Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
HOWEVER. The Hearth Tax lists have proven to be a great source of names and places, ie for genealogists and historians. For my website, at Knapdale People, I am working on the hearth tax records that exist. The Argyll and Bute archive has provided a typed list of said pages; the local LDS has provided a microfilm of said (tattered) records; and Ian MacDonald, one of the great western highland historians, has provided me with modern versions of the 1694 surnames.
So, I have been adding said names etc to my data base, and thought to add this to the Website. But. There is this matter of Campbell of Auchinbreck. Large numbers of farms belonged to this gentleman. But. He joined the losing side in 1745, and he lost his properties after Culloden.
So. Where is Auchinbreck? (I found it, via 'mapquest.') And what is there to say about Knapdale when one of its major landowners fell into bankruptcy in the mid 1700s? The best story of this time is by Alexander Fraser, "North Knapdale in the XVII and XVIIIth centuries", published in Oban, 1964. I found a copy of this in the Guelph University Library and photocopied the relevant pages...
And . I realize I must re-do the front page of the Site, to make things ever more clear to my readers. This will take a couple of days.
Friday, August 24, 2007
No, I do not think that it is possible to morally justify owning slaves. On the other hand, such people as that McMillan did not think of themselves as hypocritical: he was, in his own eyes, a good, God fearing Christian. It is more interesting (to me) to figure out how he thought. And what he thought, as all his work disappeared during the ensuing Civil War (or did it disappear? did he continue to prosper? He had sons. Did they survive to 1865? )
FROM A MCGUGAN CORRESPONDENT:
Very interesting to see your musings on Archibald McMillan. The family history says that "There is little doubt that Archibald S. McMillan took a severe economic loss as a result of the emancipation of slaves following the War Between the States." (McMillan Family History by John Q. Edwards, III) Archibald died in 1867, but has many descendants in North Carolina (some of which I have met.)
AND, From a descendent of the Blue Brothers, who emigrated from North Knapdale in 1803, about slavery.
Now, about that slavery thing...something of interest for you. Malcolm, John, and Daniel Blue emigrated from North Knapdale to the USA with their families en masse in 1803. Malcolm and John settled in New York State which was a free state and they did not own slaves. Daniel Blue settled in North Carolina and did own slaves. I do not know why they chose to settle in different states, but perhaps discomfort or comfort with slavery played a part. These three men had a younger brother named Dugald Blue who originally settled in the southern US in 1804, but was so troubled by the institution of slavery that after a short time he moved to be near his brothers in Upstate New York. I think we can judge the people of that time about their views on slavery because they judged each other on it, struggled with its morality, and some concluded it was immoral. Thought you would find that interesting.
The papers presented will be:
The Sugar Plantocracy of Scotland. Dr. Eric Graham
The Anti Slave Trade Tour of William Dickson in 1792. Dr. Iain Whyte.
Glasgow University, Slavery and Abolition: An Untold Story. Lesley Richmond, U of Glasgow Library.
Scotland and the Slave Trade: South West Connections. Dr. Lizanne Henderson, U of Glasgow Crichton Campus.
Servitude or Slavery? Scottish servants in the early colonies. Sheila Millar, Local Studies Librarian, East Lothian.
'And some have slaves thrust upon them': early 19th Century letters between Paxton, Berwickshire, and Grenada. Sonia Baker, Editor, 4th Statistical Account of East Lothian.
The conference fee is 18 pounds for members of the SLHF and 20 pounds for non members. This includes a buffet lunch. Closing date for applications: 21 September, 2007.
Mrs. Doris Williamson, SLHF, c/o Scottish History, School of History and Classics, U of Edinburgh, 17 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh. EH8 9LN
tel: 0131 669 8252 email@example.com
Monday, August 20, 2007
Donald Blue/McGuirman lived in a "dwelling house, good, 4 couples; a Barn, 1 couple; and 1 Bothie, 2 couples" *
His wife was Flory Lamont (McIlchombie), and they had 6 children. His brother John was also at the farm. John's wife was Mary McLean, and they had 3 children at the time.
The man taking the inventory noted that, on Arichonan Farm, "the Houses in this farm and mostly on this Estate was built by the Tenants themselves and by the way, they were not built right at first."
*"couple": these are the main supports for the roof, consisting of two lengths of timber, and attached at the apex of the roof. The number of couples is an indicator of the length of a dwelling. A "bothie" was a one room hut. The sketch is from I. F. Grant's "Highland Folk Ways", page 145 (Birlinn, 1997).
The complete inventory, at Argyll and Bute Archives, is entitled "Report of the Houses of Dunad, 1798; and 1802: the Rest of the Houses on the Estates of Neill Malcolm Esq is added."
also, another email, from a man in Britain, which fits in well with I.F.Grant's sketch of a 'town', below, and MacInnes' contention that Arichonan was 'anachronistic', ie, not the usual crofter community:
"Although I have done a master research degree (urban housing in Liverpool) and quite a lot of local history and vernacular architecture work, in this instance I was just totally affronted how such a beautifully wrought working village could have been cleared. This was clearly something of a different order to the clearing of single story croft houses that took place all over the highlands. The detail of the houses, barn and sheep folds show such a complete master of 'intermediate technology', exactly what was needed for getting a living in this environment." He has put up his photos here. They are very lovely.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Check out the 2 posts and sketches below. They help to clarify what exactly MacInnes means by "town" versus "croft".... and the additional insight that Arichonan was - in 1848 - a very 'old fashioned' sort of place.
MacInnes is also very interested in the Poltalloch landowner's experience with his Jamaican plantations, and how this translated into management of his Highland estates.
According to A.G.M. Duncan's "Green's Glossary of Scottish Legal Terms" (3rd edition, 1992), a "croft" is "An agricultural holding of limited size located within the counties in Scotland designated as crofting counties, the tenant or crofter or his predecessors having provided the buildings and fixed equipment." The topic of "crofts" and "crofting commissions", and etc., was a huge issue in the Highlands. My impression is that it was a late 19th century attempt to establish some security of tenure for remaining Highland crofters, on land that continued to be owned by others.