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The Sporran

Davidson of Davidston

Arms Of The Chief

July News From

2012

The Clan Davidson Society
(USA)

A Ceann Cinnidh Cuimhne (The President’s Thoughts) by Rich Halliley
It’s hard for me to believe we have just passed the 1st anniversary of the Clan Davidson International Gathering! A year ago, instead of attending the highland games in Blairsville, Georgia, my family and I were some 600-miles away gathered at Riverside Park in Kansas City, MO with over 150 members of the Clan Davidson from the USA, UK, Canada and AUS. I still cherish that time together and I wonder what can be done for an encore. So without further ado, let’s get down to business! In our last issue of The Sporran, it was briefly announced that a ground breaking ceremony took place on January 1st for the new Rural Hill Cultural Center (RHCC) consisting of the May Davidson Hall and Scottish Heritage Room. At press time, not all project details were available; however, our Sennachie did receive correspondence from Ed McLean, Development Director of the RHCC project, regarding possible funding opportunities for the center. [Note: Rural Hill is the old name for what is also called the Old Davidson
Plantation. Located in Huntersville, North Caroline, this is now a restored and working historical farmstead. It is also the site of the Loch Norman Highland Games. May Davidson was the last of the family line that inhabited the farmstead since the early 1700s. May passed away just a few years ago. Sennche]

This past April, at the Loch Norman Highland Games, several officers of CDs-USA had an opportunity to examine the site as well as review information presented at the RHCC information tent. During our AGM, I extended an invitation and was pleased to yield 30 minutes to Rural Hill’s Senior Advisor for Development, Ed McLean, to bring us up to date regarding the project. Ed gave us a fantastic overview of the plans and provided us some great information regarding the intended use of the facility. He provided statistics that included the annual potential of serving the public (over 130,000 people attended Rural Hill last year!). The only hurdle at that time was the final approval by the Mecklenburg County Zoning and Planning Board for permitting the construction. Ed’s final words were the promise of Clan Davidson to be “the first clan to have their AGM held in May Davidson Hall next year”. Wow!
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INDEX

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5 Sporran suspenders now available from Faire Isle Trading Company

Editorial Item (President) 1 President Halliley announces the project involving CDS-USA with the construction of the Historic Rural Hill May Davidson Hall and Scottish Heritage Center. Editorial Item (Secretary/Treasurer) 11 Annual Treasurer’s Report; Minutes from 2012 AGM Editorial Item (Sennachie) 3 New Clan Davidson Book published by CDS-USA is now shipping. 4 Your Heart Will Tell You - a wee story of how two lost Clansmen found their way home. 5 Some thoughts on Scottish Independance 8 CDS-USA FaceBook Group now up and running. 8 Some Thoughts About Our Regional Directors, the lifeblood of the Society. 8 Scottish videos available on YouTube will blow you away! 9 Sennachie’s Very Special Poodle Puppy Award Repurposed Feature Item, History 23 General William Lee Davidson, American Hero by Debbie Sorrels Mecca. Part III of a IV part series about this American Revolutionary War Davidson Clansman. 28 The Road to The ’45 - The Journey Ends… and Then Continues by David McNicoll. Part III of III part of a series about the end of the Stuart Dynasty in Scotland. 31 John Davidson – the “Peterhead Rescue” by Fiona Riddell, Arbuthnot Museum, Peterhead. The story of a real 19th Century hero in Peterhead, Scotland. Feature Item, International 6 Will Scotland Go Its Own Way? by Neal Ascherson Feature Item, People 34 A Davidson Merchant Mariner by Charles Davidson. A remembrance of a son about his father. 37 The Highland Wildcat Trail and Janet Davidson. The story of an effort to gain recognition about the plight of the rare Scottish Wildcat. Flowers Of The Forest 10 Marie Dawson - 1921 - 2012 14 Clan Davidson Society - NZ Supporter, Andrew MacDonald Regional Director Reports 14 Report from Region 8 by Elaine Davidson and Pat Davis, Co-Directors 16 Report from Region 9 by Rick and Helen Davis & Rich Halliley, Co-Directors 17 Report From Region 11 by Don Cloud Davis and Davis & Ruby Babcock, Co-Directors 19 Report From Region 16 by Diane Dawson; & Matt & Stacey Dawson, Co-Directors 21 Report From Region 18 by Hugh Dawson, Co-Director 21 Report From Region 19 by Bob & Jan Davidson, Senior Directors

LATE BREAKING NEWS!
As I was putting The Sporran to bed, this came in from the Scottish Registry of Tartans (SROT): Scottish Islamic Tartan is now registered with SROT, so get yours now and be ready for the future. Here’s the text that the designers use to describe this latest tartan: The Scottish Islamic Tartan weaves together the different strands of Scottish and Muslim heritage creating a fabric for the future. Scottish academic Dr Azeem Ibrahim, developed this concept after consulting leading Islamic scholars around the world - Shaikh Humza Yousaf, Imam Zaid Shakir and Dr Umar Abd-Allah. In Scotland, he sought advice from Shaikh Amer Jamil, Scotland's leading Islamic scholar. The theological explanation of the design is as follows: blue represents the Scottish Flag; green represents the colour of Islam; five white lines running through the pattern represent the five pillars of Islam; six gold lines represent the six articles of faith; the black square represents the Holy Kabah. GOOD GRIEF! Is nothing sacred?!? This NOT a joke! Sennachie... 2

As of May 30th, 2012, the construction permit was approved. The project will now move towards building the 4,000 sq. ft facility that will be styled after a nearby barn built years ago and recently razed. It will consist of a 140-seat main room appropriately named “May Davidson Hall” with small stage and an adjoining “Scottish Cultural Heritage” room. This area will house memorabilia and artifacts pertaining to the various Scottish clans. We must insure therefore that the global Clan Davidson is forefront in this presentation! The facility includes ample facilities as well as an outdoor seating patio for use during the summer months. It is anticipated the construction will be completed in 120 days, possibly in time for the annual “Amazing Maize Maze” festival held at Rural Hill in September. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE! In terms of support, the RHCC represents a great honor for our Clan! This is without doubt an opportunity that is historical in terms of exposure, and would net large returns for the Clan being involved publicly and privately. A committee is now being formed for the sole purpose of evaluating those plans that will determine the best ways for initial, as well as long term, financial support for the RHCC. If you are interested in serving on this venture, please contact me right away. Furthermore, I am considering several short and long term funding initiatives (including the potential establishment of a permanent CDS Endowment Fund) which will lead towards direct and indirect funding of the center. There is no consideration in raising our current dues! This funding will be based on and directed towards sole giving by the individual. And, please remember, all contributions are fully tax deductible! Since construction of RHCC and the “May Davidson Hall” has already begun, I have decided that waiting until the next gathering of the Board (at the Stone Mountain Games) in October, to submit funding plans is way too late. We will be packaging the proposition and will distribute information to the membership for consideration within the next two months. I urge you to submit your ideas and input to myself, your Board of Directors and Regional Directors. All of your thoughts are welcome! In the meanwhile, for additional historical background regarding the Davidsons of Rural Hill, I highly encourage you to visit the main website at www.ruralhill.net . This is also the place for up to the minute information on the RHCC - May Davidson Hall. What a thrill it would be to open the next Clan Davidson AGM inside the new May Davidson Hall at the Rural Hill Cultural Center! Gu robh beannachd nan diathan agus ar sinnsearan air liebh! [May the Gods and ancestors bless you]

Ramblings From The Sennachie by Dave Chagnon
New Clan Davidson Book Now Shipping At a Board of Director’s Meeting at Stone Mountain last October, it was noted that the Society’s stock of small “souvenir” style Clan Davidson books which have been sold at Clan Tents for many years was empty. Oh, dear, what to do? We could look for another source for these books, discontinue the stocking of them entirely, or — ta da — produce our own! The Sennachie pointed out that the old books were pure rubbish with 99% of the material being totally wrong (in light of recent research, principally by our cousins in the UK) and mostly a rehash of myths handed down over many years. Always guilty of stomping on the old warning that “fools rush in where wise men fear to tread”, the Sennachie jumped in and volunteered to actually write and publish an updated version. Thus filled with enthusiasm for the task ahead, the Sennachie consulted with his buddy in Alba-turkey New Mexico, Matt Dawson. Matt is the Society’s Director of Charitable Affairs, one of the Co-Directors of Region 16, and nearing the end of his pursuit into the wonders of archeology. Perhaps Matt could bring some semblance of erudition to the effort (Lord knows, the Sennachie is sadly bereft of this commodity!). The Sennachie also managed to get the attention and cooperation of Nick Hide, Historical Researcher and Membership Chair of the Clan Davidson Association in UK. His input would not only lend an air of authenticity to the effort, but would also provide insight into the latest research on many of the topics to be covered in this book. And, last, but certainly not the least, the Sennachie cajoled his former sister-in-law and close friend of many years, Peg Gantz, to whip the final manuscript into some semblance of appearance of being written by someone other than the village idiot. Peg is a professional editor and technical wordsmith extraordinaire and whipped the Sennachie’s prose unmercifully with her vicious blue pencil! Thus armed with excellent helpers, the effort proceeded apace. The book, Clan Davidson — History, Symbols, Septs, Tartans, Clan Organizations & More, was finished in early March, 2012, copyright applied for and granted, and rolled off the presses in time to get the book into the hands of the Society’s Regional Directors for the start of the season’s
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Table of Contents
Preface……………………………………………… History of the Clan………………………………… Chiefs of Clan Davidson………………………….. The Symbols of Clan Davidson Introduction…………………………………. Davidson Arms through the Ages………... Clan Crest and Plant Badge……………… Tartans……………………………………… Pipe Music…………………………………. The Septs of Clan Davidson……………………. History of Tulloch Castle….…………………….. Clan Davidson Organizations………………….. Scottish and Clan History — Fact versus Fiction: Introduction………………………………… Scottish Tartan……………………………. Clan Plant Badge…………………………. Clan Septs…………………………………. Battle of the North Inch of Perth…………. For Further Reading ……………………………… 3 6 12

15 16 19 20 22 24 25 27

28 30 37 39 43 48

Davidson Crest Badge from Tulloch Castle Fireplace Dingwall, Scotland 2

Highland Games circuit (except for Florida - so sorry, Rick and Helen!). The book has been received with open arms, extremely positive comments and excellent sales. The purpose of the book is to provide a comprehensive source of accurate information about the Clan Davidson, yet be inexpensive to buy. With this goal in mind, it is a soft-cover, 56 page effort. All four sides of the cover are in full color while the interior is black and white. The text is printed in a relatively small type font, always trying to keep production costs as low as possible. The content, however, is absolutely first rate. Of particular interest, and not just to Davidson Clansmen, is the last section of the book: Scottish and Clan History — Fact versus Fiction. This section lifts the lid off the many myths perpetrated by various and sundry people during Scotland’s Romantic Revival period in the early 19th century, and now hailed by many as the truth of Scotland’s past as if writ by the finger of God in granite. Ancient tartan? Sorry, folks, it just ain’t so! Read the book and find out why. The book is available for $10 from Clan Davidson highland games tents, or for $12 from our website’s Shopping Mall [http:// www.clandavidsonusa.com/products-page/books/clan-davidson-historysymbols-septs-tartans-clan-organizations-more/]. There is also a non-printable, full color, electronic version available on our website for $8. Check it out!

Contents Page from the new Clan Booklet

Your Heart Will Tell You How many of you have asked me if you belonged to Clan Davidson only to hear from me that your heart would tell you the answer? Many more than one, I guaranty. Sept lists are a very slippery slope, as you will learn if you read the new Clan book. Fortunately, the genetic structure of Davidson Clansmen seems to be particularly strong. We “feel the rumble” as my good friend Ruth Ellinger might say*. Recently, I witnessed this concept in action. I was attending the Glasgow (KY) Highland Games, visiting with my good friends Davis and Ruby Babcock, when a young couple stopped by the tent to ask some questions about their possible Clan connection. They were Steve and Donna Graves. Davis chatted with them a bit and it was apparent they had no direct, first generation connection to Clan Davidson. After a while, they wandered off to seek their fortunes elsewhere. Within an hour or so, they wandered back to our tent, and asked if they could join Clan Davidson. Davis had humorously mentioned his “open adoption” policy to them earlier, whereby all are welcome to join, regardless of lack of any obvious connection. Steve and Donna told us they felt uncommonly welcome at our tent and there was a certain “warmth” they felt that was not found anywhere else. So, true to his word, Davis promptly handed them a membership application that they completed and returned with their dues. The next day, they were back under “their” tent, and both of them said they had gone home, looked through some genealogical papers they had, and, lo and behold, both had a “Davis” in their ancestry — Steve in a Great-Grandparent and Donna in a Great-Great-Grandparent! They had felt the “rumble” of those long dormant Davidson genes, and their hearts had led them “home”! [* Ruth used this expression in an email to me some months back. When asked what this meant she replied: I’ve used the expression, “rumble” for some years now because when son, James, was visiting Scotland some years ago, an old Scot was observing him and posed this question; “Lad, do ye feel the ‘rumble?’” James asked what he meant by “rumble” and the old Scot explained that when a Son of Scotland visits the land where his ancestors bled the ground red with blood, he will feel the rumble of that blood beneath his feet and the blood will call to him from wherever he lives. He (or she) will feel the ancient tie that binds, that of belonging. The old Scot could tell by observing James that he was feeling the “rumble.” Since then, we use that expression for those who recognize that strange and poignant tug of
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the heart for a land that may not be your birth country, but somehow, feels even more kindred than that of your own homeland. Call it genetics, DNA memory bank, or simply, the blood of our ancestors that still and always will carry such strong traits into our present lives. We may be cognizant of our roots, but even if we are not, somehow, if we possess the Scottish strain of this DNA, we will feel the “rumble.”] Sporran Suspenders Available From Faire Isles Trading Company Several years ago, I came across a very handy kilt accessory, leather belt loops, from which to hang one’s sporran. Being a gent of — um — mature stature, these beat the traditional Sporran chain or belt strap hands down. I got them several years ago from a wonderful sporran maker in Florida, Craggie, who has, unfortunately, departed this mortal coil. Recently, I found another source for the creatures, Faire Isles Trading Company. Truth be told, I do not like the offering from Faire Isles near as well as what I got from Craggie, but beggars can’t be choosers, as they say. The belt loops are Item KBKB, come in black and brown, and are priced at $14 the set. Check em’ out at [http://www.faireisles.com/site/1648584/product/KBKB], or call them at 941-714-0123 (Bradenton, FL). On Scottish Independence I’ve been doing a fair bit of homework recently, looking at the deep background of the history that underlies the origins of the Ulster Scots (in UK) and Scots Irish (in the USA). The history of the English domination of the lands, kingdoms and people that make up the modern United Kingdom looms large over this topic, as it does over virtually every aspect of life on that small group of islands clinging to the western edge of Europe. Recently, the possibility of achieving independence for Scotland by its secession from the United Kingdom has become a huge political issue in UK. Following the provisions of the UK’s Scotland Act of 1998, Scotland managed to get a divorce from the “shotgun marriage” merging of the Parliaments of England and Scotland in 1707, and reestablish their own independent governing body. But this “devolution” of parliamentary powers is still incomplete, since much of the affairs of Scotland’s State are still regulated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. At the present, there is a referendum scheduled for 2014 upon whose results the future of Scotland’s relationship with the rest of the UK hinges. Will the millennia-long struggle to fend off those power grubbing neighbors to the south finally come to fruition — again? I watch from afar the proceedings both north and south of the Tweed and Liddel Water with great interest. As 2014 draws closer, the heat index of the rhetoric on both sides is steadily rising. How will this turn out? I Will the Saltire be flying over an have no idea… Independant Scotland in our lifetime? Part of me (my Scottish warrior genes) says “Yeah, right on!” This is the prevalent attitude when I watch the historically-flawed movie, Braveheart. I really wish I could join all those kilted guys in the line as they lift the pleats of their kilts in the “Wallace Wave”! I do not like the English, at least historically. On the other hand, there are so many practical considerations forced on all of us by the realities of life in the 21st century: national defense in a world made crazy with international terrorism and the always rising threats on the horizon; nuclear weapons; economic issues inherent in the reality of global commerce; monetary issues; possible role of the Royal Family; and on and on. After all, the population of Scotland at around 5,200,000 is pretty unprepossessing when one considers the giants that are out there hungry to gobble up the small fry. Having those other 56,000,000 people in England on your side (more or less) does even the chances for a continued existence, doesn’t it? All tough questions, and I, for one, am darned glad I’m not the one to make the decision — or live with the results. Here’s an article recently written by a Scottish-born journalist and published in the New York Times (February 26, 2012) on this very timely topic.

