Farther proofs of the existence of Mermaids
The following declaration, on this curious subject, is copied from a recent Scotch newspaper, under the date of Arasag, October 28, 1809:-
“Neil McIntosh in Sandy Island, Canna, states that he has heard from different individuals in the Island of Canna, that they have seen the fish called Mermaids; that these animals had the upper parts resembling the human figure, and the lower extremities resembling a fish. In particular, about six years ago, Niel Stewart and Neil McIsaac, both alive in Canna, when walking upon the sea beach on the North side of the Island, on a Sunday, saw, stretched on a rock at a small distance, an animal of this description, having the appearance of a woman in the upper parts, and of a fish below; that on seeing them it sprung into the water, after which they had a more distinct view of its upper parts, which strongly resembled a female of the human species. That Lachlan McArthur of the same Island informed McIntosh that some years ago, sailing from Uist to Skye in a stormy day, he saw rising from the water, near the stern of the boat in which he was, a figure, resembling a woman in its upper parts, which terrified him extremely.
“ Neil McIntosh further states, that he himself, about five years ago, was steering a boat from Canna to Skye in a stormy day; that when about one-fourth of the passage from Canna, he saw something near him of a white colour, and of a human figure, spring almost out of the water, which he took for the animal above described; but as it instantly disappeared again, he had no opportunity of examining it minutely; that he felt considerable alarm at the site of it, as a general opinion or prejudice exists amongst the inhabitants of the Western Isles, that it is extremely unlucky to meet with or look upon such animals at sea or to point them out to the rest of the crew, unless they observe it themselves.”
“Signed, Neil McIntosh; Robert Brown, factor for Clanranald, witness; Donald McNeil, of Canna, witness; Wm. Campbell, W.S. Edinburgh, witness; James Gillespie, architect, Edinburgh, witness.
“Portree, 2nd October, 1809.”
“That what is above written is a true copy of the original.
“Attested, Malcolm Wright, N.P. “
Taken from the Naval Chronicle: Volume 23, January-July 1810.