A Collection of Fragments of Family History Derived from Ancient Records & Authentic Traditions - 1866, by John MacEachern, Rice Point, Lot 65, PEI
Transcribed and submitted by Judy A.(MacPhee) LeDrew - email@example.com
'Transcription of ‘A Collection of Fragments of Family History Derived from Ancient Records & Authentic Traditions - 1866, by John MacEachern, Rice Point, Lot 65, PEI’
John b. Aug. 30, 1809, Killiemore, Isle of Mull, Scotland, died June 3, 1883, Rice Point, P.E.I., Canada
Note re transcription:
To the best of my knowledge, at the present time, (Feb. 2001), John MacEachern is not believed to be part of my family tree. However, the historical and genealogical importance of this document, cannot fail to be of interest to anyone with ties to the Isle of Mull, Scotland.
Although some of his diaries and other writings, are on microfilm at the PEI Archives, I have not been able to find any ‘transcribed copy’ of his work. Having now read this one amazing document, I feel an overwhelming desire, and indeed, almost an obligation, to transcribe it, both for my own knowledge and use, as well as to share with any and all who are interested.
Please note that there may be some instances where the copy of his written word makes it difficult to establish the exact spelling of a word, or even the word itself. If the word, or part of a word, remains in doubt, I will use ???. If there are words, or parts of words missing, I will indicate such by ........ Please be aware that although I have made every effort to be accurate, that, as in any transcribed work, there may be errors. Please consult the source document for clarification or verification.
It may be of interest to some reading this, to know that I live less than 5 miles from where John MacEachern lived in PEI. Some members of his family tree are also relatives of mine. Many others are neighbours and/or friends........and many, many more are persons that I do not know at all.
To all who seek a better understanding of our ancestors, and of their homeland, The Isle of Mull, Scotland .........I hope you will both benefit and enjoy!
Judy (MacPhee) LeDrew
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Fragments of Family
Derived from ancient
Records & Authentic
For the information of
Those concerned who may
perhaps be without the
means of more explicit
information on the subject
Big Point, Lot 65, P.E. Island
TABLE OF CONTENTS
‘Fragments of Family History......’
by John MacEachern (1809-1883), Rice Point, Lot 65, PEI
(From headings used by author in this document)
- My Notes re Transcription
- The Caledonians
- The Scots
- The Macdonalds of the Isles
- The MacEacherns
- The MacEacherns of Killiemore
- The MacDougalls
- MacEacherns of Killiemore, Ardmianach
- Dougald MacEachern
- Voyage to America
- Landing in Cape Breton - on to Ch’town, PEI
- The Fletchers
- Dougald MacEachern’s Family
- Mackinnon’s or Clanna MacFhionghein
- MacEacherns of Craigneish - (More)
- October 1875 - Obituary of writer’s wife
- 1878 - Obituary of daughter Sarah
- 1882 - Obituary from Chester, England
- The Late Rev. Dond. Macdonald
- Newspaper - Feb.23/1867 - Rev. Dond. Macdonald
- Newspaper - Mar.2/1867 - Rev. Dond. MacDonald
- Newspaper - Mar.1/1867 - Rev. Dond. MacDonald
It being customary for all enlightened nations to preserve written records of their various transactions, both Political and Ecclesiastical, and to preserve a Chronological connection of the history of many of their families and the principal incidents connected therewith.
The Hebrew nation, above all others, excelled in this department both in minuteness and strict adherence to truth. Which in the purpose of Providence was intended for a peculiar purpose.
And at various times those of them who could not prove their fathers household were excluded of their privileges. Neh. VII.61 Esra II.62
Also among the ancient Romans, to be a Roman citizen was esteemed a great privilege. The which privilege the Apostle Paul claimed as in Acts.XXII.25. To also be a Briton a like privilege is claimed, even from the most remote part of its dominions.
But the present object of the writer is not merely the claim of citizens, but to trace his own Genealogical descent and that of other families with who he may be connected, as he observes among many of the people of this country, a great lack of information in regard to their forefathers, and those parts of the Mother Country from which they emigrated to this; deeming it a part of his duty to preserve a remembrance thereof for the information of his own family.
The earliest written records of which we are possessed of the British Islands are to be found among the writings of the ancient Roman Historians.
When the ancient Romans first invaded Britain they found it inhabited by a race of warlike people tho divided under different Kings or Chiefs yet it appears they spoke a similar language, as the Cam?ai? or Welsh and the Gaelic which appears to have been the speech of the Caledonians. A.D.80 The Roman armies as they pushed Northwards found their progress disputed and opposed in their advance by new forces, till at last after a great battle with the Caledonians A.D.84 under their leader Galgacus (as they call him) they had to content themselves with what they had conquered of the Island of Britain, and build a wall across from Clyde to Forth as a defence from their unconquered neighbours the Caledonians. But after the space of 40 years (if I remember well) they had to withdraw their frontier and build another wall from the Tyne across by Carlisle; about this time the Scots & Picts are mentioned but it seems or is evident that they spake the same language (the Gaelic) and were only divisions of the same people.
But it appears that the Christian Religion made its way into Scotland at an early period. Testullian??? about A.D.200 wrote thus. "Those parts of the Island of Britain into which the Roman armies have not conquered are becoming subject to Christ".
Although the Romans termed all those without the bounds of their Empire "barbarians" yet their own records prove the Caledonians to be in possession of the means of the most advanced civilization, namely, Christianity. That the Christian Religion in its primitive purity was introduced early into both Scotland and Ireland there can be no doubt, as the severe persecutions which at different times broke out in Rome against them, were the means of driving the primitive Christians (to flee for shelter) out of the bounds of that empire, to a place of safety either in Scotland or Ireland which were without the bounds of that Empire and that the Kings of Scotland were a defence to all such is evident as will appear.
Some writers suppose the Scots to be from Ireland, and others, the Irish to be from Scotland, as their languages are so similar, in some histories Ireland is called the Isle of Scots.
There is no doubt that the original language of the Scots was the Gaelic, as I have seen a copy of the inscription on the marble chair or throne on which the Scottish Kings were crowned, the inscription is in plain Gaelic that may be easily read by any good reader of the language, which stone was carried to England by Edward I, who took advantage of the divisions in that Country and the absence of Sir William Wallace in France, to plunder Scotland of every record of her independence that came within his reach. This ancient vestige of Scottish Royalty is still to be seen in Westminster Abbey in London, and was by the same Edward fitted up on a chair or throne for the ceremony of consecrating the Archbishops of England. The inscription was prophetical "That the Scots would rule wherever that stone should be carried". The legend is in two inched lines.
The Scots never demanded its return and history informs us that on the accession of James VI of Scotland to the English throne, the Scots regarded the event as a fulfilment of the prediction.
Where the Scottish seat of Government was during the stay of the Romans in Britain, history, I think, scarcely informs us, but the royal residence at an early period was in Argyle, Dunstaffnage was a Royal Palace/Parliament?? before their removal to Scoor in Perthshire; the Picts held the north and east, the Scots the west and south. Almost incessant wars were waged between the two nations (or twofold nation) each ruling by turns, till A.D.845. After a most obstinate struggle for the mastery, the Picts were totally subdued and the whole Kingdom has since been named on the Scots.
When Macbeth killed the good King Duncan and usurped the throne, the young Prince Malcolm Canmore fled to England and on his return, and restoration to his Kingdom, he married an Anglo-Saxon princess, which was the means of introducing the Saxon language into the Court in place of the Gaelic; hence the origin of the present Scottish dialect.
On the removal of the seat of Government from the west to the east, the Hebrides and Northern Isles and coasts became more exposed to the ravages of the Northern nations of Norway, Denmark to who made repeated descents on the British Island, and who subjugated England and reigned there as Kings. They made many attempts on the Mainland of Scotland and fought many battles, in all of which they were foiled both on the east and west. Their last attempt was by Hacco?? who went into the Firth of Clyde with 400 ships & 40,000 troops who landed at Largs?, but were completely routed, and mostly slain by the Scots under Alexander III. History informs us that after this event, the Kings of Denmark at their coronation, were sworn never to bring an army to Scotland.
The Macdonalds of the Isles
The feudal system having prevailed in the early ages in the Western Kingdoms of Europe, and had almost an unlimited authority over their own vassals. In Scotland they were named Chiefs and many of them had very large Estates, and a numerous "Clan" whom they led to war when their King required them.
On the removal of the seat of Government to the east, the Western Isles, Argyle etc. became more defenceless, and depended principally on the Chiefs and their Clans for their defence. The Scandinavians (or Lochlan??ch by the which they are termed in Gaelic i.e. The Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, etc) in their pirateous descents on the British Islands, gained considerable footing on the Orkneys and Hebrides, especially during the reign of Donald (Bane). This Donald (Bane)seems not to be so successful in defending his country from the Scandinavians, as others of the Scottish monarchs. Sir Walter Scott in his appendix to the Lord of the Isles, quotes from Pennants?? Scotland London 1790 page 156. "When Magnus the barefooted King of Norway obtained from Donald Bane of Scotland. the cession of the Western Isles or all those places that could be surrounded by a boat". But it seems their rule in the west was of short duration. as Somerled. of whom the "Macdonalds of the Isles" are descended, and numerous other highland surnames. became a leader of the Gaels of Argyle and the Islands. to attack the Scandinavian forts. First (according to a Gaelic manuscript) in Morven, with a small force by stratagem, decoyed them from their fortresses, routed and slew them, and following up his conquests till he ultimately reduced their power, and according to another chronicle, that he gained the admiration of the Scandinavian King who proposed terms of peace, and offering him his daughter in marriage, the which he accepted, he bequeathed to his descendants all his claims to his Scottish possessions, and departed to his Northern dominions.
The Somerled who was contemporary to Malcolm IV of Scotland, is said to be grandson to this first Somerled. The first Somerled who subdued the Scandinavians is named by the Gaels "Somerled mor Mac Gillebride". Of the second, Sir Walter Scott in the forenamed Appendix, writes "Somerled was Thane Regulus of Argyle and Lord of the Isles about the middle of the twelfth century. He seemed to have exercised his authority in both capacities, independent of the Crown of Scotland, against which he after stood in hostility; He made various invasions upon the western lowlands during the reign of Malcolm IV, and seems to have made peace with him upon the ???? of an independent Prince about the year 1157. This mighty chieftain married a daughter of Clai? King of Mann i.e. Isle of Mann. From him, our genealogists deduce two dynasties, distinguished in the stormy history of the Middle Ages; the Lords of the Isles descended from his elder son Ronald, and the Lords of Lorn who took their surname of McDougall, as descended of his second son Dougald. That Somerled’s territories upon the mainland and upon the Islands, should have been thus divided between his two sons, instead of passing to the elder exclusively, may illustrate the uncertainty of descent among the Highland families, etc"...........(sic).
Of the descendants of Somerled, a long list of names are given by Sir Walter Scott in an Appendix to his book the "Lord of the Isles" taken from a Gaelic manuscript named "Leathar Dearg" i.e. Red Book.
The families descended from Somerled received from their Chiefs, the "Lord of the Isles" estates, according to their services to him in time of war, and hold five estates to this day, which were granted to their ancestors by their chief "Macdonald".
Note........The writings of the Rev. Thos. McLauchlan, Edinburgh, in his Book "The History of the Early Scottish Church" contains the greatest research and minutest information I have yet seen on this subject.
J.M.E. Oct.1, 1870
[Note: There is some dispute whether the MacEacherns are descended from the MacDonalds or a Sept of the MacDonalds, but the following text is presented verbatim from the book]
It being a well established fact handed from generation to generation, by tradition, and in some instances, by written records, that the "Clan Eachern" are descended from the Macdonalds, or Lords of the Isles.
According to Buchanan of Auchm???’s Chronicle of the Scottish Clans, the "MacKechnies (as he spells them) was a cadet of the family of Macdonald, to them he granted lands in different parts of Argyle.
They once had a large Estate, that of Craignish, opposite the Island of Jura, which estate they held for a long time till an old bachelor bequeathed it to a favourite niece who married a Campbell. (one complete sentence inserted that I am not able to read-jld). It seems he was what is termed, her "god-father", and granted it in the following manner. He had put on a handsome new dress and went to take a walk among some of his friends, and this girl’s mother observing him, sent her daughter to ‘wish him his health to wear his dress’, in Gaelic "meallabh?in deisha??" (a practice of courtesy among the Scots) by the which she gained his favour, (as it seems it was neglected by his other friends) and he said "she would not lose by that", and afterward bequeathed her his Estate. X see App.(A)
The MacEacherns also had another fine Estate named Kingaitloch near Morven, which estate they lost, by joining the rebels under Prince Charles the Pretender, after the defeat at Culloden the heir fled to France, and when the Royal clemency or pardon was granted, MacEachern’s name was called in Edinburgh on two succeeding days and none answered, and on the third day, a McLean answered to the name, as his family went by the term of Mac ic Eachain"and no one present to dispute him, the Estate was delivered to him, and MacEachern never returned from his exile.
