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Glasgow To America

Glasgow To America

The name Glasgow can be found in many parts of the USA: Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and spelt as Glasgo in Connecticut, Kansas and New York. There is also a River Clyde in New York State and a city called Clyde in Ohio.

The following are some of the many people and areas of Glasgow which have some connection with the USA:

Templeton's Carpet Factory, Glasgow Green (Now Templeton Business Centre) James Templeton, a Paisley shawl manufacturer, established his carpet factory in Glasgow in 1839. The firm made the carpet for the Royal Reception Room at the 1st International Exhibition held in Hyde Park, London in 1851. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert stood on it on the opening day and when the Exhibition finished, the carpet was sent to the British Embassy in Washington, where it was in use for almost 78 years. It was returned to Glasgow for repair and then presented to the American nation by King George V and it was preserved in the Smithsonian Museum at Washington. There was also a Templeton carpet in the early Mormon temple in Utah. In 1861 Mrs Abraham Lincoln faced criticism for extravagant spending of State Funds for various articles for the White House, which she wished to furnish to her own taste. Among the articles were carpets from Templeton’s, described as having designs of fruits and flowers in vases, wreaths and bouquets.

Glasgow School Of Art, 167 Renfrew Street American film director, Alexander MacKendrick (b.1912), who born in Boston while his Scottish parents were on a trip to the USA, was educated here.

Reformers, John Calderwood, who was a prominent labour leader during the 1894 Cripple Creek, Colorado miner’s strike; John Cluer (c.1806-1886), a weaver and local Chartist leader who emigrated to New York City in 1839 and then settled in Lowell, Massachusetts. He was a member of the National Reform Movement and a leading figure in the New York Ten Hours Movement; Thomas Gallagher (1851-1925), a medical doctor who became a terrorist. He practised his medical career in Brooklyn, New York from 1875-1876 and was active in the Fenian movement. In 1883 he returned to Britain and took part in a bombing campaign. He was arrested and imprisoned until 1896 when he emerged insane and later died in a New York sanatorium.

In the world of industry and business the following were natives of Glasgow:

Harry Byng (1856-1960), who sailed around the world 7 times before coming to Washington. He was a barber to trade and hairdresser, by royal appointment, to King Klagas of Honolulu. In 1887 he settled in the community of Hoquiam and opened a barbershop there. He died in a local nursing home at the age of 104.

William Coverley (b.1840) who emigrated to New York in 1864 and began his career at Messrs Francis MacDonald & Co., agents in New York for Anchorline, the steamship company founded in Glasgow by Henderson Bros. In 1872 he became a partner in the firm and of the U S. base.

Peter Donahue (1822-1885), who emigrated to New York and then settled in San Francisco. He became involved in the California Gold Rush in 1849 but failed to find any gold. Instead he began to repair engines and make and repair tools and machines for the gold mining industry. He also invented the first printing press in California and the first steam locomotive seen there. He was also responsible for gas street lighting in San Francisco.

Robert Fergus (1815-1897), who emigrated to Milwaukee in 1839 before settling in Chicago. He is regarded as the father of the Chicago printing industry. He was famous for his "Fergus Historical Series" of books and also worked on the first city directory for Chicago. He was killed on 23 June 1897 while crossing train tracks during a violent rainstorm in Evanston.

James Smith Kirk (1818-1886) was a soap manufacturer in Chicago.

James Lawson (1799-1880), who emigrated to New York in 1815 and became a newspaper editor and dramatist.

Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton (1850-1931), businessman, yachtsman and philanthropist, who moved to the USA in 1865 where he worked on a tobacco plantation, then in rice-fields, before finding work in a grocer’s shop. He returned to Glasgow in 1870 and set up his own very successful grocery business and made his fortune. In 1899 he first challenged for the America’s Cup with his yacht "Shamrock 1", but he was unsuccessful.

Andrew Young McDonald (b.1834), born in Eglinton Street, was orphaned at an early age and emigrated with his aunt to America in 1854. He worked as a plumber in Cleveland, Ohio, then St. Louis, Missouri before finally settling at Duboque, Iowa where he established his own plumber’s business. He became a US citizen in 1860. He enlisted in the First Iowa Infantry on the side of the Unionists in the Civil War. He invented a screw wrench that was identical to the monkey wrench used today and sold the patent to Coes & Co. of Worcester, Massachusetts, one of the country’s leading manufacturers.

William MacKenzie (1841-1914), founder of Standard Bleachery at Calton Hill, New Jersey. John Stevenson (1848-1938), entrepreneur, who emigrated to the USA in 1872 and worked at the Carnegie Steel Works in Pittsburgh. He moved to Newcastle, Pennsylvania where he held a partnership in an iron firm which later became part of US Steel. He established an ordnance plant in 1905.

