Post by Contributing Author, The White Sow
For those of you wondering what a pig has to do with Outlander, I assure you that I am a character in Outlander. Unfortunately, I do not appear until book 4, Drums of Autumn. For those of you who have read the books, you already know how I fit into the storyline. For those only familiar with the television series, I won’t reveal too much, but suffice it to say, I have spent many an evening listening to the constant banter of the Frasers, first in the pantry and later in my sanctuary under the house. What credentials authorize me to psychoanalyze this family dynamic? Am I a psychologist or psychiatrist? No, but I have watched them on TV and I am home schooled. I also know a wise Hospital Pastoral Counselor who taught me an important lesson that I highlight in this article.
Why the Frasers Constantly Battle Trouble
While perusing the many comments on Outlander Twitter and Facebook sites, I found one reoccurring concern.—-Why are the Frasers always in trouble? I don’t ask, “Why?”, I ask, “Why, not?” Let me introduce you to the Karpman Drama Triangle. There are three roles we can play in life—-persecutor, rescuer, and victim. The theory is that if you play one of these rolls you will eventually become one of the others.
Let’s take a look at the King of Men, James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser —- a rescuer if there ever was one. We love the way he rushes to save Claire from the nightmare known as Black Jack Randall and valiantly volunteers to marry her. We love that he tries to save young Rabbie MacNab from his abusive father. What wonderful reward does he receive—— Rabbie’s father turns him in to the English soldiers. Now he is a victim.
And our beloved heroine, Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser, World War II Nurse and self proclaimed healer, will sacrifice everything to cure the sick. Despite the superstitious town folk who believe Mrs. Fitz nephew, Thomas Baxter, demon possessed, Claire charges in to save his life. She is determined to rescue a dying infant from its fate as a doomed “fairy changeling”, fails to save the child and has the whole town whispering “witch” behind her back. Both these selfless acts only help to make Claire the victim of the angry town folk who are ready to burn her at the stake. Now she is the one who needs rescuing. But, not to worry, Super Jamie is on his way to save the day.
So what about the persecutor, you may ask? Black Jack Randall is the ultimate villain who does eventually become a victim, although maybe not until his duel with Jamie in book two or his desperation to help his dying brother, do we see any inkling of that. We do see Rabbie McNab’s father go from persecutor to victim when the Fraser clan burns down his house and take his life for turning Jamie in to the British.
What Does This Mean For the Fraser’s Future
Throughout the 10 books that will depict the ongoing saga of the Frasers, I can guarantee we will see the Karpman Triangle continue. We will watch these characters and all who encounter the dynamic duo provide endless calamity as they move from one predicament to the next. This behavior tends to run in families, so don’t be surprised if we see Fraser relatives and offspring play these same roles. Fortunately, the animals in this epic tale provide some modicum of sanity. We do not play the role of rescuer, persecutor, or victim. Our behaviors are typical of our species.
It’s time for me to head back under the floor. I have to make more observations then take a nap. If you have any questions about my experiences with the Frasers, please leave them in the comments and I will answer them when I wake up.
In December 1996, Diana Gabaldon created a rather cantankerous animal character known as “the White Sow” in her book “Drums of Autumn”. In 2016, the White Sow joined Twitter, created a Facebook page, and began creating photos, gifs and videos to entertain. According to the White Sow, “It has always been my deepest desire to become comic relief.” The White Sow lives in North Carolina, of course. You can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/whitesow1/or on Twitter at @whitesow1.
Post by Contributing Author, Traci Wood Thompson
We all love the fact that Diana chose to send Jamie and Claire to North Carolina. Undoubtedly, Diana made this decision due to her research findings; any investigation into Highland Scot emigration will reveal North Carolina as a major destination. But why did they come, and why did they choose NC?
First, let’s explore the circumstances that set the migration in motion. There were many of them! The following information is from Douglas F. Kelly’s Carolina Scots: An Historical and Genealogical Study of Over 100 Years of Emigration (Dillon, SC: 1739 Publications, 1998), Chapter 2, “Winds of Change.”
