From William Stevenson to William Kemp   25 September 1851

Dunse,

25th. Septr 1851

Mr. Wm. Kemp

My Dear Sir,

I received your lett⁠⟨⁠er⁠⟩⁠ of the 6th. current, just as I was starting for a tour in the Highlan⁠⟨⁠ds⁠⟩⁠ & West of Scotland.— Many than⁠⟨⁠ks⁠⟩⁠ for your promptitude in attendi⁠⟨⁠ng⁠⟩⁠ to my last letter.— I was very mu⁠⟨⁠ch⁠⟩⁠ pleased by the receipt of the specimen of greywacke slate y⁠⟨⁠ou⁠⟩⁠ enclosed, as I think it confirms my ideas regarding the prolonga⁠⟨⁠tion⁠⟩⁠ of the Thornilee strata to Eastwa⁠⟨⁠rds⁠⟩⁠ and enables us more confidently ⁠⟨⁠to⁠⟩⁠ speculate upon the precise plac⁠⟨⁠es⁠⟩⁠ among the Lammermuirs where th⁠⟨⁠e [one line excised] ar⁠⟩⁠e likely to be found.— I have ⁠⟨⁠s⁠⟩⁠trong hopes now of being able to ⁠⟨⁠f⁠⟩⁠ind graptolites in various localities ⁠⟨⁠am⁠⟩⁠ong the Berwickshire Lammermuirs, ⁠⟨⁠bu⁠⟩⁠t this will of course require some ⁠⟨⁠s⁠⟩⁠earch.— I have not yet heard ⁠⟨⁠f⁠⟩⁠rom Sir R. I. Murchison regarding ⁠⟨⁠t⁠⟩⁠he graptolite which I sent him:— ⁠⟨⁠I⁠⟩⁠ believe he is on the continent ⁠⟨⁠a⁠⟩⁠t present.— I will of course ⁠⟨⁠le⁠⟩⁠t you know of any other discovery ⁠⟨⁠of⁠⟩⁠ the kind which may be made. ⁠⟨⁠I⁠⟩⁠ certainly had strong objections to our greywacke rocks being ⁠⟨⁠S⁠⟩⁠ilurian, but facts must be yielded ⁠⟨⁠t⁠⟩⁠o.— Fossils are certainly very rare ⁠⟨⁠in⁠⟩⁠ them, compared with what they ⁠⟨⁠ar⁠⟩⁠e in the Welsh Silurians.—

I had a few very pleasant days ⁠⟨⁠[one line excised]⁠⟩⁠ Lismore, the shores of Loch Linnh⁠⟨⁠e⁠⟩⁠ Loch Etive, &c. I observe that the various formations are very inaccurately lai⁠⟨⁠d⁠⟩⁠ down in Prof. Nicol’s map, which ⁠⟨⁠is⁠⟩⁠ mainly founded on MacCulloch⁠⟨⁠’s.⁠⟩⁠ Lismore, for instance, is coloured a⁠⟨⁠s⁠⟩⁠ quartz rock, whereas it is almost wholly limestone with some clay-slate interstratified.— The opposi⁠⟨⁠te⁠⟩⁠ shores of Morvern are marked as gneiss, but I found all that p⁠⟨⁠art⁠⟩⁠ of it (adjoining Kingairloch) which I had time to examine, to consi⁠⟨⁠st⁠⟩⁠ of granite.— There is also much quartz rock & chlorite slate nea⁠⟨⁠r⁠⟩⁠ Port Appin, which is not indic⁠⟨⁠ated⁠⟩⁠ on the map.— In fact in som⁠⟨⁠e⁠⟩⁠ of the more remote parts of the Highlands any maps we have, topographical or geological, ⁠⟨⁠[one line excised]⁠⟩⁠

I spent nearly a whole day ⁠⟨⁠on⁠⟩⁠ the shores of Upper Loch Etive ⁠⟨⁠e⁠⟩⁠xamining the base of Cruachan ⁠⟨⁠at⁠⟩⁠ the interesting junctions of the ⁠⟨⁠g⁠⟩⁠ranite with the stratified rock. ⁠⟨⁠I⁠⟩⁠n thousands of instances masses ⁠⟨⁠of⁠⟩⁠ the latter are imbedded in the ⁠⟨⁠g⁠⟩⁠ranite, which varies very much ⁠⟨⁠i⁠⟩⁠n appearance, and that in such ⁠⟨⁠a⁠⟩⁠ manner as strongly to confirm ⁠⟨⁠t⁠⟩⁠he opinion I formed last year ⁠⟨⁠r⁠⟩⁠egarding the granites & porphyr⁠⟨⁠ies of⁠⟩⁠ Glencoe & Ben Nevis, vizt. tha⁠⟨⁠t th⁠⟩⁠ese are simply stratified rock⁠⟨⁠s m⁠⟩⁠elted down by the pure felspar ⁠⟨⁠ ⁠⟩⁠ porphyry.— The granites of these localities are beyond all doub⁠⟨⁠t n⁠⟩⁠ewer than the strata with whi⁠⟨⁠ch t⁠⟩⁠hey are associated.—

I had also ⁠⟨⁠[half a line excised]⁠⟩⁠ in company with a Mr. Mc.C⁠⟨⁠ ⁠⟩⁠ a townsman of mine & a keen geologist.— We visited Campsie glen, the spout of Balagan, a coal pit, some limestone quar⁠⟨⁠ries⁠⟩⁠ &c.— The district is in many res⁠⟨⁠pects⁠⟩⁠ a highly interesting one, so that our excursion was very profitab⁠⟨⁠le⁠⟩⁠

I saw Mrs. Laidlaw in Glasgow.— She was much delig⁠⟨⁠hted⁠⟩⁠ with her jaunt to Galashiel⁠⟨⁠s⁠⟩⁠ &c. & with the attention paid to her by Miss Kemp and yourse⁠⟨⁠lf⁠⟩⁠

Hoping to hear from you soon & with kindest regard⁠⟨⁠s⁠⟩⁠ to Miss Kemp & your Sons | I remain | My Dear Sir ⁠⟨⁠[signature excised]⁠⟩⁠

P.S. I might have given you longer geological detail ⁠⟨⁠b⁠⟩⁠ut am at present far too ⁠⟨⁠m⁠⟩⁠uch occupied by a multiplicity ⁠⟨⁠o⁠⟩⁠f matters.— If you feel a ⁠⟨⁠p⁠⟩⁠articular interest in any phen⁠⟨⁠o⁠⟩⁠mena known to be visible ⁠⟨⁠a⁠⟩⁠t any of the places I have mentioned, I shall be happy ⁠⟨⁠to⁠⟩⁠ communicate to you all I ⁠⟨⁠k⁠⟩⁠now about them.— | W.S.

Please cite as “KEMP95,” in Ɛpsilon: The William Kemp Collection accessed on 24 February 2024, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/epsilon-testbed/kemp/letters/KEMP95