10th June 12, 12:34 AM
The Northwest Company and the Hudson Bay Co. were full of Scots
there is references to the pipes being played at their trading posts but I've not found any mention of kilts
except for the one about W. D. Stewart in 1834
I'm an 18th century guy born into the 20th century and have been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing"
10th June 12, 05:26 AM
There was an article in the Piping Times a number of years ago about a piper named James MacPherson who is believed to have died at the Alamo. According to the article there were two persons of that name who are known to have left Scotland for the US at about the right time.
I always thought that if I ever got into Cowboy Action shooting he would be my character....
I would still have the PT issue but it would be in one of several boxes along with a few hundred others. If I knew what issue to look for I could probably find it given some time.
10th June 12, 05:54 AM
The Alamo piper was called John McGregor, born in Scotland round 1808, but listed as residing in Nacogdoches, Texas. He served at the Alamo as 2nd Sergeant of artillery. He was killed during the Mexican assault of March 6, 1836. Debate still continues if he was a GHB or bellows piper. There's been no mention of him wearing a kilt and in illustrations and other portrayals, no matter how fanciful, he is always trousered.
Last edited by MacSpadger; 10th June 12 at 08:56 AM.
10th June 12, 01:15 PM
At least memory wasn't too far out....
10th June 12, 01:57 PM
Well there's a couple in some old Western movies, does that count?
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11th June 12, 05:56 AM
For a general overview of the Scottish experience on the frontier, I recommend the late Fernec Szaz's Scots in the North American West, 1790-1917 from the University of Oklahoma Press (2000). Colin Calloway's White People, Indians and Highlanders: Tribal People and Colonial Encounters in Scotland and America (Oxford UP, 2008) tends to focus specificallly on the pre-Revolutionary frontier.
Besides the story of John McGregor, Texas also is the "home" of another Scottish expatriate, George Henry Laing:
This is the official Clan Laing Society tartan which was recovered from the grave of George Henry Laing who died in 1853 in East Texas. George had moved to Texas from Liberty County adjacent to the Gaelic speaking community of Darien in Georgia. James, his grandfather, had moved to The North Carolina Scottish Colony of the Cape Fear River from Scotland some time between 1745 and 1765 bringing the sett with him. The relatively dry climate and local soil conditions are accredited with the remarkable preservation of sufficient portions of his great kilt to allow the reconstruction of the sett. The exhumation came about through the construction of a pond adjacent to the cemetry which necessitated the removal of 56 graves - one of which was that of George H Laing.
11th June 12, 07:03 AM
I have noticed that the replies on this thread (which, BTW have a lot of good and interesting information) have a shot group all over the target: SW US, Canada, 1830's, 1850's, etc. What period/place is in question. Here in the US the "old west" usually refers to the post Civil War era expansion and settlement in the now western states, Texas and the Great Plains. But the "west" has moved farther west since colonial times. And this doesn't even cover Canada or for that matter Mexico.
Originally Posted by McLeanWelsh
So MacLean, what period/place are you looking at?
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11th June 12, 07:38 AM
There is certainly lots of examples of Highlander's, and some kilted in the opening of the Canadian west. The early history and exploration of western and northern Canada was driven by the Montreal based fur trade which saw an alliance of largely Highland Scots and French Canadian's open up the northern half of the continent to the trade, including a lot of what is now the western United States. Alexander MacKenzie crossed the continent to the Pacific years before Lewis and Clark and others like Simon Frazer, Alexander MacGillvery, John Rae and many more traveled tens of thousands of miles through the then uncharted wilderness. It is doubtful they did much of this kilted but they carried their Highland culture with them as I have read of lots of examples of pipes and fiddles being carried into the hinterland in the trade canoes. In fact when George Simpson was the Chief Factor of the Hudson Bay Company he traveled to the far flung outpost of his business empire with a specially built executive canoe which included 8 hand picked Iroquois paddlers and a personal piper.
Last edited by Singlemalt; 11th June 12 at 07:39 AM.
11th June 12, 07:49 AM
I found this image of Governor Simpson of the Hudson Bay Company traveling wilderness of western Canada with his personal piper.
11th June 12, 07:51 AM
The OP was asking about a kilt worn with cowboy boots, cowboy hat, cartridge belts and holsters. I'm thinking he was toying with the idea of such an outfit for "cowboy action shooting", perhaps? At any rate, a kilt worn with such an outfit would be a total anachronism. The examples cited of fur-trade era Scots explorers and military types don't really apply to what the OP had in mind (but I could be wrong!)....
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