There was another Estate held by them in the Isle of Mull, anciently, the estate of Lochbuy, which was wrested from them in a feud, MacEachern and his nine sons being slain in a field named "dal a Thrinaia?" i.e. "the field of mourning". I have heard my father say it was told his father, Charles McEachern, by "big" Murdoch McLaine, the old laird of Lochbuy, that such was recorded in his "old family records". They held grants of lands in many other places, in Islay, and a place named Corran-s?giathach, in Cantire, the exact place I know not.
It seems they were held in much esteem and trust by their patron Macdonald, and always were of his Privy Council, as an old quotation is handed from generation to generation which is "Mac Aoidh ?? Mac Aidhagus MacEachern triuir chomhisle ach Mhacdhonuil ??" i.e. Macoidh, MacKay & MacEachern, the three Councillors of Macdonald.
The MacEacherns of Killiemore
The family of MacEacherns of Killiemore, Ardmianach in the parish of Kilfinichen, Mull, Argyleshire of whom we are descended, went to the Isle of Mull originally from the forementioned Estate of Craignish, which was bequeathed.
Our forefathers about 8 or 9 generations back left Craignish for Mull and landed at a place named Crogan in the Estate of Lochbuy, and having applied to the then Landlord, he directed? them to Killiemore, Ardmianach.
And having proceeded to their destination, and travelling with their children, they halted at Kilfinichen by a spring named "an tober mor" (or great spring) to take some refreshments; some of the people of the place observing them from their homes, asked one another "who are those at the tober mor" and where did they come from" some answered, we know not unless they came out of the tober more" i.e. great spring - and to this day they are sometimes called "Hivche????an tobair mhoir" i.e. the race or "The Family" of the great spring" - Shewing the simple incidents that led to the origin of some terms.
But to follow the narrative, the people invited them to their houses & used them hospitably, and on the morrow they reached the place pointed out for them by their future Landlord, and remained there till the year 1821. ***
[ Written across the above paragraph, making it very difficult to decipher, are the following words, some of which I cannot make out (jld): "I am told since that it was at noon they had to take some dinner by the "well" when first observed by the nearest villagers who sounded?? the ???? which led to the appellations and afterwards for ?????? on their journey to Killiemore." ]
*** (cont’d. from above)
When the last male head of a family of them there, Niell MacEachern, left Killiemore for America, with his second wife and five of his first, and the oldest living girl of his second family, sailed from Tobermory, Mull on board the brig Adventure of Greenock, for Pictou, Nova Scotia, and having landed there, his first family having maternal uncles in Prince Edward Island, they would not content themselves to remain in Nova Scotia, so they, he and other families, hired a schooner and came to Charlottetown, and he and his family settled at last in Allen, or as its commonly called, Canoe Cove, in Township 65.
This Niell MacEachern (my uncle) was a good scholar and a well informed man. He was a Corporal in the Dumbarton Regiment, was to Ireland during the rebellion of "98". On the return of the Regiment he got his discharge, having had many hairbreadth escapes in engagements, and once sent on a single dispatch he fell into the hands of a party of the rebels who conducted him to a house where he was told he should live no longer, one of the leaders enquired his name to which he answered "McEachern". This man conducted him privately to the door, and told him to make his escape, being himself of a similar surname.
I had much of the information concerning our Clan & family from this Uncle, and his information was always reliable. He died at Canoe Cove January 13th, 1859 in the 90th year of his age. This Niell and my father Dougald were sons of Charles, son of Niell, son of John, son of Niell, son of Lauchlin, son of Ewen.
It seem it was Ewen that left Craignish for Mull, therefore my Uncle’s sons were the 8th generation of males in Killiemore.
There were several other families of them branched of to other parts of Mull, to Ross & Brolas? across the Loch and my father had a cousin, a merchant, who at last settled in the Town of Oban, and was a respectable Merchant there during his lifetime. This John McEachern of Oban, when his father died, placed a fine tombstone over him in the burying ground at Kilfinichen, which is a conspicuous mark of the position occupied by the MacEacherns of Killiemore of that Parish.
For the information of others of my relations who may wish to know the names of some of their forefathers, I will here set down such as I obtained them from my Uncle Neill of Canoe Cove, and which I took down with a pencil at the time. To begin at Ewen, Lauchlin his son, Neill his son, John** his son, Neill his son, Charles his son, Neill & Dougald his sons.
Of the forementioned John, whose name is marked with an asterisk, he was an extraordinary handsome man. My uncle that was at Canoe Cove said that an aged woman at Malpec Road, PEI, told him that she often heard her father say that the forenamed John MacEachern was, in his day, the best looking man in "Duthich siol Eachain" i.e. the Estate of Lochbuy" which contained the half of the Isle of Mull, and was anciently named the land of the race of Eachan or Hector. This John had four sons, Lauchlan, Neil, Ewen, Allan; the sons of Lauchlan were John, and his son was John of Oban, formerly mentioned. Neil’s sons were Charles, Dond., Callum or Malcolm. Ewen’s family were John who died at the East River, Lot 48, PEI, also Effy, Marion & Catherine. The family of Allan was Alexander and some daughters, one of whom was mother to old Malcolm McPhayden, Crapaud.
This Alexander was a Schoolmaster. My father Dougald MacEachern was in his school in Talpull, Ardmianach in 1797. His father expended a good deal to educate him in Edinburgh, be taught in Oban, and was married to a daughter of Campbell of Dunstaffnage.
These are the families of the four brothers, the sons of John the handsome.
John McEachern who died at Lot 48, East River (PEI) - his sons were Ewen, Alexr., Stephen? and Angus.
Neill’s son Charles, (my grandfather) had a large family, some of whom died when young - two Johns, two Marions, the survivors were Neill, Christina, Anna, Catherine, & Dougal, i.e. my father. This Charles was married to Christina Macdougall, daughter to Dougald Macdougall (mor), son of Ewen, son of Dougald (mor) who perished in a great snowstorm near Glenbyre Lochbuy. He was the only one that McLaine of Lochbuy could get to venture across the hills to Rossel Tavern or distillery to fetch a large cask of whisky,
took his servant, and on their way home his servant gave up, and Dougald had to carry the cask & then leave it & return for his servant, and so on, all the night, and the last time he returned, he never came to where he had left his servant wrapped in his plaid, who when daylight came, and the storm had subsided, made for his master’s house in Glenbyre, but his brave master had not arrived.
This Dougald was of the ancient house of Gavilan? in the Isle of Karara near Oban; his son Ewen was for a time ferryman at Auchnacraig, Mull, it is related of him that when ferrying horses once, a wild young horse got loose, and Ewen attempting to hold him, he leaped overboard about midway to Oban which is about 9 miles & held to his mane till both were taken in to the boat. His sons were Dougald & Somerled. Dougald seems to have been in the employment of several gentlemen in Mull as his father died when they were young. My Uncle Neill told me that when he married he had seven mares with their foals, yearlings to wild on the hills.
His brother Somerled joined those zealots that followed Prince Charles the Pretender till his defeat at Culloden, but his son John McDougall fought in the American war in the reign of George the 3rd, and at the end of the war, settled near Pictou, Nova Scotia. Had a large family of sons and kept a ferry & my Uncle Neill McEachern in 1821, on his arrival there from Mull, was very kindly entreated by him and wished him to settle there, but he came to this Island.
The forenamed Dougald married Anna MacKinnon, a daughter to Duncan (mor) MacKinnon (Darrach) i.e. ????? Ardmianach. Dougalds surviving family were two daughters
Christina i.e. my grandmother, & Mary. When Christina was weaned, her mother Anna McKinnon, nursed a daughter to McKinnon of Strath. She was wife to Judge Stewart, PEI and mother of some of the Stuarts of whom the DesBrisays of Charlottetown are descended.
Dougald MacDougall (mor i.e. big), my great-grandfather, was a very charitable man. Many stories are related thereof, one I will set down at present. One very scarce spring when he was planting some potatoes, a poor old widow was begging some potatoes to plant. She went where he was and related her case. He was commencing the last ridge or piece to finish the sets, which were all the potatoes he had, as people in that early stage of potato culture generally had none after planing them. He said to the widow - this is all I have left but I will give them to you, and I will trust to God to make up the deficiency; he finished the ridge the same as the others, one of his reasons for so doing, was to shun the reflections of his wife for giving away the seed, (Matthew Vi.3), and further more it is affirmed that ridge grew as well, if not better, that the others and of a different kind that never was there before or after. This part of the story seems rather miraculous, but I have heard it affirmed by old men, people both in the Old Country and this. (Mark IX.23 Mat.21.1-22). His second daughter Mary. was married to Allan McDonald, the son of John, the son of Alexander, as they called him, he had three sons John, Donald, Angus. John was an active man was in the army with my Uncle Neill in 1798. Donald, a very handsome man, served 21 years in the East Indies in a Highland Regiment, returned, had a large pension & lived with his brother Angus in Killiemore, Mull. And after taking up his pension in Tobermory, returned home, was found dead sitting leaning against a stack of peats 2, or 3, miles from home. His brother Angus, became afterwards, melancholy, for life.
MacEacherns of Killiemore Ardmianach
Having so far followed the MacDougall line of relations, I will again turn to the MacEacherns. My grandfather Charles McEachern, who was married to Christina MacDougall, his eldest son Neill & his younger son was Dougald.
Their father Charles was a very vigorous active man, but his father Neill was especially so, being very swift of foot. There is an instance I forgot to write before, concerning his extraordinary agility. The gentry, the aristocrats of the country, had a fox-hunt and the smartest of the people were called out to help the sport. During the chase this Neill out ran the dogs and caught the fox. The gentry were put out of conceit of their boasted dogs. They said he caught the fox unawares, to ‘let it go again’ prove the matter which was done, and when it was supposed to be sufficient distance off, he got leave to start, which he did, and caught him again. They made a second objection, and he told them to let it go again, which they did, and to a much farther distance. They told him it was time for him to start now, and if he would catch him it was strange, which he did, and caught him the third time. He swung him round and striking his head to the heel of his shoe, killed it, saying "he’ll not give me another heat". This was done in a large field in the rear of Tirorain? farm, Ardmianach.
The recording such, may to some seem frivolous, but unless we mention such of their particular deeds as we heard often of, we will only record their bare names. His son Charles was to the Lowlands, after his son Neill had returned from the army, he gave the place to him in 1803. Neill i.e. my Uncle, and my father Dougald, went to the Lowlands as wages were high, owing to the scarcity of men caused by the war with France. They both worked at the clearing out of the foundation of the Duke of Argyle’s new Castle at Roseneath, Dumbarton Shire. My father was then young, being only 18, but he stood the work well, though many able men left on account of the heavy work, it being all done by contract.
He looked so young that the contractor, Mr. Brodie would not promise him high wages, but when the work was over, he gave him the same as the rest - saying that he earned it well.
Neill returned to Mull and got married to Effie McLaine, daughter to Dond. the son of Allan (bane) i.e. fair. My grandfather Charles, as I said before, after his eldest son Neill had married, and taken charge of the place, went a trip to the Lowlands to see some of his relatives, especially a cousin of his own, a Charles MacGillvray, near Helensburger, Dumbarton Shire, with whom he went to work a few weeks to Mr. Dennistown’s of Colgrain, who was so pleased with his services, and tidy manners, that he proposed to him to fetch his family there and that he would give him an easy situation for life in a porter’s lodge, or whatever employ would suit him. He afterwards returned home to Mull, but never went back to the Lowlands. He had a brother Donald, who lived across Lochscridain? in a place named "Coille Beithach ne gower", whom he used to visit in his declining years; once a year to mend his nets & at which he was a superior hand. Of his last visit, an incident is related which was a little before his death. On the night of his arrival there, in his sleep, he heard a voice or person saying "Charles, make for home, thy days are not long (or many). When he got up in the morning he prepared for home to the surprise of his brother, at his unusual haste, but he would not be persuaded to remain, and departed for home. Having arrived smart, after travelling round the head of the Loch which is a long distance, and began at his usual employments. The time of year I, at present, don’t know, but if I can find out yet I will perhaps set it down, but I suppose it to be in the Spring, as it is said he was delving with a spade the week that he died. He was fresh and ruddy as in youth, and not a gray hair on his head. He took his last illness after his return from his brothers.
His eldest son Neill’s first wife died in Killiemore, leaving three sons, and two daughters. Their names are John, Donald, Mary, Ann, & Dougald. He afterwards married Mary Campbell, daughter to John Campbell, Tapull, by whom he had Marion, Christy, Charles, Colin Neill, Catherine, Janet.
Marion was born in Mull, and the rest in P.E. Island at Canoe Cove. My Uncle i.e. Neil, was a good scholar, an excellent writer & kept a School in Tapull before he went to the Army. And one of his scholars attained to a Colonel with the education given to him by my Uncle; his name was Lauchlin MacQuarrie.
Before I turn to my father’s history, I will give a short account of Neill’s family. John, the eldest, when we came to this place, had a 100 acres taken? from the Lady Fannings in Rice Point, now called Big Point, and had commenced to work on it. He lived on it and he was the means of our coming near him. He got married to a daughter of Dougald Bell’s at Long Creek. Their surviving family was Dougald, Effy & .............. (blank space). He remained there till 1849. Had cleared a great deal, and was quite comfortable, but he took a notion to leave, and went to Buctouche, in New Brunswick, along side of his brother Donald, who was the means his leaving the Island. He was a very kind, honest, and industrious man, and has 300 acres of land there and is still living, being at the time of writing this, about 62 years of age. His brothers Donald and Dougald are both married there. John & Dougald were both subject of the Revival that began in 1829-30 under the preaching of the Revd. Donald MacDonald, Min. of the Church of Scotland. So were his two sisters. Mary, who is married to a Mr. Hardie, Little York, and Ann who is married to her cousin Donald McLean, Argyle Shore, Lot 30, PEI.
