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The Scottish American History Club Newsletter
January 2000


New Lanark, Scotland

As the River Clyde leaves the Southern Uplands, it turns east for a time below Tinto Hill and then makes a u-turn heading toward Lanark under Hyndford Bridge. The river then throws itself through a steep-sided gorge for about a mile and a half. Using the power of the Clyde an “Englishman helped a Glaswegian lay the foundation for an industrial bonanza which awaited the development of Lanarkshire’s most beautiful and spectacular location.”

Seeing the huge potential of the rushing water, Robert Arkwright together with Glasgow banker David Dale purchased the land along the Clyde. Here, they build the largest cotton mills in Britain and began the “greatest single industrial adventure Scotland had ever witnessed.”

Within two years Arkwright had departed and David Dale was left alone to finish the project He erected the cotton mills, built dye-works and workshops. In addition, he built a school, shops and accommodations, so that a real community could develop.

Many of the “shattered Highlanders, victims of the Clearances” made their way to New Lanark seeking employment. But, the work was best suited for the young. Dale needed “quick, supple and nimble fingers” to do his work. “Many orphans found desperation converted to hope and future security solely as a consequence of their inclusion in their eighteenth century Clydeside revolution.” David Dale was treated as a hero and was very popular with his employees.

Unlike many factories across Britain this was not a sweat-shop. Workers were paid fairly for their labor. David Dale was a kind man. “He strove not only to manufacture a quality end-product but also to bond his twelve hundred strong community and create a kindred spirit among them. Undoubtedly, he succeeded in doing just that.”

In 1800, Dale sold the mills to his son-in-law, Robert Owen. Now the mills were improved along with working conditions. “Knowledge of the transformation by Dale and Owen had now spread worldwide and in 1826, Robert Owen emigrated to America to pioneer a similar venture.” Robert Owen would buy an entire village and call it New Harmony, Indiana.

In the mid-twentieth century, the cotton industry was in steep decline as artificial textiles became popular. In 1967, no buyer could be found for the derelict buildings. New Lanark died.

Conservationists began to work at saving and restoring the buildings. “Now it is once again a thriving community, where heritage and private accommodation happily cohabit, and to which thousands travel each year to enjoy and wonder at the reinstatement of one of Scotland’s greatest-ever industrial and social miracles.” 1

Visit the New Lanark Heritage Site

New Harmony, Indiana

In 1800, Robert Owen was the manager and principal partner of the New Lanark spinning mills of Scotland. It was the largest cotton-spinning establishment in Great Britain employing 1,500 persons, mostly women and children. They worked 13 hours a day at the mill, with a half hour off for breakfast and three-quarters of an hour for the noon meal. In 1810, the work time was reduced to 12 hours.

Wages were low, but the benefits for the community were greater than those normally given. Workers could buy food, clothing and other articles at cost from the company store. Children were encouraged to attend local schools and free medical services were provided. Housing was available at a modest cost and garden space was available. Recreational and social services were also available. New Lanark attracted thousands of visitors who commended Robert Owen for his achievements in extending benefits to employees while operating the mills at a profit.

During his years at New Lanark, Robert Owen changed his ideas about man and society. He sought to secure shorter hours and better working conditions through legislation in Parliament. These efforts proved largely fruitless and Owen gradually became convinced that society itself was in need of drastic change. He concluded that marriage, the church, and the institution of private property were roadblocks to the establishment of a new society. He believed that man’s character was determined for him through his environment, not by personal endeavors alone.

When Robert Owen heard that Harmonist Village at New Harmony, Indiana, was for sale he left for America to follow his dream. On January 1, 1825, Robert Owen purchased his entire community for $125,000. The town had approximately 180 structures and included twenty thousand acres of land. It is important to note that Owen invested his own money in the purchase of New Harmony, Indiana.

Robert Owen met many of America’s leaders as he began the process of building his new society. At New York, Philadelphia, and Washington he had discussions with important leaders in business, culture and politics. He met with President James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Thomas Jefferson and General Andrew Jackson. He spoke twice to the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

The community failed, however, and Robert Owen returned to Scotland on May 1, 1827. There were many positive results from the experiment at New Harmony, and we hope to discuss some of these in future editions. New Harmony, Indiana, is 300 miles directly south of Chicago. They still celebrate their Scottish heritage each year in August.2

Visit Historic New Harmony

The Reverend Dr. James Smith

It is a well-known fact that Mary Todd Lincoln was a member of the Presbyterian Church. There is no recorded evidence that Abraham Lincoln ever formally joined. When Dr. James Smith came to Springfield, Illinois in 1849 as the new minister to the church, he began a relationship with the Lincoln family that lasted beyond the death of the President.

Dr. Smith described himself as an Old Light Presbyterian. He was a native of Glasgow, Scotland and was said to have a heavy Scottish accent. Dr. Smith had a reputation of preaching good sermons and for being a temperance advocate. He was also noted for publishing a book, The Christian’s Defense, in 1843. When the Lincoln’s second son, Edward Baker Lincoln died in 1850, Dr. Smith conducted the funeral at the Lincoln home.

Several scholars believed that Dr. Smith’s book had a profound effect on Lincoln and his thoughts about religion. On one recorded occasion Lincoln helped Dr. Smith as one of 38 supporters at a temperance lecture delivered on Sunday, January 23, 1853. Lincoln was obviously a man of firm convictions in many matters. He believed that a man should stand when a prayer was being offered and so he stood, although the custom was that the congregation be seated.