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Will Scotland Go Its Own Way? by Neal Ascherson in The New York Times “The Breakup of Britain”? It sounds like a fantasy fiction title. To many people across the world, including the English themselves, it is inconceivable that this deep-rooted United Kingdom, the oldest royal democracy in the world, could split apart. In the past few weeks, however, official London has panicked over the rising clamor of voices from all over the British Isles suddenly agreeing that the archaic structure of “Great Britain” is overdue for a shakeup-even a breakup. Nowhere are these voices in better harmony than in Scotland. If “Britain” is more than a word on a passport, why do most Scots now feel their identity is not British? What would it mean to be English if the Scots walked away? And should the Welsh follow them? A fresh wind of new ideas is blowing from Scotland and tempting all the queen’s subjects to reimagine their identities. This January, Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister and the leader of the Scottish National Party, introduced a “consultation document” on a referendum to decide his nation’s future. After an unexpected triumph in last year’s elections to the Scottish Parliament, the party is now fulfilling its promise: a vote to declare independence. If Salmond has his way, the vote will take place in 2014, just shy of 700 years after King Robert the Bruce defeated the English at Bannockburn. And he wants only one question on the ballot paper: “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?” This hasn’t set well with the British government. From the coalition of Tories and Liberal Democrats led by Prime Minister David Cameron-and from opposition parties in Scotland-comes an indignant but muddled roar of protest. Salmond’s legal right to call a referendum is challenged; the wording of his simple question is called unfair; bankruptcy and isolation are predicted for an independent Scotland. But so far, the protests have backfired disastrously. The number of Scots wanting independence, which for some 40 years held at around 25 percent, is rising sharply: Some recent polls set it at nearly half the electorate. In the week after Cameron’s threat to set the date and question of the referendum himself, overruling the Scottish Parliament, more than a thousand Scots joined the Scottish National Party. Still, London can take some comfort in the fact that Salmond’s stark either-or question ignores the biggest single slice of the Scottish public, which holds that Scotland should stay within Britain but take control of almost everything except foreign policy and defense. Whether Salmond succeeds, then, may depend less on how well he sells independence to voters than on how poorly his opponents do in Royal Arms of Scotland in the UK selling the union. Will these Arms soon be replaced... The roots of this crisis lie far back in British history. After co-existing under the same monarch for a century, in 1707 a poverty-stricken, failing Scotland agreed to enter an “incorporating union” with England, in which Scotland gave up its independence in return for access to English markets and to the widening English empire overseas. But there was a fateful misunderstanding between two very different constitutional traditions. The English regarded the union as irreversible; the Scots, then and now, regarded it as a treaty that could be modified or even ended by mutual agreement. Scotland prospered in the subsequent two centuries, from the profits of empire and then from the industrial revolution that those imperial profits and markets made possible. And yet the awareness of past independence never quite faded. The most basic political feeling among Scots, pro- or anti-union, is the memory of statehood. It’s an instinct, rather than a formed idea, that the nation still retains a “residual sovereignty” that cannot be taken away. The poet Robert Burns wrote that Scotland had been “bought and sold for English gold.” But between the last Jacobite rising in 1745 and the end of World War II 200 years later, there was no serious political challenge to the union. It took the cumulative effect of the Depression, the decay of Scotland’s industries and the collapse of the British Empire in the mid-20th Century to reignite and spread a sense that the bargain was no longer paying off. The arrival of the postwar welfare state and its centralizing bureaucracies gave Scottish professionals a dismaying sense that more and more decisions about Scottish life were being made in London. In the 1970s, the Scottish National Party, seen until then as an eccentric tartan irrelevance, suddenly began to win electoral victories. To undercut the nationalists, alarmed Labour governments in London invented “devolution,” the plan for an elected Scottish Parliament and executive, which would control some internal Scottish affairs-health, education and transport, among others-while leaving foreign affairs, defense, social welfare and taxation “reserved” to London. The restored Scottish
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Parliament, which began to sit in 1999, is just this year considering a bill to raise its own tax revenue; historically, it has depended on an annual cash grant from the Treasury in London. Critics of devolution, both Tory and Labour, wailed that the scheme would prove a “slippery slope” toward independence and play into the hands of the SNP. They were right, but for the wrong reasons. Devolution itself was a success; most Scots are satisfied with their new Parliament. But they lost faith in the all-British parties that formed the first Scottish governments, especially the local version of “New Labour,” led from London by Tony Blair. Understandably, voters eventually turned to the one party whose base was exclusively in Scotland. In the 2007 elections, the SNP narrowly emerged the winner and formed a minority government under Salmond. Last year, in a spectacular breakthrough, his party routed Labour and secured an absolute majority of seats. The independence referendum became inevitable. But is independence what the Scottish people-as opposed to the SNP-really want? In spite of the recent political fireworks, Scotland is a deeply conservative country (with a small “c”) — the Conservative Party itself has been reduced to a tiny rump. And for the past 40 years or so, the preference of the Scots has hardly changed: Most want Scotland to take charge of its own affairs as other small nations do while, if possible, staying in the United Kingdom. Their general view of devolution follows logically: A Parliament isn’t worth much if it can’t change the lives of ordinary people-if it doesn’t have full control of the economy. If the only way for Scottish voters to win that full self-government is through independence, then many of them, however reluctantly, may vote to leave the union. Only recently has a campaign for that second question begun to emerge. Future of Scotland, which wants the referendum to offer not only a yes-or-no question on independence but also something along the lines of, “Do you want full self-government for Scotland (“devomax”) short of independence, leaving only foreign affairs and defense to the United Kingdom?” The group is still getting off the ground, but its backers insist they are voicing the wish of the largest single bloc of Scottish opinion. Indeed, it has already attracted powerful social lobbies: the trade unions, the churches, and the council of voluntary organizations. In Scotland, these are big players who provided the muscle behind the successful campaign for a Scottish Parliament. The Unionist camp is opposed to any second question, but Salmond is relaxed about it. He knows that the step from that sort of “federal” autonomy to complete independence is a short one. To help make that step even easier, Salmond promotes an uncannily cool version of sovereignty: call it “independence lite.” He would keep the queen as monarch and retain the pound as currency. There would be no customs or passports Royal Arms of Independant Scotland at the border. And the “social union” of family and business bonds that tie the English and By these? the Scots together so intimately would stay intact. Which doesn’t mean things wouldn’t change. An independent Scotland, Salmond claims, would be a “fairer” society than England. Salmond enrages Labour by promising that Scotland will become “a beacon for progressive opinion.” The Scottish National Party, once seen as right-wing and romantic, has made a steady leftward transition to social democracy since it began to gather support. Now, ironically enough, it can be seen as the most “British” of parties: since 2007, successive SNP governments have fought to preserve what remains of Britain’s postwar welfare state. They have barricaded Scotland against the privatizations and “market” reforms imposed on England and Wales by Conservative and Labour administrations over the past 30 years, from Margaret Thatcher through Tony Blair to David Cameron. Unlike the English, Scots don’t pay for prescriptions, home health care or university tuition. And of course, even though there are only 5 million people in Scotland-against 57 million in England, Wales and Northern Ireland-its departure would have huge consequences. What would the southern state be called: “the United Kingdom of England and Wales,” or just “England,” or the horrible term of political scientists, “Residual UK,” often shortened as “rUK”? Even larger questions would loom. Would there still be a place called “Britain”? Would Scottish independence finally force the English to rediscover their own national voice, instead of hiding their problems under the cloak of “Britishness”? Would a reduced “England” still rate a permanent seat on the UN Security Council? It may not happen. The referendum is more than two years off. Salmond is prone to fits of wild over-optimism; one major blunder and the SNP bubble could deflate. And his nightmare must be the “Quebec syndrome”: that, as in Canada’s “French” province, people would go on voting for the Nationalists as their best government but narrowly decline to vote for independence at a referendum. The Scots are a canny, wary people.
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But if Scotland votes “yes,” the responsibility will fall less on Salmond than on the incompetence of the Unionist campaign. Its tactless bluster has been hardening the Scottish impression of near-colonialist arrogance and deafness to their wishes. Paradoxically, Scottish independence could turn out to be the best guarantee of a friendlier relationship between England and the ancient, obstinate little nation on its northern border. Clan Davidson FaceBook Group You may recall from the last issue of the newsletter that Clan Davidson Society (USA) now has a Social Media Coordinator. The gentlemen who stepped to the plate was Dennis Davidson. Unfortunately, Dennis did what all of us do from time to time — he allowed his alligator mouth to overload his hummingbird body! I should know, I do this all the time! Dennis meant well, but underestimated his lack of technical savvy in manipulating the finer points of the FaceBook arena, and overestimated the amount of time he would need to expend to overcome the issues that go along with problem #1. Life got in the way, so Dennis had to bow out. Thanks for the kind thoughts anyway, Dennis! There is always a place in CDS-USA for willing volunteers, so keep us in mind in the future. Nevertheless, CDS-USA still needed to establish something in the world of FaceBook, so ye auld Sennachie stepped into the breach. We now have a FaceBook Group — not quite the same thing as a FaceBook “Page”, but close enough, I think, at least for now. At this stage, it’s only open for posting by members of the group, and membership is theoretically restricted to active members of CDS-USA. To join the group, do a FaceBook search for “Clan Davidson Society”, go to the group site and request to be admitted. It’s not a big deal, so give it a whirl! Members can post comments, stories, photos, snide comments about the Sennachie or the access codes to their checking account — knock off your socks! Some Thoughts About Our Regional Directors While Elaine Davidson and I handle the lion’s share of the day-to-day business aspects of the charitable and educational not-for-profit corporation known as CDS-USA, the true life blood of the organization lies in the hands of our Regional Directors. Some are more aggressive than others, some man tents at more highland games than others, some are tall, some are short… but ALL are needed by CDS-USA. And I guaranty the Society truly appreciates their efforts! Without these hardworking Clansmen out there representing our great Clan in the trenches where the rubber meets the road, the Society would dry up and blow away. So, please, the next time you come across one of these sterling saints, give them a hug and tell them how much you appreciate their otherwise thankless work! Better yet, give them a generous sample of the good “waters”!! And while I’m on the topic of Regional Directors, I’d like to once again nag on all of you to strongly consider becoming a Regional Director and man (or help man) a tent at a Scottish gathering in your area. The Society will give you a starter kit to get you up and running, provide a manual with a ton of great advice on how to get started, and any other support we can. If this sounds good to you, send me an email (sennachie@earthlink.net) or give me a call (501-416-7532) to get the ball rolling. The newest RDs to step to the plate, Don Cloud and Kristi Davis, have done a fantastic job at the two HGs they so far attended. There’s a nice story from Cloud in the Regional Director Reports section of this newsletter. The next newest RD, Jeff Smith, will have his maiden start at manning a tent at the New Hampshire Highland Games on September 22 [http://www.nhscot.org/]. If you live anywhere near Loon Mtn, NH, please stop by the Davidson tent and meet Jeff. I know he’ll appreciate your efforts to show your support to your Clan. This is a great event, and it’s been many years since the Davidsons have sponsored a tent, so, Jeff — thank you! Jeff Smith, President of the Scottish Charitable Scottish Videos on YouTube
Society of Boston at the cemetary the group maintains.

Wow! What a resource! I’ve been doing quite a bit of research for a book I’m planning about the ancient origins of that group of people we call the Ulster Scots (in UK) and their descendants in the USA, the Scots Irish. They’re a fascinating group whose origins are incredibly complex and extremely deeply seated in the history of the British Isles. Their
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descendants in the US, the Scots Irish, are ancestors of a huge number of Americans whose roots ultimately go back to Scotland, me being one of them. I am the great-grandson of John Davison, born and bred in Fivemiletown, County Tyrone, Ulster Province, Northern Ireland. Great Grandpa Davison emigrated from Ulster to the North Country of the Adirondack Mountains in New York State circa 1870. But I digress — sigh — In the process of doing some research on this topic, I came across a 10-episode video series produced by BBC entitled The History of Scotland. It is available free on the Internet website YouTube [www.youtube.com]. Do a YouTube search for “The History of Scotland” and it’ll pop right up. It takes some learning to navigate the YouTube website since most of the episodes of this series (60 minutes long) are chopped up into 10 minute segments labeled Episode N, Part 1/6, and so on, and sometimes the right segment can be tricky to pick out of the lineup. But the reward? A fantastic video story written and narrated by Scottish Archeologist Neil Oliver. Not only is Neil’s history spot-on, but his voice resonates with a marvelous Scottish accent and a barely disguised love of his land. This is a video adventure well worth watching! There is a caveat, however: unless you have a reliable and bandwidth-rich connection to the Internet and a computer with a reasonably fast processor and a decent amount of RAM (memory), you may have some difficulties with your ability to watch this on-line. I meet all those requirements and had nary a hiccough in this regard. On the other hand, my buddy out in Alba-turkey NM, Matt Dawson, has nothing but bad things to say about watching anything on YouTube, due no doubt to his computing machinery being just a bit long-in-the-tooth. If this is an issue with you, this series is also available as a DVD set for a very modest $44.18 from Amazon.com. It is well worth way more than 44 bucks, I promise! Once I became aware of the rich mother-lode of video programming on YouTube, I watched the wonderful A History of Britain by Simon Schama, and any number of other similar productions — what a fantastic resource! There’s also a ton of videos about all sorts of aspects of Scotland (and other countries, too), one of which is of particular interest to Davidson Clansmen — how about a flying tour of the Spey Valley, home to our Davidson ancestors circa 14th century? This is a well narrated, aerial, 25-minute journey, down the length of the Spey River showcasing the breathtaking views that greeted our ancient Davidson Clansmen as they went about their day… what a treat! Check it out at [http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9p6d0xyjVg]. Another item of particular interest to the Davidson Clan in the USA is a 5 minute video produced by graduate students at the University of North Carolina — Charlotte. It’s entitled The Davidson Family of Mecklenburg County, featuring Rural Hill Plantation and General William Lee Davidson. It’s at [http://www.youtube.com/ watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=EqtrdK_Bexw] Be sure to note the caveats about watching YouTube videos, above. Sennachie’s Very Special Award is Repurposed Those who attended that wonderful Saturday evening banquet last year at the Clan Davidson International Gathering will surely remember the Very Special Award (VSA) presented to the Sennachie. This VSA was personally hand made by Frank Davis of Ocala Florida and presented to the Sennachie for the creativity of the excuse he used to avoid the Handfasting ceremony of Rick and Helen Davis at the Stone Mountain Highland Games the previous fall. The Sennachie had a wee Standard Poodle puppy (Charlie II) who was in the midst of his house-breaking regimen and there was to be no one at home except the Sennachie to keep the training regimen intact at the time of the Handfasting. It was, after all, a round-trip 5 The Sennachie’s Very Special Award day trek for the Sennachie to make it to Stone Mtn and back home. Considering that Charlie would be an integral part of the Sennachie’s family life for many years to come, he felt it important to see the house-breaking training kept intact. Frank Davis, the Master (Monster?) of Ceremonies of the Rick & Helen wedding, took a bit of umbrage at what he felt was abandonment, and decided he needed to offer some tangible recognition to the Sennachie for his steadfast purpose regarding his dog training. The VSA was the result.
Reta Lawrence shows off her award. 9

Lacking sufficient space on his living room fireplace mantle to display this fine award, it was relegated to the storage hole — sigh —, there to linger in limbo for eternity. What a sad end to such a fine creation… But wait! The Sennachie’s spouse, Evelyn (aka the Evil One) stepped into the breach, rescued the VSA from a life of banishment, and brought forth the VSA back into the light. The VSA has now been repurposed as yet another VSA, this time for the winner of her quilting guild’s annual “Worst In Show” award for the absolute worst quilt of the year produced by the guild’s membership. What an inglorious and fitting end for the VSA! Of course, the VSA will remain in the actual possession of the Sennachie due to his “dog-boning” of this masterpiece. The Worst In Show winner will have her/his name etched on a wee bone-shaped rabies tag to be hung from the ersatz Charlie II’s collar. See, Frank? Your VSA effort will go on in perpetuity…

Flowers of the Forest
My very good friend Matt Dawson recently suffered the loss of his Paternal Grandmother, M. Marie Carr Dawson. From the way Matt spoke of her, she must have been a true gem and a very large loss to us all. I grieve with you, Brother.

