The impact of the American civil war on the local communities of Southern Scotland

The impact of the American civil war on the local communities of Southern Scotland

Lorraine Peters

The Scottish experience of the American Civil War has been overshadowed by an emphasis on the English reaction toward the conflict and overlooked in the recent trend to view the international reactions to the war from a local perspective. (1) Despite the lack of a Scottish emphasis, local studies have greatly enhanced the understanding of the British response to the Civil War, both in terms of explaining its complex economic impact and the nature of British sympathies. The more general accounts of the first half of the twentieth century were oversimplified in portraying Britain as consisting solely of a Confederacy-supporting upper class and a pro-Northern working class. (2) The local approach has gone a long way toward correcting this perception and has shown that such a strict polarization of opinion did not exist among the British. In addition, it has corrected the weakness of the earlier accounts that concentrated too heavily upon London as the center of political discourse. The recent work on the experience of Lancashire and Yorkshire has redressed this balance, and has demonstrated that provincial political activity reached its height in the mid-nineteenth century. Yet the tendency still remains to mean England when studies refer to the British reaction to the war. Using a local approach for uncovering the international dimension to the American Civil War should not ignore the Scottish reaction because historians can miss a fascinating and telling strand of the British experience. There has only been one major examination of Scottish attitudes during the American Civil War, a study that illustrated Scotland’s economic and political diversity and demonstrated that the Scottish reaction was distinct from the rest of Great Britain. (3) In studying Scotland’s experience of the war, however, Robert Botsford concentrated on the two largest Scottish cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow. By his own admission, the study neglected the experiences of the Scottish smaller towns, which are necessary to examine in order to provide more information about the local economic response, and, in turn, an understanding of the derivation of local Scottish opinions.

A close examination of the Scottish lowland regions reveals that the individual economic experiences of the American Civil War were as diverse as the economic and social composition of the area. The implications of this for the understanding of international Civil War opinions should not be underestimated. Examining the agricultural and industrial trends of Scottish towns during the American Civil War can uncover the role that prosperity, or the lack of it, played in the formulation of attitudes toward the war. The economy, in fact, cannot provide the only explanation for support of Union or Confederacy. A number of factors figured in this process: in addition to the economy these included political attitudes toward electoral reform, abolitionism, and minority self-government. From this examination will emerge a mid-nineteenth-century Scotland fascinated with American developments not only because of material aspects alone, but also because of personal connections with the United States and its belief in democracy, freedom, and national self-determination.

The Scottish Highland region has traditionally received the predominant share of the historical attention paid to rural Scotland. In so doing, historians have overlooked the vibrant rural culture which existed in the Scottish Southern Upland areas of the Scottish Borders and Dumfriesshire. (4) This has caused historians to overlook that commentators in the South of Scotland were both influenced by, and reacted strongly to, the political issues raised during the American Civil War. This interest existed against a background of political agitation in these rural areas, resulting from dissatisfaction with aristocratic landlords and undemocratic local government. The contrasting economic experiences which resulted from the Civil War were a consequence of the industrial and agricultural diversification of the Scottish economy. The different rural experiences of local government, newspaper journalism, land ownership, local political leadership, and economic circumstances contributed to a complex diversity of rural interests, concerns, and social experience. The neglect of the Southern Scottish experience extends beyond the rural areas, however, with most historical treatments of the industrial centers of the West of Scotland concentrating upon Glasgow rather than surrounding areas such as Renfrewshire. For this reason, in addition to the woolen towns of the Scottish Borders and the agricultural county of Dumfriesshire, the American Civil War experience of the Renfrewshire cotton town of Paisley will be examined. This will reveal a politically vibrant Scottish town that was politically, socially, and ideologically separate from its larger neighbor. Together, these areas will provide a much more detailed understanding of the motives behind Scottish attitudes toward the conflict in America.

Botsford’s examination of Scottish opinions of the war echoed the trend in mid-twentieth-century revisionist work when he stated that although Scottish radicals and the working classes generally supported the North, and Scottish Tories and aristocrats favored the South, exceptions to this rule did exist. He noted, for example, that many liberals and labor leaders supported the South on the grounds of its right to self-determination and suspicion about Northern motives, while the Duke of Argyll was a notable aristocrat who supported the North out of sympathy for the concept of national union. The complexity of British reactions toward the Civil War has been reinforced by more recent works that have emphasized multiple factors as influencing attitudes. The local situation in Scotland mirrored the experiences of Lancashire and Yorkshire, both in terms of the nature and the origins of attitudes toward the war.

The impact of the American Civil War upon the Scottish economy was neither straightforward nor uniform. Recent work already has uncovered the major economic influences of the war, such as the devastating effect on the Scottish cotton industry and the positive influence on Clyde shipbuilding and the Dundee jute industry. (5) The diverse nature of the war’s influence extended much further than this, however, and brought about striking prosperity in the Borders woolen manufacturing industry and a downturn in the agricultural trade of Dumfriesshire. In addition, the effect on the cotton-thread industry of Paisley was markedly different from that of the wider West of Scotland cotton industry, with a short-term impact upon cotton-thread production, but not the long-term devastation that the wider industry suffered. (6) The study of the local level leads naturally to the question of whether a correlation existed between economic prosperity and Civil War attitudes. The main advocate of such a correlation is Mary Ellison, who argued that those areas of Lancashire suffering most from the Cotton Famine also exhibited most support for recognition of the Confederacy. Her findings have been challenged by a number of historians, but if her thesis is to be accepted, this would mean that cotton-starved Paisley and the hard-hit farmers of Dumfriesshire should have been strong proponents of recognition, while booming towns such as Hawick and Galashiels in the Scottish Borders would have been home to widespread Northern support and opposition to recognition. (7)

