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Pre-Revolutionary War Period

Pre-Revolutionary War Period The Fiery Cross

Save Alamance & A Giveaway!

May 4, 2018

 

New Bern, 20 October

Colonel James Fraser

Whereas the Peace and good Order of this Government has been lately violated and much Injury done to the Persons and Properties of many Inhabitants of this Province by a Body of People who Stile themselves Regulators, I do by the Advice of his Majesty’s Council Order and direct you forthwith to call a General Muster of so many Men as you Judge suitable to serve in a Regiment of Militia, and make Report to me as soon as possible of the Number of Volunteers that are willing to turn out in the Service of their King and Country, when called upon, and also what Number of effective Men belong to your Regiment who can be ordered out in case of an Emergency, and in case any further Violence should be attempted to be committed by the Insurgents. Your Diligent and punctual Obedience to these Orders will be well received by

Your Obed’t. Servant,

William Tryon
(Diana Gabaldon/The Fiery Cross)

That call to action from Governor Tryon to Jamie would come to a stunning conclusion in The Fiery Cross with the The Battle of Alamance, changing the lives of our beloved Outlander characters forever. But did you know that this battle is not fiction?

In 1771, an armed rebellion of over 2,000 backcountry farmers called Regulators battled with royal governor William Tryon’s 1,000-man militia. The spark for this conflict was growing resentment in the Carolina colony against the taxes, dishonest sheriffs, and illegal fees imposed by the British Crown. In response, the Regulators were formed and began to fight back. Though the rebellion was crushed, a few years later their tactics became a model for the colonists fighting the British in the American Revolutionary War.

The battle began on May 16 after the Regulators rejected Tryon’s suggestion that they disperse peacefully. Lacking leadership, organization, and adequate arms and ammunition, the Regulators were no match for Tryon’s militia. Many Regulators fled, leaving their bolder comrades to fight on.

The rebellion of the Regulators was crushed. Nine members of the king’s militia were killed and 61 wounded. The Regulator losses were much greater, though exact numbers are unknown. Tryon took 15 prisoners; seven were hung later. If you’ve read The Fiery Cross, you know that these hangings become quite personal for one major character.

After the battle, many Regulators moved on to other frontier areas beyond North Carolina. Those who stayed were offered pardons by the governor in exchange for pledging an oath of allegiance to the royal government.

The War of the Regulation illustrates how dissatisfied much of the population was during the days before the American Revolution. The boldness displayed by reformers opposed to royal authority provided a lesson in the use of armed resistance, which patriots employed a few short years later in the American War for Independence.

YOUR CALL TO ACTION

Alamance Battleground located in Alamance County, North Carolina, preserves the legacy of the May 16, 1771 Battle of Alamance. The state of North Carolina has already preserved 60-acres of battleground lands as a State Historic Site, open to the public for education; however, two tracts of land adjacent to the site are now up for sale. These lands include the actual epicenter of the battle in addition to lands utilized by Regulators during the leadup to the battle, and their retreat and triage afterward.

Please help in safeguarding a culturally and historically valuable battlefield from encroaching development! The Battleground is seeking funds to preserve this land in order to promote educational opportunities for generations to come, and to honor the legacy of those who made early sacrifices that ultimately paved the path towards American Independence.

If every Outlander fan donated just one dollar towards this worthwhile cause, the Battleground would have no trouble purchasing these two vitally important tracts of land and preserving the history of the Battle for generations to come! Please consider donating today at their Go Fund Me Page:  Save Alamance.  Also, would you consider sharing this post with others?  The more people we can make aware of this fundraiser, the better the chances are that we can #SaveAlamance!  Do it for Roger but more importantly, do it for history!

#SAVEALAMANCE GIVEAWAY

In honor of the Battle of Alamance and the Alamance Battleground, I am pleased to give away TWO (2)  copies of “Farming Dissenters: The Regulator Movement in Piedmont North Carolina” by Dr. Carole Watterson Troxler.

#SAVEALAMANCE GIVEAWAY RULES

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY AND A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Please enter below for a chance to win a copy of “Dissenting Farmers: The Regulator Movement in Piedmont North Carolina” by Dr. Carole Watterson Troxler. One entry per option completed.  This giveaway begins on Friday, May 4, 2018, at 1:00 PM Eastern Time and ends at 12:59 PM Eastern Time on Friday, May 11, 2018. The winners will be announced on the blog and in the Outlander North Carolina Facebook group. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter and must be a resident of the United States. (Apologies to our international readers. Giveaway laws vary widely in different countries and giveaways are totally prohibited in some.) Selection of the winners will be made by random drawing from qualifying entries within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway. Prizes will be mailed directly to the winners by Outlander North Carolina. Questions regarding the giveaway can be directed to outlandernorthcarolina@gmail.com.