The first catalysts were changes in estate management and farming practices. The old Highland way of farming was unfortunately somewhat inefficient, but this was not considered very important, as long as it could sustain large numbers of clansmen to form potential armies. But over time, as the clan patriarchs aligned themselves more with the English, the Scots aristocracy became more like English landlords, and a “fewer people and more money” mindset dominated.
The result of this change was a social restructuring. Traditionally, middlemen, or “tacksmen,” gathered the rents for the clan chiefs and kept a certain amount of the profit (we see Dougal filling this role in Outlander.) As more money was needed, the chiefs raised the tacksmen’s rent, which burden was then passed on to tenants. Then, a movement to get rid of the tacksman position altogether occurred; this was to give land leases directly to tenants, with the entire rent payment going to the chief. While probably a sound financial move, many found it to be “a shocking abrogation of the time-honored kinship system; an undercutting of the values of extended family” (p. 53). While the raising of the tenants’ status was supposed to be a benefit, this was ruined by other factors coming to play at the same time.
One big factor was sheep. Large-scale sheep farming was introduced to the Highlands in the latter third of the 18th century. As the idea took hold of land as a means of revenue, not just to support the clan, landowners found that sheep were more profitable than tenants. English demand for wool helped fuel this change. By the 1770s time period, 136 persons on board the ship Jupiter bound for Wilmington, NC, gave displacement by sheep as a major reason for their emigration.
Forced and complete displacement was not the norm originally. Due to a rise in the kelp industry, many tenants were relocated to the coast to work there, while their former homes were used for sheep pastures. Resentment at being moved around still prompted many to emigrate. When the kelp industry went under, tenants were then forced out, an event known as the Highland Clearances. The Clearances do not play a large role in the emigration to North Carolina, however; these events came later, from 1800-1820, while the major migrations to NC came in the 1730s to the 1770s from the other problems discussed.
On to these other problems…the next factor at work was a depression in cattle prices. We see and hear in Outlander a bit about the importance of cattle to the Highland culture. “Cattle were, after all, the lynch-pin of the Highland economy. There was usually little else to pay the rents…and a sharp fall in price or a severe winter…could be disastrous to tenants – and lairds.” (p. 63.) Low market prices and disease and death in cattle are seen in the records from the 1730-1740 time period, a time of massive emigration from Scotland to NC.
Another change beginning around the 1750s was a steady population growth. It is speculated that this was spurred by the introduction of potatoes and kale into the Highland diet; with a healthier diet, more children survived, and the effects of disease lessened. (Thanks, Claire!) Unfortunately, population growth in a country with limited land, a shaken societal system, and an economic depression led to high unemployment. “Problems of low wages, high rents, and unemployment are frequently mentioned as the main reasons for which Highlanders were emigrating to North Carolina…” For example, “John McBeath Aged 37, by trade a farmer and shoemaker, married, hath 5 children from 13 years to 9 months old. Resided last in Mault in the Parish of Kildonnan in the County of Sutherland, upon the Estate of Sutherland. Intends to go to Wilmington in North Carolina; left his own country because crops failed, he lost his cattle, the rent of his possession was raised, and bread had been long dear; he could get no employment…” (p. 66.)
Despite the Battle of Culloden serving as a plot device in Outlander to begin the movement of the characters toward emigration, whether voluntary or forced, in reality this event was only an indirect cause. Emigration to Carolina was well underway by the late 1730s, before Culloden, and rebel soldiers who were exiled to the colonies did not come to Carolina. The battle certainly was the final blow to the already-changing clan system in the Highlands, with the end of the clan chiefs’ judicial power, disarming, banning of Highland dress, etc. As Kelly says, “Hence the failure of ‘the ‘45’ did not by any means start the process of disintegration, but it certainly strengthened and in a sense institutionalized it.” In other words, “it reinforced the process of social and economic changes which were causing such major upheavals.” (p. 70.) Although there were undoubtedly some Highlanders in NC with “Jacobite sympathies and displeasure at the continuing union of Scotland and England,” “Governor Gabriel Johnston denied in 1749 that any Jacobites lived in the colony.” (p. 71.)
