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Last Updated 05/21/01


A Scottish Document concerning Emigration to North Carolina in 1772


[Vol. 67 (1990), 438-449]

The document published below provides new information relating to the emigration of Scottish Highlanders to North Carolina in the period between the end of the French and Indian War in 1763 and the outbreak of the War of Independence in America in 1775. Initial Scottish efforts to colonize North Carolina, however, had begun several decades earlier.

In September, 1739, “about three hundred and fifty people from Scotland” arrived in North Carolina.1 They were led by a group of gentlemen from the Scottish islands of Islay and Gigha and the neighboring Kintyre peninsula of the shire of Argyll. Argyll (formerly spelled, and still pronounced, Argyle) forms the southwest of the Scottish Highlands, an area quite distinct, geologically and culturally, from the rest of Scotland. It is an area very close to the north of Ireland (at one point the Kintyre peninsula is only twenty-two miles from the Irish coast). Without doubt, the Argyll colonists of 1739 were influenced by the example of the Irish Protestants, mostly Presbyterians, who had begun to emigrate to America in large numbers in the eighteenth century.2 In 1729 Archibald Campbell, one of the agents of the Argyll estate, wrote to the dowager duchess of Argyll “that several persons in Kintyre in imitation of there [sic] neighbours in Irland show a great Inclination to go to new England to settle there.” “Mr McNeill I mean Niell oge,” he reported, “is very active in carrying on the project he is forst to [go] himself upon the expense I suppose of the adventurers to see for a proper place for the Colony and according to his Report they are to be Determine.”3 In 1737 Campbell lamented: “the same adventorous disposition of going to America, which has for some years prevailed in Ireland, is at length come over the water and Seiz’d our people in Argyleshire to that degree that some of our landed men are about to sell their concerns and determined to try their fortune in that Country.”4

Why were “landed men” in Argyll contemplating emigration to America? Most of the shire of Argyll was owned by the duke of Argyll, the foremost member of Scotland’s nobility and a man of great consequence in Britain as a whole. The island of Islay, however, was owned by a wealthy Glasgow merchant and member of Parliament named Daniel Campbell of Shawfield, who had acquired it about 1725.5 Both Argyll and Campbell of Shawfield showed an early interest in “improving” their estates by reforming agricultural practices to increase yields and make possible rises in the income they could extract in rent. The “landed men” referred to by the duke’s agent were not landowners but those who rented or mortgaged farms from those who owned the land and then sublet them to others at a higher rent. Often called “tacksmen,” they formed part of the old clan system that had evolved in the Scottish Highlands.6 Commercial pressures, however, led to changes in this system of landholding. The second duke of Argyll, in pressing need of higher rents to support his British military and political career, began to encourage those who had formerly sublet from the tacksmen to compete directly in obtaining leases, in effect auctioning his lands rather than allocating them on the basis of kinship or tradition. It was also well known that Campbell of Shawfield intended to make profound changes in the system of landholding on Islay. The emigration from Argyll in 1739 was a reaction by some tacksmen to this development.

Surprisingly little is known about the development of the “Argyll Colony” established in 1740 in the area of what is today Fayetteville. Certainly there were subsequent emigrations from Argyll to the region.7 The settlement retained a distinctive Scottish Highland character because of the preponderance of Gaelic-speaking Highlanders in the area and their adherence to the Presbyterian religion as it was practiced in Argyll.8 Those who led the 1739 emigration, such as Coll McAlester of Balinakill and Neill McNeill of Ardelay, brought over their own tenants to help them clear and settle the land grants they obtained from royal governor Gabriel Johnston in 1740, and it was these people of humbler social origin who made up most of the population of the little settlement.9 Judging from the insistence on fluency in Scots Gaelic that was displayed in the search for a Presbyterian minister to serve the settlement, many of the original emigrants could speak little or no English. The letter of 1772 printed below by Alexander Campbell of Balole mentions that the original colony “settled under many disadvantages 40 miles in the midst of woods distant from any other Settlemt, which hurt him [McNeill of Ardelay] and them greatly.”

