John Cameron appeared in the Dundee business directory from 1839 to 1860 and at one point was described as a Regimental Bagpipe Maker. He was born May 12, 1798 to parents John Cameron and Catherine Campbell. He died on June 15, 1859 and was described as a "Regimental Bagpipe Maker". He was found dead in a pond of water at 60 years old and the cause of death was said to be "suicide by drowning".
As evidenced by the following letters, Cameron was held in high esteem as a bagpipe maker.
Certificate in favour of JOHN C. CAMERON, Highland Bagpipe Maker, Dundee
This is to certify that John C. Cameron, Bagpipe Maker, Dundee, made for the Depot of the 91st, or
Argyleshire Regiment, a Bagpipe of Black Ebony, Ivory Mounted, which for excellency of workmanship and brilliancy of tone, is equal to any Instrument of the Kind we have ever seen. After being minutely examined and proved by Messers Robert Miller, James Rattray and Neil Matheson, late Piper Major, 72nd Regiment, all Musicians and esteemed as excellent Bagpipers, and receiving their highest approbation, was delivered to me in presence of the officers, to whom it has given the greatest satisfaction, and all of them cordially recommend him to those who require the aid of his ingenuity.
R McTavish, Piper Major, Depot 91st Regt
N Lamont, Major, Commanding Depot 91st Regt
15th January 1839
We were shown the other day a most magnificent bagpipe made by John C. Cameron, Scouringburn, for the depot of the 91st regiment at present in the barracks here. For beauty of workmanship and splendour of tone this instrument far excels any of the Kind we ever saw, and has drawn forth the highest admiration from a number of professional pipers, to whose judgement it was submitted, among whom we may mention the Pipe-Major of the regiment, the late piper of the 72nd regiment and Messers Miller and Rattray, all of whom declared it equal to any they had ever performed upon. Unfortunately for the deserving artist he is comparatively unknown and one in possesion of the varied talents and ingenuity which distinguish him, ought to have some claim to public patronage and support which we trust will not long be withheld from him.
Dundee Article in the ARBROATH JOURNAL of 23rd June 1839.
.... and my favorite
Club of True Highlanders London
No 3 Webber Street Blackfriars Road, London
My Dear Sir
I write to you acknoledging the receipt of my Bagpipes and feel it my duty at the same time to apologise for in not communicating the same before this, but the following I hope will in a measure serve to Justify and excuse my delay.
I was anxious as far as possible before writing to ascertain the true character of them to enable me to speacke consious and not considering my-self a competent judge I therefore submitted them to the inspection of several well known professional Pipers who all contributed there opinions altogether, I exhibitd them at a meeting of the Club of True Highlanders where they were Played by my-self and others all announcing them to be an excellent set of Bagpipes bestowing great praise on there maker.
I have great pleasure in congratulating you on the success of the first specimen of your handiwork
has met with in london and in the name of the Club of true highlanders to thank you for the delight they received while tripping the light fantastic to the sweet and shrilling strains of their native isl that rcalled to their memories the former days that were spent on the mountains with innocent pleasures than was Lochaber an amore sweeter played nor livlier responded to than it was that night on the workmanship of your hands and the next gratification was that they were the work of their countryman.
And for my own part I hold them a beloved object in the first inviolate sentiments that prevades my Soul, the rapturous pleasures they afford me when over my shoulder stirs animation in every nerve and my memory on the spring of life. If they continue to give the satisfaction they have done it is confess having pleasure at an honest price and Justice forbids and generosity disdains my ever thinking them a dear pleasure.
I hope you will be favoured with general Patronage that you may merit to yourself a name immortal, hoping this may meet you enjoying good health and tuning your lyre to tullochgorum.
I remain your admiring Friend
PS, I shall not neglect to recommend you as a fit hand for supplying anyone with a set of bagpipes that may feel any wish for a thing in that way.