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Scottish Highlanders in Colonial Georgia

Anthony W. Parker

Publication Year: 1997

Between 1735 and 1748 hundreds of young men and their families emigrated from the Scottish Highlands to the Georgia coast to settle and protect the new British colony. These men were recruited by the trustees of the colony and military governor James Oglethorpe, who wanted settlers who were accustomed to hardship, militant in nature, and willing to become frontier farmer-soldiers. In this respect, the Highlanders fit the bill perfectly through training and tradition.

Recruiting and settling the Scottish Highlanders as the first line of defense on the southern frontier in Georgia was an important decision on the part of the trustees and crucial for the survival of the colony, but this portion of Georgia's history has been sadly neglected until now. By focusing on the Scots themselves, Anthony W. Parker explains what factors motivated the Highlanders to leave their native glens of Scotland for the pine barrens of Georgia and attempts to account for the reasons their cultural distinctiveness and "old world" experience aptly prepared them to play a vital role in the survival of Georgia in this early and precarious moment in its history.

Published by: University of Georgia Press


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pp. ix-xi

When I first began collecting the material for this project, it soon became apparent that the subject offered too much substance and too many questions for adequate treatment within a single volume without being too burdensome. Decisions had to be made about the parameters and the approach to this fascinating topic of Highland...

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pp. xiii-xiv

As with any project that extends over five years in preparation, no one works alone. I owe sincere appreciation to several institutions and many individuals. To the helpful staffs of the University of Georgia Library, State of Georgia Department of Archives and History, University of Florida Library, Georgia Historical Society in Savannah...

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pp. 1-4

In the month of January 1736, the first group of Scottish Highlanders arrived in the fledgling British colony of Georgia. They settled on the banks of the Altamaha River along the southernmost border of the province in a town they first called New Inverness, later to become Darien. These immigrants had been recruited, screened, and selected...

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Chapter 1. Discovery, Exploration, and First Contests in the Debatable Land Called Georgia

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pp. 5-22

The tract of land in the New World known at various times as the land of Ayllón, Gualé, La Florida, Carolina, and ultimately Georgia became the scene of the first attempts at settlement and colonization within the present boundaries of the United States and the theater for many of the international conflicts that arose in the years following...

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Chapter 2. Changing Conditions in the Highlands of Scotland

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pp. 23-37

The highlands of Scotland in the first half of the eighteenth century were in a state of flux. By 1735, when Captain George Dunbar and Lieutenant Hugh Mackay arrived in Scotland to recruit settlers for the new colony of Georgia in America, the changing circumstances in the Highlands were enough to encourage many to emigrate...

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Chapter 3. Highland Recruitment: Fertile Fields for Georgia Settlers

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pp. 38-51

The summer of 1735 was a busy time in the Highlands of Scotland for the recruiters from the colony of Georgia. News of the colony had already spread throughout the country via frequent reports in the Caledonian Mercury and Edinburgh Eccho, giving accounts of the progress and success of the settlements in America.1 One especially encouraging...

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Chapter 4. The Founding of Darien

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pp. 52-67

The morning of 10 January 1736 launched a day filled with excitement, anticipation, and, no doubt, some trepidation for the newly arriving immigrants from the Highlands of Scotland. On board ship was a mixture of people preparing to make a new start in a new world: ardent Jacobites and strong supporters of the Hanoverian government...

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Chapter 5. War Comes to Darien: The Battle at Fort Mosa

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pp. 68-81

The beginning of 1737 brought renewed fears of impending danger to the colony of Georgia and to the settlement of Darien. In February, reliable reports of Spanish preparations in St. Augustine "to invade and unsettle the colony of Georgia" were sent to Savannah from Lieutenant-Governor Thomas Broughton of South Carolina.1 Additional...

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Chapter 6. Darien and the Aftermath of Fort Mosa, 1740–1748

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pp. 82-93

After the smoke of battle had lifted, the bodies of the dead had been buried, and the survivors had gone, the scene left behind at Fort Mosa was one of total defeat for the British forces in Florida. Captain John Mohr Mackintosh, now a prisoner of the Spanish, spent three months in close confinement in St. Augustine before...

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pp. 94-99

The colony of Georgia owed a debt of gratitude to this determined group of Highlanders. They had been recruited as a community to secure the southern frontier of Georgia against her enemies and had performed that duty with distinction. After 1748 the unique trustee period of Georgia's infancy came to an end and Georgia...

Appendix A. List of Jacobite Prisoners Sent to South Carolina, 1716

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pp. 101-105

Appendix B. List of Scottish Settlers to Georgia to 1741

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pp. 106-125

Appendix C. Petition of the Inhabitants of New Inverness to His Excellency General Oglethorpe

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pp. 126-127

Appendix D. List of Highlanders on the Loyal Judith, 17 September 1741

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pp. 128-129

Appendix E. Summons to Disarm to the Mackintosh Clan in the Highlands of Scotland, 1725

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p. 130


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pp. 131-132


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pp. 133-166

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 167-178


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pp. 179-182

E-ISBN-13: 9780820327181
E-ISBN-10: 0820327182
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820319155
Print-ISBN-10: 0820319155

Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 1997

OCLC Number: 680618009
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Scottish Highlanders in Colonial Georgia

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Subject Headings

  • Darien (Ga.) -- History.
  • Georgia -- Emigration and immigration -- History -- 18th century.
  • Scotland -- Emigration and immigration -- History -- 18th century.
  • Great Britain. Army -- Scottish regiments -- History -- 18th century.
  • Scottish Americans -- Georgia -- Darien -- History -- 18th century.
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