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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 July 2007, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Lecture tackles slave trade links
Statue at Helmsdale commissioned by Clearances Centre Ltd
A statue marking the Clearances at Helmsdale in the Highlands
A series of lectures is to be held on the Clearances and the Highland's involvement in the slave trade.

Speakers include Rogart crofter John Macdonald who was able to take a US visitor to the site where his forbearers had lived.

The agricultural revolution of the late 18th and early 19th Centuries led to the Clearances - evictions of families from farms and crofts.

UHI Millennium Institute has organised the series which begins on Monday.

Professor James Hunter, a historian and director of the UHI Centre for History, said the speakers would tackle "fascinating and controversial" themes.

Launching the lectures will be Professor Eric Richards, of Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.

He has written books and articles on the Sutherland clearances and a biography of Patrick Sellar, a man who has been regarded as a clearance "villain".

Among the buildings paid for from slavery's proceeds, Dr Alston has discovered, was Inverness's Royal Infirmary
UHI spokesperson

Tuesday's speaker - crofter and local historian Mr Macdonald - has made a detailed survey of cleared settlements in Rogart.

Wednesday's lecturer is Dr Marjory Harper, reader in history at Aberdeen University and an expert on emigration from Scotland.

Highland councillor, Dr David Alston, will report on his investigations into the region's involvement in the slave trade on Thursday.

A UHI spokesperson said: "Among the buildings paid for from slavery's proceeds, Dr Alston has discovered, was Inverness's Royal Infirmary - now, of course, UHI headquarters and the place where he will be speaking."

Prof Hunter will wrap up the week talking about Highland emigrants who merged into societies very different from their own.

He said an example was Native Americans in Montana whose ancestors include Glencoe's MacDonald chiefs.

The story of the Vatersay raiders
07 Jun 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Lecture on 'forgotten' clearances
28 Sep 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Scotland's forgotten clearances
16 May 03 |  Scotland


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