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BOOK - The People of Glengarry: Highlanders in Transition 1745 - 1820
By Marianne McLean
Published by McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal/Kingston, 1993
Beginning in the middle of the 18th century, the Highlands of Scotland underwent radical social and economic change. The economic transformation - from a quasi-feudal community to a society ordered by modern capitalist forces - led to declining status for clansmen and the disruption of traditional social organizations.
Using a wide array of published and unpublished sources, McLean examines in detail nine group emigrations that left western Inverness between 1785 and 1802 for Glengarry County in Upper Canada (now Ontario). She describes how, once in North America, they built a new Highland community in an attempt to ensure each family's access to the land.
By revealing the pattern of Highland emigration to Glengarry County - families and friends leaving and/or settling together - McLean confirms Bernard Bailyn's notion of a "provincial emigrant stream," and offers a convincing explanation for the development of one of Canada's "limited identities."
The Scots were the earliest settlers in the region; so early in fact that many arrived while eastern Ontario was still known as part of Quebec. An essential read for everyone with an interest in early Highland emigration to Upper Canada (Ontario)
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