Sunday, June 24, 2012

Abstinence Tour of Robert Marshall (1819-1891) – Journal Entry of 18th September 1839

Had a conversation with Mr. Campbel, Sectr. of the Dundee Society. Proceeded by the Arbroath Railway to Broughty Ferry.  Called on Mr. John Taylor, Sectr of the Society.  Was very kindly used both by that gentleman, and the other members of Committee.  It appears that a considerable number of members here have failed.  The cause goes on but slowly.  The chief reason seems to be the hatred of the fishermen to the cause.  Not a solitary individual of that class is a member, neither do any of them attend the Societies meetings.  There are l00 steady members including about 20 at Dundee.   The Bell man called a meeting for me, in a Mr. Stuart's schoolroom.  About 60 attended among whom were some confirmed drunkards.  I lectured about two hours and a half.  No one opposed me, in the slightest degree.  A few tracts were purchased from me by the committee.  I slept with Mr. Stuart, a Mason.  Both he and his wife were very kind to me.

When the lecture was through, a circumstance somewhat curious occurred to me; an old man came up to me, and whispered into my ear "I am a true prophet of God, a true prophet, Robert Laird of Broughtyferry".  The old man, whom I perceived to be a maniac proceeded to tell me that he would endow me with "a sight" upon which he went down on his right knee and ordered me to hold down my head.  After making several signs with his fingers chiefly upon his face, he gave me 2 slaps on the forehead, and then rising with triumph beaming in his conuntenace, he told me that "I had got a sight".

I was told that the Sabbath previous, a woman of the ferry had drunk a mutchken of whisky, and was found a corpse shortly after.

Typed by Betty Kay 11th May 1996, from Dan Marshall`s notes of the original journal.

©2012, copyright Alana Farrell

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