So, as we see, the major reasons that the Highlanders left Scotland were more social and economic than political. The social was “particularly hard because of the innate conservatism of this Highland populace: To persuade a peasantry to abandon an age-old method of cultivation is seldom easy…not least because of a wide-spread and justifiable suspicion that the proposed change would not be for the better.” (p. 61.) The economic obviously created a pressing need to seek opportunities to make a living elsewhere, in order to keep families from starving.
Next time, we will explore the question, why North Carolina. What questions do you have regarding Scottish emigration to America? Please post them in the comments. And as always, thank you for reading Outlander North Carolina!
Traci Thompson is a married mother of two who lives in eastern North Carolina, and is, of course, an avid Outlander fan. Traci is a Certified Genealogist and Local History & Genealogy Librarian. She is a contributing author for Outlander North Carolina.
Breaking News! We have a winner for this beautiful bracelet! Drum roll please!!!! The winner is Andy Atalay!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Andy, congratulations to you!!! To all of you who commented on the blog post but didn’t win, thank you so much for your kind and helpful comments! If you volunteered to write a blog post or contribute towards a giveaway, thank you and I’ll be in touch! If you offered suggestions on what you’d like to see on the blog, I’m already working on some of the great ideas I received! Thank you all so much for everything – even if you simply told me to keep up the good work which means more than you know!
Once again, congratulations to Andy and keep an eye out for more giveaways in the future! And as always, thank you for reading Oulander North Carolina!
Happy New Year to you and yours! I pray that you all will have a happy, blessed 2018! For me, every new year comes with hopes for a year a little better than the last, but mostly, for good health and happiness for my family and my friends (that includes you!) and myself. It’s also a time to reflect on the happenings of the last year. The good and the bad, the sad and the happy moments, the things we might would change if we could and the things we wouldn’t change for the world. One of the things I wouldn’t change for the world is starting this blog and the companion Facebook group. I have met so many wonderful friends who share my love and obsession for Outlander! (It’s nice to know there are other Outlander crazies out there who get it. Wink, wink.) Of course, there have been some challenges as they come with every new venture but the challenges have paled in comparison to the blessings of you all allowing me a few moments of your lives to read the stuff I write – some of it being downright silly! Yet, you have stuck with me and I so appreciate that. The blog went live on August 5 with my first post and the Facebook group was created two days later. We now have 669 wonderful members in the group…and growing almost daily! I am completely overwhelmed and humbled! It has been an honor to make your acquaintance!
Just as no man is an island, certainly no woman is either and none of this could have happened without the encouragement and support of some very special people. First, my husband. He got dragged into my Outlander obsession and although he doesn’t completely understand it, he does completely support what I’m trying to do. He even re-watches episodes with me and asks some pretty good questions from a strictly show watcher standpoint – he doesn’t read the books. He’s my Jamie and I so appreciate his love and support. Also, I have received a lot of encouragement and helpful advice from my good friend and group administrator, Susan Holmes Jackson. Susan has even written a couple of blog posts for me and has been by my side in the group since the beginning. What a blessing she has been! Susan also makes Outlander jewelry as well as other beautiful items (I know because I have some of her pieces). You can find her jewelry on Facebook here. Another big thank you goes to another administrator, Traci Wood Thompson, who has also contributed a blog post and has another one completed and waiting in the wings to be published very soon. More on that in just a bit. I also want to thank my other two administrators who have helped me keep things running smoothly in the group, Blair Beard and Nancy Roach (a/k/a The White Sow). You can find The White Sow on Facebook here or on Twitter @WhiteSow1. All in all, Outlander North Carolina is an ongoing team effort and I am so thankful for my team! Lastly, but certainly not least, I couldn’t have done this without all of you who are reading this post right now, those of you who have subscribed to my blog, commented on and shared my silly posts, and joined and contributed to the Facebook group! You are what makes the wheel go round and I appreciate each and every one of you.
So, now that 2018 is here, what can you expect and look forward to from Outlander North Carolina in this New Year? Well, here are few things you can keep an eye out for:
- Season 4! Need I say more! If you are a book reader, you know Claire & Jamie make their way to North Carolina! Because of that, it’s going to be an exciting year for us here at Outlander North Carolina! There will be much to discuss as filming progresses, the premiere draws nearer and as the new season begins. I can’t wait to have The Frasers as neighbors! I’ve been waiting for them for a long, long time!