Frederick Turnbull (1847-1909), who introduced the art of Turkey-Red Dyeing to the USA. Entertainment From the world of entertainment we have the following:

Arthur Stanley Jefferson, better known as comic film actor Stan Laurel, grew up at 17 Craigmillar Road, Langside. He made his debut as a comedian at the Britannia Theatre of Varieties and Panoptican before moving to fame and fortune in Hollywood.

Pop-singer, Sheena Easton (b.1959) who moved to the USA where she became a big hit and won awards. Through her success she gained vast riches and bought a Tudor-style mansion on the outskirts of Los Angeles.

Film-maker Frank Lloyd (1888-1960), who emigrated originally to Canada in 1910 but moved to Hollywood where he acted in many westerns, taking the part of villains, before he went to work on film directing.

Cissie Loftus (1876-1943), an actress and impersonator whose stage career declined in 1905 but she switched to screen performances and the "talkies" where she once more made a name for herself.

John McTammany (1845-1915), who was born in the west end of Glasgow, at the Vale of Kelvin. He went to the USA in 1863 to join his father who had emigrated earlier and settled at Uniontown, Ohio. He served with the Ohio Volunteers in the Civil War and was wounded at the Battle of Chattanooga. Whilst recovering he became involved in the music industry. He taught music, played in a band and sold pianos and organs, while inventing a player-piano with perforated music rolls. He also invented the first voting machine that was used in many American State and local elections. He died in 1915 and was buried at Stamford, Connecticut but his remains were later removed to Canton, Ohio.

John Parsell (1820-1885), an actor and theatre manager who went to the USA with the Wyndham Theatre Company in 1873. He became manager of the Union Square Theatre, New York, 1873-1885. Literature Some literary figures are:

Helen Adam (1910-1993), who emigrated to the USA in the late 1930s and became famous for her poetry. She appeared at public readings with the San Francisco Beat Poets and was also the subject of some documentary films. In later life she became a recluse and died in Brooklyn, New York.

Robert Bell (1732-1784), who emigrated to America in 1768 following failed business ventures in Scotland and Ireland. He set himself up as a bookseller and auctioneer in Philadelphia. He was such a colourful character that his auctions became famous entertaining events as he sat with a beer in hand making scurrilous and comical toasts to his customers and commenting on the books and authors. He also operated one of the first lending libraries in America. He died in Richmond, Virginia.

Daniel McIntyre Henderson (b.1851), who emigrated to the USA landing at Baltimore in 1873. He became a bookkeeper with Messrs R Renwick & Sons, furniture makers. He had written poetry before his emigration and soon began again in his new life. He wrote an ode to celebrate the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Baltimore in 1880, which was favourably received and widely copied. He also wrote a poem in honour of fellow Scottish emigrant - "Epistle to Andrew Carnegie".

Anne MacVicar Grant (1755-1838), who was considered to be the first American authoress of note. Her poems were greatly admired by both Sir Walter Scott and Robert Southby.

Donald Ramsay (b.1848), a printer and poet who emigrated to New York in 1868 and then settled in Boston. He produced numerous poetical works and was also senior partner in the Heliotype Printing Company. Art In the field of art we have:

John Long (b.1812), who emigrated to the USA and became a stone carver at Macomb, Illinois. In the 1840s he worked on the Mormon Temple at Nauvoo. He is also famous for his carved stones in Macomb cemetery. He died from injuries sustained in the war against Mexico.

Alexander Hay Ritchie (1822-1895), who emigrated first to Canada in 1843 before moving to New York in 1847. He became a successful oil painter and engraver. His famous works include "Death of Lincoln" and "Washington and His Generals". Many of his engravings were based on his own paintings. He was acknowledged as one of the most skilled engravers in American history. He died in New Haven, Connecticut.

Robert Smith (1722-1777), an architect and builder who emigrated to Philadelphia. He built Naussan Hall at Princeton University as well as several churches and dwelling houses.

Russell Smith (1812-1896), whose family emigrated to America in 1819 and settled in Pittsburgh. He became a scene painter and created spectacular panoramas and backdrops for opera and theatre. He was commissioned to paint for the Philadelphia Academy of Music in the mid 1850's.

John Williamson (1826-1885), who was born in the Tollcross area of Glasgow and who was an Associate of the National Academy.

Government figures include:

Robert Dinwoodie (1693-1770), who was appointed Surveyor-general and Lt. Governor of Virginia 1751-1758. He tried to prevent the French occupation of Ohio district in 1753.