Before beginning this analysis of Civil War opinion in Paisley, Dumfriesshire, and the Scottish Borders, it is necessary to outline the economic impact that the war had on these three regions. This will serve two purposes. First, it will demonstrate the diversity of their economic interests and highlight the necessity of approaching this topic from a local perspective. Despite its size, Scotland was home to a vast array of economic interests, both agricultural and industrial, and any general account of this experience would inevitably ignore much of this diversity. Secondly, to tackle the question of whether Scottish attitudes were determined by economic circumstance or political beliefs requires an understanding of the specific impact the war had in these three different regions. Paisley suffered because of the war. The cotton famine of 1862-1863, the result of the Confederate cotton embargo and the Northern blockade of Southern ports, cut off the town’s supply of raw cotton that was used in the manufacture of cotton thread. Scottish commentators were aware that the Confederates withheld cotton supplies, although the extent to which they publicly proclaimed this news depended upon their sympathies in the conflict. For example, the Liberal and anti-Confederate Dumfries Standard was keen to report that the planters held back cotton to force British intervention, but it scoffed at “the failure of their far-fetched device to make us fight the North for them under the flag of ‘King Cotton.'” (8) The Liberal and pro-South Paisley Herald, on the other hand, dismissed the idea as “so absurd that we cannot understand how the matter could ever come to be entertained, far less to be treated of as a serious reality.” (9) The Herald clearly did not want beleaguered cotton operatives to blame the South for their hardship. The famine began to affect Paisley seriously during the autumn of 1862, when a number of cotton firms began to operate on short time, working either fewer hours per day, or days per week. Growing unemployment among the operatives became apparent. In November 1862, the Paisley Herald indicated about the growing distress in Paisley that “the thread mill workers are getting less and less employment, and … on the whole the amount of wages paid to that numerous class is at a lower point at present than at any former period since they began to be affected by the cotton scarcity.” (10) Statistics show that in 1862, 23 percent of Paisley cotton operatives were unemployed, while an additional 23 percent worked reduced hours. (11) Large thread firms such as J. and P. Coats survived the famine much more easily than smaller firms, a trend also seen in Lancashire. (12) This occurred because large firms had accumulated cotton stocks at the beginning of the war and could run large overdrafts. As a result, they were more able to adapt production and withstand outside pressures such as the cotton famine.

Nevertheless, a great deal of destitution resulted from the cotton famine in Paisley. Whether unemployed or working shorter hours, cotton operatives had to look to the public authorities for assistance and were frequently thwarted in their efforts to obtain money. As a consequence, the operatives lobbied the Poor Law authorities, the committees established to administer charitable aid, and the government for both financial assistance and emigration subsidies. Prominent among the operatives was Paisley radical Robert Cochran, who was also the secretary of the United Weavers. Together with other radicals such as Alexander Wilson, Cochran struggled to improve the material condition of the town’s unemployed during the cotton famine and was instrumental in organizing the unemployed into action through public meetings and petitions. He vociferously condemned the inequities of the Poor Law and campaigned for the provisions of the Public Works (Manufacturing Districts) Act of 1863 to be extended to cover the Scottish cotton districts. (13) Cochran was motivated by his radical beliefs, which also led him to advocate emigration as a solution to the unemployment affecting Paisley. Describing the advantages of emigration, he argued that “the working classes [will] never get fair play until there [is] an extension of the franchise.” (14) The important role that Cochran played in Paisley during the Civil War years will become more apparent when we examine his role in the pro-Northern movement in the town. His example illustrates the importance that vigorous working-class leaders played in the years before the enactment of a universal franchise.

The economy of Dumfriesshire suffered indirectly from the war. The county’s farmers depended upon the manufacturing areas of Lancashire for the sale of their produce, and as the cotton famine began to affect these areas, demand for Dumfriesshire produce fell. This illustrates the essential nature of a local study of Scotland’s experience of the American Civil War. Superficially, Dumfriesshire would appear to have been unaffected, but closer examination reveals the opposite. Dumfriesshire’s reliance upon Lancashire was well illustrated by J. J. Hope Johnstone, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Dumfriesshire, who suggested at a meeting concerning the distress in Lancashire that “we are dependent, to no small extent, upon the well-being of our country, especially the north-western parts of England. It is quite clear that their prosperity ministers largely to our welfare, and that they cannot be depressed without our feeling the consequences.” (15) The pork and bacon trade, a vital part of the local economy during the winter and early spring, felt the greatest impact in Dumfriesshire. Because Lancashire was a major consumer of Dumfriesshire bacon, the cotton famine led to a substantial fall in the price of pork during the 1862-63 season. (16) The unemployed Lancashire operatives continued to consume bacon, but they began to purchase the less expensive American product. Northern pork producers in the United States traditionally had supplied the Southern states, but with the outbreak of war they had to find another market for their pork. In the second half of 1862, the pork equivalent of 203,000 pigs was exported to Britain from America. (17) The damage that these American imports did to the Dumfriesshire pork trade was widely recognized. The Dumfries Standard reported that “large quantities are being shipped to Britain, and even in this town of Dumfries, American is sold at a cheaper rate than home-cured pork. While this extra supply gluts every market, there is not the demand that would have been in ordinary circumstances.” (18) Commentators were clearly aware that the slump was the result of demand-side and supply-side factors brought about by the war.

The Scottish Borders’ woolen industry, based mainly in Galashiels and Hawick, initially suffered from the conflict. Because local woolen manufacturers depended on the American market for selling their cloth, fears about the possible impact that a war would have on the American export trade meant that trade during 1861 was dull. By the spring of 1862, however, trade was beginning to improve. By the autumn of 1862, trade was buoyant and continued to prosper for the duration of the war. (19) There has been debate among historians about the source of this prosperity, but it is likely that Scottish tweed districts experienced growth as a direct result of the war, specifically through the substitution of woolen goods for cotton goods; by changing fashions heralded by the war, which led to greater demand for tweeds; and because the Borders was able to maintain its American market. (20)

Borders manufacturers took a greater interest in the British domestic market in the belief that falling exports were a likelihood, a phenomenon described as a “chief influence of the Civil War.” (21) The Border region’s involvement led to the creation of a new fashion of fancy woolens and tweeds, which were preferred by consumers over broadcloth. Such a change in fashion benefited the Borders woolen industry, which specialized in quality woolens and tweeds. Manufacturers continued to export goods to the Northern states throughout the Civil War, however, which was contrary to their initial expectations. In addition, they took part in blockade-running activities in the spring of 1863, which suggests that they were attempting to expand their market in the Southern states. (22) The American tariffs of 1861, 1862, and 1864, which raised the average rate of duty from 20 percent to 47 percent, hit the British woolen trade hard, but manufacturers of high-quality goods, such as Scottish tweeds, could still maintain their American trade due to such goods having a high price inelasticity. (23) Local commentators attributed the prosperity of the Borders towns to the war and asserted that an increased export trade in woolens to the American market would benefit the trade. At the manufacturers’ dinner in October 1862, merchant J. S. Ness stated that “it was rather a wonderful thing, in the face of the present state of things, that America took a very large quantity of goods from Galashiels, while in France, where the greatest results had been expected, there was no demand for Scotch tweeds at all.” (24) In 1864, continuing prosperity was again attributed to the Cotton Famine: “Galashiels has had an unprecedented run of good trade for some time back. The short supply of cotton has given an impetus to the lighter branches of the woollen [sic] trade, wool having been substituted for cotton in many articles of wearing apparel.” (25) It is clear that the Civil War was instrumental in the creation of the Borders prosperity. Exports to America were maintained, and in some cases, strengthened, while the shortage of cotton helped to stimulate demand for wool as a substitute. Initial unfounded fears about a contraction of the American market led to improved home trade, which meant that the impact of the Civil War was widespread.