Of Neill’s second family, Marrion is married to Duncan MacEachern*, Christina to Donald Darrach (Smith), Catherine to Arch. Campbell, Canoe Cove, Janet to Duncan MacKinnon, Charles to a .........… (blank space) McLean, who died. He is married the second time. Colin is married to Ann McDougald, Lot 30, and the youngest son Neill, who was a teacher for some years on the Island, left for Canada and afterwards to Michigan. He enlisted in the Federal Army against the South, and was a few days after his arrival in Washington, promoted a Corporal in the Michigan, 6th (I think) Regt. of Cavalry, was to a great many engagements. In one of which, out of 1200 men and 12 Captains of the Regt., only 300 men & 1 Captain remained. When the war was over he returned to (I think) Michigan where he married. Their father Neill, who died at Canoe Cove Jan. 13th, 1859, aged 90, was born 1769, left a widow who is still living and at this time i.e. 1866, able to work. Was a very kind & friendly virtuous woman, as are all her daughters too. And all were subjects of that blessed Revival formerly mentioned in 1829-30 to 36, and afterwards in 1860-61 under the same Rev. Donald MacDonald.
Of my father’s sisters, Christina was married to Malcolm McFadyen, whose son Donald is a tailor & piper Charlottetown. He had three sisters & one brother, John. He died in youth in Mull & his three sisters - Christy, Ann, and Marrion, were married in Mull - were smart tidy women.
My father’s sister Ann was married to John McKinnon of Tapull, Uncle to John McKinnon, DeSable, PEI, in the place that Mr. Fairbairn had his. Ann left no family and died in Tapull.
My aunt Catherine was married to a widower at Laggan Lochbuy, of the name of Duncan Campbell. He had 4 sons by his first wife who were all very kind to her. Two of them were, in 1821, in the employ of McLaine of Lochbuy. Her own family were Charles, Dougald, Duncan, and Marrion. Of the others I don’t know their names, or whether she is alive or where they are.
My father was born in Killiemore, Ardmianach, in the Parish of Kilfinichen, Mull, according to his own writing, in 1785, about the beginning of November. He was baptized by the Rev. Dugald Campbell, Minister of the Parish, he being some of his first baptisms. When a boy, he was to school at Tapull, where was for a short time an excellent Teacher of English. When my father made rapid progress having a strong memory, and of a quick apprehension; at that time if any of the scholars spoke Gaelic in school, or coming to or going home, if informed on, they were punished. My father on one occasion, was punished by making him wear his bonnet till next day, stuck full of feathers. But he did not go far from school when he pulled them out and scattered them to the wind. As he was a favourite of Mr. Forbes, he allowed him to pass and took no further notice of their accusations. He made good progress in reading, writing, arithmetic, while Mr. Forbes remained there. And when he removed, wished his parents to send him to school to his next station which, however desirable, was not convenient. He afterwards acquired a thorough mastery of reading and writing Gaelic, and being fond of Poetry, he committed to memory a vast amount of Scripture, Psalms, Assian’s ?? Gaelic Poems, and purchased the works of the best Gaelic poets, Collections, etc. As in his youth, the high wages in the Lowlands enticed many of the youths to go there, and on occasions visiting friends in Edinburgh & Glasgow, etc. he bought many books which he eagerly perused.
Having a desire to acquire the Geographical and Religious position of the world, he some years after his marriage, purchased Brooks’s Universal Gazetteer in 2 volumes, and Dr. Hurd’s Rites and Ceremonies of All Nations - works which contained a very full information. And by the access to such, he in early life, the writer hereof acquired an information beyond many of his youthful companions.
My father Dougald MacEachern, before he was married, and during the high wages caused by the Bonepartean War, worked in many of the best Agricultural Counties of the Lowlands of Scotland, in the Lothians, in Lanarkshire, Renfrew, Haddington, Berwickshire, by which he acquired the knowledge of the most approved methods of indeed most manual labour.
His first services in Mull was with MacQuarrie of Ulva, in Gribbon after his Macquarries return from the American war, who was very kind to him, being of an extraordinary gentlemanly disposition. He used to take him with him in his visits to the several gentlemen with whom he served during the American campaign, the Laird of Lochbuy, etc. He afterwards went to service at Glencannie in the centre of Mull to a Ewen McIntyre, where also was Sarah Fletcher, where they formed the first acquaintance, her people being old residents of that quarter, of which more afterwards. My father after this went to Cowal after being to Roseneath Castle. Though only about five feet eight high, yet very few ever met him who could lift or carry with him, being of an extraordinary strong built frame. When at Cowal though only about 20 years, being there at kelp making, which when shipping, they were carrying it along side of the ebbed vessel. Him and another very strong man were carrying together, when this man’s hands failing, called to my father to let the barrow down, as his hands were failing. Who telling him to try to reach the vessel as the place was covered with water, but the man staggered and the barrow falling, broke, and the mass which was one lump, was in the water a distance from the vessel. Being in a fix, my father told a few of them if they could lift it, he would try to carry it. We can lift it, said they, but no man can carry it. However, he insisted and they raised it out of the water on his back and he carried it, and held it on his back till a string was got round it to hoist it into the vessel. The hardness of it was what he complained of, and not the weight. A piece had to broke off it to admit it down the hatch, the weight of the remaining part was noted in Glasgow - as a curiosity, though I don’t now remember. This would have been .........…
As I stated before, he worked at jobs etc. over most of the Lowlands to Chirnside? in Berwickshire where in the employ of a Mr. Fletcher? for some time who made him offers to engage with him on very advantageous terms for life. He however, generally once a year, returned to see and help his parents, and to perhaps stay a few months or weeks & to start for the Lowlands again.
On the 11th of August 1808 he was married to Sarah Fletcher, formerly mentioned. He was 22 and she 21 years of age, by the Rev. Mr. MacLaren?, Glasgow. Her three brothers were married & living in Glasgow, she being the youngest of the family living. He afterwards went to Mull where the writer of this narrative was born on the 30th August 1809, and baptized by the same Rev. Dougd. Campbell who baptized my father.
Being so used to the Lowlands, he could not long content himself to the what he now deemed, obsolete ways of the Highlands. So he bade what was a last adieu to his native place and parents, and moved to the Low country again, rather to take his chance of earning a livelihood for himself and family there, than hold lands so remote from markets, as the Hebrides then were.
Accordingly he went to Roseneath, where his wife, child, and sister-in-law Effy, next harvest followed him to Helensburgh in Dumbarton Shire at a relation of his fathers formerly mentioned, Charles McGillvray, where he soon procured employment, after he quit the planting of trees for the Duke in Roseneath. He began first to work for Messrs. Wm. & Robert Grant of Auchintulloch by the bridge of Froon, who had a large sheep & cattle farm in Glenfroon, which comprised three or four formerly large farms. His master was so well pleased with his active manly way, that he retained him in his employment, which were various as he was a great dealer in timber etc.
As Mr. Grant - almost every summer took a large tract of oak woods to cut and peel, from Sir James Colquhoun of Luss, my father had constant employ for years. They worked on the Island of Loch Lomond (that picturesque scenery) some summers and winters.
I omitted to state that Mr. Grant gave him a house in Stuckidow in Glenfroon, the only liveable house on that farm in the which we lived for nine years.
Near this part of Glenfroon was the scene of that feud between the MacGregors and the Colquhouns, so noted in the annals of Scottish clansmen.
This is one of the most beautiful valleys of Scotland, and the farm we lived on was a beautiful, quiet, sequestered place, but from which a lovely view of most part of the valley for four miles could be obtained. Here my brothers Donald, Charles, Duncan & Dougald were born, and baptized by Mr. Allen F.? McArthur, the then Minister of the Row Parish. Here I went first to school to Mr. Abercrombie, a kind, diligent, and also a good scholar, tho’ aged and lame, whose native place was not far from that of the noted George Buchanan. I went first in company with a maternal Uncle of mine, Neil Fletcher, who went there to finish Arithmetic & Bookkeeping - and after he left, I and Donald used to go regular to the Chapel (as the farm on which the last schoolhouse was on, which was something nearer was called). We had to cross the River Froom which was fordable, but in the time of heavy rains swelled and became dangerous in a short time. We were often cause of great uneasiness to our mother as the bridge was only two spars crossed by short deals spiked across, without railing for foot passengers, which was tow miles from home.
An attempt to build a bridge was made, and a large one, arched, stone bridge was finished but the foundation seems was not firm, and on the removal of the wooden support, the building (as the masons began too late to suspect) gave way, and the forementioned wooden temporary construction put up in its place, and remained there during our time. I and Donald made up progress in school, considering our age, and had on that account the silent abuse and sneers of older scholars whom we outstripped, which we found hard to endure after our Uncle’s departure from school. My Uncle had a great fancy for learning, proposed to Mr. Abercrombie that I should begin Latin & procured two books, the Rudiments and Corderii. I began the Rudiments in my eighth year, as I see by the dates I wrote at the time, but I believe the Master tho’ a good English scholar, was deficient in Latin, as I understand in after schools.
My father was generally in the employ of the Grants while they were able to carry on business to profit, but through the mismanagement or roguery of their foreman in the wood business, so they suffered heavy losses and became bankrupt, and gave up their large farms in Glenfroon, confining themselves to the homestead at Auchintulsch?? near the bridge of Froon by Lochlomond.
My father thereby losing the support of his best friends, joined with a Robert MacFarlan at the Garelock-head who had a fishing wherry for two summers. And afterwards with a John Stewart at the same employment, which he followed for some time, before, and after we left Glenfroon, the which before I quit writing of, I will say something of its inhabitants. Our next neighbours across the river was a widow McIntyre (or Wright which is the same) & her three sons who left for New York in 1820 when we left the Glen.
The next - Ewings next 2 McNeils & Andrew Jardine - all very kind people. A Doug. Grant - a great favourite of my fathers, also MacFarlans, McAulays, Glens, etc. the kindest people one could wish - the McNeils were very much so. One of the old men used to say after we left, "That he felt the Glen so lonesome when Stuckidow was without a smoke and when he did not see the nice little boys passing to school with their tartan kilts."
In the summer of 1820 we left Glenfroon and moved across the hill to the Torr, a farm on a beautiful emminence fronting the Garelock & Roseneath Castle, 1 mile N.W. of Helensburgh, where we remained one year. Our good neighbours of Glenfroon came to fetch our furniture round by Helensburgh to the Torr & my father, mother & children took across the moor, and some friends on foot bidding adieu to the beautiful valley of Froon.
Of all the places in Scotland, my attachments feel to concentrate more to Glenfroon. I suppose as it was there my earliest recollections are. My first going to school, and many other recollections of childhood, which seem to keep a hold on the attachments through after life. Before quitting Glenfroon, I will give a sketch of its situation etc. It is situated in the centre of that part of Dumbarton Shire, anciently called Lennox or the Isle of Ben-leven. The River Froon runs from the N.W. end of the valley, and is joined by many large brooks in its course, till it empties itself into that largest of British lakes, Lochlomand. Many trout and small salmon go to the head of the river. The upper part of the glen being the levellest and most beautiful, some rocky rapids in the lower part prevent heavy salmon coming up from the lake. It now wholly belongs to Colquhoun of Luss since the Buchanans lost their part of it, and he owns the greater part of the Isle of Benleven. The Glen was the scene of the feud between them and the MacGregors. I think about the year 1603. It was a great slaughter commenced by the Colquhouns, but the MacGregors were victorious, and dealt destruction in the retreat, but the results so managed by the Colquhouns in their representations to the King, as to procure almost the total destruction of the Clan Gregor. Such mad feuds were made to be deplored at such a time, after such progress by the Reformation of Religion in Scotland, and being also such a weakening of the strength and unity of the Nation in such eventful times. I will conclude this part of the narrative with the concluding verse of a Poem composed in memory of the feud, by a MacGregor, as far as I remember, who wrote concerning these matters sometime in the beginning of the present century, which I read when a youth, and now quote from memory.
"But years have past and ages gone,
And scarcely in the Vale is known
The field of feud, the Battle stone
And tract of victory.
The sound of war does cease to thrill,
The hunters vanish from the hill,
And but the face of nature still,
Remains in loneliness."
