Hello Celtic-L list,
Please find below some information on my new
book, "1851 Exiles", just published.
1851 Exiles by Angus Macleod
Since the release of my CD, "The Silent Ones, A
Legacy of the Highland Clearances", I have been
asked frequently to write a book on the Isle of
Lewis Settlement of Huron Township. I am pleased
to announce that a limited print run of such a
book is now available.
Entitled "1851 Exiles", the paperback tells the
story of Huron Township, Ontario's Lewis Settlers.
Victims of Scotland's infamous Highland
Clearances, the settlers were evicted from their
crofts on the Hebridean island of Lewis in 1851
by landlord James Matheson and then transported
overseas where they put down roots together in a
block of farms in the centre of Huron Township,
Bruce County. The group was successful in
maintaining their Gaelic language and culture
well into the 20th century.
"1851 Exiles" includes a number of stories and
anecdotes from the settlement never before
published plus a complete history of the Isle of
Lewis from pre-history to the Matheson
Clearances. In addition, there is information on
the Lewis Community in the Eastern Townships of
Quebec and 39 breathtaking original colour photos
by Leodhas Macleod taken in the three main
locations of the story – the Isle of Lewis,
Eastern Townships of Quebec and Huron Township,
Ontario. "1851 Exiles" also contains Lewis
Settler genealogical information and some
wonderful rare old photos recently restored
especially for the project.
A large portion of the book deals with the day to
day lives of Huron Township's Lewis folk and was
drawn from a variety of sources including
personal correspondence, interviews, and family
histories made available to me by descendants.
The book also contains some interesting new
information on Matheson Clearances obtained from
recent interviews with sources on the Isle of
"1851 Exiles" is an excellent companion piece to
my CD, "The Silent Ones, A Legacy of the Highland
Chapter Titles are as follows:
Farewell to the Stones
The Woods of Huron
Pride, Poverty and the Presbyterian Church
A Faded Memorial
"1851 Exiles" is available from my website
located at http://www.torquil.net or by sending a
cheque or money order to
P.O. Box 303
Email: [log in to unmask]
Toll free telephone: 1-877-489-4693
"1851 Exiles" is $29.99 including taxes, shipping
All the best,
Excerpt from Angus Macleod's "1851 Exiles"
Here lies my dear wife and child
They to me, were dear and lovely
Their time with me was short but sweet
But now they are gone and I am lonely.
So reads one of the stones in the Huron
Presbyterian Church Cemetery or "Old Lewis
Cemetery" as it is sometimes called - the
inscription - a sad and lonely tribute from a
husband to his dearly departed wife and child.
The husband's obvious grief at the untimely death
of his young family is reflected in the simple
but poignant verse engraved on the tombstone. The
words are faded now, weathered by age and the
harsh Southwestern Ontario environment.
The other stones in the cemetery are in a similar
condition or worse. Wild flowers and tall grass
cloak the entire area leaving the site almost
invisible to the human eye. An old gate, once
polished and ornate, rests precariously against a
solitary tombstone situated at one end of the
graveyard, at its feet remnants and pieces of
tombstones litter the area. Picking up a remnant,
one can only identify the prefix Mac etched
thinly into its surface. The old Lewis cemetery,
now long abandoned, has a truly desolate and
empty feeling to it. When within its confines,
one has the feeling of being total isolated from
the rest of the world. Looking at the gravestone
erected for the prematurely diseased wife and
child, it is easy to wonder when the husband's
heartrending inscription was last read and if, in
fact, it will ever be viewed again.