Robert Dale Owen (1801-1877), the eldest son of social reformer, Robert Owen. In 1825 he accompanied his father to America to help establish co-operative communities and set up the New Harmony colony in Indiana, where he taught school. In 1829 he moved to New York but returned to Indiana in 1832. He became a member of the Indiana Legislature and entered Congress in 1843. He became US Ambassador to India 1855-58. He died in New York State in 1877.

Thomas Pollock (1654-1722) was Colonial Governor of North Carolina 1712-14 and in1722.

Richard Stobo (1724-1785), son of a wealthy Glasgow tobacco merchant was sent to Virginia to look after the family business. However, he decided on a military career. He designed Fort Necessity in Washington and was taken hostage when the French captured the fort. He escaped and returned to Britain in 1770. Novelist Tobias Smollett based his character of Lt. Lismahago in the novel "Humphrey Clinker" on his friend Stobo.

The following made their mark in the field of law:

Robert Hervey (b.1820) who emigrated to America c.1831. He became a lawyer and was one of the founders of the Chicago Bar Association. He lost his valuable law library in the Great Fire of Chicago in 1871.

Lawrence Maxwell (b.1853), who was US Solicitor General 1893-1895.

Allan Pinkerton (1819-1884), who was born in the Gorbals area, the son of a policeman. He emigrated to the USA in 1842 and settled in West Dundee, Illinois. In 1850 he became a detective and deputy-sheriff in Chicago. He founded the famous Pinkerton's Detective Agency in Chicago in 1852. He was appointed Head of the Secret Service 1861-2. In 1861 he was guarding Abraham Lincoln on his way to the presidential inauguration and foiled an assassination plot.

Madeleine Hamilton Smith (1835-1926), daughter of a Glasgow architect, who lived at 7 Blythswood Square. She became the most infamous accused in a Victorian murder trial. Charged with murdering her lover, Pierre Emil L'Angelier, she was acquitted by the Scottish "Not Proven" verdict. Spurned by her family, she moved to London where she married George Wardle but eventually separated from him and emigrated to the USA c.1890. She remarried there and proved a popular hostess. She received many Hollywood offers to play herself in a silent film version of her life but always refused.

In the field of education we have the following:

James MacAlister (1840-1913), a lawyer who emigrated to Wisconsin in 1850 and became one of the foremost educators in America. He was appointed Superintendent of Public Schools in Milwaukee in 1874, then Regent of State Normal Schools, Wisconsin. He reorganised Philadelphia schools and was President of the Drexel Institute, Philadelphia. He also published a number of important works on educational subjects.

John McLean (1771-1814), who emigrated to Philadelphia and became Professor of Chemistry and Natural History at Princeton University. He later became Professor of Natural Philosophy and Chemistry at William and Mary College, Williamsburg, Virginia.

James Kennedy Patterson (1833-1922), who emigrated to Indiana in 1842. He became Principal of several academies including, Greenville Presbyterian Academy and Transylvania High School, Lexington, Kentucky (1861-1865). He was also President of the Agricultural & Mechanical College of Kentucky in 1869.

Medical men with American connections are:

Dr. James Gardiner, who emigrated to California after the Civil War and built up a large and successful general practice in Anaheim. He also served as Postmaster of Anaheim. He is best remembered as the doctor who performed the first Caesarean operation in Orange County.

John Stewart MacArthur, a chemist who discovered the cyanide process of extracting gold from discarded mine tailings. He introduced this process to Colorado's Crestone Mine in Saguaele County in 1889. This discovery doubled the world's annual gold production and the process is still in use.

Granville Sharp Pattison (1791-1851), an anatomist who emigrated to America after being cleared in a trial accused of body snatching. He settled in Pennsylvania and began a lecturing career followed by teaching stints in Maryland, New Jersey. He secured the Chair of Anatomy at the University of the City of New York and founded the medical department there. He edited medical journals and was also fond of music, being a leader of a group who arranged the first productions of Grand Opera in New York.

Other people with American connections are:

Jock Semple (b.1903), who came with his brother to America in 1927. He settled in Philadelphia but as there was no work available he moved to Boston and began a career with his first love, that of road running. Nine times he finished in the top ten in the famous Boston Marathon. After WW2 he opened a physiotherapy clinic where he looked after top stars in American football, baseball and basketball, as well as boxing legend, Jack Dempsey. By 1953 he trained several Olympic marathon teams.

Deborah Knox Livingstone, who emigrated at the age of 10 to America. She later became President of Rhode Island Women's Temperance Union and State President in 1904.

George Gillespie (1683-1760), one of the earliest ordained ministers in New Jersey and Delaware.



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