Good luck and, as always, thank you for reading Outlander North Carolina!  P.S.  Don’t forget to donate to #SaveAlamance by clicking here.

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Drums Of Autumn Outlander North Carolina Pre-Revolutionary War Period

Yo Ho Ho! Plus A Giveaway!

August 28, 2017

Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest. Yo ho ho and….wait a minute. No, no, no! Not a bottle of rum…..a giveaway!

In honor of Susan Jackson’s guest post this past week regarding the Gentleman Pirate Stede Bonnet, I will be giving away to one lucky reader, Miller Pope’s book “Pirates of the Carolinas”.  All that is required for you to enter is to answer one multiple choice question regarding your interests as it relates to Outlander North Carolina. This will help us know where we should focus most of our energies with our blog posts. Nothing else is required of you to enter although it would be nice if you subscribed to the blog, in the event you haven’t already. Sharing is always good so perhaps you might also consider sharing my blog and and the Facebook group with other like-minded people. (You know, the crazy, delusionally obsessed Outlander fan type – wink, wink?)

One more note of interest on Stephen Bonnet, that pirate we meet in Drums of Autumn and the one we all hate – if you have read the books, that is. Karen Henry over at Outlandish Observations told me that Diana (you know, Herself?) has said that Stephen is probably the son or grandson of Major Stede Bonnet. If anyone would know, it would be Diana, so, there you go! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  He’s a chip off the old block.  Like father, like son.  OK, I’m rambling and I’ll stop now but you get the picture.  Diana is truly a walking history book.  I wish I could have her brain but I doubt she wants to part with it and I doubt even more that she would want mine in place of hers.

Now, back to the contest.  You must have or register for an Amazon account to enter; however, NO PURCHASE IS REQUIRED. One entry per person. Giveaway ends Sunday, September 3, 2017 at 11:59 PM. One winner from all entrants will be randomly selected by Amazon who will notify that person via email. Watch your inbox since the winner will have 48 hours to respond. For more, please see the Official Rules at https://amzn.to/GArules.

Ready to enter the Yo Ho Ho Giveaway? Well, then, just click on this link: Yo Ho Ho Giveaway.

Thanks for reading the blog and may the best Sassenach win!!!

Cape Fear River Drums Of Autumn Pre-Revolutionary War Period

Will The Real Stephen Bonnet Please Stand Up?

August 24, 2017
Guest Post By Susan Jackson

Stede Bonnet, The Gentleman Pirate

Early in Drums of Autumn (DOA), Claire and Jamie meet Stephen Bonnet, a pirate who had just escaped hanging. Against his better judgment, Jamie lets Bonnet come along with them–under cover–and go back to his ship.

And that was the beginning of a loooong back and forth relationship, if you will, of the Frasers and the despicable Stephen Bonnet.  In fact, I would say the man is hated much, much more than Geillis in the book series. Rightly so, as he was truly a degenerate, with no hope of rehabilitation–a career pirate.

Since the time of piracy’s heydays in the Colonial period, history has somehow managed to romanticize it. Not to be confused with privateering, which was a ship whose crew was authorized by their government to capture enemy merchant ships during war time, pirates captured any boat they thought had goods aboard that they could either sell for the profit, or keep themselves.  Pirates murdered, maimed and stole simply out of greed.

When I first read the name Stephen Bonnet in DOA, I thought I had heard the name before. Living on the coast of North Carolina, there are plenty of old pirate stories hanging around, and Blackbeard is the best-known pirate in these parts, as he kept headquarters in the old town of Bath, which isn’t far from me. There are endless stories of treasure that Edward “Blackbeard” Teach (or a/k/a Thatch) has hidden all over the Outer Banks, even as far inland as Edenton. (No one has found any of it, by the way–but then again, who would tell it if they did?) But I knew there was something familiar about Bonnet’s name, so I looked it up. Come to find out, Stephen Bonnet is truly a fictional character, but his name is very similar to the man known as the Gentleman Pirate, Major Stede Bonnet.

Major Stede Bonnet was born in Barbados in 1688 to a fairly well-to-do English family. His father died when he was six years old, and he became owner of his father’s land and holdings. He was a member of the Barbados militia, and in 1709, married a young woman named Mary, and they had four children. As we say, life was good.  Then something happened.

No one knows exactly when, but one of the Bonnet’s children died. Some blamed Stede’s decision to become a pirate on his grief, some blamed it on an unhappy marriage, and some chalk it up to Stede being a Jacobite and wanting to spite King George in any way he could. We Outlander fans are pros on terms like Jacobite, and even know who King George was. 😉 Whatever the reason, Stede used his own money to have a ship built, rigged it with cannons, named it the Revenge, got a crew together, and set sail.