Marie Dawson 21 October 1921 - 19 January 2012

Marie Dawson was born in Arkansas to Scots-Irish immigrant parents. She later moved to Upshur County, Texas, where she met and married Richard E. Dawson, also a child of immigrant (Scottish) parents, while working for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). They had a rich, full life together - they were best friends as well as partners - and raised three children who, in turn, provided them with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Grandma was a woman of faith and strength, the former often being the source of the latter. We often clashed over spiritual views, but I always knew that her constant — um, prodding — came from her heart and not from any other motive than what she saw as my well-being. Gran’s foundations of strength and fortitude began during the Depression, where she and her family had to make every morsel, every shred of clothing, and so on, stretch for long periods; a practice she kept alive the remainder of her days. Even after marrying my Grandfather, the financial and other struggles they faced were many for a long time and, when my Grandfather died in 1979, she made her way along the rest of her path alone. Of course, she certainly had the mettle to carry on; however much she wasn’t sure she wanted to at times. This woman mowed her own lawn, did her own repairs (home and auto!), her own driving, shopping, and so on until her final year. One thing she prided herself on — and something I will always chuckle at — was that she could still kick over her head at 89 years old! She loved us all, and was indeed the Matron of the family. She was the only one that we all — even the adults -referred to as “Ma’am” when we addressed her! She was beautiful, too, even right to the last moments of her life, which I was privileged to share with her. And, as was forever her way, she was more worried that we had not been fed or made comfortable than she was about the little time remaining to her. We will miss her: her voice, her laugh, her embraces, even her constant nagging about things spiritual. She has always been a voice in my head, and it is hard to realize she is gone. We will honor her memory by ensuring that we practice and pass on the one thing she always cherished above all else in her 90 years, and instructed us about our entire lives: love of family and Clan. Until we see you again, Gran — all our love!
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Clan Davidson Society Treasurer's Report 4-1-11 through 3-31-12

Checking account balance as of 4-1-12 as shown on Treasurer's Report Total Receipts 4-1-11 through 3-31-12 as follows: Dues: Clan Misc. Clan Tee Shirt Sales Clan Book Sales CDS Gathering Dinner Clan Mdse-Internet Sales Contributions-gifts Total Receipts Total Expenses/Disbursements: Highland Games Sponsorships Advertising/Scottish Publications Postage/Shipping Expenses Clan newsletter/Pub. Exp. Contributions/Trophies Clan Office Supplies Clan Polo Shirts Glencairn Whisky Glasses Clan Broaches/pins Tee shirt expense Clan History Books Miscellaneous expenses (Gathering expenses) Total Expenses Checking account balance on hand 4-1-12 $2,499.79 $ 205.00 $1,182.63 $4,687.40 $ 640.00 $1,978.10 $1,684.70 $1,046.69 $ 276.00 $ 984.46 $ 78.00 $8,161.62 ________ $23,424.39 $7,685.00 $2,701.05 $ 245.00 $ 29.00 $2,530.00 $1,390.70 $ 66.01 $14,646.76

$14,850.66

$14,646.76 $29,497.42

-23,424.39 $ 6,073.03

A complete accounting of the above will be available at the tent for review during the LNHG games.

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MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF CLAN DAVIDSON SOCIETY, USA April 21, 2012 The annual meeting of members of Clan Davidson Society was held on Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. at the Loch Norman Highland Games, (Davidson Homestead) Huntersville, North Carolina. The following officers of the Society were present: Richard Halliley Elaine Davidson Patrick Davis President Secretary/Treasurer Marketing Director

Officers absent from the meeting: Caroline Davidson-Kock, Vice President, and David Chagnon, Membership Registrar Richard Halliley acknowledged the attendance of the officers and directors present and called the meeting to order. Jack Mobley gave the invocation. MINUTES OF 2011 MEETING Minutes of the 2011 Annual Meeting were distributed among the members present. The President made a motion that was seconded and carried that the Minutes of the 2011 meeting be approved. TREASURER’S REPORT The President then called upon Elaine Davidson to give the Treasurer’s report that had been distributed among the meeting attendees. There was also a brief discussion regarding society assets and funds expended in connection with the International Gathering in Kansas City. It was noted that the Society netted about $4,000 from the CDIG. A motion was made, seconded and carried that the Treasurer’s report be accepted and approved. MEMBERSHIP REPORT In David Chagnon’s absence, the President gave a brief report on membership activity stating that the Society membership was as follows: For the period 4-1-11 through 3-31-12, CDS acquired 18 new members through the website and 61 new members from various games for 79 new members. Extended courtesy memberships totaled 23 and members placed on inactive status totaled 85. Total membership of the Society stands at 444. The President also expressed David Chagnon’s continued desire for more information to be submitted for inclusion in the Sporran newsletter. REGIONAL DIRECTORS Rick Davis of Florida reported on the Jacksonville, FL games in February stating that Clan Davidson had a good turnout of members. Elaine Davidson of North Carolina reported that she would be convening at the Triad Games in Greensboro on April 28, Bethabara Celtic Festival on May 12, WNC Celtic Festival on June 16 and Grandfather Mountain Games on July 13-16. Pat Davis of South Carolina reported that he would be convening at Savannah, GA on May 5 and the Greenville, SC Games on May 26. Richard Halliley of Georgia reported that he would be doing the Blairsville, GA games in June. Richard also reported that the Maryville Games in Tennessee were very successful thanks to the support given to Davis and Ruby Babcock by former VP Grant Baker, his wife Debbie and his daughter and son-in-law Elizabeth and Brent Macy. The president also announced that David Chagnon had returned to the Arkansas Games with the assistance of a new Regional Director, Don Cloud Davis.

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OLD BUSINESS It was requested by the president that the 2012 minutes should state for future record that: “the Clan Davidson International Gathering in June of 2011 be remembered as the highest point of achievement for the Clan Davidson Society, USA for many years to come. Those who brought about this successful event shall be forever regarded as the ones who lead the charge and be remembered for their tireless efforts in achieving this huge milestone for the sake of the Clan.” The president also wished to acknowledge other achievements accomplished in 2011 including the CDS Cookbook, the first “full year” of benefits derived from the filing of CDS as a 501c3 charitable organization, additions to clan merchandising, the new regional director’s games kits, and the first relatively large charitable donation of $500.00 towards the “Colorado Youth Highland Dance Program spearheaded by Tom & Dianna Davisson. NEW BUSINESS: As prearranged by the president, Mr. Ed McLean, Senior Advisor for Development of the Rural Hill Cultural Center (RHCC), spoke to the members present at the AGM regarding the current construction of the RHCC, dedicated to May Davidson, the last direct descendant of Major John Davidson of Rural Hill. Mr. McLean provided a twenty-minute presentation on the update for the RHCC including the plans for building the facility within the next three months, assuming building and zoning ordinances would be satisfied within thirty days. Ground breaking took place on Jan 3rd. The center will focus on Davidson history and the May Davidson Library will be its centerpiece. Mr. McLean presented figures including last year’s attendance at Rural Hill, exceeding 110,000 visitors. Mr. McLean further stated that there would be banners displayed in the center from the ceiling and that a donation of $2500 would facilitate a banner with a clan crest. In conclusion, Mr. McLean made the request for an annual contribution from the Clan Davidson Society toward this facility. President Halliley responded with an affirmation, pending the election of officers, that the matter was already in consideration and would be taken up for a proposal and vote of recommendation that a committee be formed for supporting the RHCC, economically and resourcefully. ELECTION OF OFFICERS The floor was opened for nominations and the following nominees were submitted to serve as Officers for Clan Davidson for the next year: Nominee Richard Halliley Davidson Caroline Davidson-Kock Elaine Davidson Dave Chagnon Office President Vice President Secretary/Treasurer Membership Registrar

Upon motion made, the above nominees were elected by acclamation. OPEN DISCUSSION: Following the presentation made by Ed McLean of Rural Hill, the President made a motion to form a committee to study the situation and make recommendations on funding an annual donation to the May Davidson Cultural Library. The motion was made, seconded and approved. The President stated that the Society presently sponsored trophies Honoring Col. Floyd Stayner, Founding Member and Past President Andrew Davis at Stone Mountain. It was discussed that the Society consider adding the sponsorship of trophy in memory of Past President Michael Davidson at the Loch Norman Highland Games. After a brief discussion, a motion was made, seconded and carried to sponsor a trophy at the LNHG for the Caber Toss in honor of Michael. The final matter of the agenda, being the sharing of the ceremonial passing of the Quaiche [of which its presence was missing from the venue as noted by the president] would be taken at the CDS tent immediately upon adjournment. There being no further business, a motion was made and the meeting was adjourned. Elaine Davidson, Recording Secretary
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Richard Halliley, President

Flowers of the Forest — International
One of the steadfast pillars of the Clan Davidson Society (NZ) from its earliest days has been Maureen MacDonald, Treasurer of CDS-NZ. Maureen and I have exchanged many emails over the years, and I was truly saddened when I read of the passing of her husband Andrew. Although he lived far from our shores and bore the surname MacDonald, he was of us in spirit and he will be missed. Andrew MacDonald Maureen’s very dear husband and a real friend and supporter of Clan Davidson died at the Te Omanga Hospice, Lower Hutt, following a major stroke, on Monday 5 March 2012. He was sadly farewelled as a MacDonald and piped to his final rest after a long battle with ill health. Andrew was a huge supporter of Maureen in all of her many Clan Davidson related activities and was a great attender of our clan gatherings and the Turakina Highland Games. On a lighter note, I would like to be able to say that he was the proud owner of the most durable, comfortable, character filled clan tent ever to grace a highland gathering … but he wasn’t. In his opinion, he was the embarrassed owner of the above tent that was old and patched and in need of immediate replacement but Maureen and I managed to get him to hold off. We love that tent and are very proud of it and now our very dear friend, Andrew will be fondly remembered every time we put it up and watch it stay up when the Turakina wind flattens all the modern tents! We know that Maureen is well loved and supported by her very caring family. The Davidson community of the USA offers you all our deepest sympathies as well.

Reports From The Regions
Report From Region 8 Loch Norman Highland Games by Elaine Davidson, Co-Director On Friday morning, April 20, 2012, my sister, Judy McNeil, and I arrived at the game field around 10:30 a.m. to begin setting up for the weekend. Soon thereafter Patrick, Margaret and Trish Davis appeared quickly followed by Jack Mobley, his nephew Brian and Dan Owens and his family. In short order the banner, flags and other items were erected and the tent wrapped with tarps in anticipation of the rain that would come later during the games. At noon we had lunch and the tent was filled with members and friends so we had a little impromptu “pregame party.” Mid-afternoon we adjourned and met back at the field for the evening reception and calling of the clans with Jack Mobley leading the Clans. Saturday morning arrived and we had the tent up and running by 8:00 a.m. It was not long after that we signed up Zack and Robert Dean as new members. Before 10:00 a.m. the tent was overflowing with clan members and friends. Someone remarked that it looked like a clown car with people just continually coming out or going in. My thanks to Patrick Davis for assisting with lunch by grilling the hot dogs on Saturday and Sunday. With Sunday morning came the rain. It was a light, on and off, type rain for much of the day and did not seem to slow activity in the tent. We were again filled to the brim with folks and it was very cozy. After the very wet Parade of Tartans, lunch was served and by mid-afternoon most of the other clans had left, leaving only a few die-hards still on the field, Clan Davidson being one of those. All too soon the tent was packed up and good byes exchanged until the next Gathering. Report from Pat Davis, Co-Director For the very first time Peg and I arrived at the Savannah (GA) Scottish Games early! We have only been doing this game for a few years now (ha ha)…The weather was warm but we had a nice breeze all day that really made the day very enjoyable. Because of the layout, we had an almost perfect location to watch the male and female athletics — it was fun! The nice surprise
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was that we sold green Davidson shirts (some whites ones too). We had a small group to march the Parade of Tartans but it was 300% better than Peg and I walking alone. All said and done, the only thing that would make it better was to have more of us there. Maybe next year! Our next outing was the Greenville (SC) Scottish Games. We arrived at Furman University and were all set up prior to check in time at our hotel, but they had our room ready and let us in early. Next was to get ready for the Parade down Main St. I think there were about 100 clans represented there so the parade wasn’t fast (especially since I’m walking it). This year’s theme was about “Saying Thank You to our Veterans”, and I really think they made a huge effort to do just that! The crowd was lined up 5 and 6 people deep, many waving little American or Scottish flags. It was well worth it! The next morning started early (as all game days do). We finished setting up in record time (I think Peg has developed a system — keep me out and away from our clan tent and it gets done really quickly), I went looking for coffee. The morning started slow but since they were holding the World Pro Athletic Competition they were pressed for time and we began the Parade of Tartans at 11 AM. It was a very small showing of Davidsons – Peg led with the banner and I followed with the Davidson Tartan flag. About 1 PM we got a nice surprise as Richard and Jane Halliley arrived. This was great having their company and conversation at the game, but they had yet another date and had to leave early to meet some kin. Maybe we’re finally getting the hang of doing a clan tent and both games (Savannah and Greenville) were much more relaxed and enjoyable than I can remember. Now a slight aside… on 9 June our oldest daughter was married at the Low Country Harley Davidson dealership in Charleston, SC. I said I wouldn’t come unless I was in my kilt. So my daughter (Mary) got me a very bright orange Harley Davidson Tee Shirt to wear (because they want it informal). Believe it or not it really looked good with the Davidson Ancient! Oh, aye, Pat… I’m sure it did. Just for the record, Pat’s regular wardrobe has been described as looking like it was made from the slip cover of Ricky Ricardo’s sofa! 2012 WNC Highlands Celtic Festival (Black Mountain, NC) by Rich & Jane Halliley The 3rd annual Western North Carolina Celtic Festival held at the Mount Pisgah Brewery Company, just east of Asheville, continues to achieve growing success. Once again, this little festival proved that, despite only a handful of clans (four including ours), and a serious weather blow dealt in last year’s event, folks from all over the southeast consider this a worthy place to be on the day before Father’s Day. Jane, James and I joined Elaine Davidson and her sister Judy McNeil for a nice, relaxing, sunny and cool day under the envelope of huge trees, surrounding mountains and beautiful valleys. Over 2,000 visitors came to quench a thirst for things Scottish, and of course the tasty brews offered by MPBC, one of many small breweries in the region. In fact, Asheville has quietly become one of the largest meccas of beer capitalization/consumption on eastern side of the grand divide! The main focus however is WNCCF’s concentration on bringing excellent regional and nationally known Celtic music to its beautifully hand-crafted, tree-constructed stage… and thus the reason for a rather hefty $25 ticket that is asked to cover the Friday concert and Saturday Festival. Music by Rathkeltair, Pipapelli, Scotland’s own Albannach, Uncle Hamish and the Hooligans, Thistledown Tinkers, and of course, my favorite, The Montreat Scottish Pipe Band captured the audience. Those who had more serious interests in their own family history visited our small flock of tents and we all helped out those who didn’t have direct connections with the Davidsons, MacFarlanes, Thompsons and Andersons. We were very pleased though to have many inquiries of our own clan (despite the absent clan “sept” sign). A dedicated group of about fourteen multi-tasking athletes provided for interesting entertainment in the sheaf and caber toss, hammer throw and stone throw, and were given a deserved break from the sun’s rays with a local Scottish Border collie demonstration. All in all, this little event in its fledgling years remains a pleasure to be at and could very well pave its way into becoming a very nice venue for future, larger events (should the desire to expand be there of course). You can always check out the stories and pictures of this year’s event on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/ WNCHighlandsCeltic.