This first settlement became the focus of a second wave of emigration from the Scottish Highlands to North Carolina that began about 1767. A group of Highlanders received land grants from royal governor William Tryon in 1767, and the province’s assembly voted to reimburse the governor the £15 he had expended for the emigrants’ assistance after they had landed at Brunswick. The assembly records noted that the emigrants were “from the Isle of Jura in Argyle Shire.”10 In March, 1771, Governor Tryon wrote to his superiors in London that the assembly had passed an act “to encourage the further settlement of this province,” which was “enacted on behalf of several ship loads of Scotch families which had landed in this province within three years past from the Isles of Arran, Durah [Jura], Islay and Gigha but chief of them from Argyle Shire and are mostly settled in Cumberland County.”11 In 1769 the Scots Magazine included a brief note that in August a ship had left Islay with emigrants for North Carolina “and it is said, that this is the third or fourth emigration from Argyll since the conclusion of the late war.”12

Writing in 1771, Governor Tryon said the Highlanders came to America because “the Rents of their lands were so raised that they could not live upon them.”13 The question of Highland emigration and its relation to the rapid rise of rents on some Highland estates in the period 1767-1775 and thereafter is an emotive one in Scottish historiography. Were the Highlanders pushed or were they pulled? On the one hand Highland landlords like Sir Alexander MacDonald of Sleat (on the Isle of Skye), mentioned in the document published below, were raising their rents substantially at that time. The Reverend Allan Macqueen, parish minister of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides, was an eyewitness to the emigration from the MacDonald estate to North Carolina. In later years he commented: “the sudden rise of the land-rents was certainly the original cause of emigrations from the isle of Sky and Uist to America. Those who found a difficulty in supporting their families when the rents were low, could not be persuaded that any exertions in industry would enable them to live with any degree of comfort, when raised a third more at least.”

On the other hand, Macqueen acknowledged a “pull” toward America, noting that “copies of letters from persons who had emigrated several years before to America, to their friends at home, containing the most flattering accounts of the province of North Carolina, were circulated among them. The implicit faith given to these accounts made them resolve to desert their native country, and to encounter the dangers of crossing the Atlantic to settle in the wilds of America.” He argued that so many had emigrated from the MacDonald estate “that these countries would in a short time have been drained of their inhabitants had it not been for the American war.”14

It is difficult to determine how seriously that claim should be taken. The most recent authority on the subject, Eric Richards, has concluded that “it is impossible to be either precise or comprehensive about Scottish emigration before 1825,” though he has also written that “taking even the lowest estimates of emigration it is clear that a significant proportion of the total population of the Highlands left in the dozen years before 1775.”15 Clearly, many of those Highlanders were part of the organized emigrations from Argyll, Skye, and Sutherland to North Carolina and ultimately the Cape Fear Valley.

The document published below is an example of the “flattering accounts” circulating on Skye and in the Highlands generally at that time. Until the discovery of this document, it was not understood how the Highland emigration from Argyll spread to the Isle of Skye in western Inverness-shire, considerably to the north of Islay and Jura. One of the letters copied onto the document published here is by Alexander Campbell of Balole in Islay, who held a wadset (or mortgage of a farm) there. His promotional activities during this period deserve further comment.

Campbell of Balole was a nephew of Neill McNeill of Ardelay, a leader of the 1739 Argyll colony. One of Campbell of Balole’s brothers, James, accompanied his uncle to North Carolina and obtained a patent on a 640-acre tract known as the “Balole lands” in 1740. James Campbell returned to Scotland but at some later time devised the tract to his brother Alexander. In the meantime Alexander went to Jamaica for twelve years to try his fortune. He extended his ventures to the islands of St. Vincent and Grenada before returning to Scotland in the 1760s. On August 11, 1769, Campbell of Balole wrote his will, presumably as a preparatory step to making a voyage to North Carolina.

