A collection of Gaelic poetry : Electronic Edition / Alexander MacDonald, Ridge
A collection of Gaelic poetry [manuscript]: Electronic Edition
Alexander MacDonald, Ridge

St. Francis Xavier University Library Electronic Text


-Newspaper clipping glued to the title page-

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Grandfather's Perilous Adventure.
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Some thirteen years ago the Montreal Daily Witness gave prizes to
Canadian school children with the object of stimulating their interest in
the history of their own land. To the
writer of the best short sketch of
some incident connected with the
early history of each county in the
several provinces there were awarded
a book and a medal. The prize for
this county was won by the writer of
the following sketch which will
prove of interest to our readers:

In the year 1816, my grandfather,
Allan McDonald, emigrated from
Lochaber, Inverness-shire, Scotland,
to America, in the twenty-second
year of his age. The ship in which he
came landed the passengers in Pictou,
Nova Scotia. They there hired a
shallop to convey them and their
luggage to Port Hood, Cape Breton,
and, on the last day of October, began
their voyage, which proved disastrous.
As they were passing Arisaig, Antigonish Co., they encountered a violent
snow-storm, which drove the vessel
off its course. All the passengers
were in the hold excepting my
grandfather, who was on deck helping
the sailors in running the vessel ashore.
It being night, and owing to the confusion which prevailed, my grandfather stumbled, and grasped a loom
which was on deck for support; but
both he and the loom went overboard.
He was then unsupported amid the
waves, so he tried the difficult task of
swimming to the shore. To add to
his difficulties, before he had gone far
part of his outward clothing became
unfastened, which greatly retarded
his rate of swimming; but being a
very ingenious man, he seized his
garment in his teeth, and bravely
swam ashore. The inhabitants of the
place heard the cries of the passengers,
and hastened to their assistance.
Having been safely landed they were
invited by the people to their houses,
and were treated as well as circumstances would permit. But it appears
that the people of Scotland had been
provided with a different kind of food
from those of Arisaig; for one of the
women-passengers, who met grandfather next morning, said, with
surprise, Oh! but the supper I got
last night; potatoes, herring, and tea.
The following day they travelled to
Antigonish village, which was then a
small place. They there renounced
all idea of going to Cape Breton until
the following summer. My grandfather, afterwards, came to the South
River, where he lived until his death
in the year 1868.

MARY A. McDONALD,
South River, Antigonish, N.S. ____________________