LIST OF OFFICERS      850
   1978 RALLY  867
   CLAN HOUSE MUSEUM IN 1978   868
   1978 PRIZE DRAW   870



No. 31


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        THE ANNUAL OF




The Chief

Hon. Vice-Presidents

Officers of the Association

62 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh EH9 2AD

1295Cumnock Cresent, Oakville, Ontrio, Canada

Hon. Secretary
39 SWANSTON AVENUE, Edinburgh, 10

Hon. Treasurer
MRS. EDITH McPHERSON, 62 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh EH9 2AD

Mrs D. MACPHERSON, Sunnybrae, Newton Terrace, Blairgowrie

EOIN MACPHERSON, FSASCOT, Clan House, Newtonmore, (Telephone 332)

Editorial Committee
A.C. MACPHERSON, M.A., LL.B (Editor),
119 Huron Avenue, Howden, Livingston EH54 6LQ
JOHN M. BARTON, W.S. (Secretary) and T.A.S. MACPHERSON, A.R.I.C.S. (Advertising)



   (Lord Macpherson of Drumochter. Died 1965)                                   
   (Lord Drumalbyn)
   (Died 1958)
(Lord Macpherson of Drumochter)
A.I.S. MACPHERSON (1969-1973)

Branch Representatives



Piper                                                                                                     ROBERT PEARSON
Hon. Auditor                                                                                                     R. ROSS YOUNG


The Council appeals to members to support the Annual by contributing articles of historical, genealogical, or topographical interest, and by forwarding news of themselves and other clanmen, honours, appointments, etc. Photographs, prints, etc., of places or people and 'Letters to the Editor' on matters of Clan interst are also welcome.

All communications should be addressed to the Editor of Creag Dhubh, Archy Macpherson, M.A., LL.B., 119 Huron Avenue, Howden, Livingston EH54 6LQ, West Lothian, Scotland.

PLEASE NOTE -- In order to meet publications dates for the current year, it is essential that all matters for publication in Creag Dhubh be received not later than 31st December in each year.



      My father died in 1969; so that I have now had the honour to be Chief of the Clan for ten years. And in getting to this milestone I would like to send the thanks and gratitude of Sheila and myself and all our family to all our clansmen and clanswomen who have shown to us such welcome and warmth wherever we meet. We are truly grateful, and feel a strong bond with all members of the Clan and the Association. It is a family affair; and that is its strength and meaning.

      In 1978 there was a most successful August Rally and it was a great pleasure to see so many new and well-known faces in Newtonmore and Kingussie. This will be Kenneth's last year as Chairman, and I know that all will agree he has been an excellent and delightful leader for his term of office. I am sure that he and Edith will influence our affairs still very much in the future as well. Great thanks to Kenneth from us all.

      A memorable event of 1978 for Sheila and myself was our trip in July to the Canadian and U.S.A. Branches, and to their respective Rallies at Antigonish (Nova Scotia) and Ionia (Michigan). We flew to Halifax on 12 July, and spent five days in Nova Scotia. We all stayed at the St. Francis Xavier University, where Dr. John Macpherson was our host. And we attended the Antigonish games; toured Cape Breton; and were delighted to be at the Branch A.G.M. and Dinner. What distances people travelled to be there! From British Columbia, Toronto, Saskatchewan -- and it was particularly good to be with Donald and Betty, Gordon and Nancy, Dan Gillies, Donald and Jean (all so well known in Badenoch too!), to name only a few as representatives of that strong Branch which covers Canada. Lloyd was our marvellous driver and guide, and he pointed out to us his birthplace at Pictou. The whole area is of course full of the history of early settlement by Scotsmen. And there was a special feel about that hard and attractive land which is difficult to describe but which made it an outstanding place for a meeting of some of the descendants of Macphersons and Gillieses and Cattanachs who came over in the 18th and 19th centuries. We look back with great pleasure on those five days, and send our sincere thanks to all who arranged and took part in the events.

      On then to U.S.A., and again what an experience it was to land there (at Boston) for the first time in our lives, and to be met by Robert and


Arlena and at once to be 'taken in' so to speak, to the family there and at each stop thereafter. We had a wonderful dinner with Robert's sister Christine, and then off to Piobair Farm, Belchertown. There we soaked up the sun and the hospitality of their Massachussets farmhouse, and we know now why descriptions of meetings and events held there are so enthusiastic. It is a great place to see - and again a very special feeling of the family bond fills its rooms and fields.

      Too soon we were off again -- and driven by Robert and Arlena, south to Alexandria (over the Potomac from Washington) for the Regional A.G.M. with Parker and Trigg Archibald. What an evening to remember! And a particular honour and pleasure to see there Betty Jarrett and Fredrika Macpherson. We are all saddened to know of the death of Jim Jarrett and of Colonel Bill Macpherson (both such staunch and highly respected members and friends of us all), and we send our sympathy to Betty and Fredrika.

      Then on to the Virginian Scottish Games, where there were tents for many clans, but none better than our own! The temperature was over 100-deg F, and we might have melted but for the ice and cool drinks which always seemed to materialise at the right moment. During the days at Alexandria, we all went to the White House in Washington for a special tour, and (under the most cheerful and engaging arrangements of Bill Jarrett) to the statue of General Birdseye Mcpherson in Mcpherson Square, to honour the memory of Jim Jarrett and to photograph our group with Jim's famous two dollar bill which bears the General's picture.

      Rod Clarke was our tireless and splendid guide to Washington after the games were over, and we owe very grateful thanks to him for driving us on a further 700 miles, into the heart of Michigan, and finally to Monroe and Phyllis' home at Ionia. And here we stayed for three days leading up to the U.S.A. Branch Rally, held, as is so fitting, at the Chairman's own home. I believe that Monroe and Phyllis really run Ionia (and much besides!), and fifty or more people attended this most excellent day. Again the distances covered were amazing -- Dr. Gillespie from Texas, Evelyn Tate from California, Nancy and Gordon (who talked about our heraldry) from Toronto, and Robert and Arlena who came again over from Massachusetts. We ate Monroe's own haggis. We talked, and walked, and sat by the pool and saw some of Monroe's excellent films. During the afternoon Monroe's own aeroplane flew over the house streaming a banner saying "Welcome Clan Macpherson" for the district to see. And then Phyllis provided a dinner which was really sumptuous, in a marquee -- and nobody wanted to go home!

      But we had to - and it was only made easier by having Monroe's company all the way to Heathrow, via Grand Rapids and Detroit airports.

      Again we simply cannot express our feelings, but we are most genuinely grateful to all of our cousins and friends who made this such a trip to remember.

      It is great to feel so close to all who came to these rallies. And as Robert said so rightly in a recent letter, "Time and the waste of seas have not divided us."

      Greetings to everybody for 1979, and our sincere thanks to all who work so hard for our Association.



      It has been said that in every weakness there is a strength and in every strength a weakness. We do not know, perhaps so, perhaps not. All that we can say, while Scottish theatre, opera, ballet and orchestra exist, they play no part in our make-up remotely like their important place in English or European life. Though we possess art (of which our Celtic art is age-old, wonderful and delightful) and a fine architectural tradition, these pale before that of Italy.

      Our soul appears to be much more portable and within the mastery of the individual. We are bound together not only by the family, as other nations, but by the super-family of cousins, the clan. From the Armstrongs of the South (it is said that Neil, after a tumultuous hero's welcome through the streets of Langholm, said that he would prefer to be remembered rather as an Armstrong than as the first man on the moon), to the other cat clan, the Sutherlands, in the far North. We all rejoice in the kilt and the tartans of our own particular clan. In matters of sport we share as a nation, golf, shinty, curling, Highland games etc. We exult in our musical heritage of the pipes, in the clarsach (the Scottish harp), the fiddle and the accordion. The wealth of song and poetry of Scotland both in Gaelic and in English is there to enrich our lives: Scottish country and Highland dancing is as courtly and beautiful as any in the world. Our Scottish Gaelic, the language and culture of our fathers, is the mirror of our soul and the source of endless challenge to our scholarship and our sensitivities. All these treasures are there to grasp and cultivate, ready to delight and console us in our triumphs and sorrows. These are joys available to us in general as Scots.

      In particular, we Macphersons and our septs, have proved to be a clan often far in advance of others. These others have seen fit to emulate us in having a Clan House and Museum and in having a world network of branches each with their own ceilidhs and activities.

      The pressure on the Lyon Court proves how anxiously and longingly other clans look to having as inspiring a leadership as we have in our beloved Chief, Cluny, and his gracious Lady.

