The Emigrant's Guide to North America

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Dundurn, Oct 15, 1998 - History - 159 pages
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Robert MacDougall's The Emigrant's Guide to North America, written in Gaelic and published in 1841, attempts to give an accurate picture of Canada. Set up to provide a practical background for Highland Scots coming to Canada, it includes all the information MacDougall feels will be necessary -- including preparation for the trip.

The book also serves as a type of travelogue, describing particular sights and sounds found on the way to his ultimate destination, Goderich, in the Huron Tract.

This translated work retains the unmistakable speech patterns, images and rhymes of the Gaelic language. Robert MacDougall's quirky, opinionated personality speaks clearly, seeking to dispel some myths about Canada of the time by telling the "truth."

This book deserves to be read by a wide audience.

"I don't know where else you could find such riches of information and observation, so compactly presented, about this exhilirating and trying time in our past. Or get so fresh a sense of a real man of that time, with his energy and sweeping opinions and flourishing rhetoric. The translator and the editor have done a splendid job."
-- Alice Munro>

 

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Contents

To THE EMIGRANT i
1
INTRODUCTION
3
MARKING
5
PREPARATIONS
13
FARES
16
ADVICE CONCERNING THE EMIGRATION OF THE GAELS
18
QUEBEC
24
INDIANS
30
TORONTO
48
HAMILTON
50
GODERICH
52
OPINIONS ON AMERICA
62
ON CHOOSING LAND
69
ON CLEARING LAND
71
ON CROPS
78
ABOUT THE EDITOR
159

MONTREAL
41
KINGSTON
46

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Page xiv - Scotland may talk, read, imagine, and dream of cold until he goes gray, but as long as he lives, he will not comprehend the extent of the cold in Canada until he himself feels it or another cold equal to it. My ears have felt it, but though they have, I have no words to describe its harshness, as in truth, the Gaelic language is not capable of describing it, and since it is not, I have given up hope that there is any other language that can.
Page xi - ... Fortunately, by the early nineteenth century, attitudes had softened somewhat; the Scots had not risen against the English recently, and educators discovered that Gaelic students learned to read English more easily if they had a basic grounding in Gaelic grammar and literature. The fluency of MacDougalTs written Gaelic indicates that he was one of the lucky ones, taught in both Gaelic and English.

About the author (1998)

Robert MacDougall is a retired Social Studies teacher and Humanities Department Chairman at Tewksbury Memorial High School in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. Mr. MacDougall has a Master's Degree in History from the University of Michigan and taught high school American History classes for thirty-eight years. He is currently retired and lives in Andover, Massachusetts, with his wife.

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