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A Dance Called America: The Scottish Highlands, the United States and Canada Paperback – September 1, 1995
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We were shocked to learn that some Scottish emigrants had become slave owners, while others with few belongings and no means were left stranded on remote points of the Canadian coastline in the middle of winter.
Different periods of emmigration and settlements of Scottish immigrants are covered. The research is very detailed but thankfully doesn't result in statistics which will bore you. Rather Hunter concentrates on the actual experiences of notable settlers and explorers. It's a descriptive account that brings the period alive. I found the description of the quarantine station at Grosse Ile and Cholera Bay to be particularly moving.
This book is more than a chronicle of the hardships, challenges and frustrations that these early settlers had to endure. It reminds us of their achievements and significant contributions. You can appreciate them that much more knowing of their suffererings in a tough, new land.
I'd be giving this book five stars, but I would have liked some maps and I found the chapter on Craigellachie to wander a little bit. But this is still a wonderful book. If you're interested in Scotland or have any Scottish ancestors, add this book to your collection.
Among a few of the more intriguing facts to be encountered in this book are that the Highlanders, following their defeat by the English, largely joined the armies of their conquerors and were soon deployed in defense of English interests. Meanwhile, back in Scotland, they were being dispossessed of their livelihoods by landowners who saw greater profit in large-scale sheep ranching than in the rents of their former tenants. The latter action led to migration of displaced Scots to New World colonies, where they remained loyal Tories even as their fellow New World neighbors decided to rebel and form a new nation independent of the English. As it became clear that they were on the losing side, many moved north to join those who had settled on the lands of what would later become Canada.
Some of those Highlanders who had gone directly to the northlands had done so as soldiers for the English and had defeated the French who had already claimed Quebec as their own (though a longer view of history shows us that French influence remained predominant in Quebec!).Read more ›
Mr. Hunter answers this question and more. In this book, he explains the highland impact on the North American continent. He first tells of the Darien settlement in Georgia and Cape Fear in North Carolina. As the Clan Chiefs focused less on leading the clans and more on renting their land to sheep herders, the Tacksmen or gentry of the clans began to lead many of the displaced people to found these new colonies in the Americas.
He goes on to explain the settlement of the Mohawk Valley in New York State and the continued migration north after the American Revolution to Glengarry in Ontario.
As the clearances continued, clansmen moved to Cape Breton Island and we learn about the involvement of Thomas Douglas, Earl of Selkirk in the new colonies. He strove to help poor highlanders struggling in the coastal crofts of Scotland to settle in his new Red River Colony in what is today modern Manitoba, Canada.
As Mr. Hunter explains, these Highlanders' success and failures in America, we see the rise of the North West Fur Company and the Hudson Bay Company, which were rivals and dominated by Scots. As these two giants merge into one, we see a Canadian, John A. Macdonald, rise and work with other Highlanders and Canadian Americans of Scottish roots to help forge the lands including Red River, Glengarry, and Cape Breton Island into the nation of Canada.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I purchased this book as a gift for an Outlander (Diana Gabeldon) fan since I couldn't find anything else Outlander-related (I previously bought the charm bracelet for this... Read morePublished 10 months ago by S. Franklin
For those interested in their Scottish roots, and wondering why the Scots came to the North American continent as well as learn what contributions they made to life here, this is... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Gordon Parmelee
I highly recommend this book to anyone with Scottish Highland ancestry. It tells a story of great courage and how they came to the United States for opportunities not available in... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Donald J. Mcdonald