The reaction of people in Southern Scotland to the war in America was extremely complex and refutes the idea that there was a strict polarization of opinions along the lines of social class or party political affiliation. Commentators examined war-related issues and, according to their attitudes toward such issues, formed their own opinions. This came out of a selfless devotion to principle and an awareness that the Civil War could prove instrumental in advancing political reform at home. These social and political considerations were of much greater importance to local Scottish observers than were the material conditions brought about by the war, especially with no evidence to suggest that economic circumstances were at the root of Civil War sympathies. While Paisley and the Borders experienced contrasting economic conditions as a result of the war, for example, their reactions toward the war were remarkably similar. In poverty-stricken Paisley, no support for Southern recognition was ever voiced by the unemployed operatives as a means of alleviating their distress. Instead, local working-class leaders were vociferous in their support for the North. Any discontent expressed by the unemployed was instead aimed at the relief authorities, who were neglecting Paisley in favor of Lancashire and Glasgow. (26) In Hawick and Galashiels, it was generally acknowledged that local prosperity was the result of the war, but there is no evidence to suggest that a prolonged war was hoped for as a means of extending this prosperity. Clearly, Civil War attitudes in Paisley and the Borders were not rooted in material circumstances. In Dumfriesshire, impoverished farmers similarly showed no inclination to support Southern recognition, despite their reliance on cotton-starved Lancashire.

Domestic electoral reform debate was the most important determinant of Scottish Civil War opinion and lay at the root of both Northern and Southern support. This was especially the case in Paisley and the Borders, and among pro-Confederate Conservatives in Dumfriesshire. There were three main strands of British opinion on the question of political reform: the Conservatives, who opposed reform; the Palmerstonian wing of the Liberal party, which was extremely skeptical about reform; and the radical wing of the Liberal party, which advocated far-reaching reform, including an extended franchise and vote by ballot. During the war, Conservatives overwhelmingly supported the South because they opposed American democracy, which they associated with the Northern states, and also had fears about democratic reform in Britain. The Conservative Dumfries Herald, a critic of the American political system throughout the nineteenth century, declared that: “This war puts an end to Yankeeism. The Constitution of the Union will be greatly modified by the severe process it is going through, and we may expect the higher intelligence of the country to have a larger share in its legislature and Executive. Dignity and courtesy will then be the more prevailing spirit and tone of the land, and thereby Yankeeism dies.” (27)

The stance of moderate Liberals provided insight into the difficulties facing British Liberals as they viewed the war. Believing the American political system to be too extreme, they saw the Civil War as proof-positive that a republican form of government was unworkable and consequently supported the South. The Paisley Herald, which supported the South for the duration of the war, took this position and moved further from the cause of domestic reform as the war progressed. During 1864, it argued that “the wretched state of matters in America has done more to disgust the world with popular political institutions than anything which has occurred since the establishment of the United States republic … as true liberalism is opposed to despotism in every form, everything which is put forth on behalf of an extension of popular right is regarded with suspicion and dislike as bringing us nearer to the condition of the United States, where tyranny and irresponsible power exist in the most objectionable and obnoxious form.” (28) The Herald had always been doubtful about the merits of American democracy, but the war confirmed its doubts and led it to unreservedly support the South. The Dumfries Courier and the Galashiels-based Border Advertiser were Liberal papers also driven by doubts about American democracy in their opposition to the North. In 1858, the Dumfries Courier had declared that “the people of this country will entertain a wholesome dislike to any project for Americanizing their institutions,” (29) and in 1862 it described how “the black deeds in constitutional England and despotic Austria are venial compared with those which have been asserted without contradiction to be common in democratic America.” (30) As a consequence, the Courier was unwilling to support the North, even though it opposed the Southern cause. The Border Advertiser took a similar stance, stating in 1863 that “Britain does not wish the success of the South, but the discomfiture of the North.” (31) This stance also seemed to originate from doubts about democratic reform. In January 1865, the Advertiser asserted that the concept of majority-rule played no part in the war in an attempt to disassociate the soon-to-be victorious North from the cause of democratic reform. (32)

Two businessmen, Wellwood Maxwell of Dumfries and his nephew and partner Maxwell Hyslop of Liverpool, also voiced doubts about permitting the uneducated and poor to influence government in an exchange of letters in 1861. In a letter, Wellwood Maxwell referred to his fears about South Carolina’s threat to secede, and while not believing a break-up of the Union to be possible, he declared that: “there is no saying, as the thinking men and men of property may be pounded in by the great sways of the People who have little or nothing to lose & let their passion get the better of any judgement they have regardless of the consequences.” (33) This is a striking illustration of contemporary suspicions about working-class participation in democracy. The stance of these moderate Liberals indicates the important role the reform debate played during the war. These Liberals represented a common strand of British opinion which, while in favor of a small measure of reform, was nevertheless vehemently opposed to reform along American lines. Reform was one of many factors that influenced moderate Liberals, illustrating how Civil War attitudes were at times more about conditions at home than about the relative merits of the two belligerents in America.

The Paisley Parliamentary Reform Association (PPRA) held the most potent manifestation of political radicalism in the towns of Southern Scotland during the war. There was also pro-Northern activity in the Scottish Borders, but the fact that the PPRA was first and foremost a political reform group illustrates the importance of political attitudes as a factor in determining Civil War attitudes. A group of Paisley weavers established the PPRA; the weavers were well known for their cultural and intellectual pre-eminence in Paisley during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. (34) They included well-known political activists, such as Robert Cochran, Alexander McAndrew, William Colquhoun, and Colin Black, all of whom had a background in early- and mid-century radical politics. (35) The Association was committed to far-reaching parliamentary reform, and its members had long looked to America for inspiration. Most of the PPRA’s activities during the Civil War took place in 1862, although its individual members were involved in other pro-Northern activities throughout the war. The basis of the group’s pro-Northern position was its support for democratic reform, a cause that would be strengthened if the North won. That many of the PPRA’s members were either stricken by the cotton famine or represented those who were illustrates that their support for political reform was of more importance than material circumstances in determining their Civil War attitudes. In July 1862, the PPRA sent an address to Washington in which it declared, “Unlike the countries of the Old World, where the industrious classes are in political slavery, you enjoy the blessing of living under a constitution founded on the equal rights of man-a constitution which has had a long and successful trial, has demonstrated the capability of the people for self-government, and has contributed more than any other system of government hitherto established to forward the cause of freedom and civilization.” (36) The New York Times asserted that the address “gives proof that we have friends in Great Britain,” (37) and William Seward declared that “if all Europe could not only think but speak as you do, there would soon be no civil war or insurrection here.” (38) The London Times’ reaction to the address, and the publicity it generated, also demonstrated its importance. The paper scathingly and dismissively retorted that “we are content not to know who the Paisley Parliamentary Reform Society are.” (39) Such a demonstration of Northern support by a group of political reformers was clearly an annoyance to the Times, and it illustrated that London observers were very much concerned about working-class reformers who were only too eager to use the war in America to further their own political agenda.

