Alan Bain (Self)Carol Berkin (Self)Karen Bonthrone (Self)Duncan A. Bruce (Self)
Harlan Douglas Whatley
The Tartan Apple tells the under examined story of the people who emigrated from Scotland to New York City from the 17th century to the present. The story is told chronologically, beginning with Captain William Kidd, who is stereotyped as a pirate more so than a successful privateer. Thousands of Scots put their lives on the line to leave their precious homeland for a better life. Many were forced to leave as their wealthy landlords, who often shared the same surname, determined that sheep were worth more than people. Others arrived as indentured servants or mercenaries. The Scots quickly assimilated to their new surroundings as merchants, clergy, physicians, lawyers and politicians. Three signers of the Declaration of Independence were members of New York's oldest charity, the Saint Andrew's Society of the State of New York. Men of Scottish descent founded early New York City newspapers such as The New York Post and the Herald Tribune. In the Civil War, the 79th NYSVM "Highlanders" served New York City and the Union proud. The regiment was comprised of members of the New York Caledonian Club. Andrew Carnegie was an active businessman and philanthropist in New York City. Baseball legend Bobby Thomson, born in Glasgow, hit his "shot heard round the world," as a New York Giant. Scottish country dancing groups can be found all throughout the city as well as Scottish football supporters. Tartan Day is celebrated on April 6th in Central Park and November 30th is St. Andrew's Day. The Tartan Apple intercuts dramatic re-creation scenes of the American Revolution and the American Civil War with narration, interviews and archival material that include parade footage of the New York Caledonian Club in Central Park from the late 1800's and several carte de viste portrait photographs. Music for the project includes Scottish fiddle, bagpipes, harp, and vocalists. Narration of the story is done by Dr. Karen Bonthrone of Kirkcaldy, Scotland and John Forrest of Yorkshire, England. The 56 minute documentary is being shot on digital video and includes interviews of pillars of the Scottish-American and historical community in New York City.