Torr: In the summer of 1820 we moved over the hill to the Torr, under a promise that Macaulay from Glenfroon, who came there the previous year should employ my father, and build a new house for us, and we lived in the one end of his own new house while there, but old Walter McAulay, taking ill after a long confinement to bed, died and his son Peter, being a bad manager, and spendthrift, soon run through his thrifty father’s property. And not paying the rent to Mr. Buchanan, the then landlord, his stock it was sold at auction. My father being before this disappointment in his engagements, joined a John Stewart, who lived by the brook near the bridge at Row, & followed the herring fishery in the loch, and as far as Campbelltown Cantyre, the which was some times profitable, and at other times very precarious. As to the employment in that country in the summer, it is very pleasant - the varying beautiful scenery of the different Lochs and Straits, from the river Clyde to Campbellton, cannot be surpassed in any country, and the enlivening scenes of sometimes near or over a thousand wherries around the Isle of Arran on a fine July evening, is indeed an interesting sight, and from which as a nursery of seamen, many of the Clyde shipping are supplied for their Commerce over the Globe. In the autumn of 1820, I, in the company of friends there, after being in Glenforsa a month, my Uncle went with me to Killiemore, Ardmianach to my Uncle Neill MacEachern’s, and after a few days, he left me there and he returned for Dumbarton Shire. My brother Neill was born in Torr on Dec. 8th, 1820. In the summer of 1821 my father removed to Roseneath to the Hill of Camsail, the next farm to the Clachan, where the Church & School are. When my Uncle Neill MacEachern left Mull for America, I remained with my Aunt Anna, who came to Roseneath with me in August 1821. My father still followed the fishery with Stewart having the wherry between them. As many of the children as were of school age, went to Mr. Dodds’ School, he was then in the first or second year of his teaching there, an excellent teacher of Greek, Latin, French, German, Mathematics, Navigation, Geometry, Algebra, Bookkeeping, Drawing, and indeed all the qualifications necessary to a Schoolmaster in any country Parish in Scotland. He was still teaching when the last letter was sent to me in 1866.
Being a young man from the Borders, and taught in the best Colleges in Scotland, having the most approved modes of pronunciation etc., the parish reaped much improvement by his school, and indeed, he was a man of very civil, attractive manners, taking much pleasure in the improvement of his pupils, and in conjunction with the Rev. Robt. Story, the Parish Min., whose Manse was in sight of the Schoolhouse, every kind endeavour was used for their moral and spiritual training.
After moving to Roseneath, my father, when the fishing season was over, began to work in the winter for Lorne Campbell Esqr., Portkiln, where as in all his farming services, his work gave satisfaction, and was always employed in his services when he could attend, and Mr. Lorne proving a good friend to him in any strait, my father discontinued the precarious, tho’ honest, occupation of a fisherman, and began to work regular for Mr. Lorne, and after sometime, a house becoming vacant, we left Mr. Robert Campbell’s farm and moved to a more convenient place to Mr. Lorne’s employ, to the upper Barracks, where my father could be home to almost all his meals.
Before we left the Hill of Camsail, Mr. Lorne took a fancy for me to go to his house to wait on his table to go for letters. As he was Factor to the Duke of Argyle, I had daily to meet the post. I was always allowed to take his own riding horse when he did not use it. When I was there, the present Duke of Argyle was generally there, being a boy, he was the second son, and was intended for the Army, and to be free from the too pampering ways of home, he & his nurse were sent to Portkiln as Mr. Lorne’s mother was such a trustworthy gentlewoman, his manly trainings were entrusted to them. (Mr. Lorne being unmarried while I lived with him). The heir since dying, the second son became Duke, who I believe is nothing the worse of his early training. This was from 1824 to 27. I remained with Mr. Lorne Campbell two years and went the next winter to school to Mr. Dodds. Afterwards I bought a nice boat at Greenock, and having procuring nets, I and Donald, and sometimes Charles or Duncan, earned a good deal by attending the herring fishing, when they came into the Garelock, which was in the month of July, the which we occasionally followed for three summers. Once we went to Loch long & Lochgyle tho’ I was only 18 years, the others being all younger, yet by our diligent attention to the fishing, we made a great deal more money than the other youths who worked at day wages, of which we had also the chance when the fishing was over, which was generally in the beginning of harvest.
In the summer of 1829 we made by one morning’s fishing, nearly 8 pd. Sterling, in Greenock, besides many other good fishings, so that the herring buyers of Greenock called us the "lucky boys". My father still attended regularly with Mr. Lorne.
In the Autumn of 1828, Donald my brother, by Lorne Campbell’s recommendation, engaged with Mr. Rawdon Clavering, second son to Lady Augusta, sister to the then Duke of Argyle. This Rawdon Clavering was a Lieutenant in the Royal Tappers and Miners. He was then a widower, and had two young boys. After some seeks he proceeded to Levonport in England, where he continued till we sent for him on the eve of our departure for America.
My father was sent to Appin by Mr. Lorne in 1828 to Fasanacloich to a Mr. Stewart for a drove of sheep. This Mr. Stewart was married to one of MacLaine of Lockbuy in Mull’s daughters. When she understood that my father was originally a native of her father’s Estate, and had many boys, she prevailed on him to send one of them to her, and on his return Charles went by Steamer from Greenock to Appin, and was also there till the time of our preparing to go to America in 1830.
Before quitting my account of our sojourn in Roseneath, I will endeavour to give a short sketch of its appearance, its owners, and people. Roseneath is a beautiful peninsula of land in that part of Dumbartonshire or Lennox, called sometimes the Isle of Ben-leven.
That arm of the sea called Garelock, runs up to the North of Roseneath for 7 or 8 miles, almost landlocked by Roseneath, and other points on the Helensburgh side the beautiful bays, coves and clean pebble beaches on its shores, wooded in some places to the water’s edge. Its good holding ground for anchorages made it the winter resort of yaughts being so sheltered from the southerly, westerly, and indeed all winds, and generally a pleasure trip by steamers was to the Garelockhead, being by water the most convenient. Of its beautia the Rev. Robt. Story the Min. (tho’ a native of a Border County) in his Memoirs of Isabella Campbell pg. 258, thus writes "living in a spot where nature exhibits to the eye, some of her most beautiful, as well as some of her grandest appearances".
The Duke of Argyle has a most magnificent palace in Roseneath (being the owner of the peninsula), and the grounds are expensively laid out by walks, lanes, avenues lined with native and foreign trees, a flower garden of ten acres, containing neither fruit nor vegetable, but shrubs, herbs, and flowers, from every clime that would grow in the open air in Scotland, surrounded by a lilach (sic) or lilyook hedge overhanging a pailing which, in the time of blossom, had a beautiful appearance. In our time there was no Church, but the Established Church, of which the forenamed Mr. Story was Minister. At the Dissruption of 1843 he clung to the Old Church, he said in the Assembly on the following day, "If there had been more praying and less speaking, the Church of Scotland would not be in its present position".
There have been many changes there since, in many respects, and the place greatly altered in appearance, the present Duke having let for building most of the Roseneath shore to Glasgow, people so that the retired quiet shores are now become a line of buildings for summer enjoyments and winter retirements for those sick of crowded cities.
Early in the spring of 1830 we heard of a vessel sailing to Prince Edward Island, where my father’s brother had gone in 1821, and we thought it would be a good opportunity for us, as few or none sailed from Clyde for that place, and we were informed that it was a Priest Macdonald from the Island that chartered her to bring settlers for his own Estate.
The writer hereof, then 20 years, proceeded to Glasgow, where we were informed the Clergyman lived with the then priest of the only R.C. Chapel there, Mr Scott. I went to the confessional, where I was informed he was, I pushed my way through the large edifice after night to the door of the confessional. Likely being taken for a member, an officer being seated opposite the door, I applied for admission, stating that I was a stranger had come from a distance. He told me to go in when the one that was in came out, but two Irish women stood one at each side of the door, and when the door opened one stepped in. It being Saturday night, each was eager to be done.
The officer said, why did you not press in, I replied I did not like to force in, on which he sprang to the door and told Mr. Macdonald, and the Irish woman was turned out and I was admitted, when I made a bargain with him to take us as passengers, having our choice to settle on his Estate or elsewhere. This was a brother to Mr. Dond. Macdonald of Tracadie in this Island, from Glenaladale in Scotland.
The vessel was the Corsair brig of Greenock, Capt. James Hamilton, of which more afterwards. She was to sail in March but did not sail till April.
Accordingly, we resolved to prepare to leave for America, being tired of a servil life in the Lowlands of Scotland, and my father since my remembrance, seemed to have a great wish to go to America, but could never put together what would bring his family there. We now had a good opportunity. I had saved a good deal by the fishing and Donald had earned a good deal in Mr. Clavering’s employ which all lay in his hands he finding him in clothes etc. and one pound sterling a month for one & a half years - and paid his passage home from England, being very sorry for his loss as a trustworthy boy. He sent him by steam from England to Ireland, and from that to the Clyde, it being winter there were not so many Steamers during that season.
Now that there was a vessel direct to the Island, my father communicated his views to Mr. Lorne Campbell who replied that tho he was loath to part with his services knowing that he would miss him much; yet when there was such a good chance and that we could clear our way; for the future good prospect of a wider field of action for his then many young sons, he would certainly give him every encouragement, and further him therein. We laid out a great deal of money in Greenock in buying many things that we could do without, as the money would be of far greater benefit to us in the Island, as much stock etc. could be bought for a small sum in cash, but we were misled by letter telling us to bring this & that - as if were going to an uninhabited Island in the outermost parts of the earth where nothing could be got but what we could bring with us.
After having fitted out ourselves, we were ready to sail from the Clyde On Saturday evening, the 5th of April, and on Sabbath we were towed out to the "Tail of the Bank", and cast anchor waiting for the first favourable winds.
My Uncle Neil Fletcher, whom we left in Roseneath, came to see us again there on Monday, to whom we bade a long farewell, and a kinder Uncle could scarcely be, and we sailed on Tuesday from I think the 8th of April 1830.
I see by the Almanac of 1830 that my father marked the 6th as our departure from Greenock, and Wednesday May 18 our landing in Charlottetown - JME1870.
Voyage To America - jld
We had head wind going out the Firth of Clyde, on the third day we laid our course on Friday at Torry lighthouse to cross the Atlantic, being by compass, West by Nor. Next day we sailed in sight of the west coast of Ireland till the afternoon, when the Captain called the Irish passengers to see a last look of their native land, as it was fast receding from sight.
Many were the legends of ancient times that were repeated by the aged men, of Patrick, ColumbKille etc.
In the course of the night it blew a gale and many were the wailings of the Irish women. But it was only the first of a succession of contrary storms; a week after we lost sight of Ireland after daylight, a squall with a thick fog carried away our main & fore topmasts under full sail and a smart boy from Greenock, an only son, was thrown from the topgallant yard while in the act of furling the sail; when the masts were carried away he and another Isle of Skye boy, of the name of McQuaig, were on each end of the yard which tipt over the one end turning, in ?? and the other out, on which was the unfortunate boy who was slung twenty yards from the vessel, and on his rising to the surface, he swam on his back against the breakers till the fog obscured him from sight. The ship became unmanageable, but the crew ran to lower the boat, but the Captain prevented them, saying that every one of them would be lost. Indeed I believe he was right as the boat was a poor one and across the stern and would fill in the lowering. The laws were not so much put in force then as now, in regard to ships being fitted with good boats. This disaster was the means of our passage being a tedious one as the vessel had to be rigged of a new on the main ocean tho’ providentially, we had two spare topmasts on board, but the weather being stormy, we had much delay though the Captain was a ship carpenter, and an able active young man. Yet before we made land she was full-rigged again to royal masts.
It was something strange when the masts were carried overboard that the foremast fell to the windward side, whereby the lad was pitched to windward and on that account nothing could be thrown to him as the vessel was unmanageable and drifting fast to leeward, being in piteous plight - with sails and rigging yards across the stumps of topmasts, reminding me of a weeping young woman with dishevelled long hair tossed in every direction.
The rain in the mean time fell in torrents while the sea broke in sometimes to windward, the Captain jumped from his bed in his drawers, taking an axe in one hand. mounted the rigging to cut & clear away the hanging rigging. The shouting of mate & second mate to the men, the vanishing in the fog of the swimming smart boy etc. was a scene I thought at the time, would ever remain on my mind. When the Captain came down he wished me to take the wheel as he wanted all the men to take in the rigging, which I did for some time, my father and every one that could lend them a hand. This was on a Friday, the weather go more moderate and dry, and every one helped, they worked on Sabbath next it being fair, wishing to get as much as possible done before another storm, which indeed were frequent - as we were many a time have to, under a close reefed main topsail, the wind being contrary, so that we never lay on course since we left Ireland, till we got soundings on the Banks of Newfoundland. There was a birth on the passage and on a stormy night too.
Landing in Cape Breton - on to Charlottetown, PEI - jld
The first land we made was the east shore of Cape Breton, not far from the Gut of Canso, on a Sabbath early in the morning, it being foggy the breakers foaming while on the rocks was the first thing the mate observed. The day turned fine and much was the joy of the passengers, male & female, to see inhabited land after such a baffling voyage. Next day was fine and the calm caused us to cast anchor in Plaster Cove in the Gut of Canso, and several of the passengers landed on Cape Breton side, but a fine breeze springing up the clinking of the windlas warned us to haste to the vessel. Many of our countrymen with boats attended on us. Next morning we were sailing along the Woody ??Islands ?? but off Bell Creek our vessel grounded on a bank not laid on their Chart, which detained us till next high water, when signalling to McLeod, the then pilot from Point Prim, who conducted us safe to Charlottetown harbour. The morning of Wednesday, the 19th of May 1830, we began to look around us in Charlottetown harbour. I admired the landlocked situation thereof, and the appearance of the farms around the rivers that lead thereto. Indeed they almost looked as well then as at the time of writing this description thereof tho 36 years has elapsed, with the exception of some additional houses in a few fences. Tho’ Charlottetown improved vastly till the last destructive fire in July last, which is said to have destroyed 108 houses. There was only one brick house there when we came, but there were some pretty good edifices such as Mr. Holland’s at or near the burying ground. But tho’ the Town has greatly improved and increased, yet the improvement was so slowly progressing that it was not so perceptible. As to wharfs, there was only a short piece of Queen’s Wharf as far out as the fishing boats land their fish, & the first steamer that called in to Charlottetown was in 1830, a small one from some of the mines, the "Richard Smith" she was named.