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Report From Region 9 Sarasota Highland Games and Celtic Festival 2012 by Rick & Helen Davis, Co-Directors The games were held on February the 4th this year. The trip from the east coast of Florida to the west coast is always an adventure. I think Florida should change its motto from the Sunshine State to the Road Construction State. My wife Helen and I arrived at the host hotel, located less than a mile from the game site, with time to spare. After checking in and dropping off all our highland gear in the room, we decided to go shopping . We located a local grocery store and purchased food items for the next day’s festivities. Next morning came bright and early for us. It only took us about 5 minutes to reach the game site — located our tent site and proceeded to get set up for the day. It turned out to be a warm day and anyone that wears a kilt knows how that feels. We had a good turn-out of people and Helen and I managed to sign up two new members and the best part about this is they aren’t even from Florida! We met a lot of very nice people this year and the venue at Sarasota is getting better each year. The only complaint from the Clans was that the athletics were too far away from the Clan tents for anyone to see. A suggestion was made to their committee to move the sheep dog demonstration over to the other field and the athletics closer to the Clan tents. Sure hope they listened as it draws more people to the tent area. As with all good things, they must come to an end. While Helen, my brother and his wife started breaking down the tent, I went after our car. Half an hour later, I managed to squeeze my way into the tent area and loaded up the car. We said our goodbyes to fellow clans folk and headed back to the hotel. After getting cleaned up it was time to go out for dinner. We met up with my brother Gary and his wife Kathy and tried to find a particular restaurant. A lesson learned, don’t always believe what map quest gives you for an address location, 230 feet turned out to be 2 ½ miles. Oh well, the place was packed with a two hour wait so we went across the street and ate at Sonny’s, no waiting. What a great weekend. Looking forward to next year. Jacksonville Highland Games by Rick & Helen Davis, Co-Directors Another great time at the Jacksonville Games! Something unusual happened this year — the weather was actually good! I’ll start by telling anyone that has not attended the sponsors’ reception at the Jacksonville games you are missing one of the best around! The Hill Top Inn is a fantastic place. This year was a little different as I went to the whiskey tasting just prior to dinner. Just enough to wet me taste buds for some great prime rib with all the fixins. Our table had four Clans seated and we all enjoyed the evening immensely. The party ended all too soon and we bid farewell to all in the wee morning hours. Saturday morning broke with the promise of good weather. We had our usual great showing of Davidsons. Cheryl McDavitt also joined us for a great day enjoying the athletics and of course the parade of Tartans. Helen and I were also honored with the presence of Grant Baker and his Rick & friend at Jacksonville HG lovely wife. They came late in the day but made up for it by presenting me with a bottle of the good water. He and his wife jumped right in and answered visitors’ questions about our Clan while Helen and I took a short break. When it came time to break down they even offered to help pitch in. We made dinner plans to visit one of the most interesting places to eat in Jacksonville. If you have not been to Clark’s Fish Camp, you NEED to go! Our host hotel supplied us with a card to give the hostess with a promise that we would not have to wait long. Sure enough, upon our arrival at the fish camp the lines were long. I took my card of gold to the hostess and gave it to her along with my name. When I asked her how long it would be the answer was 15 or 20 minutes. While standing near her I overheard her telling other parties the wait was one and half hours. The look on some of the faces was priceless when we were seated before them. The evening ended too soon and goodbyes were made with promises to meet again. We really love our Clan! Aye, lad… and your Clan loves you!
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2012 Blairsville (GA) Highland Games by Rich & Jane Halliley, Co-Directors A year ago for some strange reason, Jane, James and I had to interrupt our annual attendance at the Blairsville Highland Games. Oh — now I remember! We were six-hundred miles away attending the Clan Davidson International Gathering in Kansas City on that very same weekend. Imagine that! While I truthfully admit I’d love to do it again, we couldn’t and so we faithfully returned to our annual commitment in Blairsville. Meeks Park on the outskirts of town offers a spectacular venue (although quite spread-out perhaps) surrounded by a rolling stream and tree-lined canopy (for which we were glad to be parked against this year) and the northeast Georgia mountains. Saturday was absolutely beautiful – upper 70’s; however Sunday was a wash-out and, unfortunately, we had to gather up our belongings and head home before planned. Nonetheless, a large crowd assembled for the forty-plus clans, six pipe bands, athletes, dancers, musicians and vendors in attendance. We were very pleased to be joined this year by Ken and Brooke Davidson and their ilk… Cade, Halle, and friend. As relative newcomers to CDS, these Davidsons from Lula (we locals pronounce it as Luler) Georgia have taken on the Scottish appeal with full force… and why not? Well, Ken happens to be a sixth generation direct grandson of whom else but Major John Davidson of Rural Hill, North Carolina fame! Ken admits that even his own dad has become somewhat of a fan of all things Scottish and now accepts a man’s appeal to wear the kilt. Speak about kilt…Ken has his own specially customized utility-kilt fashioned with the customary black finish, but with Davidson ancient tartan uniquely interweaved inside the pleats along with a hand-woven Davidson crest which I’m envious to have. I have to say it’s really cool and draws a lot of interested kilt aficionados. We enjoyed the day, divvying out the banners, flags and the Claymore for the noon-day Parade of Tartans and kept our conversations focused on the fun, intermixed with a wee dram or twa. We had a good dozen or so very interested folks inquire about the clan and were very glad to sign up new member Karen Dean Dawson (nothing like having your septs covered!). I also had an opportunity to spend some time with another of our members, Douglas Ikelman, who was with us last year in Kansas City. Doug and I share a common venture in genealogical pursuits and we compared our latest research exploits and interesting stories of obscure family relationships. On the sports side of things in case you’re interested, Blairsville believe it or not, laid claim to the world record sheaf toss height of 30’-6" by Jeff Baty back in 2009. Well whatever the current record is now, it dang near got surpassed again with a competitor’s great toss of 30’-9" that drew thunderous applause from the onlookers. Unfortunately, he scuffed the bar on the next attempt that would have tied the world record. Maybe next year for him and for us… definitely we’ll be back next year. Though the beneficial rains cut short our weekend of fun, we left the northeast Georgia Mountains with a great feeling of pride, once The Davidson Contingent at Blairsville From Left: Cade Davidson; Rich Halliley; Ken again returning to represent our Clan Davidson family after a year’s Davidson; & Halle Davidson absence. We’ll see you folks next year in them thar hills! Report From Region 11 Arkansas Scottish Festival (April) and Texas Scottish Festival (May) by Don & Kristi Davis, Co-Directors A warm and heartfelt greeting to all, First, I want to thank everyone for all the support and well wishes that have been streaming in since the Sennachie wrote of the appointment. It is indeed a comfort to know that when it comes to “family”, Clan Davidson USA means it and lives it. I also humbly give a tip of the bonnet to Dave for first having faith in me to carry out this task, second taking me into counsel on many a subject of importance, and also for being a true friend straight up from day one. At this time, Kristi and I have represented at two highland games, the Arkansas Scottish Festival (Batesville Arkansas) and the Texas Scottish Festival (Arlington Texas). We are
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scheduled in for Tulsa, Oklahoma in September (spelled HOT) and are tentatively considering setting up at Salado, Texas in November. Batesville was a very pleasant games. Weather threatened, but did not rear its ugly side. While this festival is smaller in attendance than some, like most, it is the quality of people that make it. Dave Chagnon and Ms. Evelyn were kind enough to venture up, toting many essential Davidson supplies and assisted us on our maiden voyage. Ms. Margaret Davis Bailey and Oscar Davidson showed up to help man things as well — thank ya’ll. We were camped next to our good friends from Arkansas Scottish Cultural Society (ASCS), who hosted a nice after hours BBQ. Our tent was well received, even quite popular, we sold some crest badges and the new Clan books, and more than once, I heard that it was nice to see Davidsons back in the mix. No doubt, we were proud to be there and the Davidson Tartan waved proudly. The Texas Scottish Festival and Games in Arlington Texas was also a good event. The “Calling” which was to be held Friday night, got called off due to a fast moving lightening storm. Other Arkansas Scottish Festival than that though, the weather wasn’t too bad. A steady wind Kristi Davis & Oscar Davidson hold up the banner, while Cloud carries the flag. The Sennachie is hiding behind Oscar. helped keep the 90 degree temps tolerable. Moving this fest up a Dave was one of the Founding Dads of this Gathering, 30+ month seemed to meet with everyone’s approval. We were well years ago. placed in a prominent area and received visitors on a regular basis. Again, we managed some sales and a few new members, all the while making new friends and discussing the many benefits of family to potential new CDS-USA members. Day Davis showed up on Saturday with his granddaughters and was just in time for the modified “calling”. This was the highlight in my opinion. We were called in no particular order and there were approximately 25 clans already on the field when they got to us. As we marched down the track and Davidson was announced, a cheer went up from the other clans as I raised the Davidson Tartan high. Day and I were quite surprised and we made comments to the effect, “I guess they’re glad to see us, ‘cause they didn’t cheer like that for other clans.” We’ve been missing for too long from this festival and we plan to rectify that. We are very much looking forward to meeting more Davidsons at coming events. It is our honor and privilege to represent our Clan and we are committed to do our clan family proud. Aye! And proud they did! I’m so happy to once again have a Regional Director for this fly-over part of the country. Cloud (as he prefers) and Kristi did a grand job at Batesville, and I know they’ll keep this up for years to come. On a more personal note, Cloud and Kristi were married on June 1 this year. Welcome to the Clan, Kristi!

Day Davis & Cloud Davis at Texas Scottish Festival

Smoky Mountain Highland Games (May) and Glasgow (KY) Highland Games (June) by Davis & Ruby Babcock, Co-Directors We had some great games at Maryville this year! Since moving to Maryville College in 2011, the Smokey Mountain Highland Games have been really fun. And Clan Davidson has had great help in representing our great Clan. This year, our grandson, Chase Howard, was present (wearing his grandfather’s kilt! He needed suspenders, of course). He really helped with the carrying, running, et al, as we hosted Davidsons from around East Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina. By the way, Chase had the ‘bonniest knees at the games! He was so proud.
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Bubba and Sallie (Davidson) Macy were both great helps at the games, again. They both profited from 2011 and did much to make our weekend a huge success. We had a renewal and two additions to the Clan membership and sold several T-shirts, both white and green. While the Smokey Mountain Games are not large, the venue is! The massed bands were outstanding; had a full docket of athletic events; good vendors and a very good crowd. Weather was good, too, fair skies and no rain. The Glasgow Highland Games, at Glasgow, KY, were great, too! I had to be on my toes with the Chagnons in attendance. Having the Chairman of our North American Davidson Branch present, with all that he knows about our beloved Clan, is always a real asset. Evelyn added much, too, showing all her quilting project. Also present after a lapse of many years was Suzanne Crabtree, with her Liverpudlian husband Mike along to impress everyone with his “England” tee shirt! We convinced him this was not such a great idea and he switched to a GHG shirt. Suzanne is the former Regional Director for this area and is making noises to perhaps want the job back. I sure hope so! I’ll be 80 soon and this manning a Clan tent is hard work! I have initiated an adoption policy, i.e. for those who have no clan because of an accident of birth (not being a Scot). A young couple (Steve and Donna Graves) with this predicament came Mike & Suzanne to us, we adopted them, and they were most active at the games. Since that time, both have found Crabtree out that they are indeed Davidsons, both finding Davis’ in their background. Steve even participated in amateur athletic events! Dave told them that their hearts would lead them to their true clan destiny, and he was so right! Donnie & Rie Estes renewed their membership after a lapse of a few years and were a welcome addition to the crew under our tent. Several folks bought copies of our new Clan History, with Dave even signing their copies. What a treat. We sold a bunch of stuff, too, T-shirts, badges, a cookbook, and four memberships. We did have a lot of interest in talking things Davidson. Weather was outstanding — warm with a gentle breeze; no sheer force winds like we had in 2011. The Clan has a great spot, on a corner where we get extra exposure and extra breeze. By the way, I secretly entered the ‘bonniest knees’ contest but did not win (faulty judges!) so my grandson, champ at Maryville, still has the bonniest knees in our particular family. Until the next time, may the good Lord bless and keep you all safe. Davis & Ruby do a great job representing our Clan in the Tennessee and Kentucky area. Although Davis will be turning 80 soon, he gives the appearance and has the energy of a man of at least two decades younger. One thing, ‘though… he needs to update his repertoire of jokes! Report From Region 16 From Diane Dawson, Co-Regional Director Diane reports that this year’s Phoenix (AZ) Highland Games was a huge improvement over last year — a bit warm, but no flooding! She sold a few of the new Davidson Crest Badge patches. She is also looking forward to the Payson AZ gathering later in April. Rio Grande Celtic Festival by Matt Dawson and Stacey Chambliss, Co-Regional Directors The 24th Annual Rio Grande Celtic Festival took place May 19 and 20, 2012, at Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta Park. Though we have attended this festival and Highland Games for many years, this was the first time we were there to represent Clan Davidson in an “official” capacity. This marks two successful Games for us this year; the first at the Aztec Scottish Festival in October. I must convey that, compared to other areas of the country, New Mexico is a weird place for Highland Games. First, and speaking specifically about this most recent event, May here is not what you would call “wool-friendly.” The first day of the Games was hot, hot, hot! Now, before any ‘nay-sayers’ comment by saying “at least it’s a dry heat,” let me point out: so is the heat in an oven. If it’s 90 degrees outside of the kilt, it’s at least 10 degrees warmer inside! Secondly, though you have to love the enthusiasm of some of the attendees, it is possible to get, as we did, questions like, “So, what clan would Martinez fall under?” Things like this festival draw the local crowd in because it is so foreign to them.
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Of course, it’s also what makes this little event great: the opportunity to educate folks and introduce them to Highland culture and Scottish history! We do, strangely enough, have five pipe bands here, with pipers and drummers ranking from Grade IV to Open Class, and two bands - Four Corners Pipes and Drums and High Desert Pipes and Drums - who have placed in the World’s (Four Corners) and even taken 1st Place (High Desert - twice)! All five local bands and three others from out of State were in attendance. It is noteworthy that, regardless of the relative rarity of our culture in the grand, local, scheme of things, there were 14 clans represented, and a virtual army of folks in kilts, tartan wraps or plaids, and other Scottish or otherwise Celtic attire. It may well have been the entire Celtic population of New Mexico, but this festival is well attended every year! What is also pretty nifty about this Games is its emphasis on all of The Seven Celtic Nations [Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Isle of Mann, Brittany (France), & Galicia (Spain) — Sennachie] and not just a single element of them. Aside from the obvious Scottish representation, there are a great many Irish events, booths, and musicians; a smattering of booths, music, and food dedicated to Wales; Manx and Cornish dancers, music and food from Brittany and, finally, piping, drumming, and food from Galicia! There is also an Inter-regional Rugby Championship that takes place all day A wee Corgi in chain mail is ready for battle at Saturday at every year’s event -- men’s and women’s teams -- and two the Rio Grande Festival fields dedicated to Hurling Championships; who knew those sports were so prevalent here?! This year there was a very unique and entertaining group called The Clan Tynker. These folks, all one family, are magicians, musicians, singers, dancers, puppeteers, and acrobats. They travel around the world putting on their show, which is done in Medieval costume and with period instruments and implements, to immense applause and otherwise positive reception. Why the highlight here, you ask? I make note of them in this report for their uniqueness, first and foremost -- I have never seen anything like their show -- but also because the performance they put on was done in a style and with acts that would have been common to the original Highland Games held hundreds of years ago! So, to be in the high desert, which normally appears nearly devoid of Highland culture unless you know when and where to look for it, and be surrounded by such a large amount of Celtic culture and have a period-style act going on in the background at points, almost felt as if we had been transported to the Hielans of old... except for the heat! We signed a new member -- one Father Sean Deane -- who is elated that his Clan was finally present. This is our first in New Mexico! Of course, there was a strange moment of pause wherein we learned of the “Father” in his title when we offered the customary ‘wee dram’ to welcome him in. That is, right up until he confessed that he is an old friend of “the waters” and a brewer of fine stouts and ales — the sigh of relief from an awkward and prolonged silence was almost tangible. I shouldn’t wonder if it was deliberate — we’ll laugh at that one for a while! We also had one renewal (thanks Mom and Dad!), and sold several items of merchandise specific to CDS-USA. One set of ‘kudos’ and specific mention I would like to give out in closing goes to my wife, Stacey. For those of you who do not know, I buggered my right knee A gorgeous and well-restored 1963 Morgan was only one of many British up back in January; I’ve been hobbling around with a cane ever since. Surgery may be cars on display. in my nearer future, and I have already done many weeks of physical therapy. As such, I have had to rest much of my considerable weight on this little lady’s shoulders. Those of you who set up tents for CDS-USA know that one does not simply walk into ‘Clan Row’ with a small bundle under one arm and, at present, I can’t carry much in one arm with the cane in the other. Stacey, quite literally, carried the show during set-up and take down of the Clan tent at this event, drove to and from the parking area to the staging point multiple times, and played “gopher” when there was something needed at the tent that was in the car or in the hands of a vendor. Combine all of this with my tendency toward the — “grumpy” doesn’t quite cover it — [Note: The Sennachie can attest that “grumpy” does not adequately convey Matt’s personality or mood when his knee is buggered up — “mean and surly” is a much better fit!] due to this leg and regular pains associated with it right now, and I’d say this gal deserves a nomination for Sainthood or, at very least, some sort of medal! So, in case I’ve not said it before or enough, Stace: thank you, thank you, thank you - I can’t put into words the gratitude I have for all you have done for me; love ye Buddy!
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Report from Region 18 by Hugh Dawson, Co-Regional Director It should be noted that this report was submitted to the Sennachie in a timely fashion, LAST FALL. The Sennachie, in his usual bumbling fashion just overlooked it when he was assembling the January ’12 edition. He humbly apologizes! Just prior to leaving for the games, we got word from Denver of our daughter’s death. We had no one to back us up for the games and decided to go ahead in hopes it would help us get through the loss. Our daughter, Linda, attended the Estes Park Games in Colorado from time to time. Estes Park was one of her favorite places. When we arrived Friday to set up for the games, several clans of the Clan Chattan Federation were also setting up for the weekend. We joined them to include our Davidson Tent in the Clan Chattan Federation area. CDS-USA Members Neil and Cindy Davis are also Clan Chattan Commissioners and were there to greet us. Saturday we arrived early to start the event and were welcomed with a steady stream of Clan Davidson members and friends. We had a full tent all weekend. Among the visitors were members Gary Dawson and his son, Garry, formerly from the Seychelles Islands; new members, Anthony Cindy & Neil Davis - CDS-USA and Linda Roque (Davidson) and son, Noah; Caron members and Clan Chattan officials Davidson; Travis Higdon; Don and Mindy Sanders; John and Angie Dailly; and Mark Dawson. We logged in over 40 members and friends All in all, there was warm fellowship as we welcomed Clan Members and friends throughout the event. We were glad we decided to be there with so many of our Clan friends. Bob and Mary Smith arrived on Sunday to help us tear down and pack up for the next event. A very successful weekend for Clan Davidson! Report from Region 19 by Bob & Jan Davidson, Senior Regional Directors April 6, opening day — Albany Oregon We were in competition with a horse show! Results were outstanding, had many of the horsemen come to hear the pipe bands. We handed out applications to several horse and clansmen. General clan activities most of the day; met old friends made several new ones. A real good start to what proved to be a very interesting year. Kansas City International Gathering of Clan Davidson A 1900 mile trip (each way) with the threat of a super flood — that, however, did not happen. We had to remind ourselves that we live close to the “Big Water” [that would be the Columbia River, I believe — Sennachie] and this rising of “The Crick” of the Missouri did not worry us too much! We met Clansmen from all over the world and we found them to be real Clan Davidson people (real people, people we shall never forget). The event featured a big Parade of Tartans, dominated by the Davidsons, good pipers and good friends. Good things always end, but we shall always honor and cherish all the folks we met! Tacoma Highland Games, June 25, 2011 One of the most complete and friendly Games in the Northwest. It is our hope they will be expanded to a 2 day event – they have everything needed for a 2 day schedule. The Pierce County Fair Grounds is a natural setting for this activity, in a country area near a small town. The people we work with have the true Scottish attitude and the talent that goes with a successful Highland Gathering. Good job, Tacoma!
21 In front: Noah, Linda & Anthony Rogue; behind them, Gary Dawson and son, Garry.

