The Scottish American History Club Newsletter
Jim Thomson, creator of the Scottish American Hall of
Fame, once wrote: "History books say little about the
Scottish role in the settlement and development of
America. The story is too often lost under the heading
English, or British, or even Scotch-Irish. Nevertheless,
the Scottish contribution was considerable and at times
crucial. Before he was 30, Patrick Henry impressed his
critics with his skill at declamation, generally laced
with references to the importance of self-government and
human rights." Thomas Jefferson said of him, "His voice
flowed in torrents of sublime eloquence."
Patrick Henry was born on May 29, 1736 at Studley,
Virginia. He was the son of John Henry, a well-educated
Scot who emigrated to Virginia with a considerable
number of other people from Scotland. His father served
as a judge, surveyor, and army officer. He had been
educated at Aberdeen University. "It was the rugged,
cantankerous Scottish frontiersmen, mainly in Virginia,
but also Pennsylvania, with little or no loyalty to the
British monarchs who touched off the first fires of
rebellion. And the man who struck the match was Patrick
Henry, the silver tongued orator, son of John Henry from
"Henry's was the first voice raised against England in
her attempt to impose taxation without representation.
He rose to his full stature in attacking the infamous
Stamp Act, which was hotly debated at the House of
Burgesses in Williamsburg in 1765. The other delegates
quailed when Henry hurled defiance at George III with
the challenge, "If this be treason, make the most of
His most famous speech was delivered in 1775 at St.
John's Church in Richmond. His words centered around
human rights and individual liberty which could only win
independence from the British Crown. "With courage and
eloquence, he cried, "Why stand we here idle" What is it
that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so
dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price
of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God! I know
not what course others may take, but as for me, give me
liberty or give me death."
When the revolution ended, Henry continued working for
individual freedom. His greatest contribution to the
nation was in working for the adoption of the Bill of
Rights. "He was adamant in demanding protection of basic
individual civil liberties."
The first governor of Virginia, he served five
exhausting terms. In 1794, he retired and resumed
private legal practice. "Failing health forced him to
refuse numerous posts, including Chief Justice of the U.
S. Supreme Court, Secretary of State and minister to
Spain and to France. He even turned down a sixth term as
"George Washington persuaded Patrick Henry to become a
candidate for the state legislature in 1799. The
foundations of the young republic were endangered by the
rumblings of men who argued that any state has the power
to nullify acts of the Federal Government. Bowed with
age and his health deteriorating, Henry delivered his
last public oration. It was an inspiring, non-partisan,
patriotic appeal for unity to preserve the nation.
Historian Henry Adams declared that nothing in Henry's
life was more noble than his last public act."
"Three months later, on June 6, 1799, death came to
Patrick Henry. The "Voice of the Revolution" was
"Someone You Should Know"
Thomas Dougall was born on June 16, 1811, at West
Calder, some sixteen miles west of Edinburgh, Scotland.
From his boyhood he was always engaged in the
manufacture of soap and candles. In Scotland, he had
read newspaper accounts of life in Chicago. Those
articles, written by a Mr. Stewart, also brought George
Steel, George Smith and others to Chicago. George Steel
later became the first president of the Illinois St.
Andrew Society. At the age of 21, Thomas Dougall sailed
to the new world on an emigrant vessel named the
Tamerlane from Glennock in 1832. He lived first in
Montreal and then New York. In 1847, he came to Chicago
and began to manufacture soap.
He located in an area known as "the sands" at the foot
of Illinois Street and later bought property on Cedar
Street where he erected a three story frame building.
His business was destroyed three times by fire including
the great fire of 1871.
Mr. Dougall married Elizabeth Cameron in 1837 and the
couple had 11 children. He was a "typical Scot" with a
"Scotch dialect" that never left him. He was almost five
when the Battle of Waterloo occurred and remembers the
"thunder of the cannons" in Edinburgh Castle during the
celebration of victory.