A great many other individuals based their support for the North on their support for democratic reform. At a pro-North meeting at Paisley Trades’ Hall in April 1863, for example, Councillor Moir declared that “my sympathies have all along been thoroughly with the North. I have been contending for the right of a majority to rule ever since I could open my mouth in public.” (40) In addition, at a pro-North meeting addressed by British radical George Thompson in May 1863, the Paisley Herald stated that “there was a numerous attendance, principally of the working-classes.” (41) In the same month, a correspondent referred to as “A Sympathiser with the North,” wrote to the Border Advertiser to denounce the antidemocratic motives of many pro-Confederate supporters. “There may be those in the country who would glory in the destruction of the Republic,” the writer noted, adding, “But they are not to be found among the enlightened and liberal of our upper classes, nor among the great body of intelligent working men. They are among those who have deprived the working-man of his undoubted political rights.” (42) This points to a clear tendency for attitudes toward political reform at home determining Civil War sympathies, and it again illustrates the way that some observers used the war to advance their own causes. Reformers were well aware that the long-term success of the “democratic experiment” in the United States was crucial to the prospects for reform in Britain. If the American republic proved unsustainable, this could have had disastrous consequences for the likelihood of domestic reform. Groups such as the PPRA were determined to maximize Northern support.

There were, of course, exceptions to the positions that have been outlined. The most interesting of these were the stances taken by two Paisley newspapers, the radical Glasgow Saturday Post and the Liberal Renfrewshire Independent. The former adopted the unusual position of being a radical supporter of the Confederacy for the duration of the war. The paper based its support upon its sympathy for Southern self-determination. While this stance was unusual, it was not unheard of, especially in the wider British context. (43) Royden Harrison suggests, for example, that in the early stages of the war, when the North had not embraced abolition, many British workers regarded the achievement of Southern independence as the primary issue in the conflict. (44) The Renfrewshire Independent, however, provides a good example of a newspaper that adapted its opinions according to day-to-day events, illustrating its desire to be on the “winning side.” As a result, its opinions were inconsistent and at times extremely duplicitous. (45) These exceptions to the general rule do not undermine the assertion that Civil War opinions were driven by political attitudes. Instead, they point to the diversity of opinions of the war and further illustrate the lack of influence of economic factors.

The importance of the slavery issue to the formulation of Scottish local opinion on the American Civil War went beyond a simple manifestation of abolitionist activity. The issue served to prevent a strong polarization of Civil War attitudes on both sides. It is interesting to note that there was very little abolitionist activity in Scotland during the 1860s. This is not to say that Scots were no longer vehemently opposed to slavery, but merely that the issue no longer excited them as it had in the 1830s and 1840s. (46) The role that slavery played in the local debates was much more subtle. Conservatives and moderate Liberals who supported the South were anxious that they would not be seen as upholding Southern slavery. Instead, they argued that slavery stood a greater chance of abolition under an independent Confederacy and that the North was fighting for territorial gain, not abolition. Radicals found slavery to be a major hindrance in their support for the North. While they used the issue to condemn Liberal support for the South, they also found the North’s initial reluctance to support abolition harmful to their argument that the North stood for freedom and equality, rather than mere territorial aggrandizement.

The divisive nature of the slavery issue was most obviously visible at public meetings held to express support for the North. These meetings were usually organized by vociferous pro-Northern sympathizers who were motivated by their support for democratic reform. There was, however, sporadic criticism of the North at these meetings, in which slavery often figured as a major cause of dissent. At the first meeting of the PPRA, for example, on July 15, 1862, J. S. Mitchell argued that slavery was more likely to be eradicated if separation did take place, especially since the North did not support abolition. (47) The Emancipation Proclamation of January 1863 also led to a flurry of pro-Northern activity in the Scottish Borders. Dissent also arose here as a result of suspicion about Northern motives toward slavery, with Alexander McDonald and Thomas Fairgrieve of Galashiels supporting the view that separation would help the slave and that the Emancipation Proclamation was “one gigantic sham.” (48) Both sides used the issue of slavery in support of their views, echoing the way that both supporters and opponents of domestic political reform used the issue in the antebellum period. Opponents of reform argued that American slavery proved the undesirability of American democracy, an argument that damaged the reformists’ cause but one that radicals attempted to counter by arguing that slavery originated from the Southern aristocracy rather than Northern democracy.

Newspapers suspicious of the North played down the issue of slavery, because they were aware that this was the main stumbling block to outright Southern support. Evidence of emphatic opposition to slavery among the public could be gauged from the letters that were sent to the editor of the Dumfries Standard, the only paper in this study to have based its Civil War sympathies on the slavery issue. These correspondents stressed the importance of the war for the future of American slavery, in opposition to those who denied that the war was even about slavery. One correspondent, calling himself “Emancipator,” argued that “a majority of the British people regard the present struggle as an ‘irrepressible’ conflict between freedom and slavery.” The letter continued with the hope that “Federal America will be able to extinguish this unrighteous rebellion, and extirpate the foul thing that so long has sullied her institutions and polluted her soul.” (49) Two months later, a correspondent calling himself “Uncle Tom” reiterated the view that the future of slavery was at stake and called on Scots to regard the fight for abolition as akin to their own historical fight for freedom: “the North is fighting in the cause of Liberty against Oppression … how can we consistently withhold our sympathy? … Can we, as true and leal-hearted Scotchmen, refuse the right hand of genuine and sympathetic fellowship to a people struggling not only for the perpetuation of civil liberty amongst themselves, but for the freedom of an oppressed race whose chains have so long been a disgrace to progress and civilisation?” (50) A letter written by a former Dumfries native residing in Wisconsin to her relative in Dumfries evokes a similar sentiment. She criticized his earlier letter to her in which he had espoused the cause of the South and declared: “I am truly sorry that one, a Scotchman, born in liberty-loving Scotland, should shew such sympathy with those who, by rebelling against their own government, are seeking to establish a confederacy having for its ‘cornerstone human slavery.'” (51)

