Scots Abroad: Stories of Scottish Emigration

Flora Macdonald memorial

Memorial of Flora Macdonald's emigration to North Carolina addressed to Sir John Macpherson, late governor of India, 21 October 1789:


'Mrs Flora MacDonald followed her husband to North Carolina … Her husband purchased a plantation with the stock of different cattle on which they lived comfortably for near a year. When the American Rebellion brock out … her husband went in disguise to Fort Johnston on the mouth of the River Capefear, and there settled the plan of riseing the Highlanders in arms, with Governor Martin. This he and others did, to the noumber of 1600.'

'Mrs Flora MacDonald being all this time in misery and sickness at home, being informed that her husband and friends were all killed or taken, contracted a severe fever, and was deeply oppressed … She remained in this deplorable condition for two years, among robbers, and faithless servants, untill her husband and son in law obtained a flag of truce … which brought me, my daughter and her children from Wilmingtown … to New York.'

'My husband commanded a company of gentlemen volunteers, all Scotsh refugees from Carolina & Virginia … untill ordered to joyne the 84th Regiment in Nova Scotia … I was obliged tho tender to follow … At last landing in Halifax were alowed to stay there for eight days … We sett off for Windsor … There we continued all winter and spring, covered with frost and snow, and almost starved with cold to death … and by ane accedentall fall next summer dislockated the wrist of the other hand, and brock some tendons.'

'When I got the better of this missfortune I fixed my thoughts on seeing my native country … I and other three young ladys and two gentlemen sett sail in October, but in our passage spying a sail, made ready for action, and in hurreying the ladys below to a place of safety … fell and brock the dislockated arm in two.'

'We arrived in the Thames … but to my great sorrow, on my landing, received the melancholy newes of my son Alexander's death … And a short time thereafter, got the accounts of the Villa de Paris being lost in her way home, where my beloved son Ranald was Captain.'

'The cast in both my arms are liveing monuments of my sufferings and distresses, and the long goal confinement which my husband underwent has brought on such disorders … that I may fairly say we both have suffered in our person, family, and interest, as much if not more than any two going under the name of refugees or loyallists, without the smallest recompence.'