      One of the most precious gems in our crown is our annual Rally. It has an atmosphere and a personality all of its own. Unlike a once-off visit to a shrine or famous building, it needs a regular return year after year throughout our lives, if possible, to prove its essential aura. By regular attendance over the years its quality as a family reunion becomes terribly evident. No two annual Rallies can ever be the same. There is the 'weel-kent' face that one expects every year, which vanishes never to return as another clansman or clanswoman takes the journey into the 'Great Beyond'. Before one quite appreciates it, the young couple of only a few Rallies back are leading a little bekilted recruit to the march from Old Ralia down the hill and over the bridge onto the Games field. One year the fear-an-tigh at the Ceilidh is bemoaning the lack of clan talent, next year there is an embarrassment of riches. We sorrow to see a cousin brought low by misfortune or ill health only to rejoice at his return to his previous happy state. As the proverb says -- Is ann a tha an cairdeas mar a chumar e --' relationship is as it's kept.'       In truth the Rally is like a song. It is one of the few steady central forces in our lives, ever beckoning us with its welcome.

      Am bi sinn 'gur faicinn ann, a' bhliadhna seo -- Will we be seeing you there this year?


Commander of the Army of the Tennessee.

[The following article was written by Major J. E.. Macpherson, editor of Creag Dhubh for issues Nos. 9-14 and author of copious articles of historic interset to the Clan. This fact isn't clear until the reader completes the article several pages on. I have had the temerity to break up some of his 'non-stop' paragraphs in the spirit of making his text a little easier to digest. -- RM]

      The following brings up to date an interesting case of clan co-operation spread over nearly a hundred years. At some time before 1890 Alexander the Banker, collecting material for his Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands, to be published in 1893, enlisted the aid of Donald Macpherson, then postmaster of Falkirk, and known to be in touch with descendants of clansmen who had established themselves in Holland, Sweden, Russia, Venezuela and elsewhere. Among the many items Donald had collected in his correspondence was a print of General James B. McPherson, and some sixty years later, when the clan had acquired a home for such relics, it became one of a batch sent by the writer to Clan House.

      There it aroused the attention of Alexander Fraser Macpherson, the Honorary Secretary and pillar of the Association in its early days. He was particularly interested because of a tradition in his family that the General came of a related family in the clan. This interest led him to do some research on the literature and write a two and a half page article which appeared with a full-page reproduction of the print in the 1955 issue of Creag Dhubh. [To read this article now, Click here.]

      The article, mainly by quotations from American books, shows what the General's colleagues and contemporaries thought and said about him. The picture is not only that of the remarkably successful soldier, but that of a very remarkable man, as will be seen.

      By an odd coincidence, in the same year Mrs. Elizabeth J. Whaley of 307 McPherson Highway, Clyde, Ohio, the General's birthplace, published her book about him, entitled Forgotten Hero: General James B. McPherson. The book is now out of print, but the author very kindly presented a copy to the Association, which is now in the Museum Library.

      The next item in the saga is the visit to Badenoch in 1968 of James McPherson Jarrett of 7017 Wilson Lane, Bethesda, Md. 20034, U.S.A. In the following letter, dated December 1969, he records what happened and how he kept his promise, giving also a description of the pictures he enclosed.

Dear Major Macpherson,
      After longer delay than anticipated I am mailing under separate cover some pictures which I promised well over a year ago to look up and send to you. In a pleasant conversation with you and Mr. Fraser Macpherson after the church service during the 1968 Rally, I was asked if I could obtain pictures of Major General James Birdseye McPherson and of his monument here in the States for possible inclusion in an issue of Creag Dhubh. Upon returning home I started a number of inquiries, but was unable to find time with my other activities to complete them until after my retirement this past fall.

      The pictures I am sending are described in the enclosed listing. There are eight of them. These show James McPherson as a young man at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he graduated at the head of his class and, for the first time in the history of the Academy, was invited to remain a year immediately after graduation as instructor. Other pictures include ones of him after being promoted to the rank of Major General and placed in Command of the Army of the Tennessee at the young age of 35. Also included are pictures of Monuments to him marking, respectively, the spot at which he was killed in the Battle of Atlanta, Georgia; his place of birth in Clyde, Ohio; and his place of honor in McPherson Square, Washington, D.C.


      Two pictures show McPherson soon after being promoted to Major General in 1864. One, you will see, is in poor condition because of the serious deterioration of the original glass negative here in the Library of Congress. I am sending it, nevertheless, because of the very pleasant expression on his face which the photographer was able to capture. I have a booklet containing a print made from this plate several years-ago which is very handsome indeed , but the booklet is protected by copyright and would cause still longer delay to obtain permission for a copy. The second picture, also from the Library of Congress, is apparently made from a photograph of a wood engraving and approaches, but does not quite catch, the same expression.

      Three pictures are ones I took of the monument in Atlanta, Georgia. These show the memorial plot as a whole as well as close-ups of two markers. In addition, there is a picture of. the monument showing the General standing over his grave in Clyde, Ohio. The final picture is of the equestrian statue erected by his comrades from the Army of the Tennessee on land set aside by Act of Congress in McPherson Square, Washington, D.C.

      I am sorry it has taken so long to obtain and send the pictures. I trust they may serve the purpose you had in mind -- possibly, any not needed or if no longer needed might be turned over to the Clan Museum. I understand Eoin Macpherson has obtained a copy of the biography by Elizabeth J. Whaley entitled Forgotten Hero: General James B. McPherson, which is out of print. The pictures may supplement the book. In any event, I have enjoyed looking them up and the fair amount of reading of materials relating to the General. It served to recall accounts my grandmother, a cousin of his, and other members and friends of the family used to relate when I was a boy.

Cordially yours,


List of pictures relating to

No. 1 At the United States Military Academy, West Point.
           From -- Thaddeus B. Hurd, President, Sandusky County Historical Society, Clyde, Ohio.

No. 2 After promotion in 1864 to the rank of Major General and placed in Command of The Army of the Tennessee.
           From -- Old (deteriorated) glass photographic plate (LCB8172 -- 6415) in the U.S. Library of Congress. (not reproduced)

No. 3 As in number 2 above.
           From -- Photograph in good condition (USZ62 -- 13700) in the U.S. Library of Congress.

No. 4 McPherson Monument at Atlanta, Georgia, marking the spot where killed.
          Taken by James M. Jarrett in 1969.

No. 5 Death of McPherson -- Marker at Atlanta Monument.
           Taken by James M. Jarrett in 1969.

No. 6 Historic Ground -- 1864 -- Marker at Atlanta Monument.
           Taken by James M. Jarrett in 1969

No. 7 McPherson Monument at his birthplace, Clyde, Ohio.
           From -- Thaddeus B. Hurd, President, Sandusky County Historical Society, Clyde, Ohio.

No. 8 Major General James B. McPherson, McPherson Square, Washington, D.C.
           Photo by Abbie Rowe, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, April 20, 1963. This equestrian, statue, which faces south, is made of captured cannon and is on a granite pedestal which is set on a rectangular base of three steps. It is 14 feet high and represents McPherson surveying a battlefield. The following inscription is on the west side of the pedestal:

July 22, 1864

On the east side of the pedestal:

Erected by his Comrades
of the Society of
The Army of the Tennessee





      Yet one more clansman was to become involved,' the story. Col. W. L. McPherson U.S. Army (Retd.) of Blacksburg, PA [Should read 'VA' for Virginia] was a visitor at the 1970 Rally. He had made a collection of items of information concerning the General and before leaving he was good enough to give us for future use a reprint of the article on him in The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, from his file. As it considerably supplements the material in "Fraser's" article a large part of this is reprinted here. It is with great regret we have to record the death of the Colonel [W.L.} in May 1978.

The Early Days
      The earliest records we have available of James B's ancestry are those given by Mrs. Whaley, some of which she obtained from Mrs. E. D. Scrogin of Miami, Florida, whose great-great-grandmother was a cousin of the General. It appears that three brothers William, Robert and John McPherson left Scotland for Ireland at an unknown date before 1796. Robert died before 1800, but his two brothers are listed in the 1800 census for Ontario county, New York.

      John and his wife Elizabeth acquired a large tract of land in Hopewell Township and by 1810 had ten children. Their second son William set his eyes on the newly opened-up rich lands of Ohio and in 1823 got engaged to Cynthia Russell on the understanding that as soon as he had got his land in Ohio and built a cabin he would return to take her there. By the following year he had got his 160 acres, built his cabin, and acquired a table, a bed and two stools, which, "together with the fireplace", according to Mrs. Whaley, "constituted the standard equipment of most log cabins."

