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Outlander North Carolina Season 5 The Fiery Cross

ONC Admins Choice Awards, Season 5, Famous Last Words

April 18, 2020

Welcome back to the season five ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards!  Now until the end of this season, (we refuse to think about it), some of the ONC administrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests/Mosts/Leasts” from the latest Outlander episode.  We enjoyed this fun way to briefly recap each episode last season, and hope you enjoy it as we do! This week’s voting contributors are Dawn Woo, Mitzie Munroe, and Cameron Hogg. So, without further ado, the winners for episode 8, Famous Last Words are…

Dawn: Scene where Ian has buried his weapon and is about to drink the poisonous tea and Roger kicks it away. Ian tells Roger he buried HIS weapon – his voice. Roger tells Ian to pick up his weapon and fight. They are rescuing each other. It almost parallels the scene when Roger is being rescued from the Mohawk camp. Ian saves Roger. But it also provides Ian with the adventurous life he yearns for. They save each other.

Mitzie: Jocasta singing at Murtagh’s cairn. I had hoped at some point we would hear Maria singing in some fashion on the show so I was tickled to hear her sing on this episode, though it was so somber a song.

Susan:  When Roger finally overcomes his silence while out in the woods with Ian, even if Ian attempting suicide was the reason for him for finding his voice.

Cameron: It was in the scene between Ian and Roger, when Roger says he had buried his weapon, but now he knows it’s time to dig it up again and fight. 

Dawn: Brianna- “A sheet of paper is not made to fly. But sometimes we have to adjust our expectations to bend and reshape ourselves. There’s a reason the 1st anniversary gift is supposed to be paper…and after the pressures of 60 years, it’s diamond-the hardest substance on earth. I want our marriage to grow into something that strong.”

Mitzie: JOCASTA: “How careful we’d be if we kent which goodbyes were our last.” That spoke volumes to me; as to what’s happened in the past and to what’s still to come.

Susan:  Jocasta telling Jamie about last goodbyes–very true words.

Cameron: John Bell- being a book reader, I knew what happened while he was away, before he opened up a bit to Roger and in more detail. With that context, his portrayal of Ian’s homecoming was really perfect, displaying how complex those emotions and that adjustment would have been.  I’d have to go back to the books, but I feel like that piece of his homecoming was highlighted here, even more so than I remembered it in print.  

Dawn: Richard Rankin/Roger – Without words, he portrayed so well being lost in his own hopeless, helpless hell. 

Mitzie: Richard had few speaking roles this time but had to deliver numerous lines using pure emotion and I felt he did beautifully with his eyes, hands and general presence. 

Susan:  Rickard Rankin was great, showing Roger’s pain and frustration without words.

Cameron: I think they did a nice job of setting up the assumption that Roger was the one who intended to use the water hemlock, but the twist of shifting that storyline to Ian was well done. 

Dawn: Ian’s return. I loved the fear factor involved when Jamie and Claire first saw him atop the Ridge after he killed the boar-such an ominous figure. Even after they recognized him, there was a presence about him…foreboding figure. 

Mitzie: Young Ian’s arrival. I knew he’d be back, but thought it would come next episode and have this one stay focused on Roger, but I was very happy to see that he has finally come home to the Ridge.

Susan:  Ian’s return

Dawn: Ian’s return/John Bell’s performance. He truly looks like he is in a deep, dark place…the anguish on his face. He definitely portrayed that pull between being “relieved” to see family again and not being with his Mohawk family. He just looks torn and lost. 

Mitzie: We almost have it all with Ian’s arrival. Especially when they are having a big family meal, at the big table, in the big house, but without Roger (and yes I wish Murtagh could still be in the picture), and perhaps LJG not leave as of yet, it was just a fleeting glance, but I loved seeing its potential. It really could have been something to see, that big ol’ table packed with all the Frasers and extended family and friends. I hope we get to see something similar very soon. I need that feel good moment after these past few episodes.

Susan:  It was good to see Ian, though his homecoming is sad for him, everyone else is thrilled to see him, after thinking they’d likely never see him again.

Cameron: I didn’t love the silent movie scenes as a device to tell the story, but it was a unique way to incorporate Roger’s flashbacks.

Dawn: I did not like how they “slid” the Tarot cards in the episode with Marsali playing with them….as superstitious as Leoghaire was…seemed like a “forced scene”. And I’m not sure that viewers will be curious enough to explore the meaning of The Hanged Man to know how it relates to the story. In the book, it is Brianna dreaming about her friend playing with the Tarot cards and telling her about the  The Hanged Man. It represents the process of surrender and sacrifice. Self-surrender leads to transformation of the personality. The person has to accomplish his own regeneration. I’m not sure the tv audience would connect that. It just looks like it is an awful coincidence that the card is coming up in the scene.

Mitzie: Using the silent film effect to convey Rogers PTSD flashbacks. I felt like it robbed me of my opportunity to fully connect to the hanging event and how traumatic it was emotionally for Roger. As a viewer, I understand it was Roger’s way of disconnecting from what happened, but as a viewer it also disconnected me and I just couldn’t get through the effect to sympathize with Roger’s situation. 

Susan:  I didn’t care for the silent film/hanging scenes to portray Roger’s PTSD. I get what they were trying to do, but it didn’t do much for me.