In October 1864 another correspondent, “J. G.,” set out in strong terms his opposition to the stance taken toward the war by the London Times and the cotton manufacturers: “I refuse to be dragged through the dirt of sympathy with the South at the tail of the Times, the stipendiary organ of the slave-holders of America and the cotton lords of England; and hope the day is not far distant when a deep sense of shame shall be felt in this country for even the partial and temporary sympathy manifested for the pro-slavery States of America.” (52) This letter received an equally robust reply from a correspondent entitled “A,” who scornfully asked: “Does [J. G.] suppose that the sense and moral feeling and judgement of this country is at the mercy of the Times newspaper … Public opinion in this country works independently, and the press only echoes its sentences; and it was never more decidedly given on any great question than in declaring that the exterminating war in America is an unrighteous one on the part of the Northern States. There are other modes of freeing slaves than by slaughter and rapine.” (53) This correspondence illustrates that those sympathetic enough to the plight of the slave to write to a newspaper were also subscribing to a newspaper that shared their proclivities. This suggests that on the slavery issue at least, and presumably on others, newspapers did attempt to reflect the views of their readership.

The vast number of public meetings and lectures held on slavery highlighted the importance of the subject. Former slaves such as R. M. Johnson, William and Ellen Craft, and the Reverend J. Hughes and abolitionist speakers such as the Reverend Dr. Cheever of New York and George Thompson often delivered lectures. They attracted good attendance, with a lecture in 1861 in Dumfries by William Craft drawing the attention of the Dumfries Standard. “Before the hour at which the lecture was announced to commence,” the item noted, “the church was crowded to excess, and many had to leave, unable to obtain seats.” (54) Similarly, a Hawick meeting addressed by Thompson attracted an estimated 700 people. (55) The popularity of these lectures, with the antislavery sentiments expressed in the correspondence to the Dumfries Standard, bears witness to the strength of public feeling in Scotland toward slavery and indicates that a great deal of support for abolition did exist as a motive for Civil War attitudes, despite the apparent lack of abolitionist societies in some of the smaller Scottish towns in the 1860s. That a great many people viewed slavery as the most important issue in the conflict reinforces that material self-interest was not the primary motive behind Scottish Civil War attitudes.

Most Southern sympathizers pointed to their support for Southern independence as the basis for their stance, and while this may have been true in the case of the Glasgow Saturday Post, for others, such as the Paisley Herald, the Border Advertiser, and the Dumfries Herald, this outward support for Southern independence was mainly a cover for anti-democratic sentiments. From the very early stages of the American conflict, the Saturday Post indicated that it supported Southern independence and called on the North “to accept the situation provided for them, and quietly make up their minds to allow the rebellious tribes of the family to make an experiment of self-government and independence.” (56) In 1862, it explained the basis of its sympathy as “we sympathise with the Confederates of the South because they exhibit the spectacle of a great and united people bent upon the acquisition of the dearest rights of man- the right of self-government and independence.” (57) The Saturday Post’s pages during the antebellum period indicate the origins of this stance. The paper vigorously supported American democracy and was Paisley’s loudest opponent of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. (58) Its comments about growing centralization in Scotland proves that its stance originated in support for localism. Following the introduction of the Prisons Bill in 1851, which would take power away from local areas and give it to the General Board in Edinburgh, the Saturday Post declared that “local interests and rights will be disregarded, and local knowledge and facility will remain unimproved for the purposes of economy and efficiency.” (59) This illustrated the Saturday Post’s sympathy for the concept of localism and lays a foundation for its Southern allegiance during the war. Radical support for Southern independence also existed within the PPRA, with J. S. Mitchell arguing that the war was “caused by the North inflicting on the South oppressive taxation. The South [has] long been desirous to be free of the North.” (60) Colin Black, a former Chartist, also argued that “the South [has] a right, by the constitutions of their respective states, to secede. The war … was caused by the oppression of the North.” (61)

Other pro-South newspapers, such as the Paisley Herald, the Border Advertiser, and the Dumfries Herald, also voiced support for Southern independence. (62) These papers were suspicious of American democracy, and it is likely that these suspicions provided a basis for their position. During the antebellum period these papers had not exhibited any great sympathy for the concepts of localism or states’ rights, but had regularly expressed their doubts about American democracy and democratic reform at home. For example, in 1839, the Dumfries Herald criticized the Federal government for not having enough jurisdiction over the states, describing it as being “quite powerless in putting down the violences of its own frontier subjects.” (63) On the subject of democracy the Herald was clear: “The putrid corruption of the United States … is still less a recommendation of the 6 [pounds sterling] burgh franchise. The very core of the “Model Republic” is challenged as rotten.” (64) The Liberal Paisley Herald expressed its lack of support for the Southern states in 1856, when it warned of the dangers of a Buchanan victory in leading to “a reckless course of subordinating all the other interests of the Union to the great slaveholding interest.” (65) The Paisley Herald was, meanwhile, cautious about American democracy and commented that “there is no country where such violent attempts are constantly being made of Lynch Law, mobbing, tarring and feathering, bowie knives and revolvers, to prevent the expression of opinion, and to bear down opposition by physical means.” (66) The transformation of these papers, with such antislavery and procentral government stances in the antebellum period, into Southern sympathizers must be due to their doubts about domestic democratic reform. Anti-reformers were well aware of the dangers that a Northern victory would herald, making reform along American lines much more likely.

So why did political attitudes on matters such as democratic reform, slavery, and nationalism outweigh economic circumstances as the primary motivation behind Scottish Civil War opinions? Why, for example, did distressed Paisley operatives and their leaders not blame either the Northern or the Southern states for their economic plight? They were not unaffected by their economic situation, but while acknowledging that the war was the cause of their distress, they chose to vent their anger instead toward the British authorities who were ignoring their plight. The root of this ambivalence toward the American protagonists may lie in the political stance of the Paisley working-class leadership. Given its support for the Northern states, it would clearly be loathe to dwell too heavily upon the Northern blockade as the cause of Paisley’s problems, for fear of it alienating local Northern support. In his study of the Lancashire Cotton Famine, Philip Augar also cited local industrial relations as an important factor in the determination of war opinion. By comparing the size of the workforce in Lancashire cotton mills in 1863, Augar found that those towns with average mill size of more than 200 people were more likely to witness confrontations between workers and their employers, “in terms of strikes, responses to poor relief, attitudes to the Standard List or to the American Civil War.” (67) He also found that those towns that exhibited most confrontation also exhibited more pro-Northern sentiments. (68) Paisley is very interesting in this regard. Mill size in the town was very large on the whole, each employing more than 300 persons on average. By Augar’s definition, therefore, Paisley was home to a large mill workforce. There appears to have been little confrontation between workers and employers in Paisley, however, which may be due to the predominance of female employees in the Paisley thread mills, resulting in minimal trade union activity. (69) This coincided with a distinct lack of confrontation during the cotton famine in Paisley, with no criticism directed by operatives toward their employers.