During Lincoln’s stay in Washington, D.C., it was the Presbyterian Church to which he again turned. This time he attended the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church and became a friend of the Rev. Phineas D. Gurley. Dr. Gurley was frequently called to the White House for prayer and consultation. It was Gurley who held services for 12-year-old William Wallace Lincoln when he died at the White House. The pastor prayed at his bedside shortly after the President was shot and delivered a eulogy at the funeral service conducted in the East Room of the White House. Dr. Gurley also accompanied President Lincoln’s body back to Springfield.

Dr. James Smith later moved to Chicago and worked with the American Sunday School Union. He then returned to Scotland once again but came back to serve a church in Belvidere, IL. Through a series of events he was appointed Consul at Dundee. In July 1869, Mary Lincoln, accompanied by Tad, spent several weeks in Scotland at the invitation of Dr. Smith. Later, Mrs. Lincoln presented him with one of Lincoln’s gold-headed canes. Smith remained at his post until his death on July 3, 1871.3

More information about Rev. Phineas D. Gurley is available at Mr. Lincoln's White House.

Visit the First Presbyterian Church of Springfield for more information about Rev. James Smith.

Dr. Jean Isabel MacKay - Gliddon
Someone You Should Know

Born Jean Isabel MacKay in Mount Carroll, Illinois on June 11, 1859, she died in Mount Carroll on October 12, 1912, of complications from serious burns from a paint fire. She was married in July, 1897, to Rev. DePutron Gliddon, a native of the Isle of Guernsey in the English Channel.

She graduated from the public high school of Mount Carroll and from the Mt. Morris Academy. She attended Lake Forest University, being the first lady student admitted to that institution. Her medial education was received in the Hahnemann Medical College, Chicago, Illinois. After obtaining the degree of M.D. from that college, she took post-graduate courses in obstetrics and the puerperal diseases in Chicago and in Materia Medica in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also studied at the Homeopathic Hospital, London, England. Dr. Gliddon was licensed to practice medicine in the states of Pennsylvania, Illinois, Colorado, Montana and California.

After serving as one of the physicians of the Moody Medical Mission in
Chicago, Dr. Gliddon moved to Philadelphia where she was the physician-in-charge of the Woman’s Homeopathic Hospital of Philadelphia and also lecturer in the diseases of children in the Post Graduate School of Homeopathics.

She spent the summer of 1888 at Manitou Springs, Colorado hoping to cure her sister, Euphemia Belle (Effie) of consumption. Letters were written and published in the Mount Carroll newspaper describing their experiences. Effie died March 28, 1889. Another sister, Margaret Anna, died of the same disease in 1887.

Dr. Gliddon continued her practice in the west and for three years had a large practice in Telluride, Colorado, in addition to being health officer for San Miguel County. Following this she spent some time in study and travel in England, Italy, France, Austria and Germany. On her return to the United States she located in Montana, practicing in Great Falls and later Butte, where she was recognized as a well-known businesswoman of the city.

Documents in the possession of Marilyn Jean Creath Miller, McEwen, Tennessee, include Dr. Gliddon’s 1886, diploma from Hahnermann Medical College and her California license to practice, approved January 9, 1901.

Scottish Syndicates

A great many of the early large ranches in north-eastern New Mexico and adjacent southeastern Colorado and the Texas panhandle were assembled and financed by Scottish companies which were also called “syndicates”.

The first was the Prairie Cattle Company, Ltd., organized in Edinburgh in 1880, and the first ranch it purchased was the Cross L in the upper valley of the Dry Cimarron River. The Company later purchased land further down the Cimarron Valley, and by 1883 the Company controlled 2,240,000 acres or 3,500 square miles of land in New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas with cattle herds totaling 156,000. Other Scottish ranching companies organized soon after 1880 included the Texas Land and Cattle Company, Ltd. (886,000 acres in Texas), the Matador Land and Cattle Company, Ltd. (400,000 acres in Texas), the Hansford Land and Cattle Company Ltd. (a mere 14,000 acres in Texas), the Missouri Land and Live Stock Company, Ltd. (165,000 acres in Missouri), the California Pastoral and Agricultural Company, Ltd. (104,000 acres in California), the Wyoming Cattle Ranche Company, Ltd. (4,000 square miles in Wyoming), the Western American Cattle Co., Ltd. (land in South Dakota and Wyoming), and the American Cattle Company, Ltd. (1,500 square miles in Nebraska.)4

From the Editor...

Our January issue is rather late due to a siege of the flu and pneumonia and a short hospitalization. My health has now been regained and we are looking forward to this new year. The April issue will mark six years of publication for our Newsletter. Your comments are much appreciated and we hope you will let us know the value of what we are doing.

One way to do this is by sending the Illinois St. Andrew Society a check to help defray the cost of printing and postage.

In the year 2000, the Scottish Home will begin to celebrate 100 years of existence. The next few issues of our Tartan Times will tell the story. A celebration is planned in conjunction with our annual picnic on August 5, and we hope those of you in the Chicago area will plan to attend and help us celebrate. Please let us know if you have had a family member as a resident of the Scottish Home. A special event is being planned for you and the members of your family.

Did you notice the pipe band playing at the opening ceremonies of the Super Bowl? Anyone know the name of the band?


    1.  Scottish Enterprises, Millennium Images of Scotland. Donald Ford
    2.  New Harmony, Indiana: Robert Owen’s Seedbed for Utopia. Donald F.  Carmony and Josephine M. Elliott
    3.  Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society
    4.  The Munros in New Mexico, by Kendyl Monroe, The Thistle Epistle


Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
Scottish-American History Club
2800 Des Plaines Avenue
North Riverside, IL 60546