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An Account of the Highland Society of Canada


When circumstances have forced a people to abandon their native country, and seek the means of subsistence among foreigners, or in the Colonies or their own country, they carry with them as a matter of course, the feelings and the prejudices, alike honorable-which they had imbibed at home; to perpetuate which in the land of their adoption, to instil into the minds of their children the same principles they themselves bad been taught, to teach them to love above all others- above even that of their own nativity, the country from which stern necessity alone could have driven their fathers; and with which all those fathers nearest and dearest associations are connected, and to rivet the connection between their new country and their old, among other means Emigrants have invariably adopted the formation of National Societies. It cannot be otherwise than that these Societies must answer the end for which they are instituted, and arguing with the intention of proving it, would be supererogatory and useless.

With such object in view did tbe Highlanders in London establish the Highland Society of London, with what great success is well known. That this venerable and distinguished Institution has mainly contributed to preserve in its purity, the Highland character, and has done more to promote the general welfare of the Highlanders, than any other Association, is a general and well grounded opinion.

While the Highlanders of Canada remember with gratitude, that to the late lamented Bishop Macdonell, they owe the establishment of a Branch of that Society among them, they cannot forget that to you they are indebted for its reorganization after it had ceased operation for fifteen years. The generous and patriotic motives that animated you in the work cannot be sufficiently appreciated; hut I am sure that you feel yourself in some measure recompensed for all your trouble and anxiety, when you consider how much the Society has already done to promote the objects for which it was established and re-organized.

In order that those objects may be more generally and more clearly known and understood, I have, by permission, compiled an account of the Society, containing the speech of Mr. Simon MacGillivray to the gentlemen who took part in its formation, from which more can be learned of the History and purposes of the Parent Society, than from any remarks I could make; the Constitution and By-Laws, a list of the Members, and such other information, the publication of which, I thought, would in any way tend to serve the Society,
or interest and gratify its Members.

1 do not think it necessary to appeal to the feelings of our countrymen for a liberal support of the Institution; this has already been given, and to their credit be it spoken, that from Quebec to Amherstburg the utmost enthusiasm has been shown in support of this Society, which I hope and believe will be the instrument of preserving in Canada the recollection of the Highland name, and with it the chivalrous and devoted loyalty, and other noble qualities which made the ancient Highland character the first in the world.

Should the national character be doomed to give way to the encroachments of modern innovations, you will have in an eminent degree, the satisfaction of knowing that you made an eifort to save it.

As a Member of the Highland Society of Canada, I joined most heartily in the mark of grateful respect shown by it to the memory (If its venerated founder: and as such I desire to express my gratitude to its preserver, while as a private individual, I show my repsect for the Gentleman, by inscribing this small compilation to you.

I am, my dear Sir,
Very truly yours,
(Younger of Greenfield.)
Greenfield, Glengarry,
22d Jan, 1844

An Account of the Highland Society of Canada
This was printed in 1844 (pdf) and can be downloaded here

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