A Dance Called America


A dance was devised in eighteenth-century Skye. An exhilarating dance. A dance, a visitor reports, ‘the emigration from Skye has occasioned’.

The visitor asks for the dance’s name. ‘They call it America,’ he’s told. In his introduction to this new edition of his classic and pioneering account of what happened to the thousands of people who left Skye and the wider north of Scotland to make new lives across the sea, historian James Hunter reflects on what led him to embark on travels and researches that took him across a continent.

To Georgia, North Carolina and Montana; to Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and the Mohawk Valley; to prairie farms and great cities; to the Rocky Mountains, British Columbia and Washington State. This is the story of the Highland impact on the New World. The story of how soldiers, explorers, guerrilla fighters, fur traders, lumberjacks, railway builders and settlers from Scotland’s glens and islands contributed so much to the USA and Canada.

It is the story of how a hard-pressed people found in North America a land of opportunity.

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by James Hunter

Publisher: Birlinn General

ISBN: 9781780277196