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The Year of the Plague: In 1816 there was a famine and the Duke of Sutherland’s salmon and trout rivers were guarded by armed men Lady Stafford wrote in response: Scotch people are of happier constitution and do not fatten like the larger breed of animals. The government labeled Substinence Crisis became the first of 14 famines [1816, 1817, 1818, 1819, 1821, 1822, 1823, 1824, 1825, 1826, 1830, 1831, 1836, 1837] Those that went to workhouses for food were starved with gruel, and moved to the Dying Rooms as they weakened. Their corpses were pushed through chutes into mass graves outside.

The black famine is in their mouths. ... This month is now called Hungry July. Bumhsë (yellow month) is its proper name in Irish. It is a suitable name, for the fields are yellow....-Amhlaoibh Suilleabhin

Desperate Highlanders took to poaching food. The starving cattle some had been alloted at eviction wandered off and died. Those that were stolen by landowners had to be repurchased with silver rent money called Maol. The process was called Black Maol.

Cholera spread and became an epidemic in Inverness in 1832. Whole families were found dead on the rotten straw of their beds. The people turned to the church for help, but the Church of Scotland had ministers appointed by the land owners. The Free Church of Scotland was formed in 1843 and landlords forbid Highlanders to attend. Some of those that did were sold into slavery in the Southern United States. Large sums of money were sent as kickbacks to the Free Church. (4, 3, 10, 55, 61, 118)

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