All Clan Camp-out, July 1 – 4, 2011 Bucoda, Washington, is a small town in southwest Washington State. They have a small city park that is made for a small gathering, all the comforts, yet possessing a great outdoor atmosphere. We have games, dancing, visitors, single pipers, great food, everything needed for all the clans who come. Seattle Highland Games, July 29 – 31, 2011 The Seattle HG is the biggest event in the Northwest. It has everything we enjoy when we attend an HG, many pipe bands, dancing, athletic Bob Davidson, Cider-Maker extraordinaire (Far Right) trys to maintain events, ladies and kids’ games, Friday night Saltire, some semblance of order as a part of the rowdy Davidson crew at the dogs, sheep, Hielan Coos, vendors, politicians… just CDIG bask in the glow of his squeezins! everything needed. From left: Matt Dawson, Jenn Bozeman, Jim Gallion, Dave Chagnon & We were busy at our tent, talking, explaining, Amy Gutherie. handing out applications, greeting old friends, making new ones. Each day we had several people helping with the daily activities. We sincerely thank all those who helped and look forward to next year! Kelso Highlander Festival, September 9 – 11, 2011 Held in the Tam-o-Shanter Park, these are our “home Games”. It seems like ancient history – we’ve been attending this event for over 30 years. We’ve seen all types of action, good, better, and great. It all started with about 6 or 7 clans, a few vendors, a single pipe band, and a lot of happy dreams. We have most everything the larger events have, including a beautiful city park, a small river (with a complete dyking system), good nearby motels and eating establishments and a grand camping area. If y’all are in the Northwest on the 2nd weekend in September, be sure to drop and enjoy the Friendly Games of Kelso. Boise (Idaho) Highland Games, September 17, 2011 The Highland Games of Treasure Valley is an event we look forward to every year, and is our last formal Gathering. It’s a 1 day event which we would like to see expand to a 2 day affair. We enjoy Boise – they have everything a good Games should have. It’s a long trip for us to get to Boise, about 500 miles through some of the prettiest mountains in North America, making the trip worthwhile. “The Squeezin”, October 2, 2011 This informal event is held at our place in Winlock WA and is the end of the “season” for us. All clans are invited and we usually have 50 or more show up, representing maybe 15 clans. Pot luck dinners, gallons of coffee, etc etc etc, plus “the juice” is several different formats, wine, hard cider, and so on. It was a great year! [Note: The Sennachie and many other Davidson Clansmen can attest to the quality of the output from The Squeezin… Bob and Jan brought a generous quantity of their Squeezin wares with them to the CDIG and these were greatly appreciated by all those fortunate to get a taste.]

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From Times Gone By — History
Brigadier General William Lee Davidson, American Hero by Debbie Sorrels Mecca This is the second of a four part series about General William Lee Davidson, an American Revolutionary War era North Carolinian. Debbie is the 4th Great Grandchild of William and an enthusiastic supporter of all things Davidson. The first part of this saga was published in the July ’10 Sporran, and the second part in the July ’11 edition. The fourth and last part will be published in the January ’13 edition. After that, the whole will be reassembled and placed on the CDS-USA website. The seeds of the Revolution in the North Carolina back country were sown twenty years prior to the battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts. High court fees, excessive taxes and use of public money taken from the west for use in the east led to the revolt known as the Regulators’ movement [For more information, see http://uncpress.unc.edu/nc_encyclopedia/regulator.html]. While Rowan County was Debbie Sorrels Mecca vitally affected, the Presbyterian ministers early on were outspoken against the Regulators and led a force to Salisbury in 1768 to aid Governor Tryon against the uprising. Luckily, no clash occurred at the time. By 1771, the Rowan militia had become converts of the Regulators to such an extent that the militia was dismissed rather than having their loyalty to Tryon put to the test. Talk of American liberties began when Presbyterian leaders, who reasonably expected consideration in return for their rout of the Regulators, were instead deprived of their previous habit of pocketing fees honestly earned in performing marriages. Scots economy was outraged and filial affection was at an end. In 1772, King George disallowed the chartering of Queens College in Charlotte for the reason that its trustees were Presbyterian dissenters. This was a deeply felt stab at all the Scots-Irish cherished—undermining the supremacy of the Presbyterians, their church and their schools was too much for even the most conservative. Ranks of armed men such as the world had rarely seen were soon to fill Mecklenburg and Rowan Counties that were seething with revolt. Behind the rebels were their ministers who saw service as fighting parsons and voiced an attack from their pulpits that made captains and colonels of deacons and elders. Presbyterianism and patriotism were inextricably interwoven throughout the colonies. In Wilmington, North Carolina, July 21, 1774, “resolves” were declared and in September 1774, William Davidson and other trusted citizens were appointed to serve on a Committee of Safety that determined the loyalty of area citizens. By May of ’75 the Mecklenburg Committee of Safety organized an independent local government with all loyalty to King George declared null and void. By June of ’75, the battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts set the Colonies in motion with a resolve that one thousand volunteers be “immediately embodied” and ready at the shortest notice to “march out to action.” The first company of volunteers to report was headed by Captain Will Davidson whose men passed muster and were soon in service. The North Carolinians set out early in December to face off against a group of South Carolina loyalists in what is remembered as the “Snow Campaign” due to a rare heavy snow fall [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Snow_Campaign].” This campaign drew the first bloodshed in the Revolution in South Carolina. The North Carolina Provincial Congress, mid-April 1776, passed resolutions reorganizing the Continental line for North Carolina consisting of six battalions, or regiments, of eight companies each. Of the 4th Regiment, William Davidson was listed as major under Brigadier General Griffith Rutherford. Will Davidson could be counted on to join up with the patriot army, even though it meant separation from Mary Brevard and his family that had grown annually. At age thirty, Will Davidson was entering upon the uninterrupted career at arms that brought him fame. The patriotic backwoodsman made the most of times that in turn made the most of him. The cause of freedom was the cause of God on Davidson’s Creek, and William Lee was in fundamental agreement with the local interpretation of both. By March of 1777, the Tar-heels, led by Brigadier General Nash, set out from Wilmington to prepare for a march to reinforce the “Grand Army” of General Washington. As would happen many times, William Lee, who had made a reputation for himself mustering Road-side marker honoring minutemen, was left behind to recruit in order to enable depleted regiments to amass the
Gen. Rutherford 23

necessary 300 members each. While constable he had become a familiar figure over a considerable area and farmers, artisans, and trades people alike had great confidence in this leader who would approach them directly, giving him a great deal of frontier respect. To a commander of frontier soldiery, the lack of funds was acute; for the love of hard cash and impatience of restraint were peculiar distinctions of the Scots-Irishmen. Loyalty from his men was earned by his ability to provide sufficient distractions for pay arrears and compromises for discipline to hold this force intact. Davidson left Salisbury on July 18th, 1777 and arrived at Quankey Creek near Halifax, Virginia on the 29th. There is a tradition that William Lee was with the North Carolina brigade in time to reach the battle at Brandywine, September 1777; however, Nash’s troops were virtual spectators at Brandywine as they were ordered from a position between the two wings to reinforce one of them just at the time the British charged the center. Less than a month later, Washington planned a vigorous offensive against Howe at Germantown. Nash’s brigade participated in this engagement on October 4th. Fog, mistaken identity and lack of ammunition snatched victory from the Americans, but despite the heavy losses and retreat, Congress and the people were cheered by the army’s valor so soon after Brandywine. A North Carolina congressman wrote the governor of the state “Our men are in high spirits on finding they can make the Enemy’s best Troops run by attacking them with courage.” Brigadier General Francis Nash of Hillsborough, NC Francis Nash fell in action and died a few days afterward. In this marker near his homesite. Nashville TN is named in crucial encounter, Davidson fought with and against officers whose future his honor, and Davidson County, TN where Nashville careers were very materially to affect his own. Second to General is located, is named in honor of Gen William Lee Washington in command at the Battle of Germantown was Nathanael Davidson. Greene of Rhode Island. Second to Lord Howe of the British was Charles, Earl Cornwallis. Four years later the hopes and fears of the South hung on these two figures, peering across a river. And it was to keep them apart that Davidson would put his life on the line on the banks of the Catawba. There were vacancies to be filled in the North Carolina regiments. Major Wm. Lee Davidson of the Fourth Btn. was promoted to the rank of Lieut. Col. Of the Fifth. Davidson, though eldest major, was but a few years past his twenties. By the time Washington was facing the difficult task of closing the winter campaign, opposition from within was brewing. Insubordination resulted in a court martial, presided by Davidson. A lieutenant was found guilty of offenses and discharged, with the approval of the Commander-in-chief. Washington’s problem now was to keep an army without tents and supplies together through a cold winter. His experience as a surveyor led him to winter his Army at Valley Forge on the Schuylkill River that was well suited for defense or escape with a forest providing convenient logs for cabin barracks. No less a spirit than Washington’s could have successfully braved the impending days of starvation and freezing as well as the rage of the elements and of maddened men who were without warm clothes, shoes or tents. Hundreds were too sparsely clothed to be fit for duty. On the 19th of December the army arrived in the valley and long lines of log cabins began to cover the hillsides. Forgotten by their own Congress and in want of every supply, troops were forced to sit up all night by fires for lack of blankets. No one suffered more than the brigade of North Carolinians, especially the officers whose clothes and rations were not provided by the state and national governments—officers being expected to purchase both from their non-existent pay. Probably the only compensation that the officers received was the excellent training, military maneuvers and discipline from Baron von Steuben, a skillful old German who had served as aide to Frederick the Great. Beyond the ordeals of the icy winter, William Lee gained acquaintanceships of enduring value with the likes of “Light-Horse Harry” Lee, the tide-water Virginian who found the backwoods Carolinian “a man of popular manners, pleasing address, active and indefatigable”. Davidson, though ten years senior to his blue-blooded companion, must have regarded the dashing young cavalryman as the exemplar of martial virtues. To the minds of both, nothing became a man like his sword and spurs. Another Virginian, Daniel Morgan, was also a fellow officer. Unlike Lee, Morgan had worked with his hands in the earthy piedmont and would later win renown in the South as the victor at Cowpens. By June 1, 1778, Davidson had returned to North Carolina and was supervising recruiting before the reorganization of the units that resulted in his transfer to the 3rd Regiment as Lt. Colonel. Between the dates of 23 April to 29 October
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1777, eight hundred and thirty five and 30/90 dollars was reported to congress as being owed to Col. William Davidson for extra services that are supposed to have consisted of the business of recruiting. After his return North it is uncertain where his services were directed until December 19, 1778 when Washington sent orders to Lt. Col. Davidson who was found stationed near Smith’s Cove, New York. Davidson was to march immediately to Philadelphia by way of Trenton, New Jersey where he was to leave 50 of his men to guard stores. Once in Philadelphia Davidson was to report to Benedict Arnold and take directions from him. Davidson was found to have presided on April 2, 1779 at a general court martial. While at the capital city Davidson had the pleasure of seeing William Sharpe who took his seat as a North Carolina delegate to the Continental Congress on April 5th. Sharpe would have surely brought news of Davidson’s third son, Ephraim Brevard, born in January. Exact service in this time is sketchy; however a “Roll of Lt. Col. W. L. Davidson’s Company” dated April 23, 1779 lists only thirty-five effective men. Many were left at hospitals and eight had died at New Windsor Hospital, one at West Point, two at “Roberdson’s” Hospital and eight at Philadelphia. These conditions left Lt. Col. Davidson without an army though he remained in service. In May he joined his state regiments (1st and 2nd) under Col. Thomas Clark at Paramus, New Jersey. June of 1779 found Clark’s regiments in West Point in service to General Alexander McDougall’s command of the Highlands of the Hudson. On June 24th, he served as president of a general brigade court martial at or near New Windsor that dismissed a North Carolina wagon-master from service for selling property belonging to the brigade as his own. Davidson’s main duties at this time seem to be presiding over Courts Marital, one of which New Windsor Cantonment, near Newburgh NY. Gen. Davidson saw service at this location in 1779. resulted in a sentence of capital punishment—his opinion is not known in the matter. By autumn of 1779, Washington was convinced that the war would be fought out in the South. On November 19th, Clark at West Point received orders to march and began the long tramp back to Carolina. Many obstacles hindered the Tar-healers return having only reached Baltimore by January 1st and arriving in Charlestown, S. C. by March 3rd. Davidson obtained a well-deserved leave of absence to visit his family in December or January with a promise of rejoining his regiment in Charlestown on the first of May. For two years, with but one summer in Carolina, he had served the Grand Army of Washington. He returned to Centre with the laurels of northern campaigns and to popular acclaim as the favorite native son. He had associated familiarly with the foremost military leaders of America, a privilege in itself worth many sacrifices. He had taken orders from the brilliant and flashy Benedict Arnold and from many others of note. It goes without saying that being in the presence of Washington could not but send a thrill of elation down the spine of the frontiersman. The spring of 1780 he devoted to his growing family and diminishing estate. For the soldier of the Revolution, absence from home meant depreciation of property. The “Colonel’s lady” on Davidson’s Creek was hardly in actual want or danger but doubtless well aware that the Colonel had responsibilities in addition to fighting the King. There were now half a dozen children, the oldest not over twelve—three sons, George Lee, John Alexander, and Ephraim Brevard, and three daughters, Jean, Pamela and Margaret. When his furlough ended, Davidson rode to Charlestown to join his regiment, finding the city so closely blockaded that he was unable to get through requiring his return to Centre. By so doing Davidson saved North Carolina one regular officer for on May 12, 1780 General Lincoln surrendered the Southern Army to Sir Henry Clinton. At one sweep, North Carolina lost practically her entire Continental line. Davidson was again without a command. Though Col. Davidson had lost his regiment with Lincoln’s surrender, civil war in the piedmont was soon to absorb his energies. The fall of Charlestown and the terms forced on the prostrate State released many a “Huzza for King George” from the long repressed Tories. In the meantime, Sir Henry Clinton left Lord Cornwallis in control of Charlestown and the Continental prisoners. The Earl decided to wait until fall when the weather was pleasanter and the harvests in, to subjugate North Carolina. He established a Gen. Benjamin Lincoln strong post at Camden, eighty miles below Charlotte. Had the Tar-heels needed rousing, Colonel Banastre Tarleton of Cornwallis’s cavalry was their agent. On May 29th, this daring and ambitious young officer, having slipped out from Camden, fell upon an American detachment near the Mecklenburg line and slaughtered them
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without mercy. Tarleton gave no quarter even though Whig accounts claimed the defeated forces threw down their arms and surrendered. From that time forth, the rallying cry for upcountry patriots was “Tarleton’s Quarter”. Militia was called out en masse by Griffith Rutherford and by June 3rd 800 men appeared. William Lee Davidson volunteered to serve as subordinate to his former militia commander. The Lieutenant-Commander was irresistible to the backwoodsmen in his blue and white regimental and familiar accounts of service with General Washington. American General Griffith Rutherford ordered his adjutant, Colonel William Lee Davidson, and about 200 men to pursue the Tories, and a race ensued down the Yadkin River Valley. Davidson was in the process of patrolling against a local Tory by the name of Col. Bryan who had begun to march against Cornwallis’ orders. Believing themselves to be out of harm’s way and close enough to Cornwallis’ headquarters to prevent attack, Bryan’s Tories pitched camp near an inn and a mill on the Cheraw Road called Colson’s. Colonel Davidson arrived in the neighborhood of Colson’s Mill near the junction of Rocky River with the Pee Dee, dividing his men so as to attach both the front and on the flank of the Tories. Davidson had no intention of letting the loyalists escape, and on the morning of July 21 he surprised the enemy and drove the loyalists into the woods – and back to their homes. Davidson thus denied Cornwallis an addition of nearly 1000 troops and effectively broke any remaining loyalist sympathies along the Yadkin River Valley. Leading the front party, however, Davidson’s uniform made a glittering target and the Tory marksmen singled him out. The plan had been so well laid out that his party drove on Gen. Charles Cornwallis at full charge and though outnumbered attacked simultaneously. While Davidson’s wound was not fatal, the ball having entered the umbilical region and passed through the body near the kidneys. For over a month a restless Davidson was kept in his bed. Mary Brevard Davidson had her hands full with six children and another one on the way. Davidson’s recovery was remarkable owing, no doubt, to the natural vigor of an out-of-door man of thirty-four. By end of August he was up and about and being considered by Gen. Jethro Sumner for the command of the horse. The compliment was an honor, but Davidson was destined for a higher command. The Salisbury District which then comprised almost the entire western third of North Carolina, including in 1780 the counties of Mecklenburg, Rowan, Anson, Surry, Guilford, Burke, Wilkes, Washington, Lincoln, Montgomery, Rutherford, Sullivan and Richmond, petitioned the General Assembly on August 31, 1780 for an officer whom they could trust to be appointed Brigadier General until General Rutherford be released (from confinement by the British after his capture at Charles Town). The Resolution was met by the House of Commons and the Senate on the same day. Such a commission was exceptional and flattering, for not only was Davidson hardly well of his wound but it had been the rule of the House never to place militia under a Continental officer. Cornwallis left Camden on Sept. 7, 1780 and upon nearing Mecklenburg, her borders began to hum. It was the warning of the “Hornet’s Nest” which his Lordship might well have heeded. The area surrounding Charlotte was fortified with the forces of Davie and Davidson who received at that time their appointments from Governor Nash: Davidson as brigadiergeneral and Davie as colonel of the cavalry. It is said that no two men did more to put the sting in the hornet. According to Joseph Graham: “the General arrived in camp the next day after he received his commission and assumed command to the great satisfaction of all parties.” Davidson could count on the instinct of the frontiersmen he led to fight but knew not to expect reliable discipline. If he seriously offended them, they would go home; if he left them unchecked, they would become Battle of Charlotte fractious. It was a nice predicament from which only such leaders as Morgan, Sumter, and himself extricated a fighting force. The back-country had, however, one unique advantage in arms. Hunts and Indian wars had led to the importation of the rifle [as compared with the earlier “smooth bores” which were considerably less accurate than the rifle] and practice in its use several years prior to the Revolution. The frontiersmen of Mecklenburg and Rowan were particularly adept in the use of the long-barreled, small-bored piece, and Charlotte was said to have had one of the few rifle factories in the colonies in 1775.
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It was Davidson’s belief that Mecklenburgers deserved protection: they had “fought bravely and bled freely.” If they were overrun, the Americans would “lose the services of the best and most valuable part of this Country,” a part, incidentally, which included Davidson’s own plantation and the holdings of his friends and kin. Charlotte, having been occupied by the British, hung like a hive of yellow jackets—it was helpless but venomous. The locals set about to skirmish with and retard the enemy with light parties. At the Battle of Charlotte the whole British army was kept at bay for some minutes by a few mounted Americans not exceeding twenty in number. This was a sample of the steady diet from Mecklenburg. Before they left it, the Redcoats swore that the woods about Charlotte swarmed with America’s most rebellious citizens. His lordship soon discovered that he was in an enemy’s country, without provisions, without forage, without friends, without intelligence. Redcoats and Loyalists numbered nearly 2,500 strong while Davidson’s force fluctuated violently, doing well if he had one third of that number. However, by October 10th news came to Davidson at Camp Rocky River that Ferguson had been overwhelmingly defeated at Kings Mountain three days before. It was one of the momentous victories of the war, not only in cutting off Cornwallis’s Tory support and forcing him from North Carolina, but in proving to the frontiersmen that their own troops could win triumphs as complete as the Continentals. After King’s Mountain the Loyalists of the upcountry were content to profess their good will to the king and practice staying at home. Davidson’s report of the Battle of Kings Mountain via a letter to Battle of Kings Mountain Sumner is his only literary composition that attained widespread historical significance and found its way into numerous publications from his own century to the present. Its importance derives from the fact that it was the first written account of the battle that turned the tide of the Revolution in the South. When news of Kings Mountain finally filtered through to Cornwallis in Charlotte he understood the proof of the venom of the uplanders and realized it was suicide to remain longer in the area. No provisions or local reinforcements, on which the Earl had fondly counted, were to be received. Shortly after noon on the 12th of October, the British began leaving Charlotte Town. Thus Cornwallis had failed to place the Old North State beside her sister to the South; instead of marching on the heels of a fleeing foe, the Earl was on his toes to get away. Davidson’s policy had met with entire success and it was to him and his militia that the Whig newspapers gave the credit for Cornwallis’s failure. In their haste to escape the area, the fugitives abandoned twenty wagons five miles below Charlotte supplying Davidson’s men with tents, camp furniture and seventy stand of arms as well as most of the clothes belonging to Tarleton’s legion. Seeing that Cornwallis’ army was cut off from Tarleton and having difficulty advancing in the area, Davidson’s sent an express concerning the enemy’s situation to General Sumter. Despite the fact that the Americans had five separate forces in the close vicinity of the bedraggled British, Cornwallis did not meet the fate of Burgoyne due to the fact that Morgan and the others were awaiting orders to move from General Smallwood who was on his way south. The British army made its way 70 miles south of Charlotte to Winnsboro, South Carolina for winter quarters where Cornwallis recuperated from Carolina fever while resting and recruiting his army. During a stalemate in planning strategies by officers Smallwood and Gates, Davidson settled into winter at Camp New Providence southeast of Charlotte on Hwy 16. He busied himself improving the morale of the militia, securing an exchange of prisoners. A great scarcity of provision, owing largely to the lack of money in the Whig treasury, became a constant battle. Under these conditions, the best of combatants made the most restless campers for any stretch of time. Though terms of service began to expire December 5, many began to depart by late November. Eager for action, Davidson wrote to Sumter “I am possessed of all the patience necessary to my profession but I assure you it is nearly exhausted.” This statement was directed to the fact that his area of command was controlled by nearly half a dozen authorities: among them Governor Abner Nash, William Smallwood, Commander-in-chief Horatio Gates, with the new Commander-in-chief Nathanael Greene ready to take command. Davidson, on November 27th, being convinced that nothing would be done Gen. Daniel Morgan by the officers above him submitted a plan of combat to Colonel Alexander Martin of the Board of War, stating in his plan he raise militia to send Genl. Morgan to the Westward with his Light Troops & Rifle men, 1,000 volunteer Militia and Refugees from South Carolina and Georgia, to join which will make a formidable Body of
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Desperadoes the whole to be under Morgan’s Direction and proceed immediately to 96…at the Same time the main Army to move down to the Waxhaws which will oblige the Enemy to divide (which will put them quite in our power) …” In light of British conditions as now known, Davidson’s plan seems entirely feasible. Cornwallis had received no reinforcements, Tarleton was on detachment and the Tory militia had been browbeaten into sullen passivity. There is no evidence that Martin endeavored to promote the plan—it is said that had fate decreed otherwise, as will it might, Winnsboro and not Yorktown would have marked the end of the Revolution. All activity awaited the advent of Gates’ successor—in the meantime the British were recuperating and reinforcements were on the way. On December 2, 1780, Nathanael Greene arrived in Camp Charlotte to take charge of the Southern Army. Green brought no soldiers besides the Baron and had selected “Light-Horse Harry” Lee for his Southern staff. By December 5th, rains returned—for eleven bleak days sheets of icy water deluged the Catawba valley. There was nothing to do but sit still in an effort to endure the hunger and cold. Meantime, Davidson travelled home to Centre to be with his family, where an addition to his household was shortly expected. In the meantime the Board wrote Greene that the army could “maneuver on the Enemy” in the western country as Greene pleased. On December 16th, Davidson, with volunteers collected from Ramsour’s Battleground, Davidson was ordered to unite with Morgan as soon as possible. The force was ordered to act either defensively or offensively, to cut off supplies to the enemy and to Gen. Nathanael Greene revive the spirits of the inhabitants. Davidson travelled to Salisbury himself to make sure that ammunition was hauled properly. With the approaching campaign, his thoughts turned inward. He had seen many men die in the past three years and been seriously wounded himself. There would be seven children, the oldest not yet twelve, to be educated and provided for. He was still due army pay which would be issued to his wife should he not be spared to enjoy it. He owned land enough to give each of the boys a start: three lots in Charlotte, several tracts in Rowan and Burke Counties, and the promise of more for his military services. The girls, also, would have an inheritance. About a mile and a half from his home, Davidson passed the log meeting-house of Centre with its growing buryingground. In this red clay, he too might expect to sleep till judgment alongside his kith and kin. Upon reaching Salisbury, he went to the court house and codified his thoughts in the form of his last will and testament. OK, I’m going to have to leave the reader hanging on tenterhooks until the next issue of The Sporran! Stand by for the exciting conclusion of this true life adventure.

