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Lothians To America

Lothians To America

There are several places in America with the same name: Edinburg, in Texas (‘h’ was dropped in 1911), also in New York, North Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Mississippi, New Jersey, Virginia; Edinboro, Pennsylvania (‘burgh’ proved too difficult to pronounce); Edina in Minnesota and Missouri and there is a Dunedin (Gaelic name for Edinburgh, being Dun Eideann) in Florida. Edinburgh is also twinned with San Diego. There is a bronze sculpture in West Princes Street Gardens entitled "The Call" by Robert Tait MacKenzie, of Philadelphia. This is a memorial to the Scottish-American soldiers of World War I, erected by the Scottish American War Memorial Committee.

Old Calton Burial ground, Waterloo Place is home to the first memorial in Europe to an American President: a statue of Abraham Lincoln, unveiled on 21 Aug. 1893 and which is part of a memorial to Scottish soldiers who died in the American Civil War.

New Calton cemetery is the resting place of William Knox, (1789-1825) a Border poet who came to Edinburgh in 1820 and was the author of Abraham Lincoln's favourite poem: "Mortality", which the President was said to have been reading on the day of his assassination. Also interred in New Calton is General Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe (1763-1851) who was born in Boston and led the American troops against the Canadians and governed Upper Province of Canada. He died in Edinburgh at 36 Melville Street on 17 July 1851.

Central Public Library on George IV Bridge was built with money donated by Fife born Andrew Carnegie, the millionaire philanthropist who made his fortune in the USA.

Greyfriars Cemetery at the end of George IV Bridge is the final resting place of John Gray ("Auld Jock") and his faithful Skye terrier Bobby whose story was immortalised in film by Walt Disney.

Some famous Edinburgh citizens who found fame in the USA are: film star, Sean Connery, born in the Fountainbridge area; Ernest Torrence (1879- 933), early Hollywood star and one of the great villains of the Silver Screen who worked with Thomas Alva Edison on the first "talkie"; Adam Stephen who was a major general in Washington's army; David Hall (c.1714-1722) who was a printer employed by Benjamin Franklin; James Edgar, who introduced the first Santa Claus to his department store in Brockton, Massachusetts, an idea which was soon copied in stores all over the USA; Archibald Scott Cleghorn,a merchant who married Princess Likelike of Hawaii and fathered Kaiulani, the most beautiful and revered Princess of the island - he was also governor of Oahu and a landscape artist; and Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) who became Professor of Vocal Physiology at Boston in 1873 and invented the telephone in 1876.

Leith Once a principal port of Scotland in the mid 19th century. Amalgamated with Edinburgh in 1920. Located 2m north of Edinburgh City centre. The Royal Yacht Britannia is berthed at Ocean Drive, Leith .The name can be found in Alabama, Arkansas, Nevada, North Dakota, South Georgia and Pennsylvania. Currie Suburb of Edinburgh located 6m south east of the city. Name can be found in Minnesota & North Carolina.

East Lothian Lies on the coast to the east of Edinburgh and is an area steeped in history, castles and historic houses with a wealth of things to see and do. Main centres are Musselburgh, Haddington, Tranent, Prestonpans, Dunbar, North Berwick, Cockenzie & Port Seton.

Athelstaneford Village located 3m north east of Haddington and birthplace of the Saltire, Scotland's flag. Botanist, William R Smith was born in Athelstaneford and emigrated to America when very young. He became Superintendent of the Botanic Gardens in Washington and attracted visitors to the gardens from all parts of the USA. He also had the most complete collection of Robert Burns and Burnsiana in America.

Dunbar Small coastal town with a harbour and remains of a castle. Located 27m east of Edinburgh. The name is also found in Nebraska, Utah, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Oklahoma and West Virginia. Birthplace of naturalist and conservationist, John Muir (1838-1914), who emigrated with his family to America in 1849. He was instrumental in creating the first National Park at Yosemite in 1864. Muir Glacier, which he discovered in Alaska, commemorates his name. He was known as "The Father of Modern Environment Movement". You can visit the John Muir House at 128 High Street and John Muir Country Park on the western side of Dunbar.

