[Tartan History Page]
Tartan Day - Customs - Legends - Rings - E-Cards

By 1847 six million Irish died in a single year with the population of Ireland being estimated at 8 million and untold millions of Highlanders were dead while corn and crops they harvested were sent overseas under armed men. Winter came and the Highlanders, many in rags and without shoes, died in the snow. By 1851 Queen Victoria decided there was to be no more food relief and set up The Highland Emigration Society to help them emigrate to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and America.

  Highlanders were seized on South Uist and led to the emigrant ships in chains. They were placed in the steerage portion of slave ships and many died of disease. Those that survived were enslaved. Other Highlanders escaped the ships and traveled to Glasgow and other lowland cities. These cities relied on child labor. Workhouse children worked 16 hour days and those that rebelled were put in iron chains. In 1856 writer Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, visited Sutherlandshire. Her tour by the Duchess avoided eviction sites, and Stowe reported in her  Sunny Memories of the Highlands that the starvation accounts were fictional. (4, 10, 61)

Next Page - Previous Page - Table of Contents - Works Cited

Christine O’Keeffe’s Halloween Home Page
cokeeffe at geocities.com
© 2000. Christine O’Keeffe, Ver. 1.1. Friday, June 2, 2006