Lock of Sir Walter Scott’s hair, Melrose, Scotland, 1832

This lock of hair was cut from the head of the Scottish poet and historical novelist Sir Walter Scott during his last illness. Scott’s physician gave the lock to Hew Ainslie, a celebrated Scottish poet who had emigrated to the United States.
Ainslie is best remembered for Scottish Songs, Ballads, and Poems, in which he recounted his struggles in his native land and the opportunities afforded him in his adopted land. On his literary tours of Scotland, Ainslie was welcomed as a national hero, the quintessential Scotsman made good.
After Hew Ainslie’s death in 1878, his son George, U.S. congressional delegate from the territory of Idaho, donated Scott’s hair lock to the National Museum in a carefully sealed and labeled glass vial.
Gift of George Ainslie, 1882
date made
associated person
Scott, Sir Walter
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
George Ainslie
See more items in
Political History: Political History, General History Collection
Souvenir Nation
Government, Politics, and Reform
Souvenir Nation
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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