Gifford Village 4m south of Haddington. Yester House an 18th century mansion and seat of the Marquess of Tweedale, lies 1m south east. The name is also found in Florida, Iowa, Washington, Missouri and South Carolina. Birthplace of John Witherspoon who was born in the manse of Yester Kirk on 5 Feb.1723. He was minister at Beith and Paisley before emigrating to the USA in 1768. He became President of Princeton College, New Jersey (1768-94) and was the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence. He died on 6 Nov.1794. A tablet commemorating him can be found at Gifford Church.

Haddington Small historic town on the River Tyne, located 16m east of Edinburgh. Birthplace of Dr. William Brown, who became Surgeon General for Washington's Continental Army and produced the first pharmacopoeia ever published in America. Also birthplace of philanthropist, John Vert (1852-1934), who emigrated to USA and amassed a fortune in estate agency business in Pendleton, Oregon. Founded a cottage hospital there.

Long Yester Hamlet, 2m south east of Gifford. Birthplace of Charles Nisbet (1736-1804). He was minister of Montrose in 1764 but when the American War of Independence broke out, he sided with the colonists and went to America. He became Doctor of Divinity of the College of New Jersey and the Principal of Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Ormiston Village 2m south of Tranent. Birthplace of Col. James Burd (1726-1793) who settled in Philadelphia and took part with General Forbes in the expedition to redeem the failure of Gen.Braddock during the French and Indian wars.

Saltoun Parish near Ormiston, consisting of the villages East and West Saltoun. Birthplace of John Swinton (1830-1901) and his brother William (1833-1892). Family emigrated first to Canada in 1843 and then USA. Both became journalists and worked on New York Times. John was also identified with the anti-slavery movement and became managing director of the New York Times and New York Sun. William died in Brooklyn in 1892.

Midlothian Former county of which Edinburgh was the centre. Hosts a mixture of scenic countryside and historic heritage sites. Main centres are Penicuik, Bonnyrigg, Dalkeith, Gorebridge & Loanhead. Name can be found in Illinois (after Walter Scott's novel "The Heart of Midlothian") and Midlothian County Council is twinned with this township. Places of interest include Edinburgh Crystal Visitors’ Centre, Penicuik and Vogrie Country Park.

Dalkeith Market town 6m south east of Edinburgh. Places of interest include Dalkeith Country Park and Dalkeith House, former seat of the Dukes of Buccleuch. Birthplace of the following: Robert Aitken (1734-1802) who emigrated to America in1769 and became a printer and publisher in Philadelphia; Dr. Gustavus Brown (1689-1765) who emigrated to Maryland and became a prominent physician of early colonial times; Robert Smith (1722-1777) architect and designer of colonial Philadelphia, including Benjamin Franklin’s house; Grant Thorburn (1773-1863),who emigrated to New York in 1794 for political reasons. He was said to be the original of John Galt’s novel "Lawrie Todd", a story about a Scottish emigrant. He established the first large American seed business as well as producing the first seed catalogue.

Fala Village 4m south east of Pathhead. Birthplace of William Paterson Turnbull (1830-1871), who became a famous ornithologist in the USA. Pathhead Village 4m south east of Dalkeith. Birthplace of Peter Henderson (1822-1890) who founded the firm of Peter Henderson & Co., horticulturists and seedsmen, one of the largest in existence.

West Lothian Located in central Scotland, bordered on the east by Midlothian and on the west by Lanark and Stirling. The chief centres are Livingston, Bathgate, Linlithgow, Broxburn, Whitburn and Armadale.

Bathgate Town 5m south of Linlithgow. The name can be found in North Dakota. Birthplace of Robert Dick (1814-1893), lecturer, newspaper editor and inventor of a mailing machine used in newspaper offices throughout the USA. He died in Buffalo in 1893.

Linlithgow Historic town 16m west of Edinburgh. Linlithgow Palace, located on the south side of Linlithgow Loch, was the birthplace of James V and Mary Queen of Scots. Birthplace of John Mason one of the most accomplished preachers/pastors of his day and minister of the Scotch Presbyterian Church in New York, 1761 and also James Glen (b.1701) who was Governor of South Carolina 1743-1756.

Whitburn Town 3m south west of Bathgate. Birthplace of Rev. Robert Turnbull (1809-1877) who emigrated to USA and was editor of the "Christian Review" and author of several works.

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