Unquestionably, Campbell liked what he saw in North Carolina because by the summer of 1770 he was back in Scotland urging Highlanders to emigrate with him. He returned finally to North Carolina with his family in January, 1775, just as the nonimportation act, rigidly enforced by the Wilmington-New Hanover Committee of Safety, betokened the coming rupture between Great Britain and its colonies. In a petition to the North Carolina General Assembly in late 1777, Campbell explained that most of his property, including Negroes, was in the West Indies. His “good friend Cornelius Harnett,” one of the colony’s leading revolutionaries, had obtained permission for him to import the slaves, he said, but “the troubles Increasing here, soon after, put a stop to his getting them in, Which Disappointment has made it Difficult for your Petitioner To Support his Family ever Since.” Campbell now sought an exemption from the “State Oath” because to sign it would cut him “out of every Shilling of his Fortune in these Countries Whether America or Great Britain get the Better in the Present war.” Unmoved, the General Assembly tabled his petition. Perhaps in desperation Campbell embarked for the West Indies, where he died, for his will was offered for probate at the October, 1779, term of the Cumberland County court.16

Despite his brief sojourn in North Carolina, Campbell of Balole apparently earned the confidence of people on both sides of the Atlantic. In reply to a query from Angus McCuaig of Islay in 1770, Alexander McAllister of Cumberland County assured him that Campbell’s characterization of North Carolina was accurate. “This is the best poor man’s country I have heard in this age,” McAllister asserted. Perhaps it was Alexander Campbell of Balole to whom the Scots Magazine alluded in June, 1771, when it quoted a letter written in February:

We are informed from the western isles, that upwards of 500 souls from Islay, and the adjacent islands, prepare to migrate next summer to America, under the conduct of a gentleman of wealth and merit whose predecessors resided in Islay for many centuries past; and that there is a large colony of the most wealthy and substantial people in Sky, making ready to follow the example of the Argathelians in going to the fertile and cheap lands on the other side of the Atlantic ocean.17

Campbell’s letter offers his assessment of the opportunities available in North Carolina. The fact that a copy of his letter was circulating on Skye in 1772 establishes that his views influenced those on Skye and adjacent areas who decided to emigrate to North Carolina. There is another copy of this letter by Campbell of Balole in the Dunvegan Castle Muniments on the Isle of Skye.18 Interestingly, the contemporary pamphlet most directly linked with Scottish emigration to North Carolina, Information concerning the Province of North Carolina Addressed to Emigrants from the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland (Glasgow, 1773), is signed “Portaskaig in Islay, May 24th 1773. SCOTUS AMERICANUS.” Balole on Islay is five miles southwest of Port Askaig, the Islay port opposite Jura.19 A comparison of the text of Campbell of Balole’s letter and the pamphlet by “Scotus Americanus” cannot establish him as the author, but there are pronounced similarities in the views expressed in each account.

The remainder of the document published here also requires some comment. George Mackay of Mudal near Tongue in Sutherland, on the north coast of Scotland, was a tacksman on the countess of Sutherland’s estate. He organized an emigration to North Carolina in 1772 that attracted the attention of the Scots Magazine. The document published here corroborates the assertion by the agent for the Sutherland estate that the emigration had been undertaken “in imitation of the Isle of Skay People.”20 Unfortunately, the identity of the author of the response to Mackay’s inquiry, which is also included in this document, is not known. “Waterstein,” who recommended Mackay to the letter writer, was a tacksman on the Macleod estate on Skye who contemplated joining the emigration.21 The author of this letter was thus likely to have been one of those concerned with organizing the large emigration from Skye and the neighboring island of North Uist to North Carolina in the years 1770-1775.22

Much remains to be discovered regarding emigration from the Scottish Highlands to the Cape Fear Valley, but the document published here establishes the connection between Argyll, Skye, and Sutherland and illustrates how information regarding North Carolina was circulated in Scotland.


Skinidin23 7 March 1772

Dear Sir

You may see by Watersteins letter of this date that he’s so good as recomend me to you for Information, anent the Carolina Scheme, Im the more desirous to be informed minutely in this affair, that after other people & I settled a plan for transporting ourselves and families to Carolina I have a letter from a Gentleman acquainting me, that we coud get no Settlements there owing to America being already the property of other trading people, except a few noblemen who have extensive tracts of lands there, as likewise officers of the Army, who sold their property to merchts If this is the Case pray inform me as likewise of the different queries given you now by me, I beg youll be pleased to excuse this trouble;

Sir your most obt humble Servt

sic Subscribitur Geo. Mackay

Mr. Geo Mackay - Sir

In Answer to the above I assure you from the best Information I could learn of North Carolina from Gentlemen of undoubted Veracity that were on the place that a twentieth part of that province is yet no Mans property but the Kings, who will give it to any Subject at half a Crown, the hundred Acres yearly of quit rent and to foreigners cheaper, so that that Gentleman who told you it was mostly in merchants hands was misinformed.

