A book on CD "Cape Breton, Canada" written by C.W.Vernon in 1903 tells of life in Cape Breton Island at the beginning of the twentieth century.Chapter XII was written, entirely in Gaelic, by Jonathan G. MacKinnon
In a book "Highland Settler" by Dr. Charles W. Dunn--( Dr. Dunn was the Margaret Brooks Robinson Professor of Celtic Languages and Literatures,Harvard University,Emeritus.) Dr. Dunn states "Jonathan G. MacKinnon was an equally outstanding contributor to the publication of Gaelic in the New World-"--.The article takes up about six pages--mostly lauding the efforts, failures and triumphs of Jonathan.
This book is available at book stores and can be ordered through the publisher:-
In 1918, Jonathan wrote a book titled "OLD SYDNEY". The book was published by his brotherDonald, in Sydney, CBI.
The book has been republished in 1973 by Mika Publishing - ISBN 0-919302-59-9
In the forward Jonathan states - "Sketches of the town and its people in days gone by."
A few of the chapters are titled:--
Sydney's first settler. -- Meloney's cow. ---An Indian Scare ---Judge Marshall etc etc..
Copy of Jonathan's Obituay
This was an announcement , in the local paper, of the opening of the Gaelic College in St Anns, Vict.Co.,CBI. in 1938
On his retirement, the city of Sydney presented him with this card.
Jonathan composed English and Gaelic songs.
One of his most famous gaelic songs was" Eilean Gorm",
which was sung, quite regularly, by The Cape Breton Gaelic Choir.
Jonathan G. MacKinnon, 1869 - 1944
Nova Scotia has long been home to many languages: Mi'kmaq, English and French leap to mind. In the eastern portion of the mainland and on Cape Breton Island, well into the 20th century, it was often Gaelic that was spoken more than anything else. That reflected the large Scottish immigration in the 1800s. Yet it also required local people who encouraged and promoted the use of Gaelic in all areas of life.
The greatest champion of Gaelic language and culture was Jonathan MacKinnon. He was born at Dunakin, near Whycocomagh. As a young man, he recognized the need to have certain literary classics for young readers available in Gaelic. He set out to translate Treasure Island and other stories into his native tongue. At the age of 23, MacKinnon began a Gaelic newspaper that would bring news and other information to adults. The paper was MacTalla (in English, "The Echo"), which he started to publish in Sydney in 1892. He kept the bi-weekly paper going until 1904, bringing its many readers local and world news in Gaelic, as well as history, proverbs, Greek mythology and correspondence. The paper was a major influence in keeping Gaelic a commonly spoken language across Cape Breton. The Scotsman, a major newspaper in Scotland, describes MacTalla as "the most successful Gaelic newspaper ever." The paper also has an ongoing legacy as a cornerstone resource for Gaelic scholarship.
After MacTalla came to an end, Jonathan MacKinnon turned to studying history. In 1918, he published Old Sydney, a book that is still in print. Then, in 1928, MacKinnon launched a monthly magazine in Gaelic, Fear Na Ceilidh, which he continued for two years.
Nova Scotia Archives had this to say about Jonathan.