Why then, when radical groups such as the PPRA were voicing their support for the North so vigorously, did the unemployed operatives not take the opportunity to blame the South for their distress? The answer to this question could lie again in the nature of the industrial relations of Paisley, in a different sense to that suggested by Augar. Good industrial relations in the thread mills resulted from a largely feminized workforce and the paternalistic style of the large local employers. In addition, the class consensus that existed in early-nineteenth century Paisley was accompanied by “more ‘covert’ forms of political action, committed to revolutionary and republican ideologies.” (70) Catriona Macdonald identified that these conflicting ideologies became stronger in the later-nineteenth century, making a political consensus that much harder to achieve. She claimed that the move toward large-scale thread manufacture and the dominance of females in the textile industry exacerbated this conflict. As a result, there occurred, “a segmentation of the local labour [sic] market into primary (skilled, male) and secondary (unskilled, female) sectors across which the old values of the ‘weaver interest’ proved ineffectual in achieving any unifying ‘class’ or cultural influence.” (71) The revolutionary and republican elements within Paisley society stood in the PPRA, which campaigned for major political reform in Britain and advanced the cause of the North. The other, less confrontational, side of Paisley–its mill workers–were less likely to take this stand and lacked the antagonism Augar identified as consistent with Northern support.

Equally, there is no evidence to suggest that economic motivation lay at the root of pro-Northern activity in the Borders or that commentators there supported a cynical prolongation of the Civil War in order to bring further benefit to the local woolen industry. D. G. Wright also found this to be the case in the English woolen towns of Bradford and Leeds, describing how: “the influence of economic motives was much less apparent in the woollen [sic] districts of Yorkshire than in Lancashire…. It is true that worsteds, in particular, became a partial substitute for cotton, but there is no sign that the extra sales created any overt desire for a prolonged war.” (72) Ultimately, if contemporary commentators were hoping for a cynical prolongation of the Civil War in order to benefit the woolen trade, they could just as easily have supported the South in the belief that this would prolong the war. This would have been especially the case in 1864 and 1865, when the North’s military campaign was moving forward. Instead, support for the North strengthened in Hawick and Galashiels as the war progressed, and this suggests that other factors were instrumental in this support. Borders commentators based their support for the North on their political attitudes toward slavery and democracy, rather than economic expediency. This supports Augar’s thesis on platforms of support in Lancashire during the Civil War, rather than Ellison’s, whose work stated that attitudes were primarily dictated by economic circumstance. In the Scottish Borders, as Augar and Wright described with respect to Lancashire and Yorkshire, and as were seen in Paisley and Dumfriesshire, other non-economic factors were much more important in the formulation of Civil War attitudes. (73)

This is not to say, of course, that Civil War attitudes were determined by purely selfless motives, but that simple economic gain was not at the forefront of commentators’ minds. There was clearly a tendency for observers to use the American Civil War to advance their own political causes, and this tactic should not be ignored. The example of the PPRA illustrated how the war was used to stimulate debate on political reform, but there were also instances when the war was drawn upon by those unhappy with trade conditions at home. In June 1861, the Paisley manufacturer, Robert Kerr, wrote to Richard Cobden declaring his opposition to the 1860 French Treaty, which opened up trade between France and Great Britain. Drawing upon the American example, he denied that trade treaties inevitably led to friendly discourse between nations: “We have only to look to the present disruption in the United States to see that Commercial Treaties and Tariffs may be not a bond of peace, but a Casus belli, and this not betwixt two separate or foreign nations, but amongst men speaking the same language, of the same origin, and living under the same law and government.” (74) A. F. Stoddard recognized the value of exploiting Scottish self-interest in advocacy of the North in a lecture delivered in Paisley on January 28, 1863, which was subsequently circulated widely in the form of a pamphlet. (75) He linked the issues involved in the Civil War with those of concern to Scots, emphasizing the central role which slavery and democracy played in the conflict.

While political and social factors were the primary determinants of Civil War opinions, it must be briefly acknowledged that opinions were sometimes reached as a result of personal prejudices originating in the individual circumstances of people’s lives and in their occasional antipathy toward both sides in the war. There was a deep feeling in Scotland that the war was a conflict that had a very personal perspective to it, and regular allusions were made to “our Transatlantic brethren,” “our cousins in the west,” and “our American brothers.” (76) Overwhelmingly, this led to a desire that the conflict would be short-lived and with minimum bloodshed. Indeed, at various points during the war, genuine concern at the immense slaughter was expressed, leading to renewed calls for an end to the fighting. The Dumfries Standard, by no means a friend of the South, demonstrated a good deal of war weariness in the later stages of the conflict, arguing that both sides were to blame for the conflict and that the killing should stop. It asked: “Is it proper for the North to continue to cause millions of human beings to be hurried into eternity, rather than allow the Union to consist of thirty-three States instead of forty-three?” (77) Some commentators were ambivalent about the conflict because they viewed all Americans with suspicion, a feeling that sometimes led to a sense of satisfaction that America was experiencing such a terrible conflict. Throughout the antebellum period, anti-American feeling was regularly expressed by Scottish commentators who disliked what they saw as the boastful and aggressive American character. The war was, many suggested, a just punishment for this attitude. Even the Liberal Member of Parliament for Paisley, Humphrey Crum Ewing, hoped that the conflict would mean that “the domineering spirit that has become a characteristic of the Americans, and which seems to make them think themselves greater than any other people, and entitled to lay down their own dictum, whether right or wrong, as law to all other nations, might be lowered somewhat.” (78) In Hawick, a conversation took place among a group of townspeople discussing the war in the aftermath of Bull Run. Criticizing the war and “the boasting character of the Americans,” a shoemaker exclaimed: “the Americans have lang braggit that they could lick the whole warld: Dear me! They canna’ lick ane anither!” (79) Scottish observers regarded the war not only as a devastating calamity, but also as a source for wry amusement.