The Government house & Province Building, the Academy, all the present Churches, the Poplar Island Bridge, Wharfs etc. were all put up since our arrival.
We remained in Charlottetown two or three days after our arrival at Donald McFadyen’s, the Tailor, my cousin, till my Uncle Neil McEachern from Canoe Cove went into meet us.
The Corsair Brigg in the meantime, sailed for her destination in Bay Chaleur where the Captain’s father resided, who had emigrated a few years previous from Arran in the Firth of Clyde, with many of the people of Arran, as the Duke of Hamilton, the proprietor of that Island, purchased a large grant of land from the Government for the poorer class, where they could employ themselves in their wanted employment - boating & fishing.
This Captain Hamilton’s family was in good circumstances at home, and in the Bay Chaleur, where they carried on shipbuilding and lumbering to the Clyde. The Captain was very partial to our family, and before he left Charlottetown he offered to take us free & find us, to the Bay, and give us all employ that were of age to work, and find us choice land and plenty of it. But we declined going as our relations were here, as for to come here, we left home.
I said formerly that my Uncle Neil from Canoe Cove went to meet us in Town when he heard of our arrival, and glad he was to meet his only brother & family.
We accordingly came with him by land to his place & sent our luggage by boats to Canoe Cove. When we came it was spring the earliest since the woods were in full leaf on that 17th? May.
On Saturday we came from Town and on Monday next I & my cousin John McEachern went to Town to the Misses Fanning and took a 100 acres between John McEachern Islay, and the MacQuarries, and afterwards the places on which I and Donald settled.
My Uncle at Canoe Cove had plenty of land burnt for potatoes & also our cousin John who had began next to Wm. Brien on Big Point or (Rice Point in Chart). We planted a great field in each place by which we had plenty for use & seed as in these times they grew abundantly & of the best quality. The crops of potatoes on the Island were so abundant that next summer they were sold for 4 pence a bushel, and some green houses on this shore were full till cleared out for room for the new next autumn. All the crops grew well then before the rot or blight made its appearance, the which is but a confirmation of the pouring out of the seventh or last vial into the air by which the atmosphere is so tainted that its withering effects are felt by man & beast & the productions of the ground.
In the Autumn of 1829 previous to our arrival, the beginning of a Revival had begun to make its appearance, under the preaching of the Rev. Dond. McDonald, Minister of the Church of Scotland, the which blessed Revival after beginning at Rustico, spread over many parts of the Island and at the time of our coming, had made considerable progress along from Nine Mile Creek to DeSable, & in some instances to Cape Traverse, Seven Mile Bay, etc.
The roads were bad then hereabouts as from Nine Mile Creek to DeSable, it was all along shore when the tide was out, - only a blaze through the woods which could not be passed at night. But in a few years we had very good roads as the land was generally dry.
We used to go to hear Mr MacDonald when he made his rounds which was every two or three weeks then, as he did not, at that time, go near Orwell.
We thought ourselves well informed and were at first suspicious, as to the reality of these things, owing to their being in America perhaps, but becoming used to hear and converse about these things, and comparing these things with questions in the Shorter & Mother’s Catechism, and the Scriptures, we were gradually convinced of the reality of things which we saw and heard.
The first time I went to hear Mr. MacDonald, was to Mr Fairbairn’s place at DeSable (there being then no place of worship from Crapaud to the Blockhouse). It was in June 1830. We walked on the sands there and saw the Minister for the first time. He was then about 46 years. He was vigorous & active but quite gray-haired. His fervency in prayer, his earnest address & boldness of speech, and his proving by the Scriptures all that he applied to his hearers, his ability in Gaelic & in English, the latter being free of antiquaited accents and such a ready and easy application of Scriptures in either language, his modified style in adapting himself to the capacity of his uneducated English hearers, gained him our esteem.
On our return from the Sermon our friends used to ask our opinion of the Preacher. I said "That was something like a preacher, a well educated Minister, fluent in English and Gaelic, and not such as the little ‘would be preachers’" (which swarmed the country at that time, imposing on the credulity of simple, uninformed people, and who began to hover round the subjects of the revival like birds of prey, to drag them off to every denomination to which they belonged). The damage done by such in the country at that time was great, by their endeavours to make each for himself a party - Baptists, Methodists, etc. every self-educated schoolmaster, and many without education, strove to make parties and schisms, which was cause of much grief to the servant of the Lord by whom the Gospel was at first planted among us. But through time, these adversaries of the Truth dwindled away, and were of little esteem in the country and their adherents gathered up by succeeding intruders of little note in the country.
In July I went in Neil Campbell's schooner on a fishing voyage to Arichat & the coast of Canso, Fox Isd. and before my return the Min. had his first Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, held at the North River, somewhere near it. The Pharisitic opposers of the work of the Lord were there, but stood aloof - separating themselves and so became stumbling blocks to the weak and blind. My brother Donald was at home when I returned, and told me of the Sacrament, and that the Min. in receiving the intended Communicants gave them his hand and kissed them. I, in answer said, Well, the Apostle Paul in his Epistles writes, - "Greet the Brethren with an holy kiss".
My father had no conversation with the Min. till November after we came, he was to be at MacQuarrie’s at night and we all went there, as there were many gathered considering the state of the roads, and the scattered state of the people. After some time employed in singing of Hymns and conversing on Religious Topics, the Minister sat near my father and began to converse with him on the changes taking place in the condition of the people; which was always answered by him in the defensive; but speaking of portions of Scriptures, the Minister found him not so slack; he being also very bold and not easily overcome but speaking of Christian experience, and applying the Scriptures the Min. said "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" Rom. VIII 9. My father said he was not aware of such a passage, which was pointed out to him his foundations failed him, admitted his want of the Spirit of Christ.
He came home but Convicting grace seems to have commenced in his soul, as all next day though busy at work with us securing potatoes, his mind seemed to be otherwise engaged, and in the evening, he and my mother went to MacQuarrie’s house, where there was some met (as was often the case during the Revival), and my father not on the defensive as usual, but giving attentive ear to the singing of the Hymns, and other religious services of the night, till dawn of day, when he slipt out to the woods which were near the house, and there threw himself on his knees, being in a great agony of soul, being so convinced by the Spirit of God of his sinful and miserable condition, he remaining there till some of the MacQuarrie’s who had previously observed his apparent change of mind, went out to see what kept him, or where he was, found him in the situation described, but did not disturb him till the Lord saw fit to manifest of his grace as to enable him to arise and return with the men to declare the loving kindness of the Lord to his soul. He having found information of where the Minister MacDonald was to be that night, he resolved without delay to reach him to declare how the Lord had blessed his services to his soul.
He found him at old John Shaw’s up the West River, the Minister’s joy was great to see the wonderful change in so short a time on one who was formerly so strongly fortified against him, now to be so full of zeal for the doctrine, he formerly was so doubtful of.
My mother, who was always in her own opinion piously disposed, now began to see the fallacy of that sand foundation on which she rested her hopes, and after passing through many silent trials (being naturally of a somewhat reserved temper) had arrived at the peaceful assurance of having her faith resting on that foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently, but could not shake; throughout her pilgrimage which is now apparently drawing near its termination, being in her 80th year, and confined to bed of slight stroke of pariletic for more than a year.
The time that this gracious change came over, or was experienced by my parents, was about the latter part of November 1830. My father was in after years ordained an Elder at the first ordination of Elders by the Rev. Donald MacDonald at Nine Mile Creek in old Archd. MacDougall’s house. He was the first of a number of those there in that vicinity; my father had previously accompanied the Minister on many rounds as at the time the opposition was greater on account of the rude state of society and prevailing ignorance, intemperance etc. caused by the general want of Religious ordinances, and also the more dangerous teachings of some would-be teachers who expected to earn an indolent living off their more credulous and uninformed neighbours. My father and many others, had a ready answer to those wolves in sheep’s clothing, who at last rather than meet him & his like would slip off the road. My father was with the Min. during his first visits to Orwell, and he being an excellent Gaelic reader and superior singer of Hymns, was of great service among that Gaelic-speaking people; their attachment to him was great, as the Min. left him frequently there till he returned from his regular rounds to other parts of the country. Tho’ it is now about 20 years since he died and 34 since he went there, they still speak of him with much esteem and shew much kindness to even his grandchildren.
Illegible note below this.
He cleared a fine farm on Big Point, Lot 65, mainly by his own exertions as the boys mostly one by one, were making for themselves, except the younger Neil who remained till his father’s decease.
I and Donald began to clear for ourselves on the two farms at the E. of the Big Point Settlement, and were married long before our father’s death. Charles when young hired out & afterwards went to N. Brunswick & Duncan the same year, Dougald went to sea the year following , and only Neil remained, then quite a boy & the only girl Christina, the youngest, - so that my father had only what we who were married occasionally gave him; he enjoyed good health in general; yet the hard work to which he was used to in his earlier years, and after coming to America, made him appear older than he really was; yet he was strong and active till the day he took the ailment that proved fatal.
The time he took his last illness was in the harvest of 1846. He had been to Charlottetown to see and hear a Rev. McTavish of the Free Church from Scotland, with whose father and grandfather, he was intimately acquainted, being in Laggan Lockbuy, Mull.
My father on his return was seized with dysentery, and after suffering much for some time, recovered of that ailment and was able to move about, and came to see our family on a fine day, but it was his farewell visit, for a few evenings after, Neil came after bedtime to tell us that his father seemed dying & when I went there he was unable to speak from the sudden impression on breast; but he soon recovered his speech commending us to the Lord, depending on his promises, repeating that his promises fair not. He continued gradually to fail for some days, till toward the close, his voice was scarcely understood. Before his death, my brother Donald, an ordained Elder (long before that time) read or opened (as is the established manner of this Church) the CXVI Psalm, which was read and the VII Chapter of Luke. The Psalm & concluding verses of the chapter containing encouraging consolations suitable to a dying Christian.
The Min. MacDonald came to Argyle Shore the day after his death & though the road was hard, he along with Mr. Alexr. McNiven came to the house saying he could not stop till he saw his body and shed many tears over him, remembering his many labours with him over the Island, and his staunch & trustworthy support among the enemies of the Gospel; to use the words of the Psalmist; "Happy is the man who hath his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate".
I forgot to mention that it was on the 8th of December 1846 he died.
Mr. Archibald McDougall of Nine Mile Creek, an Elder about his own age, came about the time of his departing; the Min. returned to attend his funeral with many of the Elders & a great concourse of people, though the roads were very bare & frosty, and the day cold, to attend the funeral to Canoe Cove.
He had, I believe, only ended his 63rd year, as he wrote once that "the year 1783" was the year he was born, (about the latter part of harvest (or potato digging)).
As an instance of his faithfulness to all classes, I may mention the following. A few hours before his death Colonel (then Capt.) Cumberland, the Landlord, came from home, a distance about 9 miles, with a sleigh on a hard bare road to see him. He wept tears over him and on his departure, said to those around him "Men I would consider myself happy to lie down and die in that mans place". He was at this time speechless, so that his view of him was wholly from former conversation......... I have since seen in a School Manuscript of his "1783, Year I was born". Then he must have been 63 years a month before his decease. JME March 11th, 1872
Sarah Fletcher, my mother, died on Sab. 30th of May 1875 being 88 years in the previous March. My wife & I took her from Ch’Town in the summer of 1866 after she became paralysed, as we were afraid she might die in Town at a time of the year that it would not be easy to take her remains to Canoe Cove. She was with us near 9 years, quite helpless almost. My wife & the girls had a great deal of trouble with her. Three months before she died she awoke one night gasping for breath, and from that to the day of her death, could not lay down, nor lean back only a few minutes, but sit stooped. It was a wonder to those who sat up with her every night for 3 months how her back could endure such a position. Her constitution was very sound, never had Rheumatism, scarcely ever had a cough. Her hearing, reason etc. was perfection ever.
The following Obituary Notice was put in "The Presbyterian".
At Big Point, Lot 65, PEI, on the 30th of May, Sarah Fletcher, widow of the late Dougald McEachern, Elder, in the 89th year of her age. Deceased was a native of Braidale (Bentella), Isle of Mull. In 1830 with her husband and family, she emigrated from Roseneath DumbartonShire, to P. Edward Island, where, in conviction with the great Revival of that period, she experienced that change of heart, which her Christian demeanor evinced through life. "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord".
(Glasgow Herald & Greenock Advertiser please copy). Presbyterian June 24th, 1875. By J.M.E. Elder July 5th, 1875).
