Scope and Content Note


As he wrote in the 1895 dedication, George Macpherson compiled this volume to leave for his son as a record of the history of the Macpherson clan, from their Scottish origins to their contribution in shaping the new nation. The complete title of the volume indicates its focus, "Notes bearing upon the clan Macpherson and upon the lives of Captain John Macpherson [and] Major Wm. Macpherson." The former settled in Philadelphia and made his fortune as a privateer during the French and Indian War. The home he built in Philadelphia Fairmount Park and named Mt. Pleasant still stands and while governed by the Fairmount Park Commission, it is administered by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His son William left the British army to fight with his fellow Pennsylvanians in the American Revolution. His Philadelphia home, Stouton, is also documented here. The volume consists primarily of 19th century clippings recounting the lives of the father and son as well as the history of Mt. Pleasant, particularly its purchase by Benedict Arnold for his Philadelphia wife Peggy Shippen. Most of the correspondence consists of letters from the various historical societies and related organizations in the U.S. and in Scotland responding to George Macpherson's requests for information. Copies of his original letters are not included. He did, however, insert occasional notes of explanation to certain events. There are also typescripts of 18th century news articles and correspondence, as well as other published writings and material pertaining to the 1895 "Clan Chattan Gathering" held at Cluny Castle, Kingussie. As often noted on the mounting pages, George received the latter as well as other documentation generated in Scotland from an Alexander Macpherson.