Mitzie: Marsali drawing The Lovers tarot card and then comments about having too many bairns. That was cute.

Susan:  I laughed at Marsali’s comment about her many babies, too.

So, now that we’ve voted, it’s your turn! Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your votes for Episode 508, Famous Last Words.

Outlander North Carolina Season 5

ONC Admins Choice Awards, Season 5, “The Company We Keep”

March 14, 2020

Welcome back to the season five ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards!  Now until the end of this season, (we refuse to think about it), some of the ONC administrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests/Mosts/Leasts” from the latest Outlander episode.  We enjoyed this fun way to briefly recap each episode last season, and hope you enjoy it as we do! This week’s voting contributors are Susan Jackson, Tara Heller, Dawn Woo, Stephanie Bryant, and Nancy Roach. So, without further ado, the winners for episode 4, The Company We Keep are…

Dawn W.: I love that they are focusing on Roger’s singing. It’s so much a part of him and it’s a huge part of what he has to offer at this point when he feels he doesn’t offer much.

Tara: The moment away from everyone that Jamie and Claire had after the dance,

Stephanie:  I agree with Tara. That whole scene after the dance is the essence of Claire and Jamie’s love for each other!

Nancy: I liked Jamie’s dance. I knew it was coming this episode so I was especially waiting for it.

Susan:  I enjoyed seeing Marsali and Bree alone together, and learning about their relationship’s dynamics. I like them being “friends,” in spite of how Laoghaire when ham on Bree when she figured out who she was. 

Dawn W.: Ye want to tell me what kind of devil ye’re conjuring up?

Stephanie: “I have but no life but you Claire, but if you wanted another child, I thought perhaps I can give you one”

Nancy: When Roger tells Claire he doesn’t think Jamie respects him. Claire says, “He trusted you with the thing he loves the most.”

Susan: “Ye want to tell me what devil ye’re conjuring?”

Dawn W.: Claire

Stephanie: A tie between Sam and Cait. The scene again reminds me of the love we saw them show in the beginning of the series.

Nancy: I agree – Sam and Cait

Susan:  The actor that plays the first Mr. Brown. If he was my daddy, I’d definitely be afraid of him.

Tara: I was freaked out for Bree and not being able to find Jemmy. Where was Old Man Bug? Have him go fetch you the wood Bree!

Stephanie: The blooming relationship between Marsali and Bree, look forward to seeing more of this.

Nancy: Jamie sending Roger back with Claire.I guess that means Jamie won’t be there to help Claire with the Beardsley’s tonsillectomies.

Susan: When Richard Brown got sassy w/ Jamie, throwing shade at him for allowing Claire to be sleeping out in the open w/ the rest of the crew.

Tara: “You move fast Mi’lord.”

Stephanie: The whisky calming down the Browns. 

Dawn W.: I’m with Stephanie…the whisky being used to diffuse the situation with the Brown’s…and Roger’s reasoning as he tried to explain it to Jamie.

Nancy: Roger when he was signing up the Browns. When he gets to Abner, he interjects “Brown” before Abner says it.

Susan:  When Fergus joked w/ Jamie about wee Bonnie.

Stephanie: Isaiah talking to Jamie and Roger about his love for Alicia. We understand how he felt because of their love for Claire and Bree.

Nancy:  Jamie and Claire discussing keeping baby, “Bonnie” and their feelings on raising a child together. I love that Claire tells Jamie that she is happy with their life as it is now. Now that they are older they know exactly what they want in life and from each other.

Susan: I’m with Nancy on this one.

Dawn W.: I agree with this. They are in a different “season” of their marriage now and it’s ok to admit that you want to focus on your marriage and not so much raising small children.

Dawn W.: There wasn’t anything I disliked.

Tara:  Nothing. This season has been stellar so far!

Stephanie:  Not enough Fergus. Hopefully we will see more of him and his role expanded.

Nancy: I missed the part of the book where Jamie and Claire spend more time on the Ridge.  Claire develops a form of penicillin and performs two tonsillectomies. I know it will be covered in the next episode, but I love seeing Jamie and Claire working together. I also love every time the whole gang is enjoying life on the Ridge.

Susan:  I can understand Sam being a bit nervous about the sword dancing scene, because I’m not much of a dancer, but they could’ve used a dancing double and used them for some fancy footwork. I liked that scene in the book, and felt like Jamie kind of went home to the Highlands in his soul as he danced.

Fraser's Ridge Outlander North Carolina Pre-Revolutionary War Period Season 5 The Fiery Cross Uncategorized

ONC Admin Choice Awards–Episode 3, “Free Will”

March 5, 2020

Welcome back to the season five ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards!  Now until the end of this season, (we refuse to think about it), some of the ONC administrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests” from the latest Outlander episode.  We enjoyed this fun way to briefly recap each episode last season, and hope you enjoy it as we do! This week’s voting contributors are Susan Jackson, Carolyn Baker, Tara Heller, Dawn Woo, Mitzie Munroe, Cameron Hogg and Nancy Roach. So, without further ado, the winners for episode 3, Free Will are…

Susan: When Fanny’s face was suddenly in the window. Just about had an accident when Jamie turned around–kinda like that scene from The Shining, but without the “Here’s Johnny!”