Having formerly collected fragments of some of the MacEachern history, especially, those of whom my father was descended, tho’ I have had accounts of incidents connected with other families of the same Clan, yet I defer the same at present, and shall endeavour to put down such items of traditions connected with my mother’s people, deduced from certain tradition, as the same is no doubt recorded by the families from whom they spring.?
There are many different families of that name in Scotland, and also in England, the meaning of the name being a "maker of bows & arrows".
The Fletchers of the Isle of Mull, ArgyleShire came by their surname in the following manner.
The MacLaines of Lockbouy, who owned and still do own, the south half of the Isle of Mull, were for many ages a powerful Clan, as the Island was formerly between two brothers of that name, that received grants of that Island from "Macdonald Lord of the Isles".
The family of Duart to the North spelled name McLean & those of Lockbouy for distinction MacLaine.
A Chief of that name (an illegible insertion of 2 words at this point-JLD) had a son that was a great archer, and one day when a youth, took without leave a particular good arrow belonging to his father, and before he quit shooting with it, had the mishap to break it; the which when his father found out, threatened to punish him severely if he did not find as good a one in its place.
Hearing his father’s threat would be put to execution, he retired to a private apartment in the upper part of the Castle, and after a weeks absence (as is said), presented his father with a quiver full i.e. 24 excellent arrows. His father on examining the arrows said "Smath’ an Leistairuch thru??" i.e. "Thou art a good Fletcher" and he was from that day sien???? "Leistair" and his sons Mac a Leistair or Clann a Leistair to this day.
He gave them lands in the central part of the Island which indeed was the best part for those whose taste did suit, for deer hunting & salmon fishing besides being the richest and most sheltered pastures, the which the writer hereof has seen in my youthful days. A family of that name were in Braidale & another family in Gavidale, my mothers father was of the latter family, being termed "Clann a Leistair P?iath shuileach ‘o chul na beinna tuuthairich" i.e. "The blue-eyed Fletchers from the back of "Ben-tuathierach" i.e. the "Northern mountain", as Braidale was to the south of Ben-Talla mentioned by Sir Walter Scott in his "Lord of the Isles", "Bentalla’s deir".
My mother’s mother was of the Bradale Fletcher family by her mother, tho she herself, my grandmother, was a MacPhail.
The Fletchers of Brawdale got a fine estate from his Chief as follows. Fletcher, son to Neil, married a daughter to John MacLaine of Calochoille who was herself a granddaughter to the Laird of Lochbouy.
This John Fletcher was an expert salmon fisher, and one day not very long after their marriage, he having caught a number of salmon, she said to her husband, "I will go with some of these salmon to my grandfather the Laird". Her husband replied "what does he care for them?". She replied
"I will go whatever perhaps I’ll be the better of it". Her husband told her to do as she pleased and she proceeded likely taking a horse, as the distance was 8 or 10 miles. She however arrived at the Castle and the Laird enquiring who she was etc. then asked if that husband of hers was good for anything" to which she replied "Yes poor man if he had the means". He said "how do you call him poor when has yourself". To which she replied, "a lady without property is a poor helpmate". True said he, "don’t go till I see you again". And after some time he returned with a written grant of Bradale & Bentalla "while wood would grow & water run". She returned home with the glad news to her husband. I omitted to mention the terms, which were. A handful of "fiogart" (i.e. a particular kind of mountain glass). Yearly to clean or pick his teeth. They lost this deed through overzeal for their landlord, as they lodged it with him for safe keeping & the Laird being, at one time, pursued and having some of these documents on him forgot some of them in a Cave "Uamby? Udin" in T?ontire on his own estate? and his pursuers finding them brought Fletcher his, and told him he should get it on condition he should give a fat heifer to kill for his men. Fletcher being angry at him on account of his Chief refused, & the leader said Your descendants will curse you for your niggardly ways. He replied that he did not care. Let them do for themselves he would get what would do him. So he never was restored his deed and his descendants became rent payers till the last of them left it after the letting of Bradale & Ben-talla for sheep pastures. There are only hired shepherds in that part now as the large sheep farms are held by rich farm leasers or owners.
The forenamed John Fletcher had three sons, John (ruagh Og) of Bradale, Ewen & Malcolm. These are the three large plane? trees in a row in Bradale planted by John ruagh Og. They were large trees 50 years ago, the writer has seen them in 1821. This John ruagh Og had daughters ( written below ‘daughters’ is ‘sisters’ ) who were married to respectable farmers in different parts of Mull whereby many are related. Ann, one of them was married Donald dis og MacPhail of Rohil, this Donald had two sons, Angus & Donald (og) & Catherine i.e. my maternal grandmother.
The last named Donald (og) MacPhail of Rohil was a great sheep farmer (or grazier) and cattle drover well known all over Scotland as an extensive & honest dealer, had 6 sons all holding large sheep farms in Mull - one of whom held a tract 8 or 9 miles long by 3 or 4 miles wide.
I may relate more of MacPhail’s afterwards. Malcolm was a correct Catchist?, tho’ in?tual, of strong memory.
The Fletchers of Gavidale, Glenforsa were those of whom my mother was descended, her father was Donald, son of Angus, son of Donald ban (i.e. fair) of Gavidale.
Donald Fletcher, my maternal grandfather, was married to Catherine MacPhail (whose name I marked over the leaf). They lived first in Bradale where were born all my Uncles & Aunts. Their names John, Angus, Ewen, Neil, (Duncan who died young), Mary, Isabella, Effy and (Sarah or Marion, my mother).
The sons John, Angus, & Ewen went to Glasgow. John was a quarrier, Angus a weaver, Ewen or Hugh was a turner all his life in the Calton Entry Gallowgate, & his son Hugh after him, & James the eldest married a rich heiress, was a very genteel good looking man, and lived the last accounts and was an extensive timber Merchant. Died in 1878 had a son the Firm? of Stewarts - Saint John’s, Newfoundland.
Angus’ son Donald was an overseer in a large Cotton factory, also a son John in the Army. John left sons & daughters in Glasgow.
Mary, my aunt was married to Neil Fletcher, had sons & daughters. She lived an old age, her second son Dond. died in Maritimes or Isle of France. Duncan is in Mull, & Ann the only survivors.
Isabella my Aunt, was a tall beautiful young woman. Her maternal Uncles pressed her or persuaded her against her will to marry another Fletcher. She did not live long. She left a good looking son named John. He went to Glasgow & hired with smugglers for high wages, got hurt, returned to Mull, and died in a consumption.
He had a sister Isabella. She went to Canada since we left home, expecting to fall in with our family, but we were too far from her. She married a Mr. Begg tho she is a widow in New Berlin, U.S., with her family. Another sister in Roseneath, Dumbarton Shire.
Effy, my Aunt, lived with her mother in Rohil, Mull till my grandmother’s death in 1829, aged 84. Effy remained in Rohil till a few years before her death, last of her race there; to use the words of my Uncle Neil in a letter to us from Roseneath, "like A?ssian after the Fingaelians".
Neil Fletcher my Uncle that we left in Roseneath in 1830, unmarried, after we left, got married to a Miss Shearer, a native of Cowal. He had one daughter by her named Mary. He gave her the highest education that could be procured, which she finished in Edinburgh. Her father died at Roseneath in the 71st year of his age. His widow still lives there near Rowe ferry house, and his daughter has, from the time of his death, been a Governess, first in Fife, and afterwards, in Lancashire England. Has high wages, 80 sovereigns a year, from which place she wrote me last. Indeed, she is the only one who writes me from home since her father died at Roseneath, where he is buried in the Clachan burying ground. She is now in Edinburgh, July 1871. And in Greenock (1880-81) in charge of a School, teaching French, Italian, etc. with the Mifres? Lamb.
I have now given an account of the family of my grandfather Donald Fletcher. Of himself, I forgot to write heretofore; he was 20 years older than his wife. She was 15 older than her eldest daughter.
To save his older sons from the Army, he volunteered in the Militia, was to Guernsey Island till his term was out, after his return he & family moved to Glasgow, where he worked with his sons, and where he took his last illness. He died of a pain in the kidneys, of a few days, in the 80 year of his age, and is buried in Glasgow, in Brigate Burying Ground. His wife & younger family went to Mull, where she remained except on occasional visits to Glenfroon, till her death.
So far the account of clan a Leistair or Fletchers, of Mull.
P.S. My grandfather D.F. was left an orphan at 12 years, his father left him much property which was mismanaged by Executors. This Dond. MacLaine who died at Nine Mile Creek in 1843, was his cousin by M.L.’s father & mother. J.M.E.
Dougald MacEachern’s Family
As the writer hereof has given a sketch of the history of some of his progenitors on his father and mother’s sides, he now proceeds to mention some incidents connected with the several members of his fathers family as far as he knows, or is convenient.
The writer hereof, John MacEachern, was as formerly written, born in Killiemore, Ardmianach, Parish of Kilfinichan, Isle of Mull, on the 30th August 1809, as written in my father’s Bible at the time, and is the only Hebridean or native of Argyle of the family. Was married to Mary McKinnon, third daughter of Malcolm McKinnon, Nine Mile Creek, by the Rev. Donald Macdonald on April 13th, 1837. Was ordained an Elder in the Church of Scotland by the said Rev. Dond. Macdonald at DeSable Church on Monday, Augt. 3rd, 1853. John MacEachern was baptized by Rev. Dugd. Campbell, Min. of his native Parish 1809.
Donald MacEachern was born at Stuckidow, Glenfroon on Oct. 5th, 1811. Baptized by Rev. John Allen of Rowe, was married to Mary Campbell, fourth daughter to Neil Campbell, Nine Mile Creek, on the 31st May 1838, by Rev. D. McDonald. Was ordained an Elder by the same, has six sons and four daughters. Died Nov. 28th, 1884 in his 74 year.
Charles MacEachern was born in Glenfroon, Dumbartonshire, Jan. 18th, 1814, was baptized by Rev. A. McArthur, Rowe, was married in New Brunswick, to Mary Stewart, fourth daughter to Dougald Stewart, Malpec, in 1838. Had two (3) (3 written in also - jld) sons & four daughters. He is in Mill?town, Calais, State of Maine. (Died there on Aug.28th, 1872. (1875) ).
Duncan McEachern was born in Glenfroon May 9th, 1816, was baptized by Rev. A. McArthur, Rowe. Was married to Mary McGillvray, Wilmot Creek. She died in Boston, leaving 2 sons, Neil Fletcher & John, where he is now, we know not.
Dougald Stewart’s father was "Doul mor Myin? (ban), Kintyre.
Dougald, the fifth brother was born in Glenfroon Aug. 1818, baptized by Rev. A. McArthur, Rowe. He went to sea from P.E.I. about Dec. 1838 in a vessel of Peakes to England, was to different countries - Russia, South America, & on board a British Man of War was at the bombardment of the Spanish rebels out of Salamanca? and afterwards landed and helped them to take possession of the Town. He returned to this Island about 1845, remained home till after his father’s death, sold the place, and in 1849 sailed mate in one of Frances Longworth’s to Britain, & from Clyde to several other places, but never yet returned.
Neil was born at Torr, Rowe, Dec. 8th, 1820, the sixth brother. After my father’s death went to New Brunswick and afterward married Ann Cameron & has a farm near Millcreek, Bucktouch, and has a large family. Died there Nov. 10th, 1880.
Christina, the only surviving sister was born at the Hill of Camsail, Roseneath, Dumbarton Shire, July 2, 1825, was baptized by Rev. Peter Proudfoot, Arrochar, is married to Robert Hill, Charlottetown.
Mackinnon’s or Clanna MacFhionghein
As my father-in-law Malcolm McKinnon, of Nine Mile Creek, Lot 65, P.E. Island was descended of the lineal families of that name; therefore for the information of my family I write a few extracts from the History of Scottish Clanns.
The Mackinnons are recorded to be descended from the very ancient royal race of the Macalpin Kings of Scotland. Also the Macgregors & Macquarries, & Grants, who all bore the same badge i.e. pine.
A number of the Clan lived in Strath Isle of Skye & are there yet, and another branch of the same family were settled from time immemorial in Greton? on the west coast of Mull opposite Staffa Ulva ie in Gribon is "Uamha Chlanna-Fionnairn" i.e. at the Mackinnon’s Cave" where tradition says the Mackinnons and a piper went in, in old times and never returned. Travellers still visit it entering along ways with lighted candles, the end was never reached by any that ever returned, and is not now ventured into very far - as being hazardous and for fear of foul air. A distance inward a stone table stands and a drop of water falls on each corner which has grown into a yellow petrified upright pinnacle, resembling candlesticks, & if broken off will gradually grow again. So much of the cave.
My father-in-law was a native of Gribon. His father’s name was John, son of Eachan (Hector), son of Maldonech? ii.e. Anthony etc. Eachan & Dougald mor McDougall, my father’s maternal grandfathers, were married to two sister who were daughters to Duncan mor McKinnon, Darrarach (i.e. oaks), Ardmianach. This Duncan had 7 daughters who were all married to respectable farmers & many were relations thereby. My father-in-law was the second son of said John. Hector his brother, and he, came to this Island & Hector died of dropsy unmarried and Malcolm, my father-in-law, married Mary Campbell, by whom he had 4 sons & 7 daughters who were all married. My wife Mary, the fourth of the family, was born near the present site of Southport about Dec. 14th, 1817.
