Susan Hurlbutt, 1745 Traveler Historical Context

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Map of US just after the Revolutionary War in 1784

The place we know as America was, during the Colonial Fashion Era, under the rule of England.  The settled areas on the east coast were known as “colonies”.  The colonies by the 1770’s had the benefits of being connected to a big country (England) with its manufactured goods, transportation, and access to trade.  The colonies also had their own strong economies because they could trade raw goods like timber and ore plus agricultural products like wheat, corn, and tobacco for nice finished and manufactured things like furniture and clothing with countries around the world.

The new America at the start of the War had the highest per capita income in the world in 1776 because of a huge middle class made up of farmers and merchants.  More people than in any other place in the world at the time could work really hard and rise (or fall) economically by their own efforts.


Tobacco was one of the key exports of the Colonies

Colonists wanted to keep it that way, which became one of the reasons for the Revolutionary War because King George was involved with trade and production.  Colonists thought they were doing fine without a king taking a share of their earnings through taxation and other government controls.  The colonies wanted to be cut off from and to separate themselves from England and Europe politically and culturally  and to set up their own country.

What would become America had become a “melting  pot” of those who had settled already and those who were coming to find a new way of living away from the dictates of England.  They had a new spirit of independence which focused on the individual’s ability to succeed or fail based on his own efforts.  It was called the “Years of Abundance” for America and England.  France was headed to a Revolution too, which would affect trade and fashion in America in the years after the American Revolution.

Inventions & Trade

The “Spinning Jenny” patented in 1764 made it possible to mass produce fabrics, making them cheaper and easier to obtain

In the 1770’s, England dominated the world in the sale of wool, cotton, and silk, but the invention of steam for power and it’s improvement and growing use by the 1790’s changed the world forever.  Steam engines had been used for pumping water and for boring holes for a few decades by the 1770’s, but the James Watt improvements would lead to use of steam in ships and textile manufacturing.

Steam drove ships which speeded up transportation of goods around the world so more countries could trade with each other.  Steam would be used to run machines that could make things people previously had to make by hand.

When an English man invented the “Spinning Jenny” in 1764, it meant fabrics did not have to be made in the home, but could be made in a factory by paid workers.  As better large scale mass production weaving systems for wool and linen were developed in England, it meant women didn’t have to stay home and make their own fabrics any more.

In 1752 Joseph Jacquard of France had invented the first “programmable” weaving loom which ran on punched cards would lead to today’s modern computer operated industrial and tech equipment.


(Left) The word “spinster” means a woman who lived her life preparing thread in her home; (right) new inventions like the Jacquard weaving loom of 1752 would put many small home based businesses out of work

A very early type of machine had a big needle that could punch thick leather and wool fabric to make coats for fishermen and soldiers.  That would evolve into the sewing machine we know today, which was first made small and gentle enough to be used in homes by women in the 1860’s.  New methods of spinning, cutting, and making things like lace were developed to speed up the processes of making trims and decorations and specialty fabrics too.

When people manufactured complete clothing or textiles in their homes from start to finish to sell, it was called “cottage industry”.  With the invention of new machines, people no longer made the entire garment, but would make a part of it such as the sleeve on a shirt.  One person would make a lot of sleeves in their home, and take them to town where people in a factory would put the shirt together.

Factories changed the way clothing was made, sold, and distributed throughout the world.  It meant the Colonists could actually get cheaper clothing by importing it from big cities overseas.  Unlike how people picture these early Americans as spinning and weaving all day and night in their homes to make clothes, most on the eastern Colonies were buying and wearing goods from England and other countries over the ocean.  Only the really deeply rural or western colonists had to make all their own clothes.

The ships not only carried trade goods, clothing, and equipment, but they also carried information.  An increase in trade and invention meant and more ideas in the Colonies.

What People Were Doing in the Colonies

Boys, Girls, & Families

Phillis Wheatley was a young woman in the 1770’s when she became famous for her poems

When you decide what to wear, you are really making the decision based on three things: what will I be doing (function), what do I have or what can I get (economy), and what do I like/want (fashion)?  What children in Colonial America wore, depended a lot on two things:  what they were doing and what could they get or make.


Boys and girls in the Colonies did not have an easy life.  Most of their time was spent working.  When they did have a few minutes to play they had to do it with things they could find, as most could not afford toys, have time to make them, or be able to buy them somewhere.  Stores and factories were mostly in larger towns which were mostly along the eastern seacoast.  People living on farms or outlying areas didn’t go to town very often, so there was not much opportunity to buy toys or games near home.

Hoops or “Graces” were favorite games for Colonial children played with the metal off old whisky barrels

Games like “Jacob’s Ladder” (left) were imported on ships, but most children made their own toys like cornhusk dolls (right) made of things found laying around the farm or house

If parents had some money they could order from a store in town that would bring in the item on a ship from England.  Dolls, tea sets, metal figures, and board games were often available , but if there was something like a doll house, the parents usually made it.  That was rare since the parents worked most of the time too.

The childrens’ game of “Rounders” was adapted by adults to become “Baseball” as this 1760 newspaper article illustrated

Children made toys out of  things like the metal rings off of old barrels which they rolled around.  They used string for hand games like “cat’s cradle” and pebbles for hopscotch.  Children were competitive in throwing horseshoes and a game called “Rounders” which was an early version of baseball.



Children in school in 1790 wore the same clothes as their parents, but a little more loose and comfortable

Because Colony leaders felt educating children would produce good citizens, almost all children were educated in some way, although that didn’t always mean in a school room.  Many were taught at home either with just a parent or with a group of children from the farm or plantation under the instruction of a family member selected by all the families involved.  Communities required parents who were home schooling to report their children’s learning and progress regularly to make sure children were being taught with the values of the Colony.