      He then returned for his bride, and in due course, having acquired more land, became a successful farmer. His eldest son, James Birdseye, was born on 14 November 1828. (The second forename was a tribute to a great friend and neighbour and has no ancestral significance.)

      A daughter followed in February 1830 and two more boys, Russell in 1832 and Billy in 1835. William prospered and in 1831 was able to build a colonial house with a hall, a walnut staircase, three public rooms and four bedrooms, the most imposing building in the neighbourhood. Unfortunately, he fell ill with a disease the doctors could not diagnose, but which has since been identified as probably pernicious anaemia. After three years of failing health he died in 1838. James was barely ten years old at the time, but undertook milking the cows, cutting wood and other chores. Three years later he was offered the post of clerk at the general store at Green Springs, only a few miles from Clyde, by Robert Smith, its owner, who was also postmaster and a farmer and miller.

      James had attractive qualities which brought him many friends throughout his life. Robert Smith was one of the first: after James had served him for six years he used his influence to obtain a place for him at West Point Military College [Academy]. There he made a good start to his military career by coming out top of his year. What follows is from the reprint presented to the Association by Col. W. L. McPherson, U.S. Army (Retd.) on his visit to Clan House in 1970. The full reference is, The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Vol. IV, published by James T. White & Co., New York 1897.


His Military Career
      McPHERSON, James Birdseye, soldier, was born at Clyde, Sandusky Co., 0hio., Nov. 14, 1828, son of William and Cynthia (Russell) McPherson. His father was of Scotch-Irish descent; his mother, a native of Massachusetts, of English descent. After failing to gain a competence and losing his health, William McPherson died, and, at the age of thirteen, James, the eldest of four children, began to work to aid his mother.

      The boy was well known in the neighborhood for his brightness of mind and his winning ways, and he easily obtained employment, Robert Smith, postmaster and storekeeper at Green Springs, near Clyde, taking him into his employ. Here he remained for six years, gaining the friendship of everyone. In the winter time he attended school, and in all seasons, after his duties for the day were over, he pored over the books that came in his way.

      The promise of an appointment to West Point led him to give up his clerkship, and he entered the academy at Norwalk for a short preparatory course of study. He was graduated at West Point, in 1853, at the head of a class of fifty-two, among whom were Philip H. Sheridan, John B. Hood and John M. Schofield, two of whom became generals-in-chief of the U.S. army. McPherson was brevetted second lieutenant of engineers and was at once appointed assistant instructor of practical engineering at the Military Academy -- a compliment never before, nor since, awarded to so young an officer.

      In 1854 he was appointed second lieutenant, and was made assistant engineer on the defenses of New York harbor. He was made a captain in 1861, and promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, upon Gen. Halleck's staff. He was chiefly engaged in engineering duty in Missouri until the beginning of 1862, when Grant began his movements on Forts Henry and DoneIson. McPherson was then transferred to Gen. Grant's staff and made chief engineer. He remained with Grant until after the battle of Pittsburg Landing, for services in which he received honorable mention and was nominated for brevet lieutenant-colonel of engineers.

      On May 15, 1862 he was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers. On Oct. 2nd of that year he was placed in command of a brigade, and joined Gen. Rosecrans at the close of the battle of Corinth; being ordered by Rosecrans to pursue the enemy, he did so, over a broken country, hanging on the rear of the Confederate army until it broke and fled in every direction. McPherson was made major-general of volunteers, to date from Oct. 8, 1862, and on the 14th of that month he was placed in command of a division, with headquarters at Bolivia, Tenn. During the next two months he commanded the right wing of Grant's army, and was engaged in various skirmishes during the winter and until January, 1863, when he was in command of the 17th army corps. In the movements which resulted in the capture of Vicksburg, McPherson was Grant's right-hand man.

      After the battle of Port Gibson, in which he took part, he pushed the retreating enemy, overtaking them at Raymond, and, in one terrific charge, breaking their line into fragments. On May 14th he attacked Johnston's army at Jackson, captured the fortifications, and broke through the camp, chasing the flying foe into and through the town in confusion. He was engaged in the assaults on Vicksburg, May 19th and 22d, having the centre of Grant's army during the long siege which followed. On the 4th of July he led his columns into the conquered city, over which he was placed in command. Grant recommended McPherson for promotion in the regular army, using the strongest language, and he was accordingly promoted to brigadier-general in the regular army, the appointment to date from Aug. 1, 1863. His corps also voted Gen. McPherson a medal of honor. He continued with his headquarters at Vicksburg and in command, until February, 1864, and when Sherman succeeded Grant in command of the western armies, McPherson took Sherman's place as commander of the army of the Tennessee.

      A painful episode of this part of McPherson's life was the fact that, being engaged to be married to a young lady in Baltimore, he was about taking leave-of-absence, in order to effect their union, when he received the latter appointment. He accordingly postponed his marriage until the, great Atlanta campaign, which was being organized, should be completed. As a fact, he was destined never again to see his affianced. McPherson organized, at Mossbill, Ala., his portion of the army, comprising the 13th and 16th Corps, besides the 17th. Ordered by Sherman to turn the almost impregnable position of Johnston at Dalton, he made a circuitous march of thirty or forty miles with the hope of taking Resaca by surprise, but on reaching this point he saw this was impossible by assault, and accordingly fell back to Snake Creek Gap and reported to Sherman the state of affairs in his front.


      Hooker's corps was at once sent to his support, and McPherson stormed and carried the enemy's works. Johnston fought with desperate fury, striving to regain the lost position, but his efforts were in vain and he finally fell back. The Federal army moved forward, McPherson holding the right, occupying Kinston, and at Dallas where the Confederate attack was directed wholly against McPherson's corps, he repelled it, inflicting heavy loss upon the Confederates. Johnston was superseded by Gen. John B. Hood, who had been McPherson's classmate at West Point, and a series of engagements followed, Hood endeavoring to prevent Sherman from flanking Atlanta.

      There was fighting from the 19th to the 21 st of July. On the 22nd Hood massed his entire army against the left flank, which was in command of McPherson. The assault was made with terrible desperation, and for a time it seemed as if the Confederates would get in McPherson's rear and finish the battle with a blow. Meanwhile the magnificent figure of McPherson, mounted on his black horse. could be seen galloping through the smoke of the batteries, keeping his men well in line, until he discovered a gap between the 16th and 17th corps. It consisted of a piece of woods, through which there ran a country road, over which he had ridden a few hours before, and, having no idea that the enemy had even tried to occupy it, McPherson entered the woods, and sent the only officer remaining with him to Gen. Logan with orders to send up a brigade and close this gap. Then, accompanied by only one orderly, he dashed onward along the road, when he was suddenly confronted by the skirmish line of the Confederates, who ordered him to surrender. Startled at this unexpected meeting, McPherson drew his horse back on its haunches with a sudden pull, and then, raising his cap, made a graceful salutation, turned his horse quickly to the right and dashed to the woods, but a volley followed him, and he reeled from the saddle, pierced by several bullets, and fell dead.

      Soon after some Federal soldiers passing down the road saw the well-known horse riderless and wounded, and immediately searched for the general's body. He was found not fifty yards from the road, and still breathing, but in a few moments he ceased to live. When news of McPherson's death reached Grant, he exclaimed , "The country has lost one of its best soldiers and I have lost my best friend", and is said to have burst into tears. His death carried grief into thousands of hearts, causing the death of the lady who was to have been his wife.

      McPherson's personal appearance was very commanding. He stood over six feet in height; his brow was lofty and noble; his eyes were clear and brilliant; and he had the appearance of a paladin of old. He was a superb rider, and the black horse which bore him to death, and which he had ridden through every battle from Shiloh, seemed to be almost equally inspired with himself amid the smoke and carnage of battle. Often McPherson would accompany in person his skirmishers, and whenever the heaviest fighting occurred, there he was to be found; always conspicuous by his commanding height and black horse, which had been made many a time the target of sharpshooters, but never hit. He was admired by his officers and beloved by all. He never used profane language, even in the heat of battle. A general capable of magnificent combinations, brave, energetic, determined, he permitted no plunder or lawless violence by his command; and his bright and noble career ended, leaving no stain upon his character or his reputation'. The date of his death was July 22, 1864.