The Road to The ’45 - The Journey Ends… and Then Continues by David McNicoll
This is Part III of an historical treatise regarding the events surrounding the last of the Jacobite rebellions in the United Kingdom, The ’45 (as in 1745). The author, David McNicoll, is the Managing Director of Highland Experience Scotland, a New York City-based Scottish tour business [http://www.highlandexperience-usa.com]. He is also the founder of the New York Whisky Academy. The Aftermath The mist rises fast from the calm waters of the Moray Firth below and is soon swirling amongst the clan stones of Culloden Moor, casting an eerie scene over the site of the last battle ever fought on British soil. Here among the grave stones and memorials you can almost hear the ghosts of the past – the last charge of the Highlanders, the last roll-call of the Celtic world. The Battle of Culloden in April 1746 was a line in the sand: it ushered in a period of unparalleled change to the Highlands, but also had some remarkable consequences, which are still being felt across the world today.

Inscription on the Culloden Clan Memorial Cairn

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New Horizons In 1759 General James Wolfe led an army of British soldiers up the St Laurence River to the heart of French North America; and, on the morning of the 13th September his forces routed the garrison of Quebec at a famous battle on the Plains of Abraham. It was the end of the Seven Years War and it was the end for the French in Canada. Wolfe was a new kind of officer – a professional soldier with but one agenda: to bring greatness to Britain and extend British authority around the world, complimenting her growing economic might. Indeed, Wolfe’s fleet of soldiers had been navigated up the St Laurence by a young Captain Cook, and Quebec took place a mere two years after Robert Clive had defeated the native rulers of Bengal to start Britain on the road to Indian rule. Within a generation, Gen. Wolfe Dies on the Plains of Abraham Britain’s martial focus has shifted from her internal dynastic struggles to the business of world domination; and as Wolfe led his men that misty morning he must have reflected on another bleak morning 13 years earlier. Among the regiments at Quebec were men drawn from the very stock that had fought at Culloden a generation earlier. Here, instead of claymores and blue bonnets, these Highlanders wore redcoats, took the King’s Shilling and fought with an unflinching loyalty for their colonel. As a nineteen year old captain, Wolfe had stood in the government ranks at Culloden and was impressed by the martial ability, loyalty and determination of the Jacobite soldiers racing towards him, and being mown down in their hundreds. A new dawn he realised would one day use these assets to the advantage of the British army. “There is no great mischief should they fall – there’s plenty more where they came from” he once said, and incorporating these men and their warrior traditions into the army was a major part of the rehabilitation and reorganising of the Highlands in the years following Culloden. Understanding the massive cultural shift that took place, is the key to understanding the Highlands today and why Culloden is so important. In the immediate aftermath of the battle Lord George Murray was able to gather together what was left of the Jacobite command and convened a meeting at the Ruthven Barracks. Here, they pondered the question of continuing the fight and executing a guerrilla campaign. However, having convinced himself that he was betrayed, Charles caved in and abandoned the cause. He would spend the rest of the summer hiding in the hills trying to avoid the Redcoat forces sent to find him. The Government placed a bounty of £30,000 on his head to flush him out of the heather and from those who remained loyal. Many however had come to despise the Prince, especially now that Cumberland’s forces were dragging notable Jacobites to the Tower of London and burning men, women and children out of hearth and home in a draconian act of retribution as the new Acts of Proscription were vigorously enforced. Finally, on the 20th of September 1746 the French ship, L’Heureax, sailed into Loch an Uamh on the Lochaber coast, picked up the prince and took him back to France and a sad, ginfuelled life of inglorious exile. The Highlands he left behind had known centuries of warfare, but now the darkest of hours was approaching. Loch an Uamh From Chiefs to Landlords Contrary to common belief, the Battle of Culloden did not spark the mass-migrations and forced evictions of the Highland Clearances, but the decisive nature of the victory, the crushing retribution meted out throughout the glens and the determination of a London based government to bring the Highlands to heel once and for all certainly laid the foundations. The violence served up to the ordinary peasant folk of the Highlands was compounded by the punitive legislation that followed. Clan Chiefs, especially in the north and west were all but kings in their own domain, and the government saw this social set-up as the breeding ground for the warlike ways that came too close to toppling the establishment. Breaking the clan system by making it economically untenable for the chiefs, and have them abandon their own people of their own accord, was a top objective in the wake of the Rebellion — and it worked.
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Laws were brought in that removed the right to bear arms, and for the high chiefs to exercise arbitrary justice in their own territory. Many estates were forfeited to the crown as punishment for Jacobite support, and sons and heirs were taken south to be educated in the English, so-called “civilised” way. The idea was to break the bond between chief and clan, and it was very effective. Moreover, laws were brought in forbidding the wearing of tartan and kilts, unless in an army regiment; the Gaelic language was outlawed and bagpipe playing was banned. Old traditions, the sense of collective loyalty and unity was at a stroke dealt a hammer blow it never recovered from. Many chiefs fled into exile as government agents moved in, leaving their kinsfolk to be cared for by the Tacksmen – a literate stratum of clan society that acted as lawyer, arbitrator and rent collector. These families, with a bit of silver tucked away, could see the writing was on the wall, and their bags would soon be packed. The Scottish Highlands had never truly been a cash economy – chiefs measured their wealth in the number of men they brought to a fight, and rent was more often than not paid in kind. This would be the next government innovation: the carrot of wealth was dangled in front of the remaining chiefs and the young protégées being brought up in private English schools. As they returned to claim their ancestral piles (castles and manor houses), they came back not as father of their people, but as their landlords. The dynamic had now changed, and the new world order had reached the Highlands. There weren’t too many options open to those about to feel the full brunt of this new order and those that could afford began leaving for pastures new — some to Glasgow or London, but a great many to America, Canada or Australia. Others, with fire in their bellies, joined the army, with plenty swapping Jacobite bonnets for regimental kilts and redcoats. Hundreds traded in chiefly loyalty for regimental loyalty and crossed the oceans to fight for king, country and the British Empire. As chiefs morphed into mercantile-focused landlords, and the middle class of the clan hopped onto ships and sailed for the new world, a huge vacuum opened up between the laird and his tenants. The population of the Highlands by the 1780s was already too high, and the initial emigrations were entirely voluntary, but the Diaspora wasn’t fast enough for some. Now measuring their wealth in gold rather than claymores, the landlord-chiefs saw their tenantry as surplus to requirement and began to forcibly evict their people off the land of their fathers. Between 1790 and 1830 over 40,000 men, women and children would be removed, most headed overseas. The fruits of the Clearances would help build the Empire as much as the new Highland recruits swelling the ranks of the army. The Battle of Culloden may have killed the Jacobite cause, but it saved the notion of constitutional monarchy – a very safe form of government, and it guaranteed British political stability. This was a foundation upon which investment can be made, investment begat scientific advancement and supported both the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution. While Britain’s mercantile might eclipsed the globe, the grim realities of the Clearances provided the population required to build her overseas colonies. Culloden may have lasted less than an hour, but the consequences would affect the whole world, and continue to do so to this day. While not explicitly stated in his summation of the three-part “Road To The Isles” treatise regarding the events surrounding the last Jacobite Rebellion in UK, I rather have the feeling the author, David McNicoll, approves of what resulted from the failure of rebellion. This is, of course, the continuation of an economic and political system based on the rule of inheritance, aristocracy and a rigid social class structure rather than the rule of meritocracy, egalitarianism and equal rights for all. I’ve heard this same understated opinion expressed to me by way of approval for the propaganda of Sir Walter Scott in his efforts to stave off revolution in the Scotland of the mid-19th Century. Fuelled by the American Revolution, the French Revolution and the social and economic upheaval of the early industrial revolution, class-based rebellion ran wild in the Europe of the 19th century as the body of the old feudal order of France, Germany, Italy and, eventually Russia, was swept away to be drowned in the blood baths of the First World War. The pendulum of history continued its inexorable swing on into the 20th century as the colonial empires established by the Western Powers crumbled into the ashbin of history, lost to the raging fires of the Second World War. I’ve often wondered what things would be like today in UK if the seeds of revolt that spread across the English Channel from France to England weren’t so vigorously stamped out and the class-based society of UK was wiped out 200 years ago. Yes, it would have been a terrible thing to live through, no doubt, but could anyone say it would have been worse than all the tragic misery incurred by the vast majority of the population of the lower classes of the UK during the 19th and early 20th Centuries? Och weel, we’ll never know, will we? Many thanks to David McNicoll for his kind submission of the wonderful three-part retrospective of a critical piece of Scottish history.
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Items With an International Interest
This article relates the story of multi-talented young man who rose from relative obscurity to become famous for his heroic water rescues. The Scottish town of Peterhead is located on the extreme northeast corner of lower Scotland, about 30 miles north of Aberdeen. It was a center of fishing and shipping activity and is, today, actively involved in the Northsea oil industry. Like many towns and cities in the northeast of Scotland, Peterhead is home to many Davidson families. John Davidson – the “Peterhead Rescue” by Fiona Riddell, Arbuthnot Museum, Peterhead (Reprinted from the CDA-UK Pheon, with permission) John Davidson was born in Peterhead on the 25th October 1852 to Alexander Davidson, a shoemaker and his wife Elizabeth Cummings. In May 1877 John married Annie Munro, a domestic servant from Stornoway, but living in Peterhead and their only child, Eliza was born shortly afterwards but she died when she was only 12 years old. As a boy he learned to swim and as a youth there were probably few in Scotland who could rival him. He was very proud of this and made every effort to perfect himself in this skill. At the age of 15 he saved a boy from drowning and recognizing the difficulties associated with this, enlisted the help of a friend with whom he practised the work of rescue ¯ until one incident nearly drowned the pair of them, which consequently stopped this practice!. In his teens he became an apprentice cooper and as his work was generally in the vicinity of harbours he was usually on the spot when any rescue had to be made. It is worthy of note that there was hardly anyone who died from drowning in the harbours for the 30 years that John was able to render assistance. In this way, at quite an early age, his many acts of saving life from drowning earned him the title of the “Peterhead Rescue”, which he continued to merit till his dying day. Although he was known far and wide for his extraordinary record of lifeJohn Davidson saving, he was also a familiar figure to hundreds of people in other ways. He was in the 3rd Volunteer Battalion (V.B.) Gordon Highlanders (the Buchan Rifles) for The Peterhead Rescue 22 years. At the sports events connected with the training camps, John competed in almost every event, generally carrying off a good share of the prizes. John was a conscientious drummer and piper, who thrilled many a crowd with his spirited dancing of the Highland Fling, before the bugles sounded the tattoo. As a dancer, John was easily first, clad in kilt and sporran, his nimble grace in the many movements of a Highland dance or, in nautical rig, the quick steps of ‘Jack Tar’, delighted everyone. In the days when a regatta was a yearly event at Peterhead, John’s swimming and other physical capacities generally secured him the chief honours. He was, of course, a member of the rescue boat’s crew and he won the deck dive race and climbing the greasy pole. He was also connected with the Life Saving Brigade for twenty five years and on the occasion of a vessel running aground on the rocks in a storm he was always entrusted with the important duty of firing the life-line rocket. Although John was accredited with saving 100 lives, he kept no record himself of his acts, therefore acknowledgement of his services were somewhat meagre. It is noteworthy that on every occasion that he attempted to save a life from drowning, he was highly successful, albeit putting his own life in extreme jeopardy on a number of occasions. Such was the case at a notable rescue in August 1876, when he was the means of saving the crew of a boat wrecked near the Horseback (a rock about 100 yards from the South Harbour entrance, Peterhead). The sail of the Cellardyke fishing boat, the Worthy, had become unmanageable and she drifted