Dawn W: Maybe not a best moment, but I do like it a lot and the scene has been repeated with Jamie throughout the series. When he sees “home”, he stops and looks at it from a distance. We saw it with Lallybroch….we saw it with Helwater (although not what he particularly wished for)….I think we saw a far off shot with Leoch. (And when he’s walking into the house at the first, is that a dog trot he’s walking through??)

Tara: I agree with Dawn. I loved seeing the silhouette of Jamie standing on top of the hill overlooking the Big House. It reminded me of George Washington or a statue or something. Then going in and standing over Claire and then her waking up. I love moments with those two.

Carolyn: Piggybacking on Dawn and Tara, when Jamie stands over Claire after he comes home, crosses himself and thanks the Lord for her.

Mitzie: When Jamie comes home and stands over Claire, crossing himself and thanking God, with such a look of adoration on his face. (Swoon)!!!!

Cameron: I’m with Susan… there was something really cool about finally seeing Fanny Beardsley after envisioning the scene play out while reading the book. I did miss the more pronounced lisp, though. I found that kind of made Fanny a little more endearing.

Nancy: The opening scene between Claire and Jamie that lets us know the romance is still there and love is on a deeper level. By having this scene at the beginning of the episode, we are reminded of that love and are ready for them to go forward together and face whatever calamity lies ahead.

Susan: When Fanny screams at Beardsley “You hear that? You old bastard! She isn’t yours!” I can feel all of the revenge this abused woman is enjoying while announcing her secret to her now-helpless abuser. 

Dawn W.: Claire’s reply to Jamie’s request to give him the same mercy that he gave Beardsley…”I’ll do what must be done”. There was an added line in the book. But I think it’s an interesting statement and a careful statement because coming from her as a doctor, it means something totally different. 

Tara: Claire- “I’m coming with you…then you’ll need a physician. Murtagh, Knox, Tryon they’ve all made decisions, and I’ve made mine. You’ll need my help” Jamie- “I always have and always will.”They are still a team.

Carolyn:  Jamie to Mr. Beardsley “Will you pray for forgiveness?”

Mitzie:  Jamie: “Deo Gratias”. Claire: “What are you thanking the Lord for”? Jamie: “For the sight of you, Sassenach”. Me…. (Still Swooning)!

Cameron: It was a sad line, but memorable- Fanny saying that having a baby didn’t make her a mother anymore than sleeping in a barn would make you a horse. It seemed to really give some insight into Fanny’s state of mind.

Nancy: I have to agree with Mitzie on this one – Claire: “What are you praying for?” Jaime: “For the sight of you, Sassenach.”

Susan: Paul Gorman, for playing the parts of the Beardsley twins–he’s going to do a fine job, I think. He’s gonna be busy, to say the least.

Dawn W.: I have to give it to the man with no lines…Mr. Beardsley. He looked awful…acted like he was in pain….and just looked wicked.

Tara: Definitely the man playing Mr Beardsley.

Carolyn: I’ll give this one to the actress playing Mrs. Beardsley. I didn’t like her at all to begin with but ended up loving and really feeling for her in the end.

Mitzie: Bronwyn James, who plays Fanny Beardsley. I like seeing new faces in a breakout role and I think she did a wonderful job.

Cameron: Mr. Beardsley. So expressive with absolutely no words.

Nancy: I have to agree with others, my vote goes to the actor playing Mr. Beardsley. To emote with just your eyes and pain filled moans and gurgles had to be challenging. I think the make up artists did an excellent job of making his body grotesque and that blackened foot nauseating.

Susan: When nasty old man Beardsley made enough noise to show he was alive. I was thinking that maybe they were going to portray him as dead for time’s sake. But, nope.

Tara: Not sure there were any surprising moments for me since this episode was pretty much right out of the book. But I guess for me it was when Fanny’s water broke and I thought to myself- guess we aren’t going into the woods with this party of the story.

Dawn W.: I think I’m most surprised at how well they pulled off 2 characters with one actor….in the same scenes!

Carolyn: When Mrs. Beardsley’s face suddenly appeared in the window of the house. I jumped!

Mitzie: How well the special effects team merged the actor playing both roles of Josiah and Keziah Beardsley together in that one scene. That was really well done.

Cameron: I agree with Tara. I wasn’t expecting her to deliver in the cabin. But the whole scuffle with Jamie, and his pushing her off, that led to her water breaking was a bit of a surprise.

Nancy: When Fanny’s water suddenly broke,( at first I thought she had peed out of fright), and she gives birth. In the book she her goats are everything to her. She continues to cradle a kid in her arms.

Susan: The men being boys around the campfire was kind of funny, but there was something that made me lol but I can’t remember what it is. Guess I need to rewatch…

Dawn W.: The men around the campfire talking about how cold it was.

Tara: I agree with Dawn, the campfire. My husband laughed at that. He never laughs during Outlander.

Carolyn: Ditto on the campfire scene!

Mitzie: Jamie, Myers, Roger, Claire, et al sitting around the fire, just cracking some jokes. It was a light moment in such a dark episode.

Mitzie – Jamie, Myers, Roger, Claire, et al sitting around the fire, just cracking some jokes. It was a light moment in such a dark episode.