The Climate is rather hot than cold, but the people of Argyle who have settled there for 40 years past live as healthy in it as in Scotland, witness some of the first Settlers yet alive above 80 years of age, the Soil is too dry for Rice, but will when cleared produce wheat Barley & indian Corn, without any manure, likewise flax; so that flax seed, is one of the staple Commodities of the Country; The Returns of the indian Corn is from 2 to 300 fold, and every peck of grain will yeild above two of Meall; The other produce of the Country is Tar, Turpentine Tobacco Cotton Pelletry and Indigo, likewise some Islands in the River and spots of ground on the Banks of it produce Rice.

I was advising with a Gentleman of Ilay (who went to that place two years ago, and came back last year to sell his wadsett and Stock on it) whether I shoud see to get a Grant before I left this Country or apply to Ld William Campbell the Governour24 after I went over & he told me there was no difficulty to get lands at any time at the Rent already named, and in any part of the Country I choased if not already engaged, and youll get alot of Ground of 500 Acres with 20 or 30 of them cleared & some houses built upon it from £60 to £100, but the Numbers that go there yearly has lately raised the value of cultivated lands; Any person having proper Credentialls of his Industry and honesty will get a farm with houses & Cattle of different kinds & seed to sow the Ground upon these terms two thirds of the Calves & foalls to go to the Owners & half the piggs, and whatever Seed is sown, the same quantity is yearly paid to the owner, & many by this way have at Length bought the property of the whole farm; The price of labour is very high, a good Spinster can earn 12/ p month, and a Labourer 15/; a good smith can get £60 a year & a Cooper £40; a Schoolmaster £24 besides quarter payments which will give more than his Sallary.

A list of toolls & ca for America; Strong spades, Hows [hoes], Hatchetts, Adzes, Handsaws, Crosscut & whipsaws, augres, gamlets, Naills of different kinds & Hammers, a few Chissells, window Glass potty, and by all Means what Grindstones and Querns can be got.

Copy Campbell of Bellol: To Corriechatachan25

I recd yours of 20th of last Month & observe the difft Contents, in regard to your queries about North Carolina & ca, And in answer to all take as follows; Last year I brot some passengers to that Country, I went first ashoar in S. Carolina it is the richest place I ever saw Suppose I lived 12 years in Jamaica, their produce is Indigo Rice Silk Cotton, with sundry others, but by all Accots I could learn, it is far from being so healthy as N.C: the produce of this last is Tarr Turpentine Beef & pork & some Indigo Rice and Tobacco all Sort of timber, with various other Commodities; N.C: is but a new Settlemt in Comparison to S.C: I have seen the first Child was born to the English there & I do not believe he is above 45 years old An Uncle of mine Niell MacNiel of Ardulay brot over the first Highlanders that went there 30 years ago,26 he then settled under many disadvantages 40 Miles in the midst of Woods distant from any other Settlemt, which hurt him and them greatly but now the Case is quite altered, the town of Wilmington which is now the princll one in the province, is a fine thriving pretty place, it had but 3 hutts in it, when my Uncle went over, it is 24 Miles fm the Sea on a river larger than the Thames, and has a considerable trade with most parts of England; 100 Miles above this town lies Crosscreeks on the same River, a very thriving place, the Highlanders are mostly settled about this last, each has a plantation of his own on the river Side & live as happy as princes, they have liberty & property & no Excise, no dread of their being turned out of their lands by Tyrants, each has as good a Charter as a D. of Argyle, or a Sir A: Macdonald, and only pay half a Crown a year for 100 Acres they possess, in Short I never saw a people seemed to me to be so really happy as our Countrymen there, As to health they have no more Complaints than those in the highlands; It is impossible within the small Bounds of a letter to give you an adequate Idea of this Country, but as I dont choose to conceall any part of the knowledge fm any of my Countrymen that want to go there take the following Sketch; The Calculation made in that Country is this, that if a person take £500 Str with him and employ it in any rationall manner he may live equall to any Laird of £500 p Annum in any part of great Brittain, & so in proportion with any Sum one carries wt him free there As for getting lands no person needs have the least doubt about that for I was well informed if all the people in Scotland & Ireland were to go there theyd have plenty of land in that province, for what is known of it already is much larger than Brittain & Ireland put together; It is already divided into 32 Countrys, what is settled of it I do not doubt but Argyleshire has as many Soulls in it as N.C. this day, when I went there I was invited by Gentlemen in different Counties to go & settle with each in his own County, for there is nothing they want so much as people I referred making a Choice positively untill I returned when I woud have more leisure to choose, I must own I have a strong Attachmt to be and settle with my own Countrymen In the County of Cumberland where I have some lands Relations & friends; In this County I could buy a settled plantation with a good house out houses 80 Acres of opened lands & 500 Acres of wood lands, & which would return more than any farm in Ilay or Sky, I say I coud purchase such a place for £150 or £160 Str & some of them are sold for £60 all on the river Side where you send produce to town & getts of Goods & money, I would therefore advise all the Gentlemen that are going to that Country to referr making any purchases till they go themselves & have their own choice, for they have no more Occasion for Anxiety about lands when they come there than they woud have about water & stones in the highlands; You ask if the trees are farr fm ayr [another] They are so much that you can gallop a horse thro all he woods I saw there without touching a tree there are also some spots without trees at all but are not reckoned good lands, upon the whole if that Country was as well known as the little knowledge I have of it there woud be few tents [tenants] or farmers in Scotland or Ireland in 3 years; I add no more & ca P.s. forgot that there is flower & great Corn there in plenty