- Group Gatherings! Yay!!! We are hoping to have some gatherings throughout the state. If you don’t live in North Carolina but plan to visit, we’d love to meet you and plan a meet up around your visit. If you already live here or even if you don’t, we hope to plan gatherings in some key Outlander North Carolina locations – Wilmington, Edenton, New Bern, Hillsborough, Old Salem, Boone/Blowing Rock (a/k/a The Ridge) and perhaps, Fayetteville (a/k/a Cross Creek).
- A new series by Traci Thompson which will delve into the topic of Scottish Immigration to North Carolina which should be very informative for all of us history buffs and Outlander lovers.
- A new series by Susan Jackson on the Outlander North Carolina location of Edenton. You’ll recall Edenton from Drums of Autumn and subsequent books. This should be a very interesting look inside the colonial Edenton of Jamie & Claire’s time.
- More Guest Posts! You may even hear from The White Sow herself!
- An Outlander North Carolina Travel Guide. We’ll be working on a travel guide so you can visit all the Outlander locations plus some in North Carolina. This will be offered as a free printable to group members and those who subscribe to the blog!
- An Outlander North Carolina T-Shirt Design Contest. We’ve got to have an awesome T-shirt and we’re going to need your help to design it!
- A Listing of Outlander Events and Appearances for 2018. Conferences, charity fundraisers, and gatherings – anywhere Outlander is celebrated or appearances are made by the cast and show runners, we will try out best to list them all.
- A Scotland Travel Forum. I want to go to Scotland SO much and I know many others who want to also. Since some of you have already been, we’d love to tap into that knowledge bank and have a place where questions can be asked and answered plus where important Scotland travel information can be shared.
- More Giveaways! Yes, stay on the lookout for more of these throughout the year. We’ve had a lot of fun with them so far. In fact, keep reading below for a chance to win in our newest giveaway!
- Any number of things that just randomly pop into our brains!
Whew! I’m tired already just thinking about all of this but very excited too! Of course, there will be a roll out so don’t expect everything all at once. Patience, Grasshoppers! These things do take time. Also, in order not to miss anything, you’ll want to make sure you are a member of the Outlander North Carolina Facebook Group (not to be confused with NC Outlander Fans which only accepts members who live or have lived in NC.) Hop on over now to make sure you’re a member of the Outlander North Carolina Facebook Group since announcements will more than likely be shared there first. Here’s the link to the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/outlandernorthcarolina/ If you’re not a member, we’d love to have you join in the craziness!
A Happy New Year Giveaway
As I mentioned above, we’re having a giveaway right now to celebrate the New Year and all the good things we hope happen here at Outlander North Carolina in 2018! Facebook group member, Jennifer Pittman (no relation), who has her very own jewelry design business, has graciously contributed this gorgeous bracelet which will be given away to one lucky person.
For more of Jennifer’s designs, you can find her on Facebook at JenuineDesignsbyJP https://www.facebook.com/JenuineDesignsbyJP/
Now, to enter for a chance to win, you must leave a comment to this post. One winner will be randomly selected from everyone who comments. What should you comment about? Well, tell me what you’d like to see on Outlander North Carolina. Do you have an idea that I haven’t mentioned? Would you like to write a guest post? Would you like to contribute towards a giveaway? Would you like to help organize some events and gatherings for the group? What are you most looking forward to in 2018? How can we make Outlander North Carolina better? Want to simply say hello? See, there’s plenty to say so just say it! Je Suis Prest! Are you? Get to it then and good luck!!! And as always, thank you for reading Outlander North Carolina.
Happy New Year Giveaway Rules
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY AND A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. In order to enter for a chance to win the Sassenach bracelet by Jenuine Designs by JP, you MUST comment on this post. One comment and one entry per person. More than one comment by the same person will be automatically disregarded as an entry. This giveaway begins on Monday, January 1, 2018, at 12:15 PM EST and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Thursday, January 4, 2018. The winner will be announced on the blog and on the 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 winner will be made by random drawing from qualifying entries within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway. Prize will be mailed directly to the winner by Jenuine Designs by JP. Questions regarding the giveaway can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.