Cameron: I liked the offhand comment from Bree, about feeling like Scarlett O’Hara, when all the men left the plantations. I love some of the inside jokes between Claire, Roger, and Bree about the future and later pop culture references.

Nancy: I liked the scene with the pounding on the locked door. Jaime and Claire approach the door with dreaded anticipation that Mr. Beardsley is behind the door only to reveal an errant Billy goat.

Susan: Can I have four? No? Well, I’m taking them anyway: (1)When Jamie stops at the crest of that hill and sees home–then (2) walks in and does the sign of the cross and gives thanks. sigh I SO miss this Jamie in the show–it’s not the religiousness of it, it’s just part of what makes Jamie Fraser Jamie Fraser. We haven’t seen that in the show since season 1, I think. (3) The gloominess of the Beardsley home, all of the suspense–I found it much more suspenseful and spooky than the book scene. (4) The exchanges between J&C seemed so natural–S&C come across so well onscreen. It’s like watching the old friends I know from the books. I’ve missed the “every day” between them. #TeamFraser is the hashtag for this episode.

Dawn W.: Jamie And Claire….their exchanges have a maturity….Claire is not fighting to be só headstrong but working with her husband. They just have a “oneness” about them.

Tara: I just give this whole episode an award. It was pretty much straight from the book. Bravo writers!

Carolyn: How Jamie and Claire worked together in this episode. He was definitely the strong, leader we all know and love, but she was also the physician who handled things at the Beardsley home. I loved it when she delivered the baby and handed her off to Jamie, who was more than willing to take her and help get her cleaned.

Mitzie: I liked the special effect touches and dark staging throughout this episode. From the time-lapsed molding bread to the passenger pigeons darkening the sky, I felt like they did a good job taking the direction of this episode to a more creepier level than previous episodes.

Cameron: Having the Beardsley twins side by side in the scene in the woods was really well done. Sometimes when they try to have “twins” in the same scene, they always have one in silhouette from the back or the effects look weird, but this was pretty seamless

Nancy: My best overall award goes to the writers for sticking with the storyline in the book. Kudos to you!

Susan: I still dislike all of the accessories Claire has in her “lab.” All of the cloches, and equipment–it’s too modern, if that makes any sense. Oh, and Captain Mackenzie telling that mother that he’d bring her sons back to her. I mean, looking at her face, she knew he was full of it, because you just can’t promise someone’s going to come back from any battle safe and sound, but to make that promise as a ruse to get someone to let their sons go–just kind of silly to me.

Dawn W.: I have two…..Claire checking out Keziah’s ears with a mirror and diagnosing his burst eardrums. Can you really see your eardrums like that?? And…since Fanny brought up Mary Ann, I kind of wish they had gone into more of Mary Ann and the whole ghost thing. Mary Ann, supposedly, caused Beardsley to have the stroke bc he saw her.

Carolyn: I know it was necessary, but the Beardsley man was definitely the epitome of “a scary old man!”

Mitzie: Some of the gruesome sights during the Beardsley cabin segment. I pretty much watched the whole thing with RBF on my face.

Cameron: I didn’t really get the need to have the few moments of seeing the scene from Mr. Beardsley’s point of view. There weren’t enough of it to make it seem logical with the rest of the episode. If that had been more cohesive, it could have been more impactful.

So, now that we’ve voted, it’s your turn! Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your vote for “Best” Awards for Episode 503, Free Will. Leave it in the comments!

Drums Of Autumn Fraser's Ridge NC History NC Land Grants Outlander North Carolina Pre-Revolutionary War Period Quotes Scottish Immigration Season 4 Uncategorized US Colonial Land Grants

Fact or Fiction? Jamie Fraser & North Carolina Land Grants

August 16, 2019

Guest post from Traci Thompson

“It has long been the policy both of the Crown and of myself, Mr. Fraser, to encourage the settlement of land in the Colony of North Carolina by intelligent, industrious, and godly families, to the furtherance of the prosperity and security of all.” He lifted his cigar, took a deep lungful and exhaled slowly, pausing to cough. “To this end, sir, there is established a system of land grants whereby a large acreage may be given to a gentleman of means, who will undertake to persuade a number of emigrants to come and settle upon a part of it under his sponsorship. This policy has been blessed with success over the last thirty years; a good many Highlanders and families from the Isles of Scotland have been induced to come and take up residence here. Why, when I arrived, I was astonished to find the banks of the Cape Fear River quite thick with MacNeills, Buchanans, Grahams, and Campbells!”

The Governor tasted his cigar again, but this time the barest nip; he was anxious to make his point.


“Yet there remains a great deal of desirable land to be settled, further inland towards the mountains. It is somewhat remote, and yet, as you say, for men accustomed to the far reaches of the Scottish Highlands – “


“I did hear mentions of such grants, sir,” Jamie interrupted. “Yet is not the wording that persons holding such grants shall be white males, Protestant, and above thirty years of age? And this statement holds the force of law?”


“That is the official wording of the Act, yes.” Mr. Tryon turned so that I saw him now in profile, tapping the ash from his cigar into a small porcelain bowl. The corner of his mouth was turned up in anticipation; the face of a fisherman who feels the first twitch on his line.


“The offer is one of considerable interest,” Jamie said formally. “I must point out, however, that I am not a Protestant, nor are most of my kinsmen.”


