picking out the important points in each specimen and emphasizing the lessons they taught. Almost the last words he uttered expressed his hopes for the future of this school, for which he anticipated a still wider field of work in co-operation with the Rockefeller scheme for the new Institute of Hygiene.

    A well-merited tribute to the great value of Sir Patrick Manson’s discoveries to the world at large was paid in a leading article in “The Times”:—

    Sir Patrick Manson was the father of modern tropical medicine. He founded and inspired that great band of British workers, thanks to whose efforts the tropics are being made safe for the white man. Triumphs over a whole category of disease have proceeded naturally from his teaching, so that it may be said that a share of the credit of each of them belonged to him. How great that service was this generation is probably incapable adequately of judging, for, as yet, the harvest is largely unreaped. Our children’s children may understand the full significance of labours that, whatever betide, will stand as a memorial for all time, a gift to humanity of which the value must increase from generation to generation. Yet, that Sir Patrick Manson was able to save millions of human lives, that he was able to banish disease from its immemorial fastnesses, that he was able to afford safe conducts to the missionary, the soldier, and the merchant in many of the world’s danger areas, are perhaps the least of his achievements. Greater by far than these is the moral support which his work has bestowed on what we speak of as Western civilization. For this, with all its shortcomings, has served man more nobly than any of its predecessors, in that it has taught him how to accomplish the measure of his days in safety. War and famine, as we have seen in our own generation, bring with them, too often, the horrors of pestilence; and pestilence is a fruitful soil of new wars and greater famines. To have broken that fatal chain in one of its links is to have accomplished a work monumental in stature and infinite in its possibilities of good.

    A medal is being struck in commemoration of the services to the London School of Tropical Medicine of the late Sir Patrick Manson, and the first impression is to be presented to his widow. The medal, which bears on one side a portrait of Sir Patrick, is to be presented annually to those members of the school who distinguish themselves in clinical work.


    Thomas McMurray, author, journalist, temperance worker, and settler; b. 7 May 1831 at Paisley, Scotland, the son of a weaver from County Armagh (Northern Ireland) and Jane Baxter from Alloa, Scotland; m. 10 June 1850 his second cousin, Elizabeth, in Drumcree, County Armagh, and they had at least nine children; d. 16 Aug. 1900 in Yarmouth, N.S.

    Thomas McMurray, following his father’s occupation, began work as a draw-boy when he was 7, and at 11 became a weaver. Not satisfied with this trade, he served a three-year apprenticeship to a butter and egg merchant and obtained a limited education in night school. At 15 he determined to be a sailor, but on his first voyage he abandoned ship in New York and worked for a time on the New York and Erie Railroad. After his return home in 1848 he was employed first as a salesman in Glasgow and then operated a business of his own in Paisley. He followed that with nine years in Belfast, seven of them as a commercial traveller. In May 1861 McMurray, hoping to provide better for his large family, immigrated with his wife and children to the Muskoka district of Canada West, where he became one of the first settlers in Draper Township (included at that time in Victoria County). He purchased and farmed 400 acres of land on the south branch of the Muskoka River, about two miles east of the village of Muskoka Falls, and on the incorporation of the united townships of Draper, Macaulay, Stephenson, and Ryde in 1867, he became the first reeve.

    In Parry Sound on 14 Sept. 1869 he began publication of the Northern Advocate, the first newspaper issued in the Muskoka–Parry Sound area. He moved the paper in September 1870 to Bracebridge, where he also opened a general store and real estate business and built a large residence known as The Grove. Unfortunately, he overextended himself financially, and when the depression of 1873 in the United States spread to Canada, he was forced into bankruptcy in July 1874. He returned to Parry Sound, where he founded another newspaper, the North Star, and on 17 Aug. 1875 he became crown lands agent for part of Parry Sound District, established in 1870. In March 1879 he sold the paper, and later that year, on 30 June, he resigned his crown lands position and relocated near Parkdale (now part of Toronto) to carry on temperance work.

    McMurray was continuously active in public life. He was a trustee of the Bracebridge Wesleyan Methodist Church, the first such church in Muskoka, and for a time was county master of the Orange order. Two objectives, however, dominated McMurray’s life: the settlement of the Muskoka–Parry Sound area and the total suppression of the liquor traffic. In support of the former he published The free grant lands of Canada (1871), and of the latter Temperance lectures (1873). He extolled the advantages of the free grant area in speeches, correspondence, and newspaper articles; he also promoted the improvement of roads and bridges as well as the building of churches, schools, and, above all, a railway in the Muskoka–Parry Sound region. As were many others at the time, McMurray was greatly moved by the suffering of the poor in the British Isles as well as in Canadian towns and cities. He believed that the free grant lands (opened in 1868) offered fertile soil, a suitable climate for agriculture, and waiting markets; he did not observe that much of that fertile soil was but a thin cover over rock and would soon be exhausted when the protecting forests were removed, nor did he foresee the menace to the small farm arising both from mechanization and the settlement of the west.

    McMurray had first become connected with the temperance movement in Paisley when, at 14, he joined a total abstinence society; he became identified with the Irish Temperance League in Belfast in 1858. In Muskoka and Parry Sound he worked actively for prohibition, which was becoming a leading issue in Canadian life. When he left Parry Sound in 1879, the Canada Temperance Act of 1878, commonly called the Scott Act, had just been passed, extending a form of local option to every province and thus encouraging temperance societies and church groups to continue the fight for total prohibition. The Sons of Temperance, of which McMurray was a provincial deputy grand worthy patriarch, had taken a leading role in 1875 in establishing the Dominion Alliance for the Total Suppression of the Liquor Traffic, an organization formed to coordinate the efforts of the numerous existing societies. Under the auspices of the Sons of Temperance and the Dominion Alliance, McMurray spent a number of years organizing new divisions and lecturing in Ontario centres such as Brighton, Brampton, Trenton, Kingston, and Perth. His words, both spoken and written, epitomized temperance thought of the time: “I believe in Prohibition, total Prohibition. Nothing less will do.”

    Little is known of McMurray’s later life. In February 1884 he was working in the Eastern Townships under the Grand Division of Quebec of the Sons of Temperance. He died in Yarmouth in 1900.

    Florence B. Murray

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