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Paperback A Dance Called America: The Scottish Highlands, the United States and Canada Book

ISBN: 1851588078

ISBN13: 9781851588077

A Dance Called America: The Scottish Highlands, the United States and Canada

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

This is an account of what happened to the thousands of people who left the Scottish Highlands to make a new life in the United States and Canada. The book evaluates the impact of people from the Highlands on the New World. It is the story of how soldiers, explorers, fur traders, lumberjacks, guerilla fighters, railway builders, and pioneer settlers from the northern part of Scotland contributed to the United States and Canada.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A new sense of pride and understanding

A dance called America by James Hunter is a gem to read. This is the story of the highlanders in America after the clearances. So much of Scottish Highland history books ends with the 1745 and clearances. But after the glens were cleared, where did the people go. Mr. Hunter answers this question and more. In this book, he explains the highland impact on the North American continent. He first tells of the Darien settlement in Georgia and Cape Fear in North Carolina. As the Clan Chiefs focused less on leading the clans and more on renting their land to sheep herders, the Tacksmen or gentry of the clans began to lead many of the displaced people to found these new colonies in the Americas. He goes on to explain the settlement of the Mohawk Valley in New York State and the continued migration north after the American Revolution to Glengarry in Ontario. As the clearances continued, clansmen moved to Cape Breton Island and we learn about the involvement of Thomas Douglas, Earl of Selkirk in the new colonies. He strove to help poor highlanders struggling in the coastal crofts of Scotland to settle in his new Red River Colony in what is today modern Manitoba, Canada. As Mr. Hunter explains, these Highlanders' success and failures in America, we see the rise of the North West Fur Company and the Hudson Bay Company, which were rivals and dominated by Scots. As these two giants merge into one, we see a Canadian, John A. Macdonald, rise and work with other Highlanders and Canadian Americans of Scottish roots to help forge the lands including Red River, Glengarry, and Cape Breton Island into the nation of Canada. The legacy of the victims of the Highland clearances is the success of the new nations that were helped in building by the clansmen and their descendents in America and Canada. Mr. Hunter gives a richly detailed account of these lands and the men who created and lived there. James Hunter not only tells the tales, but he gives his own personal accounts of visiting these areas, cities, and lands of today to help us actually visualize the environment through his vivid descriptions. A dance called America is a must for anyone interested in Scottish history and the Scots impact on the world. My Grandmother was a McDonald and this book helps me to understand her pride in being of Scottish blood and passing that pride and understanding to me. Thank you Mr. Hunter.

How and Why did all those Scots get to North America?

Everyone has heard about the potato famines that drove the many Irish immigrants to North America, but what about their celtic sisters and brothers in Scotland? Was it the clearances or was it the disasterous battle at Culloden in 1745? Hunter's book looks not only at the myriad of issues that emptied the highlands, but also at how the Scotts got to North American and what happened to them when they got there. Hunter explains not only the economic factors in Scotland, but also the brutal conditions that many Scots endured during their passage to Canada and the United States. He looks at the political issues in Scotland, England, Canada and the United State. He examines how they survived and why what they did often depended on when and where they landed. Early emmigrants tended to have money whereas those coming later had next to nothing. Hunter tells you about the businesses that they started, the communities that they built and the leadership that they provide even today to new continent. A Dance Called America opens your eyes to a group of people rarely considered when examining the settlement of North America. While anyone interested in history will enjoy this book, those of Scottish descent will find it particularly interesting

A book that I can't forget

Some books like some movies stay with you. I learned so much about what happened in Scotland from Hunter's very interesting accounts. This book has made the kind of impression that compells me to reread it and loan it to others. It's a keeper in my bookcase now for reference. Now I am in the process of visiting those places both in Scotland and in America where these displaced peoples were sent.

An excellent book on the Scots coming to North America

James Hunter has written a great book on Scottish immigration to North America. He strikes a very good balance between Scottish events that determined why people emmigrated, and the different experiences of these gaelic pioneers. Different periods of emmigration and settlements of Scottish immigrants are covered. The research is very detailed but thankfully doesn't result in statistics which will bore you. Rather Hunter concentrates on the actual experiences of notable settlers and explorers. It's a descriptive account that brings the period alive. I found the description of the quarantine station at Grosse Ile and Cholera Bay to be particularly moving.This book is more than a chronicle of the hardships, challenges and frustrations that these early settlers had to endure. It reminds us of their achievements and significant contributions. You can appreciate them that much more knowing of their suffererings in a tough, new land.I'd be giving this book five stars, but I would have liked some maps and I found the chapter on Craigellachie to wander a little bit. But this is still a wonderful book. If you're interested in Scotland or have any Scottish ancestors, add this book to your collection.

An outstanding book on a crucial period of Scottish history

Anyone who is a Scot or has a Scottish background will be fascinated by this book. Meticulously researched, it describes the harrowing lives of the many Scots folks who emigrated to the US and Canada during the 18th and 19th centuries. We were shocked to learn that some Scottish emigrants had become slave owners, while others with few belongings and no means were left stranded on remote points of the Canadian coastline in the middle of winter.
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