The Governor pursed his lips in deprecation, lifting one brow.


“You are neither a Jew nor a Negro. I may speak as one gentleman to another, may I not? In all frankness, Mr. Fraser, there is the law, and then there is what is done.” He raised his glass with a small smile, setting the hook. “And I am convinced that you understand that as well as I do.”


“Possibly better,” Jamie murmured, with a polite smile.

~Drums of Autumn, Chapter 7, “Great Prospects Fraught With Peril.” (Circa 1767)

These paragraphs from Drums of Autumn introduced a long-running source of conflict for the story by giving Governor Tryon a certain leverage over Jamie – if Jamie doesn’t toe the line with Tryon, will Tryon play the religion card, “expose” Jamie as a Catholic, and take his land away from him?

But how much weight does this threat really carry…and are the details historical fact, or historical fiction?

First, as a land grant is central to the story, let’s take a brief look at what a North Carolina land grant was. Although “land grant” is the term often used, the technical term was “land patent.” Land patents transferred vacant land from a granting authority to a private person. North Carolina patents did not convey “free” land; grants were for some kind of service to the colony, or for a required payment of fees. There were two land grant systems in North Carolina: one was headright patents, in which land was granted for the service of bringing settlers into the colony, with a certain number of acres granted per transported person. This system ended by 1754, before Jamie and Claire’s time in NC. The second was purchase patent, land in exchange for fees paid at every step in the process. By the mid-1750’s, this was the only kind of patent granted in North Carolina, and thus the kind of grant Jamie would have received if he were really here in the 1760s.(1)



There were in fact a few, but not many, of enterprises such as Tryon describes: “…a large acreage may be given to a gentleman of means, who will undertake to persuade a number of emigrants to come and settle upon a part of it under his sponsorship.
” These were a type of headright patent, as the stipulation was bringing in emigrants to populate the colony. Harry Merrens states in Colonial North Carolina in the Eighteenth Century, “Grants were generally small…A few persons did manage to obtain large quantities of land either for speculative purposes or for building up large estates. Extensive holdings of land were so rare that neither practice was common…”(2)

The most notable person who engaged in this rare land speculation in NC was Henry McCulloh, a London merchant and colonial official whose family roots were in Scotland. He received two grants in his own name of 60,000 and 72,000 acres, and a third under the names of two of his trustees for 1.2 million acres. The condition of these grants was that quitrents on the lands be paid, and that settlers be installed on the land (3):

“At a Council held at Wilmington [NC] the 24th day September 1741… His Excellency having informed the Board That it was His Majesty’s Pleasure signified in some of his Majesty’s Instructions to Mr. McCulloh, that for the future all persons taking up lands should be obliged to seat the same according to their rights, i.e. with the person in whose right the land shall be taken up; But that such as have already obtained Warrants, shall only be obliged within three years from the date of their respective Grants to put a white man on every Tract 1,000 acres or under And two on a tract of 2,000 or above a thousand…And that the Secretary draw up a proclamation to give publick notice thereof…His Excellency…took notice of the absolute necessity of encouraging white persons to settle in this Province particularly the back parts of the same…” (4)

Pamphlet by Henry McCulloh, which he wrote after returning to England, hoping to impress the King, and get another appointment to the Colonies. (from NCPedia)

Merrens calls McCulloh “the unrivaled leading speculator in North Carolina” and reports that he was “’hawking it [the land] about in small quantities thro’ all the back parts of the Province and quite thro’ America even to Boston’”(5) as well as transporting Ulster Scots and Swiss emigrants into the colony.

But what of the “Protestant” requirement? McCulloh’s petitions for his grants in the 1730s do include wording such as “…Praying for a Grant of Twelve hundred Thousand Acres of Land in North Carolina in Consideration of Settling 6000 Protestants…” (6) and “…praying for a Grant of Lands upon the heads of the Pedee Cape Fear and Neus Rivers in North Carolina, and proposing to make a Settlement thereon of six thousand Swiss Palatines and other Foreign Protestants within the space of Ten years from the Date of {the} Grant…” (7) Other earlier petitions have the same wording, such as a 1679 petition to the British Privy Council to transport “about 80 Protestant families to Carolina aboard the frigate Richmond” and a request from Normandy seeking “sanction and assistance in projected planting of about fourscore Foreign Protestant families, being skilled in the Manufactures of Silks, Oyles, Wines, etc. who are willing to settle in Carolina.” (8) What is the reason for this? The religious situation in Europe was one of many reasons for emigration during this period, especially the desire to seek freedom of worship. Speculators such as Henry McCulloh were aware of the need to transport Protestants – particularly Scots-Irish, Swiss, and Germans – to the colonies. And as the Crown needed settlers and revenue, this was a win-win situation for all involved. (9) Another consideration for the Crown may have been loyalty, as Protestants were less likely to have divided allegiances. The greater number of Protestant settlers in North Carolina led to the statement made by the real Governor Tryon in 1765 that “every sect of religion abounds here except Roman Catholicism.” (10)

