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his slaves, an affair described in detail in the documents that have
survived. It was some time after this event that he settled permanently
in Britain.
I now turn to the gentleman whose silhouette I saw in the attic, Alan
Cameron. Readers will recall how the chieftain, Lochiel, led his clansmen
in the short and disastrous rising, 'the Forty-Five', and how the Camerons
broke through Barrel's Regiment of Foot at Culloden. The second-
in-command of the clan at that battle was Donald Cameron of Erracht.
Donald's direct forebears had been long associated with war and violence,
and few of them had died in their beds. His father had been killed at
Sheriffmuir in 'The Fifteen', his grandfather had fought on the losing
side at the Boyne in 1690, his great-grandfather had fallen during inter-
clan strife in 1660, and his great-great-grandfather had been hanged
for cattle-lifting in 1630. After Culloden, Donald Cameron took to
the heather and the hills, and after several years of privation as a homeless
wanderer accepted the government's terms, and returned to his ancestral
hearth.
Alan Cameron, was the son of this Donald, born in 1753 at Erracht
in Inverness-shire. He is said to have been educated by private tutors
before proceeding to St Andrews. A liberal education does not seem
to have modified in any way the restless spirit bestowed on him by his
ancestry. Hardly had he returned home than he quarrelled with a kinsman,
Cameron of Morsheirlich, a Jacobite lately returned from wanderings on
the Continent. As a result of the quarrel, Alan called him out. Morsheir-
lich, a much older man and an expert swordsman, tried to persuade the
challenger to abandon the challenge. However he insisted on the meeting,
and the affair was settled with swords on the banks of the river Lochy
on an early autumn morning. The challenger, who received some
slight wounds, succeeded in fatally wounding Morsheirlich so that he died
shortly afterwards. As a result Alan had to flee to escape the vengeance
of the dead man's family, and for two years lived in Mull and Morven
under the protection of his maternal kinsfolk, the Macleans.
In 1773, he emigrated to America, and two years later obtained a
commission in a provincial regiment, The Royal Highland Emigrant
Corps, commanded by his kinsman, Colonel Alan Maclean of Torloisk,
then engaged in operations against the American colonists. In course
of the campaign he undertook a mission to raise and organize a force
recruited from Red Indian tribes, but was captured and imprisoned
in a vaulted cell in Philadelphia as an abettor of Indian atrocities, and
was very badly treated. After two years he succeeded in escaping, but
as he dropped from the prison wall he fractured both ankles. He was
befriended by one Phineas Bond, who nursed him and afterwards
assisted him to regain the British lines. He then returned to his native
Erracht and was placed on half-pay.
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