Contemporary Comment
      Fraser, in his article already referred to, gives some illuminating extracts from contemporary books. From U.S. Grant and the American Military Tradition by Bruce Calton, Boston 1954, is taken the following:
            "Grant had three army corps at Vicksburg, led by McClernand, Sherman and a handsome young Engineer Officer named James B. McPherson -- a singularly winning character whom everybody liked, and who Sherman at least thought would eventually outclass Grant and everybody else and emerge as the great man of the war."

      From Volume 15 of The History of North America from the Civil War -- The National View by Francis Newton Thorpe, he quotes part of a letter of thanks written by Grant to Sherman when Congress had revived the title of Lieutenant General and Lincoln had made Grant General-in-Chief.


      The extract reads, "but what I want is to express my thanks to you and McPherson as the men to whom, above all others, I feel indebted for whatever I have had of success. How far your advice and suggestions have been of assistance you know . . . I feel all the gratitude this letter would express, giving it the most flattering construction. The word YOU I use in the plural, intending it for McPherson also."

      A further extract from the same book gives the comment of Nicolay and Hay, President Lincoln's secretaries, "This letter was as unique as it was admirable, for Grant wrote in this strain to no one else in the world."       On McPherson's death the Encyclopaedia Brittanica reports that Grant said, "The country has lost one of its best soldiers and I have lost my best friend." General Logan who succeeded him is responsible for the following description: "Six feet in height, graceful, captivating, polished of manner, totally unconscious of fear, and full of natural sweetness." In Lloyd Lewis' book on Sherman, published in 1932, is quoted a remark by the General himself, "When the time comes that, to be a soldier, a man has to forget or overlook the claims of humanity, I do not want to be a soldier."

      Fraser concludes with the following paragraph -- "It is clear from the information available that in the opinion of his contemporaries General McPherson was admired and respected, not only for his ability but for his sterling qualities of character, and that be is entitled to be ranked as one of the most distinguished members of the Clan in modern times." An opinion with which we can all agree.

      At least three gaps remain in our record of James B. One is the tale of the city which is named after him. Perhaps Vice-President Hugh will one day have time to spare from his other Clan activities to tell us about that. The second is the question of the family of the three brothers who visited Ireland on their way to America. Perhaps Professor Alan in Newfoundland can add to our knowledge on that and other associated matters. The third refers to the hitherto unknown to us booklet referred to by McPherson Jarrett. A copy of it would be a welcome addition to the Clan Museum, but a review of its contents would be almost equally valuable. Perhaps the American Branch will be able to help.

      We have to consider that clansman or clanswoman who, in the next or next again generation, is going to undertake the considerable task of collecting and co-ordinating all that will by then be known of our clan history, and it is the bounden duty of each generation to put on record all it knows and all its research discovers, as it behoves clan magazine editors to give priority to all such material.

      Our thanks are due to all who have contributed to this article, and particularly to James McPherson Jarrett for the trouble he took to obtain the photographs used to illustrate it, as well as the others shown on his list which have been sent to the Museum in accordance with his wishes.

      By his recent death we have lost an enthusiastic clansman and a popular, colourful figure at our Rallies.



by R. G. M. Macpherson, F.R.S.A., F.S.A.Scot.

No. 29 Ronald Thomas Stewart Macpherson, C.B.E., M.C., T.D.
      On 18 September, 1978, Armorial Ensigns were matriculated in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland, Lyon Court, (Volume 50 (folio 120) in the name of Ronald Thomas Stewart Macpherson, Balavil, Kingussie, Inverness-shire, the fifth son of the late Sir Thomas Stewart Macpherson, C.I.E., and Lady (Helen) Macpherson, K.I.H.

      The Arms are similar to those of his brother, the Rt. Hon. Niall Malcolm Stewart Macpherson, Lord Drumalbyn of Whitesands (see Creag Dhubh Vol. 3, No. 3, p.145) which, in turn, were a 'differenced' version of those granted to his uncle, Lord Strathcarron of Banchor in 1935. The shield is divided horizontally gold and blue, with the familiar components of the Cluny Arms, the Galley, the red hand and dagger, and the cross-crosslet as the principal charges. A checkered band of blue and silver (called a 'fess') is placed across the centre of the shield and this is taken from the Arms of Stewart to denote descent from that family. As in the Arms of Lord Drumalbyn, each silver square of the 'fess' is charged with an ermine spot but the upper edge is 'embattled' to 'difference' the Arms of R. T. S. Macpherson from those of Lord Drumalbyn. In heraldry, when a charge is 'embattled', it often indicates military service, which, in this case, is particularly appropriate.

      The Crest is "Sejant upon a mount of White Heather, a Cat-a-mountain proper, its dexter paw in a guardant posture, charged on the shoulder with an Annulet Or". The 'annulet' (or ring) is a mark of difference denoting the fifth son.

      The Motto is an 'answering motto' to Lord Drumalbyn's "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills", the opening words of Psalm 121.

      R. T. S. Macpherson, like all the members of his family, has taken an active part in the affairs of the Clan Association and has always been a loyal supporter of the England and Wales Branch.



------------------------------------------------------------------865 -------------------------------------------------------------



1978 RALLY

Not included


      The Clan House Museum was open from 24 March to 30 September. During this period, 3,801 visitors passed through the Museum, a decrease of 797 on the attendance last year.

      The recorded addresses show that they came from the following countries: England and Scotland (2,529); Northern Ireland (50); U.S.A. (290); Canada (93); Australia (103); New Zealand (26); Switzerland (18); France (96); Belgium (103); Holland (229); South Africa (6); West Germany (119); Norway (9); Sweden (28); Denmark (33); Austria (13); Italy (20); Malta (4); Venezuela (6); Israel (6); Hungary (1); Spain (10); Japan (9). In all, 308 Macphersons and septs of the Clan visited us, a decrease of 29.

      Donations received in the collection boxes amounted to E407 -- a decrease of �. Sales of publications realised �5 -- a decrease of �. Membership Fees amounted to � compared with �1 for the previous year -- a decrease of �.

      With a decrease in visitors we could reasonably have expected a comparable decrease in income from collection boxes and sales of publications. This is not the case, and the figures quoted above are not, in our opinion, disheartening. The weather in this area in 1978 was the worst experienced for a number of years, and although the current year records a decrease of 797 visitors, the average over the past years shows that we are maintaining a fairly steady income from the Museum.

      The following items given on loan to the Museum have been withdrawn by the donor, Captain J. Harvey Macpherson: (Creag Dhubh 1973) Collection of books (19 in all); (Creag Dhubh 1978) Jacobean Grandfather Clock. (Creag Dhubh 1977) The late Mr. Angus Macpherson, Achany, Lairg, expressed a desire that the undernoted items belonging to his grand father, Angus should be put into the Museum on loan from his grandson, George Macpherson, of the College of Art, Edinburgh. (Dirk, 1854, Plaid Brooch 1857, Sporran and Powder Horn.) These items have not yet been received and in consequence of this, Mrs. Carnegie Miller (daughter of the late Andrew Carnegie) who presented a display case to house them, requested us to forward the case to the Carnegie Trust, Dunfermline, where a small museum has been established in memory of Andrew Carnegie. The case is to be used in this museum to commemorate Angus Macpherson. The case was uplifted by Pickford's Removers on 7 November. We still hope that George Macpherson will honour the wishes expressed by his grandfather.

Additions to Museum
Masonic Past Master's Jewel of the Honourable Ewen A. McPherson, Q.C., LL.D., Chief Justice of Manitoba, First Chairman of the Canadian Branch of the Clan Macpherson Association, and an Honorary VicePresident of the Association.
      From his son, Noble D. C. McPherson 5350, Vine Street, Apt. 103, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.


Binneas is Boreraig, Volume (V) Edited by Dr. Roderick Ross.       From The Editor.

The Victoria Plains by Rica Erickson, 1971. (This history of the Victoria Plains was commissioned by the Victoria Shire Council to mark the centenary of the Local Government in Western Australia.)
      From Douglas MacPherson, Chairman, Western Australia Branch.

Clan Chattan Journal, 1978.
      From Robert B. McGillivray, Edinburgh.       Tape: Cluny interview on Radio Station Wion, Macpherson Broadcasting, Ionia, Michigan, U.S.A. 28/7/78 (U.S.A. Branch Clan Rally). Newspaper report of above Rally.
      From Monroe Macpherson. Radio Station WION.