What is important to realize is that these references to settlement of Protestants in North Carolina did not refer to land law. In fact, North Carolina, especially as compared to the other colonies, was liberal in regards to religion. While there certainly was anti-Catholic sentiment, the only specific discrimination against them in legal policy regarded holding public office, and instructions given to the Royal Governor in the 1730s to permit “a liberty of conscience to all persons (except papists).” (11) It is likely that such instructions fell under Governor Tryon’s assertion that “there is the law, and then there is what is done,” as many such instructions relating to the Church of England were never able to be enforced in North Carolina. In 1679, the instructions of the Lords Proprietors to the Governor of Albemarle County, NC stated, “You are to take notice that wee doe grant unto all free persons that doe come to plant in Carolina before the 25th day of December, 1684…sixty akers of land…” and makes no mention of religion. (12) And not all of the land speculators’ petitions included the “Protestant” wording – McCulloh’s proposal of 1735/6 mentions sending over workmen and “such people as I intend to send there from Europe” to North Carolina and does not mention religion. (13)

A far more important consideration to the Crown regarding land patents was, as with most enterprises, money. Much of the energy and focus of the government documents relating to land grants of the period revolve around revenue generated or, most notably, the lack thereof. Even money took a back seat at times to the pressing need to simply have people in the colonies; in 1715, by decree from London, even impoverished families that could not pay rent were not to be deprived of their land, and those that had been were to have their property restored. (14) Also, land grants were a clear title in fee simple; the owner could sell or devise land absolutely at his pleasure and without consultation with government officials. (15)

These questions having been discussed, what of the age requirement? The 1679 document mentioned earlier made the specific provision for “sixty akers of land” to any free person who was “above the age of sixteen yeares.” (16) North Carolina, being an English colony, followed English common law; under English law one could buy or be granted land at any age but could not sell it in his own name until he arrived at the age of 21. (17)

As this overview shows, populating the colony and generating revenue were important considerations to North Carolina officials of the colonial period. To purposely attempt to divest a settler of his land would run contrary to the goal and would in fact be illegal; to do this for religious reasons in a tolerant colony would be difficult if not impossible, and there was no legal age restriction on land ownership. Happily, were Jamie actually here in the 1760s, he would not have had these issues to worry about.

The case: Are the details historical fact, or historical fiction?
Verdict: FICTION.

There you have it–straight from a North Carolina genealogist’s pen! Thanks, Traci, for this insight about land grants and the many different cultures that emigrated and settled here to make up this great state!
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.

Still shots of Jamie/Gov. Tryon are from https://outlander-online.com

Reference notes:
1 Margaret M. Hofmann, “Land Grants,” in Helen F.M. Leary, editor, North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History, 2nd edition (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1996), chapter 31.
2 Harry Roy Merrens, Colonial North Carolina in the Eighteenth Century: A Study in Historical Geography (Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Press, 1964), p. 25-26.
3 Mattie Russell, “McCulloh, Henry,” NCPedia (https://www.ncpedia.org/biography/mcculloh-henry : accessed 2019), citing William S. Powell, ed., The Dictionary of North Carolina Biography (Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Press, 1991.)
4 “Minutes of the North Carolina Governor’s Council, September 21, 1741 – September 29, 1741,” “Colonial and State Records of North Carolina,” Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (https://docsouth.unc.edu/csr/index.php/document/csr04-0177 : accessed 2019); citing volume 4, p. 597-603
5 Merrens, Colonial North Carolina in the Eighteenth Century: A Study in Historical Geography, p. 26.
6 “Declaration by Murray Crymble and James Huey concerning their actions as agents for Henry McCulloh,” in “Colonial and State Records of North Carolina,” Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (https://docsouth.unc.edu/csr/index.php/document/csr05-0289 : accessed 2019); citing volume 5, p. 769.
7 “Order of the Privy Council of Great Britain concerning Henry McCulloh’s land grants in North Carolina,” Great Britain, Privy Council, May 19, 1737, in “Colonial and State Records of North Carolina,” Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (https://docsouth.unc.edu/csr/index.php/document/csr05-0289 : accessed 2019); citing volume 4, p. 253-254.
8 Finding aid to the British Records: Privy Council, citing Office Register, 21 April 1679-29 May 1680, Public Record Office, London, England, P.C. 2/68, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh; digital images (https://files.nc.gov/dncrarchives/documents/files/ffa_br_privycouncil.pdf : accessed 2019).
9 Stewart E. Dunaway, Henry McCulloh & Son Henry Eustace McCulloh: 18th Century Entrepreneurs, Land Speculators of North Carolina (Lulu.com: Dunaway, 2014), p. 16.
10 Anne Russell & Marjorie Megivern, North Carolina Portraits of Faith: A Pictorial History of Religions (Norfolk, VA: The Donning Company, 1986), p. 136.
11 “Instructions to George Burrington concerning the government of North Carolina George II, King of Great Britain, 1683-1760; Great Britain. Board of Trade,” in “Colonial and State Records of North Carolina,” Documenting American South, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (https://docsouth.unc.edu/csr/index.php/document/csr03-0060 : accessed 2019); citing volume 3, p. 90-118.
12 “Instructions to the Governor of Albemarle County Carolina. Lords Proprietors. February 05, 1679,” in “Colonial and State Records of North Carolina,” Documenting the American South , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (https://docsouth.unc.edu/csr/index.php/document/csr01-0098: accessed 2019); citing volume 1, p. 235-239.
13 “Proposal by Henry McCulloh concerning his efforts to settle people in North Carolina,” in “Colonial and State Records of North Carolina,” Documenting the American South , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (https://docsouth.unc.edu/csr/index.php/document/csr05-0289 : accessed 2019); citing volume 4, p. 156.
14 David Southern and Louis P. Towles, “Land Grants and the Recruitment of Settlers to the Carolina Colony,” NCPedia (https://www.ncpedia.org/land-grants-part-3-land-grants-and : accessed 2019), citing William S. Powell, ed., Encyclopedia of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Press, 2006.)
15 George Stevenson, “Foreword” (Raleigh, NC, June 1982) to Margaret M. Hofmann, Colony of North Carolina, 1735-1764, Abstracts of Land Patents Volume One (Weldon, NC: Roanoke News Company, 1982).
16 “Instructions to the Governor of Albemarle County. Carolina. Lords Proprietors. February 05, 1679,” in “Colonial and State Records of North Carolina,” Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (https://docsouth.unc.edu/csr/index.php/document/csr01-0098 : accessed 2019); citing volume 1, p. 235-239.
17 Lee Albright & Helen F.M. Leary, “Strategy for Land Records,” p. 43, in Helen F.M. Leary, editor, North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History, 2nd edition (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1996), chapter 2, “Designing Research Strategies.”

