West Coast Exile: A Scottish-Canadian Bard in the United States at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Type of resource
Author/collaborator
Title
West Coast Exile: A Scottish-Canadian Bard in the United States at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
Abstract
Most of the crofters forced off of Scotland's Isle of Lewis by the potato famine of the 1840s became colonists on the rugged northern Appalachian frontier of Quebec where they reconstituted many elements of their close-knit Gaelic-speaking society. The author notes that while these new Quebec settlements were largely homogeneous, the fact that families depended upon the wages of young men and women sojourning in the United States resulted in cultural assimilation, permanent out-migration, and population decline, so that there was little left of this once-vibrant Highland community by the early twentieth century. While the Quebec Scots became widely dispersed across the continent during this second exodus, identifiable communities formed in American cities such as Springfield, Massachusetts, and Seattle, Washington, where they continued to depend upon each other for support. The author examines that support network, and the emotional cost of emigration, largely through the writing of a Canadian-born bard who spent much of his adult life in the United States. Angus MacKay (1864-1923), who wrote under the name Oscar Dhu, moved to Seattle in 1899. The author outlines MacKay's life in the United States and his continued links to Quebec.
Publication
International Journal of Canadian Studies/Revue internationale d'études canadiennes
Volume
Vol. 44
Issue
no. 2
Pages
119-133
Date
2011
Language
en
Citation
Little, J. I. “West Coast Exile: A Scottish-Canadian Bard in the United States at the Turn of the Twentieth Century.” International Journal of Canadian Studies/Revue internationale d’études canadiennes Vol. 44, no. 2 (2011): 119–133.
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