Armorial Shields
            (1) Monroe Macpherson.
            (2) William Macpherson (died 1869) great-grandfather of Monroe Macpherson (above).
      From R. G. M. Macpherson, Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

          (1) Cluny.
           (2) Cluny, Sheila and family (coloured).
           (3) Cluny with Parker Archibald, Herbert T. Armitt, Roderick Clarke, Monroe Macpherson, and Robert B. Macpherson. U.S.A. Branch Rally, 28/7/78.
      From Cluny.

Colour photograph of Macpherson Dinner at St. Francis Xavier University -- Clan Rally and Highland Games, Antigonisb, Nova Scotia, July 1978.
      From Donald J. Macpherson, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Coloured photographs from the original watercolour paintings by Douglas Macpherson.
           (1) The Great Stone Sarcophagus of Tutankhamen Revealed. The Winged Figures of the Protective Goddesses -- Isis, Nephthys, Neith and Selk.
           (2) The Royal Shrine within the Tomb of Tutankhamen. A First Impression in Colour of its Golden Walls.

      Douglas Macpherson was the only artist sent to make watercolours of the opening of the Tomb of Tutankhamen. His father, John Macpberson, came from Laggan, near Newtonmore.(see article on page 889
      From the artist's daughter -- Mrs. L. B. Hancock, 68 Burntwood Lane, Caterham, Surrey.)

Annual Opening of Museum
      At the Council Meeting last August it was decided that the Museum be opened on I May annually, commencing 1979.


Housse & Museum Appeal Fund, 1979 Report

Not included
1978 Prize Draw

Not included


      When Macphersons gather and reminisce about Clan Rallies in the past there is one topic which inevitably is discussed, "Well, we have always had good weather at the Rally". While the weather may smile on the modern Macphersons, this year's Rally marks the 150th anniversary of an event still remembered in the Highlands -- 'The Great Floods of Lammas 1829'.

      The early summer months of the year 1829 showed unusual weather in the north of Scotland. Barometric readings gave great variations, vast displays of the 'Northern Lights' were observed and an unusual drought prevailed, broken only by sudden downpours, sometimes taking the form of water-spouts.

      These abnormal conditions came to a terrifying climax in the first few days of August, when a hurricane blowing from the north-east produced a rainstorm from the North Sea heavier than any in living memory.

      Weather records kept by the Duke of Gordon's gardener at Huntly Lodge showed a fall of nearly four inches of rain over the 3-4 August, which represented about a sixth of the annual rainfall for that area within twenty-four hours.

      The countryside affected by this extraordinary weather consisted of the valleys of the Rivers Spey and Findhorn with all their attendant tributaries, where the water running off the hillsides was helped by a series of drainage channels which had recently been cut in marshy ground in an effort to create dry hill pastures.

      This vast volume of water surging downstream caused great damage; at Fochabers the splendid stone bridge over the Spey withstood a rise in water level of seventeen feet before two of the arches gave way, carrying the unfortunate lame son of the toll-keeper with them, who was drowned.

      At Craigellachie, the great iron bridge was only saved by the fact that Telford, the designer, had taken note of the local advice and had raised the height of the deck to an unusual level above the river.

      The best account of the disaster is that given by Sir Thomas Dick Lauder in his book Account of the Moray Floods, published in Edinburgh in 1830. The following extract is taken from his book, which it would be hard to better:
           "The Spey and its tributaries above Kingussie were but little affected by the flood of the 3rd and 4th of August. The western boundary of the fall of rain seems to have been about the line of the river Calder, which enters the Spey from the left bank, a little to the westward of the village. The deluge was tremendous, accompanied by a violent north-east wind, and frequent flashes of lightning, without thunder . . . About Belleville, and on the Invereshie estate, the meadows were covered to the extent of five miles long by one mile broad . . . The river Feshie, a tributary from the right bank, immediately below Invereshie, was subjected to the full influence of the deluge. It swept vast stones and heavy trees along with it, roaring tremendously . . . John Grant, the sawmiller's house, at Feshieside, was surrounded by four feet of water, about eight o'clock in the morning of the 4th. The people on top of a neighbouring hill fortunately observed the critical situation of the


family; and some men, in defiance of the tremendous rush of the water, then 200 yards in breadth, gallantly entered, as Highlanders are wont to do in trying circumstances, shoulder to shoulder, and rescued the inmates of the house, one by one, from a peril proved to be sufficiently immediate by the sudden disappearance of a large portion of the sawmill.

           But, great as was the danger in this case, the lonely and deserted situation of Donald Macpherson, shepherd in Glenfeshie, with his wife and six children, was still more frightful, and required all the firmness and resolute presence of mind characterising the hardy mountaineer. His house stood on an eminence, at a considerable distance from the river. Believing, therefore, that whatever might come, he and his would be in perfect safety, he retired with his family to bed at the usual hour on the evening of the 3rd. At midnight he was roused by the more than ordinary thunder of the river, and getting up to see the cause, he plunged up to the middle in water. Not a moment was to be lost. He sprang into his little dwelling, lifted, one after the other, his children from their beds, and carried them, almost naked, half asleep, and but half conscious of their danger, to the top of a hill. There, amidst the wild contention of the elements, and the utter darkness of the night, the family remained shivering and in suspense, till daybreak, partially illuminating the wildness of the scenery of the narrow glen around them, informed them that the flood had made them prisoners in the spot where they were, the Feshie filling the whole space below, and cataracts falling from the rocks on all sides. Nor did they escape from their cliff of penance till the evening of the following day.

          The crops in Glenfeshie were annihilated. The romantic old bridge at Glenfeshie is of two arches of 34 and 12 feet span. The larger of these is 22 feet above the river in its ordinary state, yet the flood was 3 feet above the keystone, which would make its height here above the ordinary level about 25 feet. The force pressing on this bridge must have been immense; and, if we had not already contemplated the case of the Ferness bridge, we should consider the escape of the Feshie to be a miracle. Masses of the micaceous rock below the bridge, of several tons weight, were rent away, carried down, and buried under heaps of gravel at the lower end of the pool, 50 or 60 yards from the spot whence they were taken. The Feshie destroyed the whole low ground at DaInavert, excavated a new channel for itself, and left an island between it and the Spey of at least 200 acres. The loss of crop and stock by the farmers hereabouts is quite enormous, and the ruin to the land very great."

      Sir Thomas relates a very whimsical result at the farm of Dalraddy, in consequence of the flooding of the burn of that name which flows into Loch Alvie: "The tenant's wife, Mrs. Cumming, on going out after the flood had subsided on Tuesday afternoon, found, at the back of the house, and all lying in a heap, a handsome dish of trout, a pike, a hare, a partridge, and a turkey, with a dish of potatoes and a dish of turnips -- all brought down by the burn, and deposited there for the good of the house, except the turkey, which alas,! was one of her own favourite flock. The poor hare had been surprised on a piece of ground insulated by the flood, and had been seen alive the previous evening, exhibiting signs of alarm and consternation, and the flood rising yet higher during the night, swept over the spot, and consummated its destruction."

[Continued on page 873}









------------------------------------------------------------------875 --------------------------------------------------------------

continued from page 872

      This finding emulated that of the footman on the staff of Relugas on the River Findhorn, who, with the aid of his umbrella, caught a salmon at a point fifty feet above the normal level of that river.

      Today the River Spey flows quietly on its journey to the North Sea, providing pleasure and profit to many. Its tributaries still have a reputation for sudden 'flash' floods, witness the destruction of the road from Aviemore to the Cairngorm ski slopes last summer, but never, let us hope will there be a repetition of the events of August 1829.

* * *

CongratuIations to . . .
      William A. Macpherson of Cluny and Blairgowrie, Q.C., who has been elected a Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple, the senior governing body of the Barristers' Branch of the legal profession in England.

      Lord Drumalbyn who, at Crown Court Church, London has been presented by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland with a long service award for services as an elder. While serving on the session Lord Drumalbyn (Niall Macpherson), a former M.P. for Dumfriesshire was a Minister at the Scottish Office and in other Government departments.


Badenoch Branch    46
North of Scotland Branch   59
East of Scotland Branch  179
West of Scotland Branch   68
England and Wales Branch  362
Canadian Branch   322
U.S.A. Branch  442
New Zealand Branch   74
New South Wales Branch   38
South Australia Branch   49
Victoria Branch   83
Queenland Branch   16
Western Branch   85
Europe Branch .    17
Asia Branch     5
Africa Branch   23
South America Branch     7

      On 7 May,. 1978, to Major William R. and Maureen Macpherson, at Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., a son, Stuart William.

