An Litir Bheag 248
Tha lusan ann air a bheil Frasera – mar eisimpleir Frasera speciosa. Tha iad air an ainmeachadh airson fear John Fraser no Iain Friseal. Bha e a’ cruinneachadh lusan. Bha e gu math ainmeil. Agus ’s e Gàidheal a bha ann. Rugadh Iain Friseal ann an seachd ceud deug is caogad (1750) ann an Tom na Croise. Tha sin faisg air Inbhir Nis. Bha athair na chroitear. ’S e Gàidhlig a bha aca a-staigh. Ghluais Iain a Lunnainn. Dh’fhosgail e bùth. Bha e a’ reic clò. Ach bha barrachd ùidh aige ann a bhith a’ cruinneachadh lusan. Leig e a’ bhùth aige seachad. Chaidh e a-null a dh’Ameireagaidh. Bha e anns na Carolinas agus Georgia. Chuir Friseal seachad ùine ann an “Dùthaich nan Innseanach”. Bha na Cherokee sìtheil agus laghach dha. Lìon e bogsaichean de lusan. Agus thachair e ri fear Tòmas Bhaltair. Bha esan a’ sgrìobhadh leabhar mòr mu lusan Charolina. Bha Friseal a’ dol a dh’fhoillseachadh an leabhair ann an Lunnainn. Chaochail Bhaltair goirid mus do thòisich Friseal air a shlighe dhachaigh. Bha sin ann an seachd ceud deug, ochdad ’s a h-ochd (1788). Thill Friseal a Bhreatainn. Bha trithead mìle sampall de lus marbh aige. Bha cuideachd bogsaichean aige de lusan beò. Bha e gun sgillinn ruadh, ge-tà. Airson airgead fhaighinn, reic e mòran de na lusan. Fhuair e airgead gu leòr airson am Flora Caroliniana aig Bhaltair fhoillseachadh. Bha ionad-àraich lusan aige ann an Lunnainn. Bha e faisg air Sloane Square ann an Chelsea. ’S e sgìre spaideil a tha ann. Bha Friseal a’ reic lusan Ameireaganach. Bha e ainmeil airson sin. Bha lusan Ameireaganach anns an fhasan ann am Breatainn. Ach bha Friseal cuideachd thall anns an Ruis. Tha e coltach gun robh e eòlach air a’ bhan-ìmpire as ainmeile ann an eachdraidh na Ruis. Innsidh mi tuilleadh mu dheidhinn sin anns an ath Litir.
The Little Letter 248
There are plants called Frasera – for example Frasera speciosa. They are named for a guy John Fraser. He was good at collecting plants. He was very famous. And he was a Gael. John Fraser was born in 1750 in Tomnacross. That’s near Inverness. His father was a crofter. It’s Gaelic they spoke at home. John moved to London. He opened a shop. He was selling cloth. But he had more interest in collecting plants. He gave up his shop. He went over to America. He was in the Carolinas and Georgia. Fraser spent time in “Indian Country”. The Cherokee were peaceful and nice to him. He filled boxes with plants. And he met a guy Thomas Walter. He was writing a big book about the plants of Carolina. Fraser was going to publish the book in London. Walter died shortly before Fraser started on his homeward journey. That was in 1788. Fraser returned to Britain. He had thirty thousand samples of dead plants. He also had boxes of live plants. He had no money, however. To get money, he sold many of the plants. He got enough money to publish Walter’s Flora Caroliniana. He had a plant nursery in London. It was near Sloane Square in Chelsea. It’s a smart area. Fraser was selling American plants. He was famous for that. American plants were in fashion in Britain. But Fraser was also over in Russia. It appears that he knew the most famous empress in Russian history. I’ll tell you more about that in the next Litir.