The Bonnet Flag

Fortunately for the Major, he didn’t do too badly in 1717, hanging out around the coast from the Carolinas to New York, plundering away, in spite of the fact that he had no sailing experience whatever. His crew didn’t like him, though, as he ordered them around, not having a clue about navigation, or running a ship. His captain’s cabin was filled with books, and he often lay around like the well-to-do man that he was. One day, his lack of seafaring knowledge was plain to see when he ordered the attack of a Spanish ship.  The Revenge was badly damaged, as were members of his crew, along with their captain.

During his convalescence, Bonnet met Blackbeard. Bonnet’s crew begged the fairly new pirate captain, Blackbeard, to take over the Revenge because Bonnet had no idea what he was doing. They needed a sure and confident leader, and Blackbeard, though just starting out with his own ship, was an experienced pirate. Blackbeard convinced Bonnet that he could be his guest while his injuries healed, and the pampered Bonnet was only too happy to accept. The two pirate captains were very successful in their partnership and the Gentleman Pirate must have thought every pirate captain was a gentleman. He would soon find out Blackbeard was a shrewd man, and a true pirate.

Stede Bonnet and Blackbeard

Sometime in early 1718, Bonnet was much improved and ready to take on the seas again, but ran into trouble when he attacked another ship and the attack failed. Once again, the captain and crew took refuge on Blackbeard’s ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Blackbeard suggested Bonnet and his crew go into the town of Bath to seek out a governor’s pardon.  So much for good partnerships because while Bonnett and some of his crew were being pardoned and authorized to privateer, Blackbeard took off with their loot and the remaining crew! After this, Bonnet tried really hard to stick to privateering and attacking only Spanish ships, as the governor had given him the right to do.  However, being the not-so-good man that he was, he ended up getting back into piracy and spending about two months looking for the double-crossing Edward Teach and the Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Bonnet never found Blackbeard, as both Blackbeard’s and Bonnet’s days were numbered. While Bonnet was on the run, Blackbeard, in November 1718, was killed in a long fight with British soldiers near Ocracoke Island in North Carolina, and his head was taken and hung from the front of the military ship to prove that Blackbeard was no longer in the pirate business.  In the meantime, Bonnet had changed his ship’s name to the Royal James to avoid detection from officials. They were onto him, however, and caught up with him as the boat underwent some repairs while harboring at a creek near the mouth of the Cape Fear River and the quaint little town of Southport.  A fight ensued (The Battle of Cape Fear also called the Battle of the Sandbars), and the pirate ultimately surrendered. After a brief escape, old Stede was recaptured and hanged, along with his crew, in December 1718.

Bonnet’s Creek Memorial, Southport, NC. Reads as follows, “BONNET’S CREEK ~ Stede Bonnet, the ‘Gentleman Pirate’ used the mouth of this creek as a hide-out for his vessel, the Royal James formerly called Revenge. Here on September 26, 1718, the great Battle of the Sand Bars was fought between the pirates and the men sent to capture them under the command of Col. William Rhett aboard the “Henry” and “Sea Nymph”. After a twenty-four hour battle there were nineteen men killed, twenty-three wounded, and Bonnet, with the remains of his pirate crew, surrendered. On November 8, 1718, twenty-nine of the pirates were hanged in Charleston, S.C. A few weeks later, holding a cluster of flowers in his manacled hands, Gentleman Stede Bonnet met the same fate on the gallows. This part of the Cape Fear was a favorite meeting place for pirates, including the notorious Blackbeard and Mary Anne Blythe, the woman buccaneer.”

NC Historical Marker Located In Southport, NC

 

The Execution of Stede Bonnet

Bonnet Memorial in Charleston, SC

Diana has asked many times (somewhat jokingly) if we think she makes up the “stuff” she writes in her books. Well, she does but being the researcher she is, we also know she uses real people to create some fictional ones. Think about Geillis Duncan who was inspired by the nonfictional Gellie Duncan of the 1590’s Berwick Witch Trials in Scotland. So, what do you think? Could Stede Bonnet have been Diana’s inspiration for her fictional Stephen Bonnet? What other fictional characters do you think Diana has created from real people?

Want to visit the old stomping grounds of Stede Bonnet mentioned in this article? Did you say yes? Then, check out the following sites:

Susan Jackson is a mother of four who lives in coastal North Carolina, and an avid Outlander fan.  Besides reading, she loves cooking and baking, and music.  She is a thyroid cancer survivor and has worked in education most of her life. She hopes to one day blog about her thyroid cancer journey.