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on to the rocks. Three men jumped into the sea and scrambled onto the rocks assisted by the nearest spectators. Another less fortunate, however, had become entangled amongst the nets in the hatchway and was unable to extricate himself. It was at this point that the many spectators witnessed a display of heroism rarely equaled, never excelled. Without a moment’s hesitation John Davidson dashed through the waves and swinging himself into the boat released the man from imminent death and assisted him from the boat until he was secured by those on shore. For this act he was awarded the silver medal from the Royal Humane Society. A year later, he saved the skipper of a fishing boat who had been washed overboard by a heavy sea it entered the North Harbour. John had gone out in the lifeboat, the crew of which saw a man clinging to a spar, but could not venture near enough to reach him. John sprang from the lifeboat into the raging surf and after a desperate effort succeeded in catching hold of the drowning man and bringing him on board. Not only at Peterhead was John the means of saving life - Fraserburgh, Buckie, Great Grimsby, Orkney, Stornoway to name but a few places featured in his life story. At Fraserburgh in 1887, he had one of his most dangerous experiences. Whilst he was assisting in saving the lives of nine crew members belonging to the fishing boat Aye! A braw lad in his Hielan Dress. Invernorth, a Findochty fishing boat appeared, rounding the breakwater making for the entrance to the harbour. For some time the boat withstood the tremendous seas that broke over her but with the mast broken and sail jibbed she drifted towards the sands. The crew slipped her anchors, but to the horror of the spectators, a huge wave overtook the craft, and she entirely disappeared. All were thought to be lost but then three or four men were seen clinging to a net buoy about fifty yards from shore. John rushed into the boiling surf and after a valiant struggle managed to bring one of them ashore. Despite the strong back-wash, John returned to the sea and seized hold of another man. Whilst swimming back he caught sight of a third man clinging to another buoy within arm’s length. He immediately grabbed this man too and, assisted by willing hands, dragged them both ashore. Going into the water a third time he brought yet another man to shore, but life was found to be extinct. Once at Buckie, where John was employed as a cooper, a dispute arose in a barber’s shop, between an old soldier and a shoemaker. They adjourned outside on the bridge over the Buckie Burn to fight it out - one of them only half shaved with lather lying thick all down one side of his face. The bridge had a parapet only eighteen inches high and the combatants went over the edge together with a prodigious splash. Immediately, screaming women threw the ends of their twisted shawls down to the drowning men, these being the handiest life-saving apparatus available! John, who was working in a cooperage nearby, looked out to see the cause of the hubbub. He took in the situation at a glance and, opening the window, he stood out upon the sill for just an instance. Taking a “header” down into the deep water he shortly had both men ashore, the old soldier lying down on his face and striking out with hands and feet protesting that he could swim like a duck and did not need anybody to rescue him! The gallantry of John in the water was admirably supplemented by an intelligent knowledge of the method of resuscitating the apparently drowned. Indeed had it not been for this skill his bravery would have been, on many occasions, to no avail. While the construction of Port Henry Harbour, Peterhead was in progress, accidents were frequent, and at this time John had considerable experience with ambulance work. He repeatedly went from Peterhead to Aberdeen in the ambulance wagon along with the more serious “cases”. Typical surf for the sea off the coast at Peterhead John Davidson’s gallantry, however, was not confined to the no swimming for the faint of heart here! sea, and on several occasions he did noble service on land. In 1877, for instance, he distinguished himself at a fire in Stornoway and was awarded the sum of £1 10s by an Insurance Company. In February 1882, during a fire in a tenement in North Street, Peterhead, it was discovered that a child of 3 years had been left behind in the rush for safety. On hearing this John ascended the narrow staircase but, being met by thick smoke, was compelled to retreat. After this unsuccessful attempt, he tried again crawling along the floor on his hands and knees and succeeded in forcing his way through smoke and flame but failed to find the child. Although his actions were futile, he was cut and burned in his endeavours, and The Royal Society for the Protection of Life from Fire awarded him a “beautifully illuminated address” bearing their heading and seal together with £3 in money.
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On the 7th March, 1883, John Davidson rendered what was described as “gallant and extraordinary service” when rescuing the crew of the Mazinthien, a whaler wrecked in a storm at the South Bay, Peterhead. The night was wild and dark and great difficulty was experienced in working the rocket apparatus. The fourth rocket fired sent the line well over the vessel, but all the lines were carried faraway to the leeward and became entangled amongst the rocks. When the line fouled John and a coastguardsman named Stubbins rushed into the water to disentangle it from the sea weed but were engulfed in a huge wave. Both of them were knocked over but the tide carried Stubbins out to sea. John, who had clung to a rock, plunged back A fishing boat leaves the harbor at Peterhead. into the water and grabbed and held the coastguardsman until the receding water left them. They were both taken to shore exhausted but John’s night work was not yet done. The life-line having been at last secured by the crew of the whaler and got into working order, one of them volunteered to warp himself ashore in a lifebuoy attached to a block and tackle. Coming along the line from the mizzen rigging he made good speed but about fifty yards from shore the line dipped and the sailor, could pull himself no further. John volunteered to warp out to meet him, and spinning down the line at the shore end, his weight raised the part of the line attached to the incoming sailor and he was finally lassoed and dragged ashore. With John’s assistance the sailor had brought the rope from the whaler, and by this means the whole crew of thirty were taken ashore. For his actions on this occasion John Davidson was presented with the Bronze medal of the Board of Trade. In January 1893, John was presented with a bronze medal from the Royal Humane Society. On the 12th September 1892, a man called William Buthlaw, from Collieston, near Peterhead had accidently fallen into the South Harbour between a fishing boat and the slipway. The man had sunk, but came up again, and been drawn by the tide under the bilge of a boat. John, on hearing of the incident, immediately jumped into the water and after some difficulty in getting a hold of Buthlaw succeeded in keeping him up until he was dragged into the boat by some men who had scrambled down on to it. The casualty was in a very exhausted condition but was revived with John’s assistance. Mr. Wm Boyd, Convenor of the Peterhead Branch of the National Lifeboat Association, on making this presentation said “it is an honour to meet a man, who, like you, has proved himself to possess high courage, a strong arm and capable of acting with cool judgment in such moments and under circumstances of peril. These qualities, however, command a special admiration, when they are executed in the humane and unselfish object of saving life.” As a Cooper and ‘Runner’ for the fish salesman, John’s work kept him about the harbours and almost daily he rescued young men from drowning. He had been known to be in the water three times in one day. The conflicting side of these rescues meant that in later life John suffered greatly from severe attacks of rheumatism, induced by his frequent immersions and exposure to cold, to such a degree as to incapacitate him from work for lengthy periods. John was further incapacitated by an injury to his arm in 1901. A man had dropped down in a fit and fallen into the North Harbour at Peterhead. John at once went in fully clothed. The drowning man was unconscious and John held him above the water for about ten minutes with one hand, whilst with the other he clung to a mooring chain until a boat was launched, and the man was safely landed. The weight of the man and of John himself had been too much for the “Rescue” and it was found that he had ruptured an artery in his right arm. He underwent an operation in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, the effects of which he never recovered his old exuberant self. Occasional appeals were made during the last ten years of John’s life, through the local papers the Buchan Observer and the Peterhead Sentinel, for assistance due to his physical inability, but they met with little recognition until, in the spring of 1889, one of these appeals was brought to the notice of the London Daily Mail. This attracted public attention to the case of the “Peterhead Hero” and as a result over £200 was subscribed; Friends of John, in years gone by? part of the money coming from England, whilst over £100 was contributed to the fund by South African admirers - mostly old Peterheadians - of John Davidson and his long record of gallantry. As John was unable to work at his trade of a cooper, he earned some money doing light jobs - in the fishing time as a ‘runner’ about the harbour and this was supplemented by the fund. It was originally lodged in the Savings Bank and administered by the trustees appointed at the time, (Provost Leask, Baillie Booth and Councillor Duncan).
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John died at his home in Jamaica St, Peterhead, on the 21st September 1902 from pneumonia at the comparatively young age of 49, which was said to have been brought about by his constant exposure to cold and immersion in water. According to newspaper articles at the time they stated “he was a stalwart of over six feet in height, lithe and lissome of movement and strong of feature, he was in appearance one from whom more than the ordinary average of physical and manly effort might be expected”. John Davidson’s funeral took place on the 24th of September, a Wednesday afternoon, when all places of business would have been closed for the weekly half holiday. It was attended by Provost Leask, Many Peterhead fishermen, such as these, owed their Councillor’s Geils and Duncan, and other prominent members of the lives to John Davidson. community. Several hundred coopers in the town also attended as the fishcuring yards closed for a couple of hours to permit all to have the opportunity of paying a last tribute to one who was so popular amongst them. Long before the appointed time of three o’clock, the streets along the route to the churchyard thronged with townspeople, who waited with sympathetic and sorrowful respect for the passing of the funeral cortege of their “Hero of a Hundred Rescues”. The cortege was preceded by the kilted band of the 3rd V.B. Gordon Highlanders, playing the “Dead March”. The coffin was borne to the grave on the shoulders of relays of men, taken from a full muster of the Lifesaving Brigade. The death of John Davidson called forth a feeling of deep and sincere regret throughout the town, where his numerous successful efforts in saving lives was so well known and admired. It is understood that there was a considerable sum in hand, part of which, it was suggested, could have been expended in the erection of a suitable stone to mark the last resting place of the ‘Peterhead Rescue’, and the balance applied for the benefit of his widow, by whom he was survived. In April 1903, the medals of John Davidson the “Peterhead Rescue” were put up for auction and were purchased for £4 2s 6d by John’s brother, George, also a cooper. These medals were donated to the Arbuthnot Museum, Peterhead, although no record of this donation has been found to date.

I remember meeting Charles Davidson at the 2007 Davidson International Gathering at Tulloch Castle. He seemed a kindred spirit from the first, filled with good cheer and even better stories. Little did I realize just how many stories he really had in his repertoire until I read the following article, reprinted from the 2011 CDA-UK Pheon, with permission. I also had no idea he was 82 years old at the time, either, seeming at least a decade or two younger. Charles’ life bridges the span of years when the “Old British Empire” fades into the Britain of today, a mere shadow of its former glory. This article gives us just a peek into the soul of the man, and all I can say is “thank you, Charles, for sharing your life with us.” A Davidson Merchant Mariner by Charles Davidson, Edinburgh I was two weeks past my 5th birthday and was playing at a neighbour’s house when my grandmother approached. Her face was grim; “ Come home. Your father’s dead, drowned in Africa”. My father had seen me twice in my life, the first time was when I was three, and again when my mother and I joined him on board the S.S. Surat in Liverpool dry dock and then sea trials. He was a Chief Engineer, Merchant Marine, aged 37 when he died. I was orphaned at 12 when I lost my mother and I was brought up by my mother’s elder sister, Aunt Polly, one of the many spinsters left as such after the First World War. From her I knew all the history of my maternal forebears in detail back to the Napoleonic Wars. My paternal grandmother died when I was seven. She was from a Military family; her elder brothers were born in the Punjab and in Malta. Her father was in the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders, a veteran of the “Thin Red Line” at Sevastopol and the Crimea. His wife, my great grandmother, as did other Army wives, manned cannons with loyal
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Charles Davidson at the Intl. Gathering - Tulloch Castle - Sept. 2007

Indian Gunners through the long siege of Lucknow and its eventual relief by the British Army Column containing Colin Campbell’s Highland Regiments and her husband. But I knew little about my Davidson father and, over many years, have added to what little I originally knew as a boy, to the picture that I now hold of what kind of man he was, and of his life and times. My grandfather Charles Samuel Davidson was so named, I was told, after a relation, said to be a doctor. I suspect he was one of the “Weel Kent” Medical family in Wartle, Aberdeenshire who were of the Tarves Davidson family but the exact connection is only conjecture. Charles Samuel was the fourth son and an Engineer to trade, as were his brothers .He was described as an “Iron Machine Man (deceased)” in his son’s 1916 marriage lines. I was initially puzzled to note that the Marriage Banns of Charles Samuel were read in Jarrow, Northumberland, where he was termed “a miner”. I later learnt that his eldest brother, William, was a Colliery Manager there and he was probably employed as an Engineer on the winding gear and general machinery. Little is known of his life. My father, Charles George Adam Davidson, was Charles Samuel’s only son and was born in 1893 at Fittie, the harbour area of Aberdeen. He was educated at King Street Public School and at Robert Gordon’s Technical College. He then served a five year apprenticeship (which was essential for all Trades in Victorian and Edwardian times) at The author with his Dad on the SS Hall Russell’s Shipbuilding Yard at Aberdeen Harbour. Surat, circa 1928. In 1911, he was a Cadet in the Highland Brigade RFA [T]. He had an Honourable Discharge from the Army Signals Corps in 1914 on the completion of his apprenticeship when he was given the berth of Fifth Engineer on the S.S. Intaba. Particulars of the many ships he served as an Marine Engineer is given in a copy of his Testimonials which were passed to me some years ago, by my niece from papers which, unknown to me, had been in her mother’s (my elder sister) possession. During the war years, he sailed in the German menaced North Sea and elsewhere. On the 4th January 1916, he married my mother Charlotte Gordon Paterson. He was Second Engineer on the SS Earnholm when it was wrecked on the Faroe Islands on New Year’s morning 1919. He was sleeping at the time but was a strong swimmer and, with others of the crew, reached a rocky shore below cliffs He badly damaged his knee on rocks but, as the others huddled there, he managed to climb the cliffs and was said to have crawled about a mile toward a light and a house for help. I was told of this incident as a boy but later under unusual circumstances, I was to learn more of this period of his life. In 1948, after war service, I was studying at the College of Agriculture, at Aberdeen University and, in the summer recess, worked as an exchange student at Bavelse Hovdgaard, Glumso, Denmark. I had been some two weeks at Baron Holke’s Estate when I opened a letter which had been sent from Denmark addressed to ‘Engineer Charles Davidson‘ at the old family house in Aberdeen. Thinking, “that must be for Charles” my aunt had sent it on to Bavelse Hovdgaard. The letter was not for me, but was written to my father, dead for 18 years. It was from a Holvar Winter, ex-purser of the Danish Fishery Cruiser who, in 1920, had given his berth to my injured father. It was posted on the day that I had arrived in Denmark and said, “I have not thought of you and Thorshavn for years but tonight I cannot get you out of my mind. Are you surviving I have an old photograph with your address. Please write we must get together.” I wrote and asked to meet him and ended up staying at his remarkable clinic in Copenhagen sleeping in a converted 18 century coffin – but that’s another tale. At that time in 1948, Holvar was one of the few private dentists in Copenhagen. His patients included eminent Danes from politics the theatre, writers and the professions. He was an archaeologist of note and an expert on Viking Burials and Life masks. He had been an active Resistance Member of the Danish war time underground and had fled to Sweden and to Norway towards the end of the conflict. Holgar told me how he first met my father: I was Purser on a Danish Cruiser. We were at anchor in Thorshavn when we ran out of cigarettes. I had plenty of Danish Schnapps and was rowed to a nearby British ship thinking, “I could barter the schnapps for cigarettes”. I climbed aboard the Earnholm and asked a crew member if I could see the captain. “He’s drunk and sleeping. “ Charles the Elder “Well - the mate.”
1893 - 1930 35

