For the latest news from Scotland see our ScotNews feed at:

Electric Scotland News

I got some 200 old slides scanned in for me from a local in Chatham and have added a wee selection of them to my page at: Essentially they are old pictures taken in Kuwait and also a few from Switzerland. So some pictures of myself, and my mother and father and pictures from Switzerland where my father attended an International meeting of BP's finest from around the world. Also added a few pictures of Kuwait including ones of a tug boat in the Gulf helping tankers to their berth. Also found a picture of my first car and tent as I was heading to Sweden for a camping holiday with a then friend who I lost touch with many years ago now.

I have another 300 slides that I will get scanned in at some point. I thought I'd test him out and he did an excellent job so will use him again with the next batch.

Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines. I might also add that in newspapers such as the Daily Record, Courier, BBC, Capx, ThinkScotland, etc. 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

China's GDP growth grinds to near 30-year low as tariffs hit production
China’s third-quarter economic growth slowed more than expected and to its weakest pace in almost three decades

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The village of Abtwil, Switzerland, turns Scottish for one weekend every two years.
Wind forward several years and many more trips to Scotland, and Tschirren convinced his friends to help him create a Highland Games in their hometown of Abtwil. They hoped around 800 people would show up to the first one in 2009, but they got 5,500.

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The lesson from Brexit?
Breaking up our 300 year old Union will be much harder

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Canada's Trudeau keeps the wheel but prepares for left turn
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday faced the cold reality of a minority government that will likely be forced to tilt left to survive, a move that risks upsetting the business community and stoking alienation in oil-producing provinces.

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Scottish universities oblivious to extent of racial abuse
Racial harassment is a common experience for staff and students at Scottish universities, according to a new report.

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American burger chain Wendy's could open in Scotland as expansion plans announced
The company revealed to shareholders it plans to open new British restaurants in the next 12 months.

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This Election Brought Out Canada’s Worst
Almost alone among the advanced democracies, the country has been bypassed by reactionary populism.

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The perils of a second referendum
Far from delivering us from the rancour of the last three years, another vote would only make things worse.

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Brexit is chance to grow Scots grocery sector
The Scottish Grocers Federation has advised members to buy in more local produce instead of getting it from EU countries, as Brexit approaches.

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Electric Canadian

Early Days in Upper Canada
The Letters of John Langton (1926) (pdf)

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Canadian Pen and Ink Sketches
By John Fraser (1890) (pdf)

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Canadian Hymes and Hymn Writers
By Rev. A. Wylie Mahon, B.D. (1908) (pdf)

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Canadian Essays
Critical and Historical by Thomas O'Hagan, M.A, Ph.D. (1901) (pdf)

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Electric Scotland

Ian Malcolm Grant MacIntyre
In Memoriam

Read about him at:

The history of Gutta-Percha Willie
The working genius by George MacDonald (1901) (pdf). Added this to our page about him at:

Narrative of Discovery and Adventure in the Polar Seas and Regions
With Illustrations of their climate, geology, and natural history and an account of the whale fishering by Professor Leslie, Professor Jameson and Hugh Murray, F.R.8.E. (1830) (pdf)

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MacDuffee Clan Society of America
Got in their Fall 2019 newsletter which you can read at:

Backwoods Cooking
By the Scouting Magazine (pdf) which you can read at:

Biographical Sketches 1852 - 1875
By Harriet Martineau with Autobiographical Sketch (1885) (pdf)

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Update on Boris Johnson;s Brexit withdrawal deal.
Nigel Farage points out the problems with his new deal.

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Modern Gaelic Bards
Edited by Malcolm C. Macleod (1908) (pdf)

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The Scrap Book
A Selection of the best Jokes, Puns, Comic Sayings, Jonathanisms, &c., &c.

Here are a few samples for you...

When Nelson said to his men at Trafalgar, 'England expects every man to do his duty,' three Scotchmen who were standing at their guns exclaimed, 'He never mentioned poor Scotia;' but one of them, suddenly recollecting himself, rejoined, 'His Lordship is just coaxing the English; He knows Sandy will do his work when wanted, without coaxing.'

A Glasgow youth walking with his sweetheart along Queen-street of that city, stopped at the door of a pastry cook's shop, and addressing his lady-love, said, 'Now, my dear, what will you take?' She, expecting to be treated to some of the good things of the shop, modestly replied, 'I will take anything you like.' 'Then,' says he, 'we will take a walk,' and marched past the shop.

The only kind of mistakes we are in favour of, is when an old bachelor gets married, Such mistakes are popular among the ladies.

Why is twice eleven like twice ten? Because twice eleven is twenty-two, and twice ten is twenty too.

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The Home Preacher
Added service 12 by Dr. MacEwen

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The Story

The March of the six hundred MacDonnell Men During the War of 1812.

The march of the Macdonnell men! They were not all Macdonnells; neither were they all Glengarrians, nor even Scotchmen, in that brave little band of six hundred, led by Red George, Colonel George Macdonnell, of the Glengarrians, the hero of Ogdensburg.