The wide-ranging economic effects of the cotton famine and the avid interest that Scottish commentators exhibited in the war illustrate the importance of examining Scotland’s reaction to the conflict, rather than subsuming this reaction in studies of the wider British experience. The economic turbulence that enveloped Scotland shows that the economic effects of the Civil War went far beyond the well-documented deprivation in the Lancashire cotton trade, extending to other industries as well. In addition, such an economic investigation is necessary in order to establish the conditions affecting commentators and to determine whether opinions originated from political views or from economic circumstance. Scottish local attitudes toward the war were clearly politically motivated. In the three localities under discussion, the sympathies exhibited toward North and South in the conflict originated overwhelmingly from attitudes toward minority self-government, slavery, and domestic democratic reform. Economics did not influence Civil War attitudes in the vast majority of cases. This analysis also illustrates the importance assigned to the study of locality. This has been important both for international Civil War studies and for the study of local history for its own sake. In the first sense, this approach adds a new local dimension to the study of Scotland and the American Civil War, which marks a shift away from an overly general consideration of the topic. Distinctive local cultures proved decisive in the formulation of war opinions, and this local approach shows the importance of local economics in demonstrating the different effects the war had on Scotland. Given that some areas benefited from the war while others suffered, it is clear that it did not have a uniform effect.

The diverse opinions of the Civil War among Scottish towns arose out of their different economic, social, and political identities. Generalized accounts elide this diversity and can therefore only provide a very superficial analysis of local reaction. A certain amount of intellectual snobbery exists about the value of local history as an academic subject, but it must be remembered that, during the nineteenth century, it was in the local environment that the attitudes of real people were to be found. Nineteenth-century people did not live primarily in Scotland, Britain, or Europe; they lived in Dumfries, Paisley, and Hawick. These places formed their frame of reference and their sense of identity. It is vital to study the towns where people lived to find an important layer of Scottish or British opinions. In a world that did not know national newspapers, let alone modern communications, radio or television, the local environment was crucial to the construction of identity.

It is easy to rely too heavily on the attitudes of political groups and newspaper editorials and to forget that the war managed to arouse feelings among local people in a manner that was of a much more personal nature. The extent to which local people in Scotland’s small towns were emotionally touched by the war was apparent following news of President Lincoln’s assassination. The Border Advertiser described the shock felt by Galashiels people on receipt of the news: “when the brief telegram announcing this occurrence reached this place on Wednesday forenoon, few believed it, and much incredulity still existed after the arrival of the late edition of the Edinburgh papers in the afternoon.” (80) In common with a great many other British towns, the Dumfries Town Council recorded “an expression of the deep regret and sorrow with which they and the inhabitants of the Burgh have learned of the death by assassination of the President of the United States of America … the Council regard with feelings of horror and indignation the cruel and atrocious deed.” (81)

Scottish support for European nationalist struggles in the 1850s and 1860s, and concurrent support for the Northern states during the war, reinforces the contention that political interest was the main determinant of Scottish war opinions. While there were undoubtedly individual instances where economic circumstance was an important factor in the formulation of war attitudes, in the vast majority of cases squalid materialism was not a decisive factor. Instead, commentators reached their conclusions about the war according to their principled, and at times prejudiced, stances on issues such as democracy, slavery, and the meaning of “nationhood.” Consequently, areas as diverse as Dumfriesshire, Paisley, and the Scottish Borders towns of Hawick and Galashiels exhibited remarkably similar tendencies with regard to their attitudes, despite their very different war experiences.

The author is grateful to Ewen A. Cameron of Edinburgh University and others who made helpful suggestions during the preparation of this article.

(1). Mary Ellison, Support for Secession: Lancashire and the American Civil War (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1972); Philip J. Augar, “The Cotton Famine: A Study of the Principal Cotton Towns during the American Civil War” (Ph.D. Diss., Univ. of Cambridge, 1979); D. G. Wright, “Bradford and the American Civil War,” Journal of British Studies 8 (1969): 69-85; D. G. Wright, “Leeds Politics and the American Civil War,” Northern History 9 (1974): 96-122.

(2). Ephraim D. Adams, Great Britain and the American Civil War, 2 vols. (London: Longman, Green & Co., 1925); Donaldson Jordan and Edwin Pratt, Europe and the American Civil War (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1931).

(3). Robert Botsford, “Scotland and the American Civil War,” 2 vols. (Ph.D. diss., University of Edinburgh, 1955).

(4). For further discussion of this tendency, see R. H. Campbell, “Too Much on the Highlands? A Plea for Change,” Scottish Economic and Social History 14 (1994): 58-76.

(5.) Botsford, “Civil War” 1:133-26, 391-452; David C. Carrie, Dundee and the American Civil War, 1861-65 (Dundee: Abertay Historical Society, 1953); Barbara Graham, “Scottish Shipbuilding and the American Civil War,” (M.Phil. thesis, University of Strathclyde, 1992).

(6.) William O. Henderson, The Lancashire Cotton Famine, 1861-65, 2d. ed. (Manchester: Manchester Univ. Press, 1969), 119-31.

(7.) Augar, “Cotton Famine”; R. J. M. Blackett, Divided Hearts: Britain and the American Civil War (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 2000).

(8.) Dumfries Standard, Nov. 6, 1861.

(9.) Paisley Herald, Nov. 2, 1861.

(10.) Ibid., Nov. 29 1862.

(11.) Glasgow Saturday Post, Dec. 13, 1862.

(12.) Augar, “Cotton Famine,” 73-74.

(13.) Glasgow Saturday Post, May 9, July 4, 1863.

(14.) Ibid., July 4, 1863.

(15.) Speech of J. J. Hope Johnstone, M. P., at the Dumfries Court House, Dec. 3, 1862, reported in the Dumfries Courier, Dec. 9, 1862.

(16.) Dumfries Standard, Apr. 8, 1863, Apr. 6, 1864; William McDowall, History of the Burgh of Dumfries, with notices of Nithsdale, Annandale and the Western Border, 4th ed. (Dumfries: T. C. Farries, 1986), 784.

(17.) Figures from the Liverpool Customs’ Bill of Entry, reproduced in the Dumfries Standard, Jan 7, 1863.

(18.) Dumfries Standard, Dec. 3, 1862.

(19.) See Lorraine Peters, “Scotland and the American Civil War: A Local Perspective” (Ph.D. diss., University of Edinburgh, 1999), 284-89.

