Charles Morrison’s Diary, 15 to 31 March 1863


Chicks, by Gina G. Morrison, c.1900

Sunday 15th March

In the morning Mr Graham preached from 1st John 1st chapter 1st verse. In the afternoon Mr McKenzie from Hebrews 9th chapter 13 & 14th verses. In the evening Mr Graham preached his farewell sermon from Ephesians 6th chapter 18 verse on Prayer.

Monday 16th March

Very busy today. Mr Graham left today. Angus away South. At night I had the pleasure of seeing Misses M & C Gerrie.

Tuesday 17th March

Very busy I sold a lot of meal to Harris & Gairloch folk at night. I had a long walk with Christina she tells me that Margaret is quite agreeable. I had a letter from Robert Sutherland with a native’s portrait enclosed also a letter from Lexy.

Wednesday 18th March

Very little doing today at night I went home with Miss Margaret Gerrie

Thursday 19th March

Very slack.

Friday 20th March

I bought 5 barrels tar from ‘Schooner Ada’. I had tea with Miss E McDonald

Saturday 21st March

Rodk Nicolson Shipowner died this morning. In taking a walk looking out for the Steamer I saw Christina.

[Note: in 1857 Roderick Nicolson (probably the shipowner himself, or his son Roderick, then minister at Applecross)  wrote a highly indignant letter about a nightmare journey on the steamer Clansman (Inverness Courier, 27 August 1857). Imagine this happening nowadays on the Loch Seaforth! Here it is:
Sir, — on the 17th inst., I in common with many other passengers, left Stornoway on board the Clansman for the south, at six o’clock in the morning. Instead of taking the usual course, we were carried to the neighbourhood of Loch Seaforth. We were there ordered off the deck and quarter-deck. The vessel was then filled with sheep – about 1,000, I believe were on board. We were obliged to take shelter on the upper works of the vessel – gang-ways, stages and bridges – where the passengers, cabin, steerage and deck, were obliged to cluster together as best they could. After a delay of some hours, we started for Glenelg, passing through the sound of Skye, where we landed our unpleasant companions in the evening. We were then carried back again through the sound of Skye to Portree, the captain refusing to land one of us, though I believe there were passengers for all the intermediate ports. Next morning we again started southwards, and only after being carried three times through the sound of Skye was I, with others, permitted to land at Balmacarra on Tuesday at seven o’clock A.M. These facts speak for themselves. I will only say that such conduct on the part of the steamboat officials was alike unjust to us as passengers by a public conveyance, and insulting to us as gentlemen. – I am your obedient servt.,

Sunday 22nd March

No preaching in the U.P. In the afternoon Mr McKenzie preached from the 63rd Psalm 3rd verse Because thy loving kindness is better than life my lips shall praise thee. In the evening Mr McRae, E C, preached an excellent sermon from Ecclesiastes 3rd chapter 2 verse A time to die Parting Weeping and instructions.

Monday 23rd March

Very stormy. A very melancholy accident happened at the entrance of the harbour. A boat from Lemreway with 4 men and a woman was upset, 3 of the men Angus McMillan David Smith & Donald Campbell were drowned the woman died afterwards from the effects of the upsetting. Verily in the midst of life we are in death.

Tuesday 24th March

Received letters from John and Isabella Sutherland. Pretty busy.

Wednesday 25th March

Very busy selling Meal.

Thursday 26th March

Very stormy and cold with showers of hail.

Friday 27th March

Very little doing Miss Margt Gerrie in buying from me.

Saturday 28th March

Stormy & wet. Kept pretty busy.

Sunday 29th March

John Campbell Uig preached in the morning in Gaelic from Zechariah 9th chapter 12th verse Turn you to the strong hold ye prisoners of hope even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee. In the afternoon Mr Adam Campbell from Philippians 2nd chap 12 verse Work out your own Salvation with fear & trembling.

John MorrisonMonday 30th March

The Bodies of the 3 that were drowned this day week got today. John my brother arrived today. I got portrait of Dornoch and the Cathedral.

[Note: John Morrison, Charles’s younger brother, was born in 1844. He studied at Dornoch Free Church School – as no doubt did his brother Charles – and taught as a ‘pupil teacher’ for several years. After completing his apprenticeship with Matthew Russell in Stornoway in 1867 he emigrated to Canada. He settled in Woodstock, Ontario, where he worked a grocer and as City Clerk. He served on the town council and was Chairman of the Public School Board. In 1874 he married Kate Henry and their first son was named Charles. John died in Woodstock in 1929.]
[Note: George Sutherland seems to have been a baker and grocer in Dornoch, married to Isabella Sutherland. Perhaps John had been apprenticed to him prior to March 1863.]
John Morrison Woodstock 1 photo Thorold Ontario

John Morrison. c. A. Mein

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