Sunday, July 22, 2012

Abstinence Tour of Robert Marshall (1819-1891) – Journal Entry of 21st and 22nd September 1839

I seem to have forgotten to post the journal entry last Sunday, so I am posting two days’ worth this week, which is kind of a good thing as the journal entry for September 22nd is rather short!

September 21, 1839

Sent for coach a number of Bills forward to Brechin and Montrose, altogether uncertain whether they would reach or not, as I did not know to whom I should send them.

Having been wrong informed of the hour when the Omnibus for Kirriemuir should start I was disappointed in that conveyance, and had to travel on foot to Kirriemuir.  On the way I called into a house at a place called Padonarm and as usual examined the people on Tee-totalism.  I found them prejudiced against the system through ignorance, so much so that, they told me that "it was a very bad thing to lay any more taxes on the working classes".  On further enquiry I found that, the view they had of Tee-totalism was, that a tax was to be put on every house that had 3 windows.  I explained the principles of total abstinence to them and convinced them that they were just.  I also circulated a few tracts and songs on which the people did not know what to make of me - they made me sit down, and although head and foot of me could have ate, I believe they would have been satisfied.

It was evening till I reached Kirriemuir, my Bills had reached, but the lecture was put off to Monday, as their weekly convivial meeting happens on Saturday - I attended the convivial meeting - the house being a church was crowded.  A hymn commenced the proceedings, after which a tune by the Instrumental band, and a song from any individual who volunteered his or her services, and of these there was no lack alternatively made up all the routine of the amusement of the evening.  I delivered a short address to them, and sang two songs.  This meeting was to me another proof that for man to enjoy himself there was no necessity for intoxicating liquors.

September 22, l839

This being Sabbath I went in the forenoon to the Rev. Mr. Ramage's Chapel and heard a lecture on Eph. 2.ll, l2, l3 & l4 by a Mr. Murray - In the afternoon I attended divine service the Rev. Mr. Buchan's Chapel, and in the evening I went to hear Dr. Easton.

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

©2012, copyright Alana Farrell

Monday, July 9, 2012

Abstinence Tour of Robert Marshall (1819-1891) – Journal Entry of 20th September 1839

Proceeded to Arbroath by the Railway.  Was kindly received by Alexander Anderson's family to whom I had a letter.  Had an interview with Mr. & Mrs. Stuart Gellatly, as also with Mr. John Taylor Sect. to the Tee-total Society.  Proceeded by the Railway to Forfar.   The view was delightful.   The sun shone in autumnal grandeur, upon the busy reapers.   Nature smiled sweet around me, and I was not dead to her charms, my heart rose in gratitude to the great source of all the beauties.  A serene, severe reflection oftener than once passed through my mind.  Can man, thought I, favoured with such a scene of beauty, in which he must perceive not only grandeur, but also mercy, be so debased as to withdraw himself from the lovely scene and spend his precious time in debauchery.  And can these fields of Barley 'mong which the reaper plys his busy sickle be changed into a deadly poison by man to destroy his fellow.  Ah! Yes! Tis lamentably true.  Then reflections nerved me onward to the undertaking in which I was engaged.  On reaching Forfar, I called on two members of Committee who seemed quite willing that a meeting should be got up for me but would do nothing without the concurrence of the rest.  I accordingly went to a Mr. Scott, Pres. of the Society, who sent for the Treasurer, and made up matters.  The meeting was called through the town.  The business was rather a failure.  Owing partly to it being on the day on which inhabitants are most busy at their avocations, and partly to the short notice which they had of my coming.  There could not be more than 100 who assembled in the Mason Lodge where I lectured about an hour and a half.

The cause here is prosperous.  There are about 400 members.  They have printed their Rules.  They are much the same as the Dundee ones.  An excellent instrumental band belonging to the Society is started l7 in number.  A weekly convivial meeting is held on the Saturday evenings.  These meetings are not conducted on the principal, which is generally adopted, of giving sound information on the subject, but mainly in singing and amusement.   Consequently they are well attended.  To these meetings, the Society is most indebted for its present prosperous state for there is but little thirst for information on the subject.  I endeavoured to point out the evil as far as possible to the Committee, who promised to endeavour to remedy it, if possible.
I had supper in the Coffee room, and a good bed in a respectable house.  On the whole my visit to Forfar did in no wise realize my expectations.  However some good may have been done.
Typed by Betty Kay 11th May 1996, from Dan Marshall`s notes of the original journal.

©2012, copyright Alana Farrell

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Abstinence Tour of Robert Marshall (1819-1891) – Journal Entry of 19th September 1839

Visited a Mr. Andrew Bell in Broughtyferry and had a sight of several very curious glasses, among which was a very powerful microscope.  This individual informed me that he had mixed a little water and vegetables together for a few days, and on taking a view of a single drop had found it to contain an innumerable quantity of living animals, he had dipped the point of a needle in whisky and put it to the drop of water, and all the animals died.

Proceeded by the Arbroath Railway to Carnoustie.  Was directed by the Sec. Alex Balfour Wright to the Pres., a Mr. Wright, a taylor.  At first he would not hear of a meeting being got up.  I told him if he would not assist me I should call a meeting myself.  By degrees he softened down.  He could do nothing "he said" without the committee.  I thereupon got a quorum of their Committee called, and as they approved of me, the Bellman was sent about to call a meeting, which took place in a large School-room.   About l00 were present.  I lectured about 2 1/4 hours.  When through 5 individuals came forward and signed the pledge.  The Society here amounts to 80.

Mr. Wright was very kind to me he seems to have the matter at heart.

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

©2012, copyright Alana Farrell