Fraser's Ridge Grandfather Mtn Highland Games Outlander North Carolina Scottish Immigration The Fiery Cross Uncategorized

My Trip Down the Rabbit Hole of the 2018 Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

June 26, 2019

guest post from Mitzie Munroe

The world of Outlander can be sourced as the inspiration for a number of newly-acquired Scottish-related interests, especially amongst fans. In my family’s case, most particularly, it would be our recent interest in learning more about our Scottish ancestry. We are most notably Munroes. Originally Munro, the “e” was added some time before my husband’s great-grandfather arrived in the US. His Scottish lineage has strong ties in that our first born son had to take the name Angus (either first or middle) to keep with family tradition that goes back hundreds of years. No pressure right? But how does one help their son who carries such a strong Scottish name understand why it was important that we give him that name?

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, credit gmhg.org

Being an avid Outlander reader and show viewer, I have not only started taking note of all the locations mentioned that are related to actual historical sites, but also the Scottish families that are woven into Diana’s world. Her storylines detail the true migration that some of these families made before and after Culloden and found their way to North Carolina.

These emigrated families are directly responsible for shaping our home state of North Carolina, and their influence can still be felt today. One of the most notable ways is the yearly gathering of Scottish-descended clans at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games (GMHG) in Linville, North Carolina. Every year, for over 60 years, on the second full weekend in July, people travel from all over to attend this four-day event that has everything from music concerts to cultural lectures, demonstrations like piping and Highland dancing to sporting competitions, specialty food vendors to Highland crafters. Attending this amazing event is on many people’s bucket lists, and last year it was time that I finally see for myself what all the buzz was about and hope that my sons learn a bit about their ancestry.

The first decision that needed to be made was whether or not we wanted to camp on the grounds. This, I have heard, is a major attraction for a number of returning attendees. The camaraderie that forms in the campgrounds during the games is what brings people back year after year. It’s like a mini festival within the Games itself! Seeing as we had teenage boys attending with us and none are accustomed to being without creature comforts for more than a day, we decided to stay in one of the many cabins available for rent all around the mountain and also just a short drive from the Games. Some of the nearby towns, Linville, Banner Elk, Seven Devils, Valle Crucis, Boone and Blowing Rock having ample accommodations available, and we decided on a cabin in Valle Crucis. Not only are the GMHG a huge draw to this area, but also the many other sites that are a must-see if you find yourself in the area. We wanted to drop in at the original and famous Mast General Store that is located in Valle Crucis.  Not to mention one of our favorite wineries, Grandfather Vineyard & Winery, was just a short drive from our cabin, either going to or driving back from the Games, but it is the Games that are the true draw for us.

Enjoying some vino from Grandfather Vineyard & Winery by the Watauga River.

The first day (Thursday) was opening day with a few highlights: Highland dance performances, sheepdog demonstrations, a leisurely picnic and the beginning of the 5K Bear Foot Race that has runners start at the base of Grandfather Mountain and end at the top! I had hopes of running this race as one of my My Peak Challenge goals, but soon found that this race was a bit “unbearable” for me at the time, so contented myself with cheering on those amazing athletes as they funneled through MacRae Meadows before continuing up the mountain.

The definitive highlight, though, is the Opening Ceremony and Calling of the Clans. Come twilight, a representative of each of the attending Clans muster together in preparation for the Torch Lighting Ceremony. It’s at this time too that a reverie of pipers take the track and starts the mountain singing. There’s nothing quite like hearing the sound of the pipes announcing the opening of these Games!

Friday is the first full day of the Games. The mountain comes alive with Highland dance competitions, piping competitions, musical performances in the groves, cultural lectures and exhibitions like the Scottish Cultural Village and much more.

photo credits: GMHG: Rob Randall, James Shaffer, Mike Lacey

Though droves of people come to the Games for the event itself,  we were excited about taking a stroll through Clan Row and getting acquainted with our new-found friends at the Munro tent. I had become acquainted with a few of our US chapter representatives via email and was excited to not only pop in to say hi, but to learn what it is to be a member of a sponsoring clan or society. Those that find they have connections to a particular Scottish clan can visit that clan’s tent and learn about membership opportunities, make genealogical connections, learn about their own events, or simply find interesting information.