There are several great stories connected to Thomas
Dougall and here are two. When Potter Palmer and other
millionaires began building their mansions along the
lake shore, they appointed a committee to visit Thomas
Dougall with the purpose of buying his soap factory
which they considered objectionable. He
replied..."Gentlemen, I didn't ask you to come up here
and build your residences near my soap factory, and
being here when you came it will have to remain. Soap in
the middle and diamonds all round."
The first arrest by the Chicago police department was
one Thomas Dougall. He was falsely accused of a crime
and remained in custody for only fifteen minutes. For
many years "it was the source of much amusing rally of
himself by his friends."
Thomas Dougall became a member of the Illinois St.
Andrew Society in 1850 and served many years as a
governor from 1871 until 1888. Thomas Dougall is the
great great-grandfather of Robert J. Black, president of
the Society in 1988 and 1989.
The Rising Sun
In some future issue we hope to tell the story of an
attempt by Scots to settle the Isthmus of Panama. This
ill-fated expedition finally collapsed and the colonists
were forced to leave. Of the seven ships which left to
return to Scotland only two arrived safely.
The Rising Sun made the coast of Florida during a fierce
storm and finally was able to reach Charleston where a
number of Scots had settled. The Rev. Archibald Stobo
was invited to preach in Charleston while the ship was
refitted with a new mast. "He accepted the invitation
and left the ship with his wife and about a dozen
others..." The following day, the Rising Sun was
overwhelmed in a hurricane and all on board were
drowned. It is believed that 112 persons perished in the
storm. The Rev. Stobo remained in Charleston and one of
his most noted descendants was Theodore Roosevelt, 26th
President of the United States.2
In the Chicago area, a memorial to Theodore Roosevelt is
located at the Glen View Golf Club on Golf Road west of
Harms Road. The memorial was commissioned by Edwin S. Jackman at the time of Roosevelt's death in 1919. The
bronze work is also known as The Boy Scout Fountain.
Culloden was founded in the 1780's by a Scotsman,
William Culloden, as a wilderness trading post. It is
located in Monroe County, west of Highway 75. Sam
Ferguson, a descendant of Scottish coal miners in
western Pennsylvania, operates a Scottish-themed
restaurant named The Highlander. They offer all the
Scottish specialties including beef and kidney pie, meat
pies, mashed turnips and Scottish "clootie" dumplings
for dessert. They also have Highland Games.3
(Source: Muriel Gelonesse who brought home The
Atlanta Journal dated 2/2/97)
William Saunders was born December 7, 1822, in St.
Andrew's, Scotland. He came from a family of gardeners
and was thoroughly trained in the art of Horticulture at
the University of Edinburgh. In 1848, he brought his
bride to America and settled in New Haven, Connecticut.
In 1854, he formed a partnership with Thomas Meehan in
Philadelphia for the "practice of landscape gardening."
He designed the Clifton Park estate of Johns Hopkins and
the Ross Winans place in Baltimore.
He was a pioneer in the introduction of foreign plants
including the Yellow Transparent apples from Russia and
oranges from Japan. In 1871 from Bahia, Brazil, he
brought the Washington Navel orange, which promptly
became the leading commercial variety in California. His
published papers include 3,000 titles, among them the
first bulletin of the Department of Agriculture (1862).
Of interest to those of us who live in Chicago, William
Saunders designed Rosehill cemetery, where our St.
Andrew Society owns two large plots. This may explain
why our early leaders bought the ground before the
cemetery officially opened and why we have such a
prominent location near the main entrance. It may also
explain why so many Scots were employed at Rosehill.
In 1863 he designed the National Cemetery at Gettysburg.
On Wednesday evening, prior to the dedication, he met
with Mr. Lincoln at the White House and in his heavy
Scottish dialect laid out the design. It is said that
the President was pleased. In 1865, General Ulysses S.
Grant met with Saunders and suggested that he select the
site and design the grounds of the Lincoln monument at
Springfield, Illinois. Many of you have visited this
impressive monument. It represents one more Scottish
connection to the beloved Abraham Lincoln.