      STAIRS -MACPHERSON On 17 June 1978, Mr. Robert Fraser Stairs was married to Miss Marion Jean MacPherson at Edgewood United Church, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Marion is the eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs, Wallace Crawford MacPherson of Halifax,, Nova Scotia.


Mr. HAMISH MACPHERSON, Craigphadrig, Kingussie.
Mrs. SARAH PATE, Inverglen, Main Street, Newtonmore.
Mr. JOHN MACPHERSON, Croft Cottage, Auldearn, Nairnshire.
Mrs. MARGARET MACWILLIAM, Tarnash, Diriebright Road, Inverness.
The Hon. THOMAS J. MACPHERSON, Kyllachy House, Tomatin, Inverness-shire.
Mrs. ISABELLA, MACPHERSON, I Chesser Loan, Edinburgh.
Mr. ARNOLD McPHERSON, 72 The Downs, Altrincham, Cheshire.
Mr. ANGUS MACPHERSON, 8 Lincoln Square, Widnes, Cheshire.
Miss ISABEL G. MACPHERSON, Park Cottage, Wickham Bishops, Smethwick, Staffordshire.
Mrs. MARY S. P. McPHERSON, 6 Lightswood Hill, Warley Woods, Smethwick, Staffordshire.
Mrs. MITTIE SADLER, Lilliput Cottage, Leigh, near Sherbourne, Dorset.
Mr. ROBERT M. MACLEISH, 24 Boxley Close, Penenden Heath, Maidstone, Kent.
Mr. ADAM R. F. D. MACPHERSON, Appt. 1, Box 353, Eureka, California.
Mr, WILLIAM A. CATTANACH, Appt. Al 102,2601 Parkway, Philadelphia.
Mr. STEWART HENDERSON GILLESPIE, 22 Strickland Road, Mount Pleasant, W. Australia.

William A. Catanach
      William A, Catanach, 261 Parkway, Philadelphia, U.S.A., died on 31 August 1978, aged 85 years. He was Assistant to the Vice-President of the Eastern Railroad Association. He graduated from Northeast High School in 1910 and served in the Army during World War I. He was a Mason, a member of the American Legion and a Life Member of the Clan Macpherson Association.
We offer sincere sympathy to his widow, Mrs. Harriet Daggett Catanach.

Arnold McPherson
      Arnold McPherson, who died on 4 November 1978, was a long-standing member of the Association which he joined in July 1953. Throughout his life he was a staunch and loyal supporter of his Clan.

      Arnold was a valued and outstanding member of the community in which his interests and activities were many. His quiet courtesy and kindness of heart endeared him to all who knew him and his generosity, particularly during the period when funds were being raised to provide an extension to the Museum, was typical of Arnold. As a member of the Clan Council his advice and sound judgment were invaluable. To his wife, Gwen, we offer our heartfelt sympathy in her sad loss.

      The last tribute by the Association was paid at the Clan House where the flag was flown at half-mast. The Association was represented at the funeral by John Macpherson Martin, Chairman of the England and Wales Branch.

Mr. James Macpherson      Mr. James (Hamish) Macpherson, eldest son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Jas. S. Macpherson, Craigphadrig, Kingussie, died peacefully on 28 May 1978, at St. Vincent's Home, where he has been a resident for the past few months. A native of the town, Mr Macpherson spent his working life


with the Bank of Scotland, latterly in Glasgow and returned to his home on retiral. He was an enthusiastic golfer and the oldest playing member: for a time he acted as treasurer of the club, a keen bowler and also an ardent member of the local bridge club. Unmarried, he is survived by a brother, sister and other relatives.

Dr. John R. Macpherson
      In his 65th year as a physician, Dr. John R. Macpherson died on 3 July 1978, while visiting his patients at the Four Counties Hospital, Newbury, Ontario.

      'Dr. John' as he was known in the area was born 86 years ago at the village of Campbelltown, Ontario, Canada. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario Medical College in 1914, where he was a Silver Medallist. For over 60 years he practised medicine in the south-western Ontario communities of Duart and Highgate. As a result of service to the people, he was made a Life Member of the Canadian Medical Association.

      He was active in the church, local government, Masonic Lodge, Rotary, and was an early member of the Canadian Branch of the Clan Macpherson Association. Dr. John gave the Clan Association strong support and one of the highlights of his travels was his attendance at the Clan Rally in Scotland in 1974.

      He is survived by his wife, Hazel, and three sons, Donald, present Vice-Chairman of the Clan Association, Dr. Archie and Ford.

Mrs. Sarah Macpherson Pate
      Mrs. Sarah Macpherson Pate, late of 'Inverglen', Main Street, Newtonmore, had been resident there since August 1964. Born in 'Forestville', Kingussie in 1897, Sarah Macpherson spent most of her days in Glasgow, retiring as a Headmistress in that city to return to Speyside.

      Mrs. Pate died at Helensburgh on 27 May 1978, and was buried at Kingussie on 31 May, the eighty-first anniversary of her birth.

Colonel William Lindsay McPherson
      'Colonel Bill', U.S. Army, Retired, died on 7 May 1978. A native of Missouri, Colonel Bill was educated at the University of Kansas, where he received a B.S. degree in Chemistry, and at the University of Michigan, where he received an M.S.E. in Mechanical and Chemical Engineering. From 1923 until 1947 he was a member of the Armed Forces as a commissioned officer in the United States Army. In addition to numerous other military assignments, he served from 1938 to 1942 as an Instructor in the Department of Chemistry and Electricity at the United States Military Academy. Upon his retirement from the Army in 1947, Colonel Bill joined the teaching staff of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University as a member of the Chemistry Department where he was instrumental in establishing the University's Radio Chemical Laboratory with its accompanying courses of study. In 1967 he retired as Associate Professor Emeritus of Chemistry.

      After his retirement from the University Colonel Bill made several trips to Scotland, thereby satisfying a life-long desire to know more about the land of his ancestors. He was a descendant of Robert and Janet McPherson who went to America in 1735 or 1738 and settled in the area which is now Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.











1 .  Let us meet, at the gath'ring of the Clan
           And renew friendships many, man to man,
      Of our heritage we're proud,
          And our history well endowed.
      Let's rally in the lands where we began.

          From the rugged blue ridges of the Cairngorms,
               To the shimmering waters of the Spey;
          Our traditions were built in these green valleys
               And on many a heather covered brae.

2.   The MacPherson Clan was scattered far and wide,
           Their achievements in new countries are our pride,
      But the old homeland is here,
           Calling Clansmen loud and clear to come back,
      Celebrating side by side.

3.   And when Fortunes are made and work is done,
           Clansmen's thoughts turn back home and every one
      Has the urge to wander back to that old familiar track
           To the Gathering of MacPherson Sons.

words and music by ALBERT McPHERSON PLANE
(arr. by his wife ANNE)

* * *


From Mrs L. B. Hancock (née Macpherson), 68 Burntwood Lane, Caterham, Surrey.

      My father, Douglas Macpherson, the last of a family of eight, was born in Essex. My grandfather, John Macpherson, came from Laggan, near Newtonmore. He was an artist of some repute and painted landscapes in oils until he contracted an allergy which prevented him from using this medium. He came south with his family and settled in Essex, where he took to painting landscapes in watercolour.

      My father had an art training, and, after he qualified, became a Press Artist and was on the staff of the old Daily Graphic for some years, during which time he was sent to Cuba to bring back pictures of the Spanish/American War in 1898. After he married my mother he was taken on to the staff of the Sphere and later, The Illustrated London News. He was given a commission in the R.N.V.R. in the 1914-18 War to enable him to paint war pictures, etc.

      When the Lord Caernarvon and Howard Carter team in 1922 went to Luxor and excavated the Tutankhamen Tomb, my father was the only artist sent to make watercolour drawings of the opening of the Tomb and Sarcophagus. (I have copies of the original prints from The Sphere.)

      A few years ago, the only survivor of the expedition, a Mr. Adamson, wrote a letter to the Daily Mail. Naturally, I was very intrigued and I contacted him. He had been a Corporal in the Military Police and had guarded the Tomb for seven years. Mr. Adamson was also intrigued to hear about my father and said that if it were possible he would like to


have the original pictures, as he lectured up and down the country and also at Cambridge University, where Prince Charles was studying at that time, who showed a particular interest in the discovery and it was because of this that Mr. Adamson said he would like to show Prince Charles the originals.       I didn't have any luck when I rang the Archives Department of The Sphere -- they informed me that the original prints and many others had gone up in the blitz, so then I had to think again how to let Mr. Adamson see the prints and I sent them away to be photographed. The result was good, but expensive. When Mr. Adamson received the prints, he said he was lost in admiration and lived the scene all over again. He had the prints framed and made an appointment to take them up to Buckingham Palace and, after having been seen there, they were seen by the Royal Family at Sandringham. Mr. Adamson had a charming letter from Prince Charles, saying what wonderful pictures they were.