While hanging with our fellow Munros, we learned that Clan Munro is one of a handful of clans that still provide scholarships to young men and women who want to learn and perpetuate the Scottish arts of Highland dancing and piping. Recent scholarship winners were stopping by the tent to accept their certificates and took the opportunity to thank the organization for the award. Another interesting fun fact about Clan Munro is that the family seat of Foulis Castle in the parish of Kiltearn, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland is still a working estate that grows barley that just happens to be used for making whisky by Glenmorangie distilleries. Needless to say, we came away with a new appreciation for that particular brand of whisky and I am proud that the Munros have that affiliation! 

Competitions and demonstrations draw to a close by late afternoon in preparation for the highly anticipated Celtic rock concert on the grounds that evening. Our day ended with a bit of exploration of the surrounding areas and just kicking back and relaxing at our cabin.

Saturday is typically the busiest and most popular day of the Games. Attendance reaches max capacity and unless you have a coveted patron pass that allows you to park on the Mountain, you will have an adventure taking one of the area shuttles that winds its way up the mountain to MacRae Meadow. We started our day early, for there was still so much to see and hear. With the majority of the piping competitions concluded (and I can attest that my ears were still ringing with piping music come morning!) the highlights were the field competitions, concerts in the grove, and I was anxious for a special guest to arrive; being an avid fan of the Outlander television series, I was very excited to have had the opportunity to meet David Berry, who was a guest at the Clan Outlander tent!

David Berry, Outlander’s Lord John Gray, and an ecstatic me!

But of course my day’s excitement didn’t stop there (though how do you top meeting David Berry?!). I had the opportunity to be fitted for authentic Highland attire at one of the vendor tents. I had long desired having an outfit that I can wear during one of my many planned events where period clothing is not only welcomed, but expected. I found myself at the Wolfstone Kilt Company tent and fell in love with all of the beautifully-made garments on display for both men and women. One of the wonderful ladies that creates these amazing pieces actually did the fitting, and I can’t recommend enough the importance of having this done. Starting from scratch, I was on the market for not only the basics, but for universal items as well. When I finally pulled myself out of there, (wallet lighter and me heavier), I was donning my new shift, lovely stays, bumroll, stomacher (I chose one with bees in anticipation for Diana’s next book Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone), full skirt in the Wolfstone tartan, jacket and a fishu. I spent the remainder of my day wearing my new Highland attire with pride, but boy, it was it a joy taking it all off when I got back to the cabin! I have such a new-found admiration for the women of the time who not only wore these items all day but while also performing their daily work. 

My wonderful period costume from Wolfstone Kilt Co. Don’t you just love my BEES stomacher?!

Sunday is the day Grandfather Mountain gives a long sigh as the Games draw to a close, but not before a few more field competitions are completed, the kids races commence and the Parade of Tartans. Any attendees that wish to walk with their representing clans gather around the outer ring of the track to take a stroll around the inner track, arrive in front of the announcer’s stage and have their clan announced to the crowd. 

Myself and my family dressed out in our Munro tartan for this occasion and I have to admit I found myself carrying a new sense of pride in being able to truly call myself a Munro while walking with my new “family” and friends!

As our week at the 2018 GMHG came to a close, we said our goodbyes to our friends and to the Mountain, and we decided then that we would come back again, and I have been eagerly counting down the months, weeks, and now days, until the 2019 event.

A year has gone by and in that time we have had another season of Outlander. It was in this season that we got to see Roger and Bree attend these very games set in 1970 in an episode entitled “The False Bride.” While the writers took certain liberties when creating their version of the games, many scenes did have a factual foundation. Bree and Roger traveled to North Carolina for a Scottish festival in the vicinity of Fraser’s Ridge which does coincide with the GMHG’s long standing location. Their festival was full of dancing, music and games; just like our games. Even the calling of the clans and burning of the stag fits right in with our modern games (substitute a the tower of torches for the show’s wicker stag). I have delusions of hoping to find Roger at this year’s Games singing his version of “I Once Loved a Lass.”

Not only do we have this comparison, but we also had Diana’s version of a Highland Gathering in The Fiery Cross. I will have to leave it to the history books to confirm any of the comparisons of this 1770 gathering to what may have transpired in the past, but a little birdie did tell me that in the coming season of Outlander we will see the Frasers attending The Gathering at Mount Helicon (aka Grandfather Mountain).

This year’s Games will no doubt be another memorable event for me and my family. We have decided to explore a new area around Grandfather and rented a cabin in Seven Devils this year. We also decided to purchase the Highlander Patron package to better experience this year’s Games with being able to attend the reception banquet, whisky tasting, secured parking and a few other perks.  I’m also looking forward to possibly seeing another Outlander cast member, Gary Lewis, who played the role of Colum MacKenzie. While he leads Clan Outlander around the track, I hope I have the opportunity to hear him shout “Tùlach Àrd”!

The mountains are calling and I must go–I hope to see you all there!

Thank you, Mitzie, for sharing your first GMHG experience with us!

Have you ever been to the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games? Are you planning on going this Summer?