William Saunders died September 11, 1900, but we have
been unable to determine his place of death or burial.4
(Source: Dictionary of American Biography. Also
listen to tapes by Gary Wills, "Lincoln at Gettysburg".)
The First American Government
"The first government of the United States of America
has a distinctly thistle hue. Nine of the original
thirteen states chose men of Scottish ancestry as their
Delaware, John MacKinley
Connecticut, Jonathan Trumbull
Georgia, Archibald Bulloch
New Jersey, William Livingston
New York, George Clinton
North Carolina, Richard Caswell
Pennsylvania, Thomas McKean
South Carolina, John Rutledge
Virginia, Patrick Henry
In addition, all of the members of the first American
cabinet had Scottish ancestry.
Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson
Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton
Secretary of War Henry Knox
Attorney General Edmund Randolph
Of the five original Supreme Court Justices one,
James Wilson, was born in Scotland and two others, John
Rutledge and John Blair, were of Scottish ancestry. The
fourth, and perhaps the greatest chief justice, John
Marshall, was the grandson of a Scottish minister."5
JOHN FOWLER LINDSEY
John Lindsey (1885-1976), was born in a Wells Fargo
halfway house in New York City. His family soon moved to
Chicago where he and his father were machinists.
John worked for the Wrigley Gum Company in Chicago where
he invented the red tab used to open gum packages. He
invented many other machines for the company and once
had 600 employees working in his department.
He built his first car using parts from an Apherson
Jackrabbit and making other parts as needed. He also
built a small steam engine from blueprints of a full
size engine. The boilers were said to be the smallest in
the world. The steam engine is still in the hands of the
family. When forced to retire at the age of 65, he
worked in his basement until he died at the age of 91.
He was married to Bessie McCluskey and they had 5
children and 21 grandchildren. They lived in the Beverly
area of Chicago on Longwood Drive. Bessie was a
milliner. Her father apprenticed her to Marshall Fields
when she was 12 years old to learn the hat making trade
This information was obtained at the
Illinois, Highland Games from Sharon Freeman, a
From the Editor...
We have dedicated our July issue to people of the
American Revolution. Unknown to most historians, it was
a Scottish Revolution. I am thoroughly convinced that
without the Scots and Ulster-Scots there might well have
been no revolution. American history has failed to give
the Scots their just reward in obtaining freedom from
the British Crown.
For Father's Day, my oldest daughter gave me a
two-volume set of American history from Washington to
Lincoln. The author, in discussing the role of the Scots
in Pennsylvania, called them the "Line of Ireland." In
two volumes of almost 1300 pages, he has one reference
to Scots and never uses the correct term of
Ulster-Scots. "If these Scottish and Presbyterian
colonists "must be called Irish because they had been
one or two generations in the north of Ireland, then the
pilgrim fathers ....must by the same reasoning be called
Dutch or at the very least English-Dutch.? (Whitelaw
Duncan A. Bruce has just written a book entitled The
Mark of the Scots. Copies of the book may be purchased
from the Carol Publishing Group, 120 Enterprise Ave.,
Secaucus, N.J. 07094 or ordered from
Amazon. It would be well for Esmond Wright
to obtain a copy of this book before he publishes
another history of the United States.
Allan Bain recently presented two copies of The Mark of
the Scots to the Illinois St. Andrew Society. It is
great reading and highly recommended.
My thanks to Duncan MacDonald who recently sent
information about The Cooper Union and Patrick Henry.
1. Jim Thomson, Scottish American Hall of Fame;
Scots & Scots' Descendants in America, D.
2. Scots & Scots' Descendants in America, D.
3. The Atlanta Journal 2/2/97. Thanks to Muriel
4. Dictionary of American Biography, Tapes by
Gary Wills, "Lincoln at Gettysburg".
5. The Mark of the Scots, Duncan A. Bruce