The Legend of Major Duncan Campbell

Duncan Campbell's grave

The grave of Duncan Campbell in Washington County (with replica headstone). / photo: John Bulmer Photography

Fun: Duncan Crary will be telling the story of Major Duncan Campbell of the Black Watch -- "New York's first world-famous ghost story" -- this Thursday at the Malt Room in Troy. As the story begins:

The widely circulated legend of Major Duncan Campbell says a desperate man came knocking wildly on the doors of the house of Inverawe one night. He had blood on his hands and kilt, and begged for sanctuary -- a sacred oath of protection granted in the Highlands of Scotland.
Duncan vowed to shelter the man and swore on his dirk, a traditional and ceremonial dagger worn by Highland Scots.
Soon after, a group of men arrived at Inverawe to inform Duncan Campbell that a highwayman had murdered his cousin, Donald Campbell. The men had last seen the murderer heading that way. But Duncan had already given his word that he would shelter the very same bandit, and so he concealed him from the gang.

Campbell later gets dispatched by the British to North America to fight in the French and Indian War in what's now known as New York -- at a place called "Ticonderoga," a word that would haunt Campbell. The story would later become famous thanks to Robert Louis Stevenson.

To go along with the story at the Malt Room, there will be a Scottish-theme menu and a scotch tasting. And bagpipes. (We've been assured they'll be "indoor bagpipes." Maybe that's like bagpipes using their indoor voice.)

The story starts at 6 pm on Thursday, July 24. Admission is free.

As you know, Duncan and AOA have worked together on AOA events, and he occasionally writes for AOA.


I can't wait to hear this story!

I've always loved this story and Fort Ticonderoga...and I really love that headstone (the original appears to have been the work of John Zuricher - he was active as a carver during that era and the style certainly resembles his).

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