I am Sir Your most obt Servt. sic subscribitur Campbell of Belloll


* Dr. Murdoch is the researcher for the Scottish Records Program in Edinburgh, Scotland. The program is conducted under the auspices of the North Carolina Colonial Records Project in the Division of Archives and History, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Raleigh. Funding from the Carolina Charter Corporation and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities have made the Scottish Records Program possible.

The document published here is from the papers of Dugald Gilchrist of Ospisdale, a factor (estate official) on the Sutherland estate. It is located in the Gifts and Deposits series, GD. 153/51/71/12, Scottish Record Office, Edinburgh, Scotland. It is published by the kind permission of the Keeper of the Records of Scotland. Original spelling and punctuation have been retained. Grateful acknowledgment is made of assistance from Albert Russell, Iain Hill, Dr. David J. Brown, and Dr. Frances J. Shaw of the Scottish Record Office; Dr. Robert J. Cain, head, Colonial Records Branch, Historical Publications Section, Division of Archives and History; and Barbara DeWolfe of Harvard University.

1 William L. Saunders (ed.), The Colonial Records of North Carolina (Raleigh: State of North Carolina, 10 volumes, 1886-1890), IV, 489-490, hereinafter cited as Saunders, Colonial Records; Robert J. Cain (ed.), Records of the Executive Council, 1735-1754, Volume VIII of The Colonial Records of North Carolina [Second Series], edited by Mattie Erma Edwards Parker and others (Raleigh: Division of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources, projected multivolume series, 1963—), xviii-xx, hereinafter cited as Cain, Records of the Executive Council, VIII. There is now a newsletter devoted to genealogical aspects of this emigration, Argyll Colony Plus, privately published in Fort Worth, Texas, since 1986.

2 R. J. Dickson, Ulster Emigration to Colonial America, 1718-1775 (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966).

3 Archibald Campbell of Stonefield to “your Grace,” February 13, 1729, Campbell of Stonefield Letter Book, GD.14/10/1, pp. 224-225, Scottish Record Office. Quoted with the permission of P. L. Mackie-Campbell. The Gaelic word for “young” is “og” or “oge.”

4 Archibald Campbell of Stonefield to “Mr. Smith,” February 19, 1737, Campbell of Stonefield Letter Book, GD.14/10/3, pp. 170-171. Quoted with the permission of P. L. Mackie-Campbell.

5 A near contemporary account of Campbell of Shawfield’s plans for Islay exists in a legal paper relating to a lawsuit over a wadset on the island. Answers for Colin Campbell of Ardnahow to the Petition of Donald Campbell of Killinalen, 1760, Scottish Court of Session Papers, CS.230/C/5/9, Scottish Record Office.