“He is the same. The only sober officer is the Second Engineer Davidson over there.” Unfortunately, the British ship was almost out of cigarettes but had plenty of St. Bruno pipe tobacco that I settled for. The Danish sailors tried to roll the pipe tobacco into cigarettes but the tobacco was too strong. So left with tobacco I started to smoke a pipe. I had so much tobacco that it lasted me throughout my Dental student days – and now I am hooked and only smoke that brand” The injured knee prevented my father from going back to sea and for two years he was a Lecturer on Internal SS Surat Combustion Engines at Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen, a post created by the increased post-war student intake. Later I had unexpected confirmation of this period. In the 1970’s, when the Outer Hebrides came into my sphere of work, I made the first tour of the Estates with the Stornoway Factor who, when we were in Harris, suggested that we have afternoon tea at Rodel Hotel on the south shore, and explained: The owner is a retired Merchant Navy Officer. The hotel is old and was frequented in Edwardian times by yachtsmen of the Royal Family. Apart from Harrods, it is the only place that gets an allocation of the whisky specially blended for the Royal Household. “I have never tasted it. Few get that privilege. “ We were drinking tea when the proprietor joined us and I was introduced to him. In the conversation, it was mentioned that the owner had been a Chief Engineer and studied at Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen. He said, “I would never have passed my exams without the help of my lecturer. He had the same name as you” I asked “Was this about the 1920’s and did he have a bad limp after being wrecked? If he had, it was my father.” I have now tasted “Royal Household”! In 1921, my father was offered the post of Manager of a Hydro Electric Generating Scheme in Quebec, Canada but, due to my two elder sisters contracting scarlet fever, he could not accept the post and returned on September 1921 to sea as Second Engineer Officer on an East Indiaman. Leaving Aberdeen, he was away from home until 1923. I learnt from Holgar Winter that my father promised to write from Canada when he was settled. At the same time, Holgar also wrote to say that he was leaving the Danish Navy to study Dentistry and would send his new address in Copenhagen. Their letters crossed in the post. I smile even today when I recall being told by Aunt Polly when I was 14 that my father saw me for the first time in 1928. I was 3 years old and he had completed a 5 year voyage. Polly was a mine of information on times, places and people and I asked her, hesitantly, in growing confusion and trepidation for I knew of the gestation period of homo sapiens. “Are you really sure, Polly” “Yes. Your father left Aberdeen in 1923 and was not back home in Aberdeen until 1928” Lengthy silence. “Polly - where do I come in?” My aunt drew herself erect to her full 5 feet and ½ inch and glared at me; “In the summer of 1924 your mother joined your father on the ship in Glasgow and they sailed round the North coast to Leith before the ship returned to the Far East”, and stalked out of the room. I have salt in my blood! The one clear memory that I have of my father is when he took me down into the Engine Room of the Surat. He was dressed in a white boiler suit. All I could see in the pitch dark room, deafened as I was by the pounding engines, was the grinning white teeth of the Lascar Stokers standing clear in the gloom. I howled in fear. Another memory is when we were dining. The Captain was an Irishman and said, “Give him potatoes and butter - I grew up with that. He’ll like that.” I did. I also recall being ‘babysat’ by my father’s Chinese ‘boy’ and trying to climb out of a high bunk, to his annoyance. I have a memory of the Sikh bosun with long black beard and Turban feeding me with
Charles with his cousin in India 36

sweets. I can still see the expression on my father’s face as he pulled me back to safety when I crawled out the Hawser hole to look down at the sea rushing in to the dry dock to float the ship. My father sailing in an Indiaman saw a lot of his cousins, Bill Davidson in Melbourne and his brother John Davidson, an Engineer of Roads and Bridges in India. I have some surviving letters of the late 1920’s from him to my elder sisters and to my mother full of details to interest a child of his travels in the Far East, Japan, India, Australia, and the Americas. One letter sent by my mother to Balboa, Spain arrived after the ship had sailed and was forwarded to New York, redirected and finally caught up with his ship in New Orleans. As a boy before and after my father’s death my mother would be visited by my father’s friends, Planters and Engineers home for a few months holiday from Ceylon, India or Burma. I would be taken out for a car drive in the countryside and afternoon tea. At Lorenzo Marques, my father had gone to swim at a nearby beach and, it was thought that he struck his injured knee on a submerged log, passing out and was drowned. He is buried there and only his sea chest and uniforms were returned to Aberdeen. So 78 years after the death of Chief Engineer Charles G A Davidson, I have assembled the snippets of the story of his 37 years of life. As I wrote this account, I wondered about such a research on my part for a man I could not say that I knew. It was not a sentimental journey, but it was satisfying in that, like all investigations of forebears, it gave me a feeling of understanding and belonging – and an insight into the life of a Davidson Merchant Mariner in the days of the zenith of the British Empire. All of us have stories about those who came before us. Our antecedents did what they thought they had to do to keep body and soul together and to make a life for their offspring. Some of the stories have more warmth of close knit familial relationships than does this, but I have no doubt that Charles’ Dad loved his wee mannie every bit as much as those who came home for supper every night. Thank you for sharing this with us, Charles! It should make those of us who knew their Dad and saw him on a frequent basis all that much more grateful for the opportunity.

Hither, Thither & Yon — Items from the Sennachie’s Wizzbag
The Highland Wildcat Trail and Janet Davidson The following article describes the efforts of a Davidson Clanswoman to reinvigorate certain aspects of the Scottish region (Badenoch) in which it is believed the Clan Davidson originated - the Spey Valley near Newtonmore. The Clanswoman, Janet Davidson, and her husband, James D. G. Davidson, are life-long residents of this beautiful area (and the site of our distant Davidson ancestors of Invernahavon) and have been long-time supporters of the Clan Davidson Association (UK) with James providing leadership for the CDA-UK as President for many years. Janet has been spearheading a local effort in the Newtonmore area to preserve and protect the vanishing Highland Wildcat. This story about her efforts is reproduced from The Scots Magazine, April, 2011 The village of Newtonmore is experiencing a new phenomenon. On most weekends and school holidays, visitors are found peering over fences and into gardens as they wander round the village, notebook in hand and children in tow. Rooftops are scanned, scrublands are searched and triumphant calls of discovery are occasionally heard. “I’ve found one,” they cry, “and another one over there.” It’s as though the most enthusiastic of twitchers have all arrived at once, but it’s not rare birds they are looking for - it’s wildcats! The wildcat, that semi-mythical, mysterious creature of highland Scotland, has long been synonymous with Badenoch and Newtonmore in particular. Signs depicting Scotland’s most elusive wild animal welcome visitors to the village where, for many years, there was an annual Wildcat Festival. Today, there’s a Wildcat Centre, offering maps and information for walkers and tourists alike, and a six mile long Wildcat Trail that
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encircles the village. The adoption of the wildcat as the village symbol is historic - the area has close Jinks with Clan Chattan, a confederation encompassing MacPhersons, Davidsons, Mackintoshes, MacBains and Farquharsons, which boasts the wildcat on its clan crest. But a suggestion from some members of the local business association that giant wildcats should be erected at the entrance to the village was thought by many to be taking things too far. Janet Davidson, the chair of the Newtonmore Community Woodland and Development Trust, didn’t like the proposal at all. “I was horrified,” she told me, “but thinking it over later one night, I realised it might be a better idea to have some life-size wildcats tucked around the village. I then developed the idea into a sort of treasure hunt, The rare Scottish Wildcat where people could search out this elusive creature. It’s also an art project with cultural and historic associations, but the really important thing is that it gets people out walking in the fresh air searching for models of our most iconic wild creature.” Her idea was simple. Dozens of life size wildcats, made from fibreglass and hand painted in different colours, could be positioned at various spots around the village. Visitors could then be challenged to spot as many of them as possible, with a special prize given to those who find them all. There are currently 79 cats tucked away in odd corners of the village. Some are in gardens, some hide behind fences or shrubs; some are on rooftops while others crouch comfortably in shop windows. “I think I spent about a year planning this, talking to people and asking for their thoughts. I suspect most people thought I had taken complete leave of my senses but when they saw the models of the cats they seemed to catch my enthusiasm. In no time, I had around 50 local people offering to design and decorate a cat and we also involved the youngsters of Newtonmore Primary School as well as the schools at Laggan, Dalwhinnie and Kingussie.” As far as visitors are concerned, many comment that the children, especially, are getting an opportunity to learn something about the native wildcat, something that delights Janet, as well as wildcat conservationists like the Cairngorms National Park Highland Tiger Project and the Scottish Wildcat Association. Dr David Hetherington, who runs the National Park’s Highland Tiger project, was brought in early on to advise on the proper design of the fiberglass cats, and offer support. Each of the cats is painted differently, the only criterion being that each one must have a striped tail, as real wildcats do. Some are painted in delicate detail while others are a little more lurid and garish, many painted by local schoolchildren. The idea is that families visiting the village will take up the wildcat challenge and search for them. If you find 25 you earn a Wildcat Experience certificate. If you manage to spot 50 of them you can win a prize. A Wildcat Experience Track Pack is available from the Wildcat Centre on the village’s main street. The showerproof shoulder bag contains a brochure with photos of all the wildcat models, maps of the village and a pen to mark down each one as you find it. Visitors are encouraged to take a wander around the village in search of the wildcats or, even better, take a walk around the Wildcat Trail. The trail was established by the Newtonmore Community Woodland and Development Trust in January 2000, and links together some 45 hectares of varied woodland, moorland and riverside walking, offering some fabulous views over the Monadh Liath and Cairngorm mountains. The idea of the trail came from Janet’s husband, ex-farmer and former Liberal MP James Davidson. The Woodland Trust had developed several areas of natural woodland around the village and James thought it would be a good idea to link them together with an orbital footpath. The great feature of the trail is the diversity of landscape it passes through. One moment you’re walking alongside the wide and mature River Spey as it flows along in stately fashion and a few minutes later you’re being entertained by the cascading waters of one of its tributaries, the River Calder, as it cascades over rocks and boulders. Further on, the contrast between dense forest and the wide open moorland almost overwhelms the emotions, a sensory bombardment that can leave you speechless. It’ll take most folk about three hours to wander round the Wildcat Trail and while underfoot conditions are generally good, there are one or two wet sections that would make it sensible to wear walking boots or wellies. There is little climbing involved and plenty of opportunities to cut the route
A sample of Janet’s ersatz wildcats. 38

short and wander back into Newtonmore. It’s thought that several thousand people walk the route every year, and it’s very popular amongst locals. But the Newtonmore Wildcat Experience has a serious side, to it - the project increases awareness of one of Scotland’s most iconic and evocative mammals. “That’s something we’re very keen on,” Janet told me. “We work closely with the Wildlife Park in Kincraig where the wildcats are one of the big attractions.” According to the Scottish Wildcat Association, felis silvestris grampia is, pound for pound, one of the most impressive predators in the world. It’s an intelligent animal and it’s fearless, resourceful, patient, agile and powerful. The Scottish wildcat is a genuine super-predator and up until the 1950s it was even thought to be a potential man-killer! But despite its reputation, the Scottish wildcat is under threat. Numbers could be as low as 400 and according to David Hetherington, our native wildcat is on the brink of extinction. The Trail in Winter Once widespread across the British Isles, the wildcat has disappeared from all but a few areas in the Highlands. Numbers have been tumbling for years and conservationists have consistently warned that loss of habitat, road accidents and the spread of domestic feline populations are having a devastating impact on our native cat. Surprisingly, there are more tigers living in the wilds than pure-bred Scottish wildcats! “Until recently, we thought there were about 3,500 wildcats in Scotland, David said. “But then a detailed study was done on animals which had been killed in accidents. It was found that only about 12% of them were actually pure wildcats. The rest were either feral cats or hybrids of wildcats and feral cats. As a result, we had to drop our estimate of wildcat numbers from several thousand to only a few hundred. That was the wake-up call to the seriousness of the situation. Under the logo of Highland Tiger, the Cairngorms Wildcat Project was set up last year. Its purpose was to try and raise awareness of the Scottish wildcat and to spread the message that its future is under threat. Even the weather could be a risk factor. “Consider the intense periods of cold we’ve experienced over the past couple of winters,” said David, “and the deep snow that’s gone with it. That kind of weather shouldn’t pose too big a problem for the wildcat which is well adapted to survive in cold temperatures. It has very dense fur, with up to 30,000 hairs per square centimetre, so it’s got a think winter coat. The major impact of these wintry conditions would be on their food supply, such as rabbits and voles” The Cairngorms Wildcat Project is trying very hard to encourage responsible cat ownership within the National Park. This includes supporting the work of cat welfare organizations which neuter feral cats around towns, villages and farms. Another aim of the project is to work with land managers to ensure that predator control is wildcat-friendly. “One of our project partners is the Scottish Gamekeepers Association,” said David. “On face value that might not be an obvious choice of a project partner but we really can’t continue wildcat conservation without the co-operation of keepers. We’ve worked with several estates across the National Park and we provide the staff with the latest science and our understanding of how wildcats live and the issues they are facing and make sure the gamekeepers are confident in their wildcat ID so that when they’re doing their predator control the wildcats will be kept safe. We are also using the gamekeepers’ expertise and experience, the fact they’re out on the ground at all hours and at all times of the year, to inform us of any sightings, any trends, or show us places we could place camera traps. “Some of the keepers are really delighted to have wildcats on their estate and one keeper I know of spent three hours on his skis, towing roe deer carcasses uphill to go and bait a camera site. He didn’t actually manage to photograph a wildcat unfortunately, but he did get a golden eagle and he was very pleased with that!” Co-operation with the general public is also vital to the project, and that’s why David is delighted with the success of Newtonmore’s Wildcat Experience. “People very rarely see a wildcat because of its solitary, reclusive nature,” he said, “so it’s very easy to forget we have wildcats in Scotland and that we are facing a very serious conservation issue. Initiatives like the one in Newtonmore, where the Scottish wildcat is very much being celebrated and put in the public eye, is vitally important. Where the wildcat is important for the cultural identity of the area, as in Badenoch, then it’s tremendous. It’s a great message to get out A Scottish Wildcat lurks ‘mang the heather. there, so I’m all for it.
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Clan Davidson Society (USA) David G. Chagnon Sennachie & Membership Registrar 7004 Barberry Drive North Little Rock AR 72118 USA

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Davidson Organizations Around The World
In addition to our own Clan Davidson Society (USA), there are three other Davidson organizations to be found in the world. All of these sister branches publish newsletters and journals from which your Sennachie frequently and cheerfully reives material. Please feel free to support these fine worldwide Davidson efforts! Australia Clan Davidson Society in Australia, Pres. Dr. Frank Davidson, 23 Elizabeth St., Paddington NSW 2021, Australia Annual subscription is AUD25 per year. New Zealand Clan Davidson Society In New Zealand, Maureen MacDonald, 10 Kingston Street, Lower Hutt, New Zealand Membership is $20 Annual; $200 Lifetime (US) United Kingdom The Clan Davidson Association., Nick Hide, Hon. Membership Secretary, 58 Chandos Avenue, Whetstone, London N20 DO, UK Membership is 10 Pounds per year.

Thanks From The Sennachie
The Sennachie would like to thank all the contributors for their thoughtful submission of material for this newsletter. The Sennachie offers heartfelt apologies for any heavy-handed editing to which he may have subjected these submissions! And once again an extra special thanks to ALL the contributors who so thoughtfully submitted their material to the butchery of the Sennachie. Without their efforts, you folks would have to live with my efforts... and we all know how pitiful they can be! An extra special thanks to all the Regional Directors who graced us with the Reports and photos; also, Debbie Mecca; Nick Hide; David McNicoll;and Janet Davidson. For a current copy of the List of New Members, the Officer List, a current Membership Roster or a ton of other information about the Clan Davidson Society (USA), go on-line to our website at http://clandavidsonusa.com. The Sporran is published semi-annually in January and July. Written material may be submitted to the Sennachie on paper, CD, to my snail mail address (7004 Barberry Drive, North Little Rock AR 72118), or electronically via Internet email to sennachie@earthlink.net. Cut-off dates for submissions are May 15th and November 15th, more or less.

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