All the family without an exception, were subjects of that blessed Revival formerly mentioned.
This Malcolm McKinnon died at 9 Mile Creek Jan.22, 1859 in the 68th year of his age. His widow died Sept. 2, 1865, aged 77. She was a native of Morven, but her father was a native of Mull, whose name was Alexr. Campbell. He was impressed on the Clyde, taken to Leith (1792 or 91), put on board a Man of War where he served as a Marine in many of the Naval engagements of Admiral Nelson till he fell in the engagement as far as known in which the brave Admiral lost his life 1805. His oldest son Lauchlin, enlisted in a Highland Regiment, the 78th (I think). He fell at Waterloo. Likely in the last repulse of the life guards of Napoleon. His comrade McLeod, who died at Belfast, P.E.I. said he was wounded, his bonnet & belts shot off. He said you are wounded. I will take you to the rear. "No said he till I fire another shot to be avenged on mine enemies". But he was mortally wounded & soon died.
Their Mother’s mother was a Catherine MacEachern*, a tidy, industrious woman. She had a decent brother Donald who kept the Ossian Tavern, Gallogate, Glasgow, where my father had his wedding. Another brother John, who was drowned out of a canoe at Rustico, P.E.I. His sons were Hector, who died at Tatmagouche, N.S. and Angus McEachern at Cape Traverse who is now in N.B.
*Catherine McEachern’s father was Duncan, son to Donald McEachern (called Donall a Phrinnsa) who was so illadvised as to join those over zealous partisans of Charles the Pretender. This Donald took his son Duncan with him when only 16 years, were both at Culloden, and returned after the defeat of the misguided part of many Protestants who were so foolish as to endeavour to place on the Throne a Prince of Popish education, sent to Scotland by the intrigues of France & Rome, to create a Revolution in Britain, & to divert the attention of the Army from themselves, in the war in the which France was at the time engaged.
This Duncan was married to a Christina McInnes from Mull to whom are related the McInneses of Pennett (Pinette?) P.E.I. and our Christina is a continuation of the same name. He came to this Island with his daughter Catherine & his granddaughter (my mother-in-law), & is buried in Charlottetown, where his daughter Catherine & her son James Campbell (Pilot), are also buried. This James Campbell was in his youth, an extraordinary good looking man (& loyal in the extreme). He was found dead on his face in a miry trench near the Jail. It was reported that drink was the cause, but the young man Currie, who found him, said he saw two men running from him in the dark. He called them but they made off. His hat was found at a distance. It is believed they held him in the mud till he was suffocated, he being 72 years of age. There was a competition of bagpipe music that day till late and the enemies of Caledonia were in a rage. The one that found him was returning from the competition on Sept. 30th, 1863.
The names of my brothers & sisters in law, according to their age:
1. Ann who is married to Alexr. McQuarrie. He had a farm next us but left & is now near Bonshaw & surviving family.
2. Lauchlin McKinnon married Catherine McDonald, 9 Mile Creek, had first that farm on both sides of W. branch of the 9 Mile Creek, he went to Shediac & still remains there with his family, a kind friendly man.
3. Christina, who is married to Hugh McDonald of Nine Mile Creek. They are at Shediac with their family near Lauchlin.
4. Catherine, who married Neil McEachern from Islay. His first wife died here & he afterwards married Catherine by whom he has a large family.
6. Hector, who married Elisa Perceval of Charlottetown, where they now live & family.
7. John, who is married to Louisa, daughter to Ewen McDougall, Elder, late of 9 Mile Creek, he lives on his father’s farm.
8. Alexr., who when a boy was taken a fancy of by Colonel Cumberland, with whom he served many years, & afterwards with the Chief Justice, & to U.S. in Boston & San Francisco. Returned home on account of ill health, was afterwards with Admiral Bayfield, & Steward in the Steamer Heather Belle. Married Sarah Compton; in the fall of 1865 he became dropsied and continuing in a precarious state of health at Nine Mile Creek, moved to Charlottetown where he died in Christian faith and hope on Nov. 27th 1866 in the 41 year of his age, & buried at Canoe Cove.
9. Flora, who was married to John Bollum son to Peter Bollum, Elder, Lot 49. She had 7 children, caught a cold after her delivery which came to consumption of which she died at 9 Mile Creek Dec. 23rd 1862 & buried at Canoe Cove.
10. Julian is married to John McDonald Junr. 9 Mile Creek, has a large family.
11. Janet was married to John McFadyen, West River, lived with her father & mother in law, who both died, her mother in law being great trouble to her, being confined to bed many years & helpless as an infant, attending on whom she caught a bad cold, having sometimes to attend her in ??? at midnight which came to consumption, in which lingering for 2 years, she died Nov. 6, 1865 in the 33 year of her age, leaving 6 fine boys. She is buried at West River.
Hector McKinnon died since, on Oct. 8th, 1868 in Ch’Town & is buried at Canoe Cove.
Mary McKinnon (3rd daughter of the late Malcolm McKinnon & Mary Campbell, Nine Mile Creek), the beloved wife of John McEachern, Elder, Nine Mile Creek. She departed this life on Friday, Sept. 17th, ½ past 4, ??? after an illness of 3 weeks in the 58th year of her age. She was born near Southport, Lot 58, about 14 Dec. 1817. We were married by Rev. Donald Macdonald at her father’s house, Nine Mile Creek, April 13th, 1837. She was awakened to a sense of her sinful state by about the beginning of the great Revival in 1829-30, though then very young. Was under conviction until the spring of 1836 when she was set free in the house of Arch. McDougall, Elder, the Minister Macdonald being preaching there at night & having an examination of young converts as was his practice at that time. She was a young woman of very clear experience more than ordinary, yet very modest and unassuming. Though she married so young, yet her youthful training by a deemly?? mother & under good Mistresses, together with her many Christian virtues, made her a good managing & very dutiful wife. She was a living mother, good tempered, cheerful, and kind. She had many trials in being bereft of 5 of her children when she was young, in also of which she patiently submitted to the will of her gracious Saviour, who said in John Chap.XVI-33 "These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world". To describe all her kind Christian virtues I can only repeat from the last chapter of the Proverbs 10th verse to the end. "Who can find a virtuous woman; for her price is far above rubies". Our loss is her gain, to be with Christ, which is far better: to which may the Lord make us reconciled, though we will greatly miss her all the days of our life. John MacEachern Sept.30, 1875.
A few words more. Besides being "a woman of good understanding", she was also "of a beautiful countenance", of a very fair skin, without pride, or ostentation, walking in the footsteps and bearing the image of her Saviour, whose praise she often sang in her sleep. See song of Sol. VII-9 also Psalm 149 -5 verse. JME
MacEacherns of Craigneish - (More)
I add another Edition of the old history of the MacEacherns of Craigneish from the "Scottish American Journal Dec.??30th, 1869" by Cuthbert Bede, author of West Highland Stories".
"You have all heard of the MacEacherns, and perhaps you are acquainted with Duncan MacEachern, a blacksmith in the Long Row, honest man; he is the last of his family, though the Clan was once a proud one, and held up their heads with the very best in Cantire. Shall tell you how they came south, and settled at Kilellan. It must have been at least eight hundred years ago, and MacEachern was then Laird of Craignish. It was there at the spot then call Barbreck, that the King of the Scots killed Olaf, the King of Danes, in a single combat, & they buried Olaf under the mound called D?unan Aula, near to Dal-nan-Cean?n "the field of heads", where the Danes that had fallen in battle were buried. The Campbells of Iona have held Craigneish since then though not of late and this is how it came about.
MacEachern of Craigneish was unmarried, but he had a niece who lived with him as his adopted daughter; a Campbell came to court her. She accepted him and they were married. But as MacEachern did not care to part with her, he bargained that the young married f?eths should live with him at Craigneish. They agreed to this, and for a little time all went on well. But MacEachern soon found that, although it was his own house, he was looked upon as one too many in it, so he made up his mind to leave Craigneish. They did not oppose his wish, and the only stipulation he made with them was, that whenever he came to Craignish he should sit at the head of the table in token that he was the Laird. Then he packed up his goods in a couple of creels, which he swung across his horse’s back, securing them with girths of "woodies" (barkbands?), and he determined within himself that he would continue his journey until the woodies broke, and that he would take up his abode at the place where they gave way. So he turned his back on Craigneish, and, keeping near to the coast and the Sound of Jura, went straight on, across where the Crinan Canal now is, and then down through Knapdale, and so on to ??bert, and still the woodies held firm, to on he came all through Cantire and reached Campbellton, and the woodies still held firm. So on he went towards the Mull, (of Cantire) and began to think that he should find his resting place in ???Sea, when just as he had got to Kilellan, on the road to Southend, the woodies broke.
Well, MacEachern made himself so comfortable at Kilellan that he never went back to Craigneish to take the head of the table, and his niece and her husband settled there and founded the Clan of the Campbells of Craigneish. MacEachern himself got a wife to his taste and he married and had a large family, and that was the sire of the MacEacherns of Kilellan".
The foregoing in a manner agrees with what I wrote in 1866 from memory of another tradition related to me many years ago by my late Uncle Neil MacEachern, Canoe Cove, Lot 65, - of the way that those of the same Clan & place went to Ardmianach, Isle of Mull (see page 10). - John MacEachern, Feb. 18th, 1870.
187?5: Christiana MacEachern, i.e. Mrs. Hill, my sister, died in Boston, U.S. on the 7th of Sept. after a lingering illness, aged 50 years, left 2 sons & 2 daughters alive, & her husband.
The Obituary Notice in the Patriot, Argent, & Presbyterian, of the deceased
At her residence Big Point, Lot 65 on Sept. 17th after an illness of 3 weeks, Mary, the beloved wife of John MacEachern, Elder, in the 58th year of her age. Deceased was third daughter of the late Malcolm McKinnon, Nine Mile Creek; where at the commencement of the Revival under the late Rev. Donald Macdonald in 1829-30, and while very young, she with the other members of the family, became impressed with the realities of ???? Truth, which produced that change of heart, the fruits of which were evident in the many Christian virtues which adorned her character, and cheered her in her many bereavements through life, and when nearing the end of her course, and in the assured anticipation of that crown which is laid up for all them that love His appearing, was enabled to say "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me". - Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord from henceforth; Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them".
Obituary insertion of the death of our dear departed Sarah 1878
"Slept in Jesus", At Big Point, Lot 65, on March 13th after an illness of some months, which she bore with much Christian meekness, Sarah, daughter of John McEachern, Elder, in the 27th year of her age. Her very inoffensive, cheerful, and gentle disposition endeared her to her numerous relatives and acquaintances, who mourn their loss. (Feb. 13th, 1880)
In the City of Chester, England
On July 22nd 1881 after an illness of over twelve months which she bore with Christian patience in the blessed hope of a glorious immortality beyond death and the grave. Jean MacEachern, beloved wife of Sergt. Peter?? Mullins??, 4th King’s Own, in the 44 year of her age. Leaving a loving husband, 2 sons & 4 daughters, father, 3 brothers, 2 sisters, many Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, relatives & friends to mourn their loss. March 14th, 1882.
[ Page 124, 125 missing ]
The Late Rev. Dond. Macdonald
This eminent servant of the Lord departed this life at Southport, Lot 48, in the house of Mr. William McLeod Junr. on Thursday, the 21st of Feb. 1867, about 8 p.m. in the 86th year of his age.
He was a native of Rannoch, Perth Shire, Scotland. His father’s name was Donald, and his mother’s name was Christiana Stewart, how many of a family there were, the writer hereof is not at present informed, but it was large. There was one a Dr. McDonald, and Finlay, who is now alive at Orwell, being three years older than the Minister, and Duncan’s father who lives at Argyle Shore, besides another son or sons, of sister I, at present am not informed.
Of the late Minister’s youthful days, I have not much information, except fragments, that is unconnected pieces thereof related by himself at different periods.
He had a good early education being piously disposed, as I have heard him say that when a boy & suffering from some ailment, he was carried on a man’s back to the bedside of a sick or dying man to read Gaelic Psalms.
He had a Collegiate Education in the University of Saint Andrew, besides the Languages or Classics he acquired the most modern English Education, his pronunciation was free of antiquated accents; one cause of which was that his Teacher in the Grammar School was a young man who was educated for the English Bar himself very modernized accents in preaching English, and his keeping pace with the improvements of the ages. After finishing his Educational courses, and obtaining his diploma, he was ordained by the Presbytery of Aber??? in AberdeenShire in 1816. He was to?? the employment of families of the highest class in Edinburgh as Tutor. He also was to the Isle of Mull for sometime (perhaps before his Ordination), as a Tutor in the family of Campbell (the residence of Thomas Campbell the poet for a time) of Sunibol?????, opposite Coll, where his knowledge of Gaelic was increased, and a purer pronunciation thereof which gave his preaching in that Language a greater fluency than he would have had, by that of his native County, thereby, making himself Master of the Gaelic of the east-west and north of Scotland, as he held a Station as a Missionary Preacher in Inverness Shire, near Glengarry, from the which place, I believe he formed a Resolution to go to the Canadas. After bidding a last farewell to his mother and father, brothers etc. an instance of his feelings at this time I will relate as I heard him many years ago.