6 The best work on the Argyll estate during this period is by Eric Cregeen. His studies, however, focus specifically on the islands of Mull and Tiree rather than Kintyre. See Eric Cregeen, “The Tacksmen and Their Successors,” Scottish Studies (University of Edinburgh), XIII (1969), 93-144; Erie Cregeen, “The Changing Role of the House of Argyll in the Scottish Highlands,” in N. T. Phillipson and Rosalind Mitchison (eds.), Scotland in the Age of Improvement (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1970), 5-23; and Eric Cregeen, “The Role of the Ducal House of Argyll in the Highlands” in Joan Lewis (ed.), History and Social Anthropology (London: Tavistock Publications, 1968), 153-192. For recent work on the history of the Highlands, see Allan I. Macinnes, “Scottish Gaeldom: The First Phase of Clearance,” in T. M. Devine and Rosalind Mitchison (eds.), People and Society in Scotland, Volume I, 1760-1830 (Edinburgh: John Donald Publishers, 1988).

7 A document from the records of the Argyll sheriff court indicates an emigration from Jura to the Cape Fear Valley in 1754. GD.64/5/21-22, Scottish Record Office. Regarding that emigration, see also Hector McAlester (or McAllister) to his brother Alexander, June 26, 1754, Private Collections, McAllister Family Papers, PC 1738, Archives, Division of Archives and History, Raleigh, hereinafter cited as McAllister Family Papers, PC 1738; and William R. Brock, Scotus Americanus: A Survey of the Sources for Links between Scotland and America in the Eighteenth Century (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1982), 81. Highlanders intending to emigrate used the term “Argyle Collony” in their call for a Presbyterian minister. Church of Scotland, Presbytery of Inveraray Minutes, February 27, 1739, CH.2/190/2, pp. 346-351, Scottish Record Office.

8 Presbytery of Inveraray Minutes, February 27, April 3, 24, 1739, and November 3, 1741, CH.2/190/2, pp. 346-351, 354-358, 386-387; Presbytery of Kintyre Minutes, January 14, 1748, CH.2/1153/3, Pp. 244-246; Scottish Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, Minutes of Committee, June 6, 14, September 6, October 4, 1739, April 3, 1740, GD.95/2/5, pp. 437, 441, 458, 477-478; Scottish Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, Journal, March 19, 1741, GD.95/1/4, pp. 157-158, Scottish Record Office.

9 This point is made in Cain, Records of the Executive Council, VIII, xix. Much work remains to be done on the social history of the Argyll colony.

10 Saunders, Colonial Records, VII, 543-544, 618, 654.

11 Saunders, Colonial Records, VIII, 526.

12 Scots Magazine, XXXI (1769), 501.

13 William Tryon to the Earl of Hillsborough, March 12, 1771, William S. Powell (ed.), The Correspondence of William Tryon and Other Selected Papers, 1758-1818 (Raleigh: Division of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources, 2 volumes, 1980-1981), II, 629.

14 Allan Macqueen, “Parish of North Uist,” in Sir John Sinclair (ed.), The Statistical Account of Scotland (Edinburgh: William Creech, 21 volumes, 1791-1799), XIII, 317-320. Macqueen was minister of the parish from 1770 to 1802. See Hew Scott, W. S. Crockett, and others (eds.), Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae: The Succession of Ministers in the Church of Scotland from the Reformation (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, second edition, 7 volumes, 1915-1928), VII, 187, 191.

15 Eric Richards, A History of the Highlands Clearance, Volume 2: Emigration, Protest, Reasons (London, England, and Dover, New Hampshire: Croom Helm Ltd., 1985), 194. For the broader context of that emigration see Bernard Bailyn, Voyagers to the West: Emigration from Britain to America on the Eve of the Revolution (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986).

