FLORA MCDONALD  [Includes information about her five sons]
The News and Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), Wednesday, September 15, 1880
Contact: Myrtle Bridges April 30, 2016

Most readers are familiar with the story of Flora Macdonald's heroic rescue of Prince Charles Edward, but there are 
few who associate her with our revolutionary war. The following extract is from Amelia E. Barr's interesting article 
entitled "A Romance of the Hebrides," in Harper's Magazine for October:
	On her return to Skye she married to young Macdonald of Kingsburgh, and on the death of her father became the Lady 
of Kingsburgh. But the estate was greatly impoverished by war, fines, and unstinted hospitality, and when all hopes of 
the Stuart's return had to be abandoned, Flora and her husband resolved to emigrate to the Carolinas.
	It was at this time they had a visit from Dr. Johnson, and it is very amusing to find Flora writing to a friend two 
weeks before it, saying, "Iam expecting from the mainland Mr. Boswell, and one Mr. Johnson, a gay young Enlish buck, with 
	The Macdonalds settled near Halifax, in North Carolina, and seem to have been regarded as the head of a large Scotch 
emigration scattered around that vicinity. Unfortunately the revolutionary was broke out before they had become attached 
to their new home, and Macdonald, who had given allegiance to the house of Hanover when Charles' cause became dead and 
hopeless, transferred with it the rigid loyalty that had been so marked a characteristic of his race. A soldier of a long 
line of soldiers, and an intense partisan of royalty, he was quite unable to sympathize with republican ideas, or to see 
any reason in popular rights.
	He raised first the royal or Tory standard in the Carolinas, and, it is said, was urged into active warfare by his wife. 
A regiment o' Highlanders, known as the Eighty-fourth, was formed, Flora's husband being its colonel, and her eldest son, a 
lad of sixteen, one of its captains. The first fight between it and the colonists took place at Moore's Creek, Feb. 27, 1776. 
Early at daybreak the shrill notes of the bagpipes called the Highlandmen to battle, but Macdonald was seriously ill, and had 
to depute the command to Macleod and Campbell. Both were killed at the very first onset, and the battle-which was the initial 
one of the reolution in North Carolina-was a brilliant victory for the colonists under Generals Moore and Caswell.
	After the battle of Moore's Creek, Flora's husband remained some time a prisoner in Halifax jail, and on his release served 
with his regiment in Canada. During these years Flora endured many hardships, and at the close of the war General Macdonald 
retired on half pay, and they returned to their home in the barren cloudy mountains of Skye.
	Their homeward journey was not uneventful. They were attacked by a French pribateer, and a severe conflict took place. 
Flora remained on deck during the whole battle, succoring and stimulating the sailors by her heroic speeches and behavior. Her 
foot slipped in the blood which covered the deck, and she fell and broke her arm; but not even this calamity induced her to leave 
the scene until satisfied that her services were no longer needed.
	She rejoiced greatly to be once again in the wild desolate freedom of the Hebrides, and she never more left them. As a wife 
she had shared all her husband's dangers and labors; as a mother she strove with a passionate earestness to make her five sons 
worthy of their illustrious name. Every one of them became soldiers. CHARLES, the eldest, was a captain in the Queen's Rangers. 
"There lies the most finished gentleman of my family and name," said Lord Macdonald, when he saw him lowered into the grave. 
ALEXANDER, also an officer, was lost at sea. The third son, RANOLD, famous for his handsome person and elegant manners, had a 
professional charater equal to his personal one, and was a captain of marines; JAMES was an officer in the British Legion; and 
JOHN, the youngest, rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel.
	Flora retained to the last her beauty, her vivacity, and her spirit. She died on the 5th of March, 1790, at the age of 70 yrs. 
Her winding sheet was actually one of those in which Prince Charles had slept at Kingsburgh. 
[The Macdonalds lived near Fayetteville, not Halifax.]

 Return to What's New in Richmond County
 Sketches of Distinguished Females
 Return to Found Flora MacDonald Portrait by Allan Ramsay
 The Life and Character of Flora MacDonald by James Banks, Esq. - 1857
 Flora Macdonald - A Romance of the Hebrides
 House Flora Visited
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This page created April 30, 2016