Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 64 > Page 73 - Availible now from Breton Books" Flora McPherson's Cape Breton Classic: Watchman Against the World The Remarkable Journey of Norman MacLeod & His People From Scotland to Cape Breton Island to New Zealand

Page 73 - Availible now from Breton Books" Flora McPherson's Cape Breton Classic: Watchman Against the World The Remarkable Journey of Norman MacLeod & His People From Scotland to Cape Breton Island to New Zealand

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1993/8/1 (135 reads)

served that my religious friend had been during all the period of this clandestine wooing in the closest apparent friendship with me and my partner, embracing and kissing me from time to time with the sincerest seeming affection; and also praying and singing psalms and religiously conferring with me from week to week and from Sabbath to Sabbath, till on the discovery of his deceit and hypocrisy he was brought to a public trial, where his own letters on the subject, besides other means, were suffi? cient and irresistible evidence against him. "On this shameful detection and when aU his insinuating and evasive arguments could not serve him, he sobbed and sunk in a fainting fit in the throng meeting of our neighbours by whom the case was tried. And being brought home by the assis? tance of his family he kept his bed for several weeks together; acknowledging his fault and craving forgiveness; upon the ap? parent repentance of which, we, blessed be the Lord, felt no difficulty or reluctance in freely forgiving and forgetting all his offences. Yea, I humbly and meekly visited, and sincerely prayed with and for him in his confmement with a joyful and thankful heart in fond expectation of his moral and religious improvement as well as physical restoration. He recovered by degrees and was restored to all his former privileges, but he soon retumed to his old ways and we at last refused him any private religious fellowship. After some tossings to and fro he went back to the Church of Scotland (which he had opposed for thirty years)." This letter Norman published a few years after the trouble. Despite his long contribution to the building of the settle? ment, the old Squire was to be ousted. Norman had no authority over his position as magistrate, but he could attempt to uproot him as school trustee. The school rebellion of Luther's younger brother Isaac was added fuel for this fire. The school report of 1839 was signed by John McLeod instead of Donald McLeod with a note from Norman that "the other trustees and the sub? scribers for the school, in general, as well as myself thought it necessary and desirable that this change should be made. The Sydney office, however, refused to allow it. They could hardly dismiss a trustee on the request of his presumed employee, the teacher! In reply to the Commission's refusal to replace the Squire, Norman pointed out that it would be difficult to ask or expect Donald McLeod to visit the school since "it is publicly known that I have thought it my grievous and indispensable du? ty with the deliberate consent and approbation of the better part of our community and the more judicious members of his fami? ly (possibly his son-in-law, John Fraser who was also a trus? tee), for very clear and urgent reasons to see him suspended from all our private religious association, and he has now of his own accord for some time declined to attend our public wor? ship on the Sabbath and has not once visited our school since a twelvemonth." There had been many other times when offenders had been disciplined but now a strong man had been broken in Norman's interpretation of the best interests of the settlement. For the first time he openly identified the maintenance of his personal pow? er with the good of the community. The leader was tuming dic? tator. Aware of the change, his people accepted it • some un? questioning in their devotion, others critical, but temporarily acquiescent in it as a necessary condition of the life they had chosen. The doubters could take refuge in the sly undercurrent of wit with which the Scot can maintain his inner ascendancy over his assumed superiors. A few years before. Squire Donald had met on the road his friend and neighbour, Mrs. Norman McDonald, at the time when her husband was discontented and out of favour with the minister. "Is it yourself, Jane?" asked the Squire. "And who else?" retorted Jane. "I was thinking you'd be off to hide in a black hut in Africa. That's where I'd be going if I was on the outs with the Man." Now it was Jane's tum. "Well, Donald," she asked, "when are you for Africa?" Presently Mary McLeod married Roderick Ross, a young man of her own age, a classmate through school, whose father was another of the small group of friends who had come with Norman to begin the settlement at St. Ann's. Roderick seems to have been completely acceptable to his father-in-law. He was a Justice of the Peace in Cape Breton, and after the migration, be? came a member of the New Zealand Parliament. The gossip about the Squire had not yet died when a mem? ber of Norman's own family acted in a way that would certain? ly have been censurable in any other household in the commu? nity. Following John Munro's successful ventures in shipbuilding and trading, Norman's sons, John and Murdoch, began in 1838 the building of their first ship. This vessel, a 90- ton ship called the Maria, was completed the following year. Donald McLeod, the second son of the family, was placed in charge of her, and instructed to sell both cargo and ship in Glasgow. Donald did not retum, and was to remain unheard of for many years. This was not the last trading venture by the McLeod boys. They built other ships and carried various cargoes. In one of his tt Community Banking in Cape Breton • Your Mutual Fund Shop • Bank of Montreal We're Paying Attention tt County Line Pub & Eatery FEATURING Sunday Dinner Theater ' Nightly Entertainment * '"' Daily Homemade Specials **' lh% BettI Stteate m Imsu '""' Open 11 AM to 2 AM • 7 Days a Week! 581 Grand Lake Road ' Between PetroCanand Robins Oonuts
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