The officers were nearly all Scotchmen, or, at least, bore Scotch names; but fully five-sixths of the men were sturdy young French Canadian voyageurs and hardy shanty men ; the woodman’s axe and the boatman’s oar or paddle were as playthings in their hands. They were just such kind of men as had lately served in the Canadian contingent under Lord Wolseley in the land of the Pharaohs.

Come, young Canadian reader, let us go back nearly four score years—to the month of October, 1813; to those dark but glorious days in the past history of our country—to those days when our noble and brave ancestors had to defend a frontier over one thousand miles in length, against the assaults of an enemy ten times their number manfully facing every invasion, and finally driving the enemy from our borders. The story or the sketch of some of the gallant deeds of our forefathers will, assuredly, strike some chord in the “peace-bound pulses” of the young Canadian heart.

The celebrated march of sixty-two English miles in twenty-six hours, by the Light Division, under Crawford, to reach the field of Talavera; to cover and protect the retreat of the British army under Lord Wellington, after that terrible fight, which Wellington had won, but was afterwards obliged to retreat or fall back and take up another position, is familiar to every one the least acquainted with the marches, the countermarches, and the battles of the Peninsular war.

The writer, as a boy, was intimate with many of the men of the 95th Rifles, one of the regiments of that Light Division, and he now recalls the delight with which he had listened to the stirring stories of the old soldiers. Only seventeen men we believe, fell out of the ranks during that long march of sixty-two miles. Crawford, with his division, was posted high up among the Spanish hills, nearly three ordinary days’ march from the scene of the conflict. He, like the warhorse of old, "had scented the battle afar,” and his anxiety for the safety of his chief caused him to decide, in a moment, to strip every man to the lightest marching order, and to march directly on Talavera.

At nearly every league of their advance cavalrymen from the field of Talavera met them, reporting progress of the battle, and then conveying back to Lord Wellington the welcome news of the steady and sure advance of Crawford and bis men to his support. The excitement pervading all ranks was intense. Every man in the ranks knew the distance ahead to be reached, and he could count, almost to a certainty, the very hour of the arrival of the division on the field to join in the fight, or to cover and protect the rear of the now retreating British army.

The formation of military camps close by the Canadian frontier, extending from Plattsburg to Detroit, during the summer and autumn of 1813, gave evidence of impending coming events; the sum and substance of which was to strike a decisive blow for the reduction of Canada before the close of that year. The Americans had made themselves masters of the whole Western Amherstburg frontier, having dispersed the British force serving under General Proctor. Only a few hundreds of Proctor’s men escaped by falling back and retreating through the then dense forests of Western Canada by way of Ancaster to the entrenched position at Burlington Heights. Fort George, at the mouth of the Niagara, was still in the possession of the Americans.

It was not altogether a march; it was partly a march and partly a sail—a sail of one hundred and seventy miles down the rapids of the St. Lawrence from Kingston to Beauharnois, and a march of twenty miles from Beauharnois through the backwoods to join and support the rear of DeSalaberry’s small force; then facing, watching and disputing the advance of Hampton’s army of twenty times their number. This extraordinary sail and march of 190 miles was performed in the almost incredible short space of time of sixty hours of actual travel after leaving Kingston, until they reached the battle-field of Chateauguay.

Sir George Prevost, the commander-in-chief of the British army in Canada, was at Kingston on the 20th of October, 1813. The American army of some 10,000 strong was then concentrating in the neighbourhood of Kingston, under General Wilkinson, making preparations for a descent of the St. Lawrence to attack Montreal. Hampton’s army of about the same strength, watched by DeSalaberry, was advancing on Montreal by way of Chateauguay, to form a junction with Wilkinson on the shores of Lake St. Louis, above Lachine.

Those were dark days for the fate of Montreal.

Sir George Prevost mounted his horse at Kingston, to proceed by relays of horse with all possible speed to the threatened points in Lower Canada. Before starting he sent for Macdonnell (Red George), who had lately been appointed to the command of a battalion of French Canadian Fencibles. Macdonnell was then at Kingston organizing and drilling that newly-raised regiment. Prevost asked him if his men were fit to proceed to Chateauguay, and how soon?

They were ready to embark so soon as they had dinner. Plucky boys, such was the material our Canadian army of 1812 was composed of. Prevost gave him carte blanche, simply enjoining on him to throw his whole force in front of Hampton’s advance.

If we may use a vulgar term, Macdonnell found himself in a “fix.” He had not only to find boats, but to secure pilots to conduct his force down the dangerous rapids of the St. Lawrence. These preparations, fortunately, did not take much over half a day; there were then plenty of bateaux and other boats at Kingston; every man was on board that night to sail the next morning.

That sail of one hundred and seventy miles down the St. Lawrence from Kingston to Beauharnois, in open boats, was quite a different undertaking to a sail now-a-days in one of our well-built and well-equipped lake steamers.

