2004 – Loyalty and Exile – The Jacobites and America


Tartan Day On Ellis Island 2004 to Host “Loyalty and Exile”

New Exhibit from the Drambuie Collection to Look at the
Battle of Culloden and Its Aftermath

New York and New Jersey will be alive with the sounds of Scotland as the Clan Currie Society joins with other leading Scots organizations to celebrate Tartan Day Weekend throughout the metropolitan area. Clan Currie will once again return to Ellis Island to commemorate National Tartan Day with their annual program.In partnership with the National Parks Service and The Drambuie Collection, Clan Currie, along with Scottish and American dignitaries, will lead the Opening Ceremonies for a new Tartan Day exhibit. The celebration is scheduled for Friday, April 2, 2004 at 11:00 AM.

Mr. Robin Nicholson, curator for The Drambuie Collection in Edinburgh and a leading scholar on the Royal House of Stuart, will be among those speaking at the Opening Ceremonies. The Drambuie Collection, a major resource of Scottish works of art belonging to The Drambuie Liqueur Company, has prepared a new exhibit exclusively for Tartan Day entitled, “Loyalty & Exile: The Jacobites and America.” The exhibit, which is free to all visitors of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, will run into May.

“We’re so grateful to Ellis Island for inviting us back for a third year,” said Robert Currie, president of the Clan Currie Society. “This event provides an important opportunity to recognize the vast contributions of Scots and Scottish-Americans to the development of the United States.” Currie continued, “We are especially grateful to our partners at The Drambuie Liqueur Company for their generous support in making this exhibit possible.”

The new exhibit examines Scots during the Jacobite era in 18th century Scotland who were forced into exile as a result of their support of the Stuart kings and their romantic hero, ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie.’ His forces met defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Many members of Clan Currie, then known by their Gaelic name, MacMhuirich, died on Culloden Moor fighting for the Stuart cause alongside the MacDonalds of Clanranald. Hundreds of supporters were exiled and Scottish society underwent significant change. The ideas behind the Jacobite rebellion soon after played a role in the American Revolution.

Though the collection typically is restricted to reserved viewings in Edinburgh, a selection of artifacts is currently on display at the Albany Institute of History & Art in Albany, New York, through May 9, 2004. The touring collection includes many examples of Jacobite glass and original manuscripts and memoirs, as well as scores of other artifacts.

Invited guests to the Ellis Island exhibit opening include the Hon. Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York, the Rt. Hon. Lesley Hinds, Lord Provost, City of Edinburgh; the Rt. Hon. Elizabeth Cameron, Lord Provost, City of Glasgow; Sir Thomas Harris, Her Majesty’s Consul-General and Director-General, British Trade & Investment; and the Hon. Susan Stewart, First Secretary Scottish Affairs, British Embassy.

Clan Currie began its successful collaboration with the Ellis Island Immigration Museum in 2002 in the coordination and sponsorship of the first Tartan Day celebration. Clan Currie and the National Museums of Scotland joined forces to host the traveling exhibit, “Home and Away: Highland Departures and Returns.”

The following year, Clan Currie returned to Ellis Island, bringing with them four of Scotland’s top crafters for a hands-on demonstration of the making of kilts, violins, bagpipes, and Shetland Isle knitting. The 2003 event, also produced in cooperation with the National Museums, was captured in the form of a short documentary film now in post-production entitled, “The Crafter’s Song.”