This column continues with further details of clansmen and clanswomen anxious to find their Scottish ancestors. Should any reader have any information, could they get in touch with the enquirer direct if their address is given. They are also welcome to send details to the Editor if it could make a good story for Creag Dhubh. If no address is given write the Editor.       Ronald Gillies of Apartment 3, Park Mews, 60 Moxham Avenue, Wellington 3, New Zealand writes with a request for information on any ancestors of his. His grandfather, Thomas Gillies came to New Zealand in 1861. He was the third son of Thomas Gillies who married Jane (or Jean) Fisher in Sorn on 22 September 1837. He was born in Gorbals on I June 1842. His great-grandfather Thomas Gillies, was born in 1815 or thereabouts, was one of five or six children born to Solomon Gillies who married Catherine Johnston and lived in Newtonon-Ayr. His great-great-grandfather was a Solomon Gillies who was born in the parish of Tinwald, Dumfries about 1781. It is believed that he was the son of another Solomon Gillies.

From Canada we learn how a whole Canadian province, Manitoba, was saved by a Macpherson.
      In 1867, newcomer Thomas Spence, obtained a seat on the local Portage la Prairie Council, which he soon revised by creating an Executive Committee and the office of President, the latter to which he was elected. They were to rule over an area extending east to Assiniboia, north to a point approximately 70 miles north of Portage la Prairie, west to a point just west of Brandon, and south to the U.S. border. This 'Republic' was initially called Caledonia but later changed to Manitoba.

      The authorities of the Republic began to collect taxes and tariffs in order to build a court house and jail. However, a High Bluff shoemaker, Alexander McPherson, a vocal opponent of the new regime, claimed with probable accuracy, that monies collected through taxation were in


reality being used to purchase alcoholic refreshments for the President and his Executive Council. McPherson was finally charged with "treason to the laws of the Republic" and an evening trial took place in the home of a local constable. McPherson's friend and fellow Scot, John McLean, accompanied by three miners and a couple of other friends, arrived during the course of the trial. McLean was incredulous to learn that President Spence was acting as both judge and accuser. In the resulting uproar, a table was overturned, extinguishing the lights. The miners chose this moment to discharge their revolvers into the ceiling. These actions resulted in an almost instantaneous clearing of the court. The backbone of the Republic had been broken, as it never survived this assault on its authority.

      Are there any descendants of this heroic Alexander who might like to write us?

When the Editor's mother, Jean MacPherson (see Creag Dhubh 22 opp. p.372, p.355 and p.395: Creag Dhubh 27 p.687) inherited Rose Cottage, Davidson's Mains, Edinburgh, Scotland, on the death of her grandfather James in 1920 (Creag Dhubh 23 opp. p.458) her mother helped her clear out the house. When Jean came across a two foot deep bundle of faded vellum parchments that her mother had put out for the 'bucket' as garbage, she turned to her mother.

      "Ma", she asked, anxiously, "should we not keep these old manuscripts?" Her mother looked with the fond resigned smile of a parent answering the ingenuous questions of a child. Only Jean was in this case a fully grown woman who was, in this case, very much in the right!

      "But, Jean, these are in the old hand which no one can read nowadays", answered her mother not realising how wrong she was.

      "Where did they come from?"

      "Your grandfather got them from MacPherson."

      This meant that her grandfather, James, had inherited them from a remote past and that they had come into his family originally as a gift from James MacPherson of the 'Ossian'. In her family 'Ossian' was always known only as 'MacPherson'.

      Forty years later, an eminent historian told Jean's son that James of the 'Ossian' did indeed collect such priceless treasures as had been let go to the city incinerator. They would undoubtedly have been irreplaceable and genuine. They could have contained a second manuscript of the stature of The Book of the Dean of Lismore or one of the missing books of Clan Ranald written by the famous MacVurich bards of Stillagary, South Uist. Undoubtedly this was a tragic loss, due to ignorance and apathy. Yet he announced that James of the 'Ossian' only gave his treasures to his nearest relatives so Jean's family must undoubtedly be near descendants of James ('Ossian'). Then the historian ended conclusively, "Didn't you say that your great-grandfather's name was James too?"


      Unfortunately the Scots Ancestry Society in going as far back as it could to trace John MacPherson (Creag Dhubh 27 p.699) came up with no fewer than FOUR Johns.

      Does any reader know whether any of these four or any other John was a close relative of James of the 'Ossian'?

Hugh P. Elliott, 14 Eldon Avenue, Shirley, Croydon CRO 8SD, England, writes us whether any reader can give him any information about his grandfather, Sir John Molesworth Macpherson, KCSI, who died on 5 January 1914, having spent the last few years of his life at his home, 'Creag Dhubh', Onich, near Fort William, Inverness-shire, after retirement from India. He had a distinguished career in the Indian Legal Service -- mostly in Calcutta -- and ended up as Legal Adviser to the Legislative Council of the Governor-General (Lord Curzon). Although he has a certain amount of information and photographs of his career in India, he knows little about his grandfather's retirement in Scotland. His grandfather died when he was only 60, having enjoyed only two or three years in his beautiful home, with a yacht on the loch on which be took huge family parties on expeditions round the islands.

* * *

2707 West Macon Street, Decatur, Illinois 62522

Dear Sir,
      Each year as we write our Christmas letter, we think so much of you who will receive it. Word from us may only come to some of you once a year but you have our best wishes for each day, particularly during this joyous Holiday Season.

      1978 has been good to us as we hope it has for you. We have had the pleasures of visiting with old friends and new on the West Coast, the East Coast, Mexico, the hills of Kentucky, Germany, France, England, Wales and Scotland. The greatest however, was another "blessed event" in the Macpherson family.

      We drove 1,800 miles in England, Wales and Scotland from Portsmouth to Land's End, Cardiff to Edinburgh, Banff to Inverness and the Highlands to Glasgow. Winnie and Frank Treloar showed us some of the beauties of Cornwall, we learned to pronounce some of the names of towns in Wales, checked on our roots in Scotland, searched for the Loch Ness monster and played some golf.

      Immediately upon our return to the States in June we rushed down to O'Fallon, Illinois to meet our new grandson, Stuart William Macpherson, born to Maureen and Bill on 7 May. He is six months old now, looks and acts just great and has brought more happiness to all of us.

      Bonnie, John and their growing son, John Rupert, who is now two and a half have provided us with considerable pleasures in our visits to their home in Belleville, Illinois.

      We have had plenty to do to keep us busy. Short trips with friends in the heartland of America, visits with our children and grandchildren, a little bit of golf and a visit by Ethel and John Macpherson of Edinburgh, Scotland made the months seem to go by too fast.

Yours sincerely,



Two events to be held in the future should be of considerable interest to Clan members and should be noted for reference.

      During the summer of 1979, from 28 June until 12 August, a programme of special events and activities will be held in the province of Nova Scotia as part of the International Gathering of the Clans. Any


persons in the United Kingdom who are interested, should contact Mr. James Adam of 36 North Castle Street, Edinburgh; or in North America, D. Roy Pierce, Executive Director, International Gathering of the Clans, P.O. Box 130, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

      Following the success of the Clan Gathering held in Scotland during May 1977 another Gathering has been planned for the period 23 May to 7 June 1981. Very few details have been announced to date, but should further information become available before the issue of this Journal, a loose sheet giving details will be distributed to members.

      Around 1822 John McPherson, a native of York State (now known as New York State) walked from there to Dumfries (now known as South Dumfries) looking for good land on which to settle. He found what he wanted along the Grand River -- the farm now owned by Mr. Reg. Gardiner. John McPherson walked back to York State, settled his business affairs and the next year returned by oxen team with his wife, Anne and his household furniture. He built a log cabin near an excellent spring down by the river. Fifty years later John's son Daniel McPherson bought the farm now owned by Mrs. Frank McPherson -- being continuously in the McPherson name since 1872.

