The Scottish Museum will celebrate “Tartan Day,” April 6th, commemorating the signing of the “Treaty of Arbroathe,” the document of Scottish Independence signed by the Scottish chiefs in 1320. The museum features a copy of the Treaty in its collection.
According to historian Arthur Herman, the Bishop of Abroathe sent the Treaty to the Pope, who was the strongest secular and religious leader in Europe at the time. The Treaty proclaimed separation from England and gave Scotland relief from English advances for several hundred years.
Because so many of the Founding Fathers either came from Scotland or had Scottish parents, the Treaty was the document upon which America’s Declaration of Independence is based. The Scots who signed the American counterpart are: Thomas Jefferson (VA), John and Samuel Adams (MA), John Witherspoon (NJ), William Hooper (NC), James McKean (DE), James Smith, James Wilson and George Taylor (PA), Abraham Clark (NJ), Lewis Morris and Phillip Livingston (NY), Dr. Benjamin Rush (PA), Thomas Nelson (VA), George Ross (PA) and Matthew Thornton (NH). Charles Thomson, who was the Secretary of the Continental Congress and copies the original of the Declaration of Independence, was also Scottish as was the printer. But neither signed it.
Sen. Trent Lott assisted in making Tartan Day a national occasion of respect for the Scottish influence in the United States. National figures are encouraged to wear their kilts to Congress on April 6.
On “Tartan Day,” free guided tours of the Museum will be available at 1:30 and 4 p.m. A movie: “The History of Scottish Tartans” will also be shown at 3:30 p.m. with free popcorn.
The Scottish Tartans Museum and Gift Shop, 86 East Main Street, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday, closed Sunday. For information, call (828)524-7472.