(20.) Oliver Greeves, “The Effects of the American Civil War on the Linen, Woollen and Worsted Industries of the UK” (Ph.D. diss., University of Bristol, 1969), 186-87; Botsford, “Civil War” 1:449; David T. Jenkins and Kenneth G. Ponting, The British Wool Textile Industry, 1770-1914 (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1987), 156-62, agree with this analysis, with the latter also emphasizing the ability of high-quality woolen producers (such as those in the Borders) to maintain their American exports as a result of their goods having a high price inelasticity; Clifford Gulvin, The Tweedmakers: A History of the Scottish Fancy Woollen Industry, 1600-1914 (Newton Abbot: David and Charles, 1973), 95, attributes the prosperity of the Borders in the 1860s to rising home incomes and the French Treaty, although this was definitely not the case in the towns of Hawick and Galashiels. (See Peters, “Civil War,” 284-97.)

(21.) Greeves, “Civil War,” 186.

(22.) Border Advertiser, Mar. 6, 1863.

(23.) Jenkins and Ponting, British Wool, 156.

(24.) Border Advertiser, Oct. 17, 1862; for a useful comparison of the importance of America as an export market for British woolens and the relative unimportance of France, see the Annual Statements of Trade and Navigation of the United Kingdom (London: General Exports, 1860-64); Parliamentary reports vols. 726A, 768, 769, 785, 805.

(25.) Hawick Advertiser, Oct. 8, 1864.

(26.) Peters, “Civil War,” 209-23.

(27.) Dumfries Herald, Sept. 27, 1861.

(28.) Paisley Herald, Apr. 16, 1864.

(29). Dumfries Courier, Nov. 2, 1858.

(30.) Ibid., Feb. 4, 1862.

(31.) Border Advertiser, Jan. 16, 1863.

(32.) Ibid., Jan. 20, 1865.

(33.) Letter from Wellwood Maxwell to Maxwell Hyslop, Jan. 11, 1861, Wellwood Maxwell Letters, Dumfries Archives, ref: GGD 92/6.

(34.) Archibald Leitch, “Radicalism in Paisley, 1830-48: Its Economic, Political and Cultural Background” (M.Litt. thesis, University of Glasgow, 1993); Tony Clarke and Tony Dickson, “Class and Class Consciousness in Early Industrial Capitalism: Paisley 1770-1850,” in Capital and Class in Scotland, ed. Tony Dickson (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1982), 8-60.

(35.) Leitch, “Radicalism in Paisley,” 60, 70, 112, 199.

(36.) Renfrewshire Independent, July 26, 1862.

(37.) New York Times, Aug. 13, 1862.

(38.) Glasgow Herald, Sept. 8, 1862.

(39.) London Times, Sept. 9, 1862.

(40.) Paisley Herald, Apr. 18, 1863.

(41.) Ibid., May 2, 1863.

(42.) Border Advertiser, May 22, 1863.

(43.) See, for example, the positions taken by the Bradford Observer and the Leeds Times in Wright, “Bradford and the Civil War,” 74-76, and “Leeds and the Civil War,” 110-11.

(44.) Royden Harrison, Before the Socialists: Studies in Labour and Politics 1861-1881 (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1965), 53.

(45.) See, for example, the contrasting opinions voiced by the paper on Jan. 12, 1861; May 17, 1862; Jan. 31 1863; Apr. 30, May 14, 1864; Feb. 25, May 6, 1865.

(46.) See, for example, the Paisley Pamphlets, P.C., 278-98 (1835-62).

(47.) Renfrewshire Independent, July 19, 1862.

(48.) Border Advertiser, Feb. 6, 1863.

(49.) Dumfries Standard, Feb. 11, 1863.

(50.) Ibid., Apr. 8, 1863.

(51.) Letter from a Dumfries native in Wisconsin to her relative in Dumfries, shared with the Dumfries Standard, Nov. 26, 1864.

(52.) Dumfries Standard, Oct. 8, 1864.

(53.) Ibid., Oct. 29, 1864.

(54.) Ibid., Sept. 25, 1861.

(55.) Border Advertiser, Apr. 24, 1863.

(56.) Glasgow Saturday Post, Mar. 2, 1861.

(57.) Ibid., Sept. 20, 1862.

(58.) Ibid., Nov. 14; 1840, Aug. 14, 1841; Jan. 1, 1848; Jan. 7, 1854; Sept. 14, Oct. 19, 1850.

(59.) Ibid., Apr. 19, 1851.

(60.) Renfrewshire Independent, July 19, 1862.

(61.) Ibid., July 19, 1862.

(62.) Border Advertiser, Feb. 21, 1862; Paisley Herald, Aug. 2, 1862; Dumfries Herald, Oct. 10, 1862.

(63.) Dumfries Herald, Jan. 4, 1839.

(64.) Ibid., Apr. 20, 1860.

(65.) Paisley Herald, Nov. 8, 1856.

(66.) Ibid., July 29, 1854.

(67.) Augar, “Cotton Famine,” 312.

(68.) Ibid., 308.

(69.) William W. Knox, Hanging by a Thread: The Scottish Cotton Industry, c. 1850-1914 (Preston: Carnegie Publishing Co., 1995), 177-78.

(70.) Catriona M. M. Macdonald, “Locality, Tradition and Language in the Evolution of Scottish Unionism: A Case Study, Paisley 1886-1910,” in Unionist Scotland 1800-1997 (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1998), 54.

(71.) Macdonald, “Locality, Tradition and Language,” 54.

(72.) Wright, “Leeds and the Civil War,” 97.

(73.) See also the conclusions drawn by Blackett, Divided Hearts, 89-121, 172.

(74.) “Fair Trade Versus ‘Free Trade’–Falsely So Called,” (A Letter by Robert Kerr, Manufacturer, Paisley, to Richard Cobden, Esq. M. P. and the Men of the Manchester School, June 29, 1861), Paisley Pamphlets, P.C. 298 (1860-62) 39, no. 56, 640.

(75.) A. F. Stoddard, Slavery or Freedom in America (Glasgow, 1863).

(76.) Dumfries Herald, Jan. 11, 1861; Dumfries Courier, June 25, 1861; Renfrewshire Independent, Mar. 23, 1861.

(77.) Dumfries Standard, Dec. 14, 1864.

(78.) Speech on Jan. 8, 1862, reported in the Paisley Herald, Jan. 11, 1862.

(79.) Border Advertiser, Aug. 16, 1861.

(80.) Ibid., Apr. 28, 1865.

(81.) Dumfries Council Book (vol. 29), Nov. 7, 1856-Aug. 4, 1865, 529-30.

LORRAINE PETERS earned her Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, where she wrote her dissertation “Scotland and the American Civil War: A Local Perspective.” She has had articles published in the journals Scottish Local History (on the impact of the Civil War upon the Scottish borders woolen industry) and Northern History (on the political impact of the Civil War in the Borders). An article on relief efforts in cotton-starved Paisley during the war is forthcoming in Scottish Economic and Social History.

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