16 The author wishes to thank George Stevenson of the State Archives for providing pertinent information on Alexander Campbell of Balole. Will of Alexander Campbell, August 11, 1769, codicil to will, March 16, 1766 [1776], memorandum added to will, November 14, 1777, proved “October Court Term 1779,” Cumberland County Wills, State Archives; Alexander Campbell, Cumberland County Estates Records, State Archives; Petition of Alexander Campbell, Petitions, Session of November-December, 1777, General Assembly Session Records, State Archives; A. Richardson Love, Jr., “North Carolina’s Highland Scots: Cultural Continuity and Change in Eighteenth-Century Scotland and Colonial America” (unpublished master’s thesis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1981), 52, 102; Barbara DeWolfe, “Discoveries of America: Letters of British Emigrants to America on the Eve of the Revolution,” Perspectives in American History, New Series, III (1986), 47-48, 56-58. The “Gentleman of Ilay” mentioned in the letter to George Mackay published below could also refer to Alexander Campbell of Balole. There are references to “Alexander Campbell late surveyor in the Island of Jamaica now at Balole in the Island of Ilay” in the Scottish Court of Session Minute Books, July 5, 1771, January 29, March 10, June 25, August 6, 1772, CS. 16/1/146, p. 87; CS. 16/1/148, pp. 137, 316, 379; CS. 16/1/151, pp. 192-193, Scottish Record Office.

17 Angus McCuaig to Alexander McAllister, July 26, 1770; Alexander McAllister to Angus McCuaig, November 29, 1770; Angus McCuaig to Alexander McAllister, August 22, 1771; Hector McAllister to Alexander McAllister, May 31, 1774; Angus McAllister to Alexander McAllister, August 20, 1775, McAllister Family Papers, PC 1738; Scots Magazine, XXXIII (1771), 325.

18 “n.d. Part of copy letter from ‘Campbell of Bellola to Corriechatachan concerning N & S Carolina,’” Survey 2950, section 4, 440 (no. 240), National Register of Archives (Scotland), Scottish Record Office.

19 The spelling “Balole” is taken from The Ordnance Survey Gazetteer of Great Britain (London: Macmillan Press, 1987), 45. This work lists the place-names given in the U.K. (United Kingdom) Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 scale Landranger map series.

20 R. J. Adam (ed.), John Home’s Survey of Assynt (Edinburgh: Scottish History Society, 1960), xxiii-xxiv; Scots Magazine, XXXIV (1772), 515.

21 The editor is very grateful to Barbara DeWolfe of Harvard University for this information. Part of this document will be published in her forthcoming book Discoveries of America (Cambridge University Press).

22 Saunders, Colonial Records, VIII, 620-621; Alexander “McDonald” of Kingsburgh to John Mackenzie of Delvine, April 30, 1771, and Allan McDonald of Kingsburgh to the same, March 2, 1773, MS. 1306, folios 54-55, 67-68, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh.

23 The editor is grateful to Barbara DeWolfe for establishing the place-name given at this point. Skinidin was a farm on the Macleod estate on Skye. “Alexr morison of skinidin” appears at least twice in the court records. In one instance he was an agent for a legal action. See Scottish Court of Session Minute Books, February 24, 1773, CS.16/1/154, p. 163. In a second instance in 1772 “Alexander Morison of Skiniden” on Skye brought an action before the Court of Session in which he stated he intended “to go abroad for sometime.” Scottish Court of Session Papers, CS.237/M/4/12, Scottish Record Office.

24 Lord William Campbell (d. 1778) was the fourth son of the fourth duke of Argyll. He was appointed royal governor of South Carolina in 1773, though he did not arrive there until 1775. In 1772 he was governor of Nova Scotia, a position he had held since 1766. In 1763, while captain of HMS Nightingale, he married Sarah Izard, daughter of prominent Charleston merchant Ralph Izard. Mark Mayo Boatner III, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (New York: David McKay Co., 1966), 172.

25 “Corrychattachan” was a farm on the MacDonald estate in the Parish of Strath on the Isle of Skye. Lorretta R. Timperley (ed.), A Dictionary of Landownership in Scotland, ca. 1770 (Edinburgh: Scottish Record Society, 1976), 176. For cases involving “Lauchlane McKinnon of Corriechattachan,” see the Scottish Court of Session Minute Books, December, 1771, and June, 1772, CS.16/1/148, pp. 49, 344.

26 See A. I. B. Stewart, “The North Carolina Settlement of 1739,” Scottish Genealogist, XXXII (March, 1985), 7-13, reprinted in Victor E. Clark, Jr., and Louise Curry (eds.), Colorful Heritage Documented (N.p.: Privately printed, 1989), available at the Harnett County Library, Lillington, North Carolina.

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