This is the story of the Highland Scots who sailed to Pictou, Nova Scotia, in 1773 aboard the brig Hector. These intrepid emigrants came for many reasons: the famine of the previous spring, pressures of population growth, intolerable rent increases, trouble with the law, the hunger of landless men to own land of their own. Upon arrival at Pictou, after an appalling storm-tossed crossing, they found they had been deceived.
The promised prime farming land turned out to be virgin forest. Only the kindness of the Mi’kmaq and the few New Englanders already settled there enabled them to survive until they learned how to exploit the forests and clear land. But survive they did, and their prosperity encouraged shiploads of emigrants, many fellow clansmen, to join them, making northeastern Nova Scotia a true New Scotland.
Donald MacKay has had a forty-year career as journalist, broadcaster and author. Descended from Pictou County settlers, and born and educated in Nova Scotia, he was a wartime merchant seaman, has been a reporter for Canadian Press, and covered major stories in a dozen countries for United Press International. He spent a decade as chief European correspondent for UPI Broadcast Services, based in London, and was general manager of UPI in Canada for five years before turning to writing books.
Donald and his wife, Barbara, live in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.