Continuing the transcription of the Report from the Napier Commission, 1883, I came across two contrasting pieces of evidence. The first, by factor Roderick Maclean of Ardross (aged 54), had his own observations on the causes for the state of the average Highlander at the time:
41578. [...] I attribute to intermittent labour, and to a certain extent climatic lassitude, the cause of the laziness of which the west coast Highlanders are accused. I have observed that away from home and among working people they become excellent workers, but on their return to their homes they become infected by the indolent surroundings, and especially during the winter months, inactivity is a matter of course with them. If however, taken in hand when young, and kept in regular employment even at their homes, better workmen, circumstances considered, could not be desired. Uneducated Highlanders have a strong attachment to localities, and hence their antipathy to emigration; in many instances they would rather suffer starvation than leave their homes even for a season's work, but the world knows what educated Highlanders abroad are. Education therefore, with more zeal, is one of the principal requirements to elevate them from their present impoverished condition. It would be a great blessing to many of the poor women to have lady missionaries (though difficult to accomplish) sent among them to give them instruction in the training of their families and in domestic economy. As a result of improper training, one painfully experiences in business one-sided statements, probably unwittingly, given as facts, and I believe it is by influences such as the above they could best be got at to practise the duties belonging to their several relations and stations. The well-regulated families among them are easily distinguished and pleasant to deal with. Highlanders are naturally imitative, and are more apt to follow leaders either for good or for evil than to think for themselves.
The second was by former Cannich man, Colin Chisholm who was 72 when he spoke to Lord Napier and his commission. The below list says enough in its own right.
—A list of Glencannich men who held commissions in Her Majesty's army [...] :
—Colonel James Chisholm, born at Lietrie, died at Fasmakyle, Strathglass ;
Lieutenant Archibald Chisholm, born at Lietrie, died at Gambia, Africa;
Major James MacLean,- born at Carrie, died at Boulogne, France;
Captain Rory Maclean, born at Carrie, died in United States, America ;
Ensign Duncan Maclean, born at Carrie, died at Isle of Wight ;
Ensign Colin MacRae, born at Carrie, died at Sierra Leone ;
Ensign Angus Macrae, born at Carrie, died at Sierra Leone ;
Colonel Alexander Chisholm, born at Mucrack, died at Alexandria, Canada;
Colonel James Chisholm, born at Mucrack, died as Governor of Gold Coast, Africa;
Captain Valentine Chisholm, born at Mucrack, died at Inverness;
Lieutenant Angus Chisholm, born at Mucrack, died at Cape of Good Hope;
Ensign John Chisholm, born at Mucrack, died at Comar, Strathglass;
Lieutenant Christopher MacRae, born at Invercannich, died at Gambia, Africa ;
Lieutenant Theodore MacRae, born at Invercannich, died at Stray, Strathglass;
Ensign Finlay MacRae, born at Invercannich, died at Gambia, Africa ;
Ensign William Macrae, born at Invercannich, died at Inverness;
Lieutenant John James Chisholm, born at Invercannich, killed at Quatre Bras.
List of Glencannich Catholic clergymen whom I remember :—
Bishop William Fraser, born at Craskie, died at Halifax, Nova Scotia;
Rev. William Fraser, born at Craskie, died at St Raphael, Upper Canada;
Rev. Archibald Chisholm, born at Craskie, now priest at Nairn;
Rev. Duncan Mackenzie, born at Lietrie, died at Stray, Strathglass;
Rev. Angus Mackenzie, born at Lietrie, died at Dingwall;
Rev. Archibald Chisholm, born at Lietrie, died at Dalbeth ;
Very Rev. Hugh Chisholm, born at Lietrie, now dean of Paisley ;
Rev. James Chisholm, born at Lietrie, now priest at Barra ;
Rev. Finlay MacRae, born at Carrie, died at Cuilgaran, Strathglass.
Other Strathglass military officers whom I remember were—
Surgeon-General Stewart Chisholm, Royal Artillery, died at Inverness;
Lieutenant Louden Chisholm, 43d native infantry, East India Company's service, died in the Rangoon campaign ;
Captain Archibald MacRae Chisholm, now living at Glassburn, Strathglass;
Major William Chisholm, East India Company's service, now living;
Ensign Thomas Chisholm, East India Company's service, died at Lucknow;
Lieutenant William Chisholm, Royal Artillery, killed at Corrygam, India;
Major Archibald Chisholm, East India Company's service, died at Rugby ;
Lieutenant Colonel John Chisholm, East India Company's service, died at Cheltenham;
Captain Donald Chisholm, 42nd Highlanders, uncle of the present Chisholm, died lately at Edinburgh. In my humble opinion, this list will show that they were abreast of their neighbours in social position and in general intelligence. However, the crude management of factors and former proprietors cleared out every one of the forty-five families whom I have seen formerly in Glencannich.