Macdonnell and his six hundred men had only bateaux and common flat-bottom boats or scows, row-boats, with paddle and oar to propel them, to face the dangers of the Long Sault, the Coteau, the Cedars and the Cascade rapids; the breaking of an oar or the loss of a paddle would be a serious matter to them.

But those boats contained not only brave men, but men skilled in the dangers of the navigation through which they had to pass. A goodly number of them were old voyageurs, having many times previously faced the dangers then ahead of them.

It was just fifty-three years before that time, in 1760, when General Amherst passed down these same rapids from Oswego, with his army of about 10,000 men, advancing on Montreal, losing in one of these rapids, the Coteau, sixty-eight bateaux and eighty-eight men. Macdonnell did not lose one boat or one man in his descent.

Besides the dangers of the rapids, this little force, after leaving Kingston, had to work its way through the gunboats and the armed schooners attached to Wilkinson’s force; and on their onward course through the Thousand Islands and down the St. Lawrence, they were exposed at all points to the enemy’s marksmen and to the guns at the various fortified posts as they passed, causing them to be on their guard the whole way, and to hug closely the Canadian shore, out of reach of the enemy’s bullets.

They reached Beauharnois on the evening of the 24th of October, 1813, having encountered a heavy storm on Lake St. Louis after clearing the Cascade Rapids; thence from Beauharnois, by a midnight march, in Indian file, of twenty miles, through the backwoods, arriving at DeSalaberry’s rear at early morning of the 25th—the ever to be remembered 25th day of October, 1813—in advance of Sir George Prevost, who had ridden down by relays of horse.

On Prevost meeting with Macdonnell, he exclaimed in a tone of great surprise: “And where are your men, Macdonnell?” “There,” said Macdonnell, pointing to six hundred wornout men sleeping all around on the ground, not one man missing. Thus accomplishing the distance from Kingston to the battle-field of Chateauguay, 170 miles by water, and 20 miles by land, in sixty hours of actual travel.

What a timely arrival was Macdonnell’s force to DeSalaberry, whose whole force previous to this did not exceed four hundred men. That same day, the 25th October, Hampton’s advance was arrested, and then began a retreat, an ignominious retreat, before a force now increased to about one thousand men, not one-tenth of the invading army—that is, counting all their ranks, regular and militia.

It is not our intention to chronicle the many daring feats of DeSalaberry’s little band of Canadian Voltigeurs, and the hardships they had to endure for weeks in watching and in disputing the advance of Hampton’s army, but simply to record, as at the head of this article, “The March of the Six Hundred Macdonnell Men,” and we have done this to the best of our humble ability.

The advance of Wilkinson’s army was arrested at Chrysler’s Farm, and there forced to take to their boats and cross the St. Lawrence; thereby relieving Montreal from the joint attack of those two American armies.

Seventy-five years have come and passed away since the meeting of Macdonnell and DeSalaberry on the battle-field of Chateauguay. This was a meeting of two kindred spirits—brothers in arms; Macdonnell was a true representative of the Highland gentleman of the old time, descended from a family of soldiers; war, for centuries, had been their calling or profession. The same might be said of all Highlanders at the beginning of the last century. Scotch names could then be found in every army of Europe. France can boast of her celebrated Marshal Macdonald. DeSalaberry was a true type of a French nobleman, a worthy representative of an old French family. The DeSalaberrys were early settlers in French Canada.

The most striking historical feature of these two Canadians is this: They were representatives of two noble families which, seventy years before the meeting of these two men at Chateauguay, were in arms against the Crown of Great Britain. The Macdonnells were all out in the rebellion of 1745, closing with fatal Culloden.

DeSalaberry’s ancestors were then soldiers of Old France. We may here add that in religion they belonged to the same church—the Church of Rome.

If we mistake not, there were two DeSalaberrys at the storming and fall of Cuidad Rodrigo, in January, 1812, one in the British, the other in the French army.

We, as Canadians, are allowing our old landmarks to pass out of remembrance, or to fall into decay. Would it not be a fitting tribute of respect to the memories of those two noble Canadians to mark the spot where they first met?

If nothing better, let us erect a simple “Maypole,” or a cross, after the Canadian custom; or, better still, a Scotch cairn, composed of loose stones, headed with the following inscription:— “This is the spot where DeSalaberry and Macdonnell met on the 25th of October, 1813"

Stoney Creek and Chateauguay will ever be noted as important turning points in the war of 1812.

Harvey, with his seven hundred and four unloaded muskets and flintless locks, checked the advance of Dearborn’s army at Stoney Creek on Sunday morning, the 6th of June, 1813. Harvey’s force was composed of fully three-fourths regulars. DeSalaberry, with his small force of voltigeurs, consisting of nine-tenths of young French Canadian boys and voyageurs, watched for weeks, and finally arrested and checked the advance of Hampton’s army, then in full march on Montreal. This is a bright feather, gracing for all time the bonnets of our young French Canadian boys — les bonnets rouges and the tuques bleu of Lower Canada.

And that's it for this week and hope you all have a great weekend and enjoy your Halloween