      The name McPherson means "son of the parson". The first record of the Clan McPherson goes back to 843 A.D. in Kingussie near Inverness, Scotland. Descendants of the founder of the clan have spread all over the world. Descendants clung to some old customs -- one of which was wearing the tartan identifying their clan. The McPherson Clan wore their Dress McPherson tartan on special occasions, which the Cubs and Boy Scouts of Glen Morris have adopted as their tartan. The tartan is not a hit and miss pattern of lines and checks but a definite pattern strictly adhered to so that it is an emblem of clan, country, regiment or in the case of the Cubs and Boy Scouts an organisation.

      John McPherson and his family helped to build the Glen Morris Presbyterian Church in 1849. He is buried in the Glen Morris cemetery. In 1974 a memorial window in the Glen Morris United Church was unveiled and dedicated to the memory of John McPherson and his wife Anne McPherson.

      John McPherson was proud of his country, his home, his church and one of the emblems of his family name -- the Dress McPherson of Cluny Tartan. Cluny is the name given to each succeeding Chief of the Clan McPherson. I am sure that John McPherson would have been proud to know that the Cubs and Boy Scouts of Glen Morris have adopted the Dress McPherson as their emblem.

      In olden days when strangers met in the Highlands of Scotland they were often asked to "show your colours" -- in other words to display their tartan so they could be identified. May you "wear your colours well" so that all will be proud of the Cubs and Scouts of Glen Morris.


[I'm curious about where Glen Morris is located. A check with Google.com indicates that there are communities named Glen Morris in Ontario, Canada, Maryland. USA and Australia. At least two of these is in walking distance of New York State. Perhaps there are others. However, I'm even more curious as to what those documents that date from 843 have to say.]


MACPHERSON HAPPENINGS IN 1978 as reported by DONALD J. MACPHERSON of Hamilton [Ontario]

      Discussions were held early in the year to have something different in 1978, and perhaps create more interest in the Canadian Branch of the Clan Association.

      The decision was made to have our Annual meeting in conjunction with the Highland Games at Antigonish in Canada's ocean playground province of Nova Scotia.

      Antigonish may sound like a strange name for this home of many Scots but in reality it means, the place where the bears broke the branches to get the Beech nuts. This is the translation from the Micmac Indians who were living in the area at that time.

      This was the 117th presentation of the Canadian Braemar known as the Antigonish Highland Games.

      It retains all the events dear to any Highland heart and has contestants from all over the North American continent. These games are considered Canada's most colourful and authentic Scottish pageant. The events are a continuing panorama of Highland history and customs.

      As plans progressed during the year, members were asked as to whether or not a chartered bus would be of interest, but due to insufficient members showing the need, it was decided to forgo the bus. Many people had various ways to get there for this occasion.

      Some people were to be there for the actual meeting weekend but some others were combining business and pleasure. The archives in Halifax and the various other depositories around the Province beckoned yet others to do some researching into the past of some ancestors who lived here many years before.

      We drove along the scenic route through several states in the United States until reaching the Province of New Brunswick, which has many beautiful rivers and highways.

      As we pass along the Trans Canada Highway, we enter Nova Scotia at Amherst. Each visitor usually stops to admire the beautiful landscaped area and flower gardens. There are souvenir shops, information booths and buildings showing the various aspects of history of the many areas of the Province.

      At the centre of attraction is a kilted piper playing many of the tunes of glory and having many young lassies pose with him for a picture to keep in their books of memory.

      Of course, for those who are getting a wee bit hungry after a day's journey, there is a good place to eat in an ancient farmhouse now converted into a place for the famished to renew their strength and slake their thirst.

      Having arrived ahead of the appointed time, we had a few days to visit friends at Halifax as well as locate some papers of ancestors in the archives before heading to the town of Antigonish. We were personally happy to find a relative through another line of the family.

      We had reservations waiting at a local hotel which was to be our headquarters for the next week or so.


      While waiting for the week-long celebrations to begin we took time out to look around the town and meet its people. The whole town had taken part in this their most important event perhaps of the year. Businesses along the main business street were all decked out in their finery. Each window was decorated in some way to have a Scottish theme. They deserve a thank you from the visitors for making everyone feel at home. The core of the business district was blocked off for two days to make it an open-air mall with the stores selling their wares.

      Plenty of areas were open to others who wanted to show the wares and crafts of various groups. Each selling area had goods of quality and items which were all useful to those whose money was parted with.       Something was planned for each night of the week and beginning with Saturday, 8 July there was a gala Highland Ball. On Sunday, as is the custom, an ecumenical church service was held in the St. Ninian's Cathedral. This church is 104 years old and is considered by some experts to be the finest piece of romanesque architecture in Canada. The pastor at the time of its erection was a Gillis. There were a series of miniconcerts each night for the first few days, while on Wednesday players teed off for the Kilted Golf Tournament. Thursday evening saw a salmon supper in the nearby community of Pomquet while a huge parking lot in Antigonish became the setting for an old-time dance. The participants really enjoyed themselves.

      The visitors were made welcome and had many a chat with fellow Scots of mutual interests. No one is a stranger here., just friends they have not yet met. Piping and dancing competitions were going on throughout Friday. This was keenly judged and from those spectators present, it proved most popular. This took place in Piper's Glen -- an area of natural wilderness beside Columbus Field where all the games were held.

      The official opening of the games took place at Columbus Field on Friday night, 14 July, at 9 pm. The dignitaries were piped to the dais by one of the many bands present for the games. Cluny, our Chief, and his lady were introduced by the Chairman as was each of the dignitaries present. The remainder of this evening was spent by enjoying the Pipe Band Tattoo and other local talents, both vocal and instrumental.

      Friday morning of course saw the arrivals of many of the MacPhersons from near and far to take part in their annual gathering which was to be held here. Registration took place in the Alumni lounge of the Bloomfield Centre in the St. Francis Xavier University complex. Each person was given a folder of useful information among which was a map of the town of Antigonish, a road map of the Province of Nova Scotia and histories of the University and places of interest nearby for those who wished to venture afield.

      Early Saturday morning saw many of the MacPherson entourage clicking their cameras for lasting memories and souvenirs of the Parade and various pipe bands. The various floats did the town justice, from the youngest children to the more mature people, each one portrayed a message.


      After the last float had passed, we were hustled away to the Bloomfield Centre again for our Annual business meeting. At the close of the meeting we were shown around the campus by Dr. John MacPherson. He took us through St. Ninian's Cathedral and gave a brief history of the Parish, building, paintings and many other details. Also included in the tour, was a visit to the Hall of the Clans in the Angus L. MacDonald Library. This commemorates the founding Scots. Their crests adorn the walls. The University maintains a Department of Celtic Studies to preserve the Celtic language, literature and history.

      The rest of the day was ours to do as we wished. It was suggested that as many as could, should visit the games grounds at Columbus Field and mingle with the crowd to meet some of the people or take a turn to man the MacPherson tent beside the Clans Donald and Chattan. They were situated near the Piper's Glen. Stirring pipe music was always within earshot wherever you went. During the days, the games grounds saw a full slate of track and field activities.

      Saturday evening saw some 43 people gather in the dining room for friendship and 'chit chat' and maybe some gossip before we were photographed for posterity by Gourley's Photography of Antigonish. Appetites were satisfied at the banquet which followed with even the traditional haggis being piped in. The buffet table was tastefully displayed with Nova Scotian seafoods, including the famous Atlantic Sockeye Salmon with Nova Scotia strawberries for dessert. Saturday evening was topped off with the concert under the stars at Columbus Field.

      The formal part of the games came to an end on Sunday morning with the closing ecumenical service held in the 175 year old St. James United Church. This present structure is 125 years old. The scripture was read in Gaelic and a special feature was the singing of Amazing Grace also in Gaelic. Rev. Snow was the minister at this service. A short visit after the proper service showed that people were present from many parts of the United States and Canada. The Ladies' Guild served cake and tea in the adjoining lounge and dining room to those who wished to visit after church.

      While Monday morning saw the departure of many folks, some took the time to drive to scenic areas. Cluny and Lady Cluny were driven around the beautiful Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island. It was shrouded in mist and fog in areas, but they saw enough to whet the appetite to return another time. A visit was made to Arisaig where St.Margaret's Parish is located. This parish was founded in 1792 by Scottish Highland immigrants.

      People who heard that the area would be booked up, rooms-wise, found that to be correct and some who were passing through had to go some thirty miles to get accommodation. They were heard to say -- "all this for the MacPhersons!". The entire planning of the weekend for the MacPhersons was the responsibility of Dr. John MacPherson, a professor at the University. Our thanks to him, for a job well done.


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