By Angela McCarthy
Migration from the British "Celtic fringe" because the eighteenth century has had an important influence at the politics, economics, demography, sociology and tradition of the hot international, as forces shaping overseas politics or even warfare. The authors use new fabric to discover Scottish migrant networks and private stories in components similar to the Caribbean, New Zealand and Australia.
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Additional info for A Global Clan: Scottish Migrant Networks and Identity since the Eighteenth Century (International Library of Historical Studies)
27 Missives that began as private letters were translated into the oral medium and then dispersed as community news. In a 1776 letter to his mother, Alexander Pringle mentioned six other Scots, adding that he supposed they had all written home but that he wished to confirm their welfare anyway. In 1780 Lieutenant Archibald Fergusson, laird of Dunfallundie in Atholl, wrote home about the careers, deaths, and salaries of five other Atholl sojourners scattered across India. His Scottish regional networking and identity in Bengal come across clearly in his letters: I have lost a very worthy friend in this country, Captain Stewart [of] Shearglish who died of a fever at Barrackpore some distance from Calcutta in September last.
Upon his arrival in India, Alexander joined a circle of other Scots who maintained what may best be described as a Scottish household identity. Along with younger counterparts like Harry Crawford, he lodged with the Scottish surgeon Gilbert Pasley and began his social and professional networking from this informal Scottish base. As he informed his father, ‘We were about two months together and I had an opportunity of seeing through his character [Crawford’s], which is truly noble. He gave me letters to his brother and some more of his Bengal acquaintances.
20 It can be argued, of course, that these sources are not representative. 21 Yet the literacy and numeracy required for sojourning mean that the surviving body of correspondence is generally representative of transient Scots in Asia. The reason why these accounts provide so much analytical potential is that different types of sources survive. Personal correspondence enabled the maintenance of intimacy with family members, with written dialogue used to overcome vast physical separation. 22 As a result, missives were often strikingly open and heartfelt.
A Global Clan: Scottish Migrant Networks and Identity since the Eighteenth Century (International Library of Historical Studies) by Angela McCarthy