His mother accompanied him a distance form the house on foot. When parting, his feelings we ???tried, but he enabled to contain till he left her sight, over a knoll, he could contain no longer, but threw himself on the grass to give vent to his feelings, and afterwards proceeded. He sailed from Greenock, the date I know not (1824?) at present , but likely I may afterwards. While there he no doubt felt lonely. I heard him about 30 years ago in my father’s house while speaking thereof, relate an incident. A boy who played an organ in front of his lodgings, he called in. He asked him to play the tune of "Highland Mary", the which the boy commenced, but Mr. McDonald not feeling it plaintive enough, laid his hand on the boy to cause a slower action, to suit the tones to his own feelings. How long he was in Greenock waiting on the sailing of the vessel, or her name, I know not at present, but he remembered the appearance of the surrounding landscape well, as the last conversation I had with him while in health, he spoke of the apposite shore of Roseneath, Clensburah? to where we at that time resided. Little did we know that our future to be beloved Minister was there, or when we left afterwards in 1830, that the Lord had raised him up a preacher of the Gospel in Spirit and in Truth, in our to be adopted Country. But so it was, whatever good use we or our children my make of his services.
After his arrival in America, he laboured two years or more in Cape Breton among his Countrymen, cleared a place still named the "Ministers Clearing", for a Church and glebe, being much pressed by the people to remain among them. While there he used to cross vast tracts of the country through woods with no guide, but a pocket ????? to the then far distant settlement. But his mind was still bent on Canada having invitations there which in his Native land. He made up his mind to leave Cape Breton, and ??? many attached friends who remember him to their children to this day in so much love and esteem. The Gaelic speakes by the term of "Minister Bane, i.e. "the fair Minister", from his fair complexion. He came to Pictou & from there on board of a vessel for Canada, which called at Charlottetown on her way, but it seems it was late in the fall 1825?, as the inclement weather set in so much so that it was deemed imprudent to proceed, and the vessel remained I think in Charlottetown all winter. However, the Scottish population in Charlottetown and Royalty, hearing that a Minister of the Church of Scotland was detained for the winter, he was welcomed among them and endeavoured to engage his services among them during his stay on the voyage. Accordingly, he entered into some engagement them for the winter, as he expected to proceed on his journey to Canada in the spring. But the Lord had otherwise purposed?; for he had not many months afterwards commenced a work of Grace in the heart of the Minister he had sent and detained among a people that the Lord had predestinated to be a willing people in the day of his power. The which work of Grace in the heart of the Preacher was the seed of that powerful work of Grace which was manifested in the Blessed Revivals of Religion which spread from 1829 to 1867, the time of his i.e. our beloved Minister’s death. The which working of the Grace of the Holy Spirit may the Lord continue among his people according to his promise through Jesus Christ our Lord to the end of the world. Amen.
I shall endeavour to add such remarks afterwards as shall seem worthy of note written after his death.
From the Patriot of Feb. 23rd, 1867
"Hundreds of our readers, will hear with profound sorrow and regret, that the Rev. Donald McDonald is no more. At 8 o’clock on Thursday night at the advanced age of 86 years, and some months, crowned with honour and esteem, and in the full and certain hope of a glorious immortality beyond the grave, this venerable Minister of the Gospel, calmly and peacefully fell asleep in Jesus.
To his numerous and deeply attached flock, as well as to many personal friends, the announcement of his (death) decease, though no unexpected, will be sad news. Providence, which blessed Min. McDonald with good health through life, was also kind to him in his latter days. Though for sometime confined to bed, he suffered little or no bodily pain; for the last week or two he was too weak to speak much, but retained the use of all his faculties to the last, and recognized every acquaintance and member of the Church who visited him. He enjoyed perfect peace of mind in view of his approaching end, and his firm faith and serene hope indicated the genuine character of his Christian profession.
The late Mr. McDonald was born in Perthshire, Scotland, and received a collegiate education at the University of St. Andrew’s. He was a man of superior talent, and could preach in English or Gaelic with equal facility. Medium sired?? - but powerfully built, - he was endowed with an iron constitution, great intellectual power, and a kindly, and generous disposition. Of the fifty years of his ministry, he passed forty years in Prince Edward Island, and, during that period, laboured as few before him ?????. He was scarcely ever idle. He preached on weekdays and Sabbaths, in private houses, in churches, in school houses, and in the open air. On Sacramental occasions he often spoke for five and six hours without intermission. During the term of his ministry he built fourteen churches, baptized over 2,200 children and married more people than any living clergyman. His parish - the largest on the Island and containing at present about five thousand adherents, extended from Wilmot Creek to Murray Harbor, and from Rustico to Belle Creek. For forty years he travelled throughout its whole extent, preaching and teaching, as he went. Those who do not know the state of the Country for a long time after Mr. McDonald’s arrival here, can hardly form any idea of the hardships and discomforts he must have experienced. He was everywhere a welcome guest, and did an incalculable amount of good. His conversations on general topics was both interesting and instructive, and at a period when newspapers were less common than they are now, the people were indebted to their minister for much of their information respecting the leading events occurring abroad. He never entered into any agreement with his congregation as to the amount of stipend he should receive, but took what they felt disposed to give, and we believe they did not contribute very liberally. Of this however he never once complained. He was much misrepresented in his day by men who did not understand him, and the tongue of calumny??, made free with his name, but he outlived the one and silenced the other. His remains will be interred at Orwell Head on Monday next. The funeral Cortege will leave Southport at ten o’clock in the morning. It is unnecessary for us to add that friends and acquaintances are invited to attend, for we feel assured they will be present from all parts of the country to pay the last tribute of respect to one who will long live in the grateful recollection of thousands of our fellow Colonists.
This necessarily brief and imperfect notice, we hope some friendly pen will extend in a future number of this paper."
From the "Patriot" of March 2, 1867
"The funeral of the late Reverend Donald McDonald, as intimated in our issue of the 23rd. ult, took place on Monday last. The cortege when it left Southport, shortly after ten o’clock, consisted of 125 sleighs. On account of the distance to Orwell, upwards of sixteen miles, may parted from the procession after proceeding a few miles, and returned to their distant homes. Others, however, joined the cortage, and when it arrived at the Church at Orwell Head, it was composed of 150 sleighs, containing nearly 600 persons, and forming a line of over one mile in length. The coffin was placed in the centre of the Church, where it remained for about an hour, so allow the people an opportunity to take a final view of the remains of their beloved Minister. The scene both in the church, and at the grave which was about twenty yards from the building was most affecting. Hundreds of those who had hung upon his lips, for the message of salvation, when they saw those lips cold in death, shed tears in profusion, and others wept aloud. In the death of this venerable Christian minister, about 12 Churches, 2,000 communicants, and five thousand adherents are deprived of a pastor, counsellor and friend."
From the Islander of March 1st, 1867
Being the Government Paper
"The late Reverend Donald MacDonald - The Minister is Dead" These words of solemn inport have, within the last few days, been whispered in hundreds of families throughout Prince Edward Island; and thousands of our people are mourning the death of one whom they loved with more than ordinary devotion. The Reverend Donald MacDonald, one of the most remarkable men of his time, died at Southport, near Charlottetown, Thursday last, at the ripe age of eighty-five years. Mr. MacDonald received a University Education, and after filling the situation of tutor, in the family of a Highland Chieftain, became a Minister of the Church of Scotland. He came to this Island nearly forty years ago, and some time after was known as a minister practically unattached to any church. He visited most of the settlements in the Island, undergoing many hardships. His preaching proved acceptable to many, especially to his countrymen. He founded Churches, to which at regular intervals, he ministered. His followers increased rapidly, and soon, wherever he preached, he was listened to by large congregations, frequently composed of his people from distant parts of the Country. When the writer first heard him preach, which was either in 1829 or 1830, Mr. MacDonald and his followers were the objects of popular ridicule. The minister believed he was doing his duty as became the messenger of the Gospel which Jesus preached, and he disregarded all scoffers, and persevered, seeking counsel of no man. The little bands of faithful adherents which, during the first years of his ministry, were found scattered over the Island, became, in several places, large congregations, worshipping in edifices among the most imposing in the Colony. During the latter years of the Minister’s life, his adherents were numbered by thousands, and he was everywhere treated with respect. He lived among his people sharing their joys and sorrows, preaching to them in Gaelic or English, and during the nearly forty years of his ministry, he performed an amount of labour, which would have killed any man not possessed of indomitable energy, and iron constitution. To do his duty, to promote the good of his followers, was the sole? object? of a life extended to a point rarely reached by man. He coveted no man’s silver or gold. Food & raiment, and small sums of money to expend in acts of benevolence, of which little children were often the recipients, constituted his salary. He has gone to the grave, but will ever live in the hearts of the thousands for whom he so long and so faithfully laboured; and, when most of his contemporaries shall be forgotten, it is probable that tradition will long preserve the memory of Minister MacDonald.
His remains, on Monday Past, were followed from Southport to the place of interment at Orwell, a distance of upwards of 16 miles, by a line of sleighs standing over a mile. The scene at the grave is represented as most affecting - hundreds of men and women shedding tears as they took the last farewell of the mortal remains of him whom they had regarded as a father and a friend. About twelve churches and five thousand adherents are, by Mr. MacDonald’s death, deprived of a pastor. It is said that it was the minister’s wish that they should remain attached to the Church of Scotland.
March 25, 1869
A meeting of the Congregations of the late Rev. Donald Macdonald was held at DeSable for the Induction of the Rev. James MacColl of the Established Church of Scotland as successor.
Rev. Thos. Duncan, Rev. Alex. McLean, Rev. W.Stewart & Rev. W.E. Mc?????? ???? the Rev.James Duncan etc. were there. Mr. Stewart preached from Hebrew 34.1 Mr. McLean addressed the Ministers and Mr. Mc William? the people, whose address was very kind & impressive.
The following appeared in the Patriot of ??? ?? "DeSable Congregation"
"The Presbytery of P.E. Island held an adjourned meeting at DeSable on Thursday, March 25th for the Induction of the Rev. James MacColl, to the Pastoral charge of that large and interesting congregation. For many years, on which their memories will always fondly dwell, this large body of Highlanders enjoyed the ministration of the late Rev. Donald Macdonald, whose labours and persevering endurance of much hardship, to minister to their spiritual wants, deservedly gave him a hold on their affections, which is but very seldom realized by a minister of Christ as the reward of gratitude from his people. These feelings - for they are strong and sincere, and they will be lasting - could not fail to create an interest in; and a deep sympathy for this congregation when deprived of their venerable, their first, and only Pastor. For many months their lonely desolation was indeed very dark, and their prospects were painfully perplexed.
While the greatest number were firm and true in their attachment to the Church of their Father, and cherished the hope of seeing the vacant Pulpit supplied by a Minister from that Church, there were among them a few who wished it otherwise, and who exerted the most unsparing diligence to break up their harmony, and lead them away from the Church and from all Christian order. The majority met all such efforts, much to their pain, with that patient and mild firmness, which by not exhausting it’s energy in vehement retort, is all the stronger to hold its position, and be true to its past. The ordeal was trying, but we hope it has passed; and thus? it is stated that the call given to the Rev. James MacColl, which is from the DeSable Parish alone, and does not include the eastern section, had appended to it one thousand names and secured a stipend of $250 a year, it will be seen that the violent efforts made to create divisions, signally failed. Every member of our Church will be thankful to hear
......lected in the time allowed to circulate notice. After preaching I had a lengthened private conference with the Rev. Gentleman, who treated me with much affability and kindness. Towards the close of our conference he showed much concern with regard to the condition in which I might leave the people who are now under my ministry. His words were nearly as follows: "You are now advance in years, have you seriously considered, in the event of your being called from them in the condition in which three thousand people would be left?" To which I replied, that it often gave me much concern. He then said, "It is matter of much concern." My remarks then were that he had preached to us this day - that he now knew that we were here, and that I laid that upon him to consider, and if he should hear of my being called away from them, he should ...............
Depictation?, to these Colonies, of the Established Church of Scotland, I observed a Paragraph in which my name is honoured with a place. And as the circumstances which are therein related, are not correctly stated, permit me to request of you the favour to insert in your paper the following account substantiated by my own proper signature.
When I heard of the arrival of the Revd. Deputation, with the concurrence of one of my congregations in the locality where I was then present to them, I gave delegated power to them or their Elders to wait on the Revd. Gentlemen, who composed the deputation, and to express our willingness to accommodate them with the meeting house at DeSable, should they be inclined to preach in it. The Rev. Norman McLeod did preach in it next day to as full congregation as could be .................
.........of a settlement which has prospects of such wide and important usefulness.
The whole proceedings of that day were such as to render it one of the days which memory will recall with unmingled pleasure.
The above I presume was communicated by the Rev. Thos. Duncan, the Moderator for the present year, who also conducted the induction, and who has earned the warmed thanks, of not only our new Minister, but also of the great body of the people, for his unwearied zeal, and diligent yet unobtrusive efforts, to preserve the Unity of the Church, in a kind and Christian spirit.
John MacEachern, Elder