Historical interpreter apprentices: (left) basket weavers; (right) carpenters

Many boys had apprenticeships where they would work alongside a specific trade such as blacksmithing weaving, basketmaking, tailoring, innkeeping, or whatever their father was doing to learn it by doing it.   Apprenticeships started as early as 6 years old, though most typically a boy was 14 when he started.

Some boys with wealthy fathers were sent away to college at the age of 11.  The girls stayed home to help their mothers and rarely went away to school, although some went to live with relatives to learn.

Boys dressed the same as father even when flying a kite

Colleges were larger places where the boys stayed and lived full time and came home only on breaks, much the same as college today but with much younger students.  Boys and girls who went to a lower level school outside of the home went to one where all the children were taught in one room in one building by one teacher.

Nathan Hale school originally in East Haddam, New London, CT in the New England Colonies (left) waits next to a parking garage for its 7th move (right).  It was named for Hale who taught there from 1773 until the War started 1775-6

In the New England Colonies which were on the northern coast, most people lived near or in towns.  There were many schools and school buildings located near population centers where there were the most children.  The parents built and paid for the schools themselves, and paid for their children to attend by supplying firewood, food, or supplies as well as money for upkeep on the building and to pay the teacher.

Simply called “The College”, built 1695-1700 in the Virginia Colonies & inside was burned during Civil War.  Eventually named “The Wren Building” after Christopher Wren, architect in 1931

In the Middle Colonies, schools were part of the churches and based on religious teachings, and if you couldn’t pay for the school, you could not send your child.  Since it was a very agricultural area, school was in or out of session depending on planting and harvesting cycles.

In the Southern Colonies there were few people living near each other, and farms and plantations were spaced far apart.  Some southern children were taught at home with a parent or an assigned family member or hired tutor.   Some from wealthy families or with family in England were sent to live across the ocean to go to school.

Most children went to a school on the plantation with other children from the area.  Many southern children did not have formal education, but learned about religious beliefs, morals, and values through their home based organizations such as churches or religious societies.

A Hornbook was often the only book a student had

Colonial schools had few books or paper, so most of what the children learned was from memorization.  The Bible and the New England Primer were about the only books used in class.  Some had a “hornbook” which was one piece of paper with the alphabet, numbers, and a prayer that was attached to a piece of wood and covered with a see through piece of cow’s horn.  It had a string they could wear it around their necks.


The life of women was constant work, and their children from almost the day they were born were helping too

What children did for chores and tasks was different depending on where they lived in the Colonies.  Because one in every four children in the mid-1770’s in a family died before they reached adulthood from things such as the diseases cholera and malaria, they had to grow up quickly.

Many families lived on farms in agricultural areas, so there were animals to take care of.  Children were in charge of feeding and watering all the animals.  They milked cows and collected eggs from chickens.  It was their job to gather fruits and vegetables from the gardens.  Even very young children helped to shell corn by removing the kernels from the cob.

Boys also helped their fathers hunt for birds and animals or fish to provide the meat they ate every day. They helped plant and harvest crops.  Boys who lived in the city built furniture, sold things at market, and made repairs around the home.

Girls including those who were indentured servants or slaves were assigned jobs suitable to their age & skills, often working alongside their mothers until sold, transferred, or in some cases married when they would work where their husbands were

 Girls were in charge of sweeping, cooking, knitting, and sewing.  They would shear the sheep to cut the wool off, and then spin it into thread.  They would use that thread to make clothing and blankets.

Girls made soap and candles too, and they did all this while watching, guiding, and teaching younger children.  Girls learned to sew and run a household at a very young age, and were able to run the farm as well as house, plus do any special work their mothers might teach them such as caring for the sick.

Colonial girls did farm work, house work, made items, taught children, helped their mothers, and also worked for other people

Daughters of women who were indentured servants or slaves worked alongside their mothers or had special jobs.  Many girls had jobs outside their own homes doing the same chores they had learned at home like laundry, cooking, cleaning, and even teaching or caring for younger children of employers.

They worked in houses and shops in towns, cities, farms, and plantations and were a key to the successful economy of the time as they provided both special skills and the labor necessary to produce and maintain the many small things that made the Colonies successful, comfortable, and profitable.

The Family

Girl historic interpreters demonstrate how sisters worked alongside each other at school, home, and on the job

In a family with great wealth and privilege the children did not do farm work or labor, but those were rare as most colonial families were not rich and almost every family of every class had  7 to 10 children to take care of.  The parents themselves did most of the child care work with the help of grandparents and other family members.   Many of those 10 children, however, were not always at home.  At an early age they were often sent away to apprentice, or started their own families and moved out.   Girls were trained to be married and to run their own households from as early as age 13.

Today’s parents would be horrified to give a large gun to an 8 year old, to ask him to fill up a huge barrel of water from a rushing river, or to defend the sheep from a wild animal.  Parents did not watch over their children while they did these things, although older brothers and sisters would watch out for the little ones.  It was considered part of their job in the family to know the rules and how to keep safe.

Colonial parents considered the most important lessons they could teach children were their religious beliefs

Parents made sure before a child left home for whatever reason that the child knew very well about the religious beliefs and understood about morals and the consequences of one’s actions.  Children had to grow up fast, and what may seem harsh parenting today was necessary to keep them alive.

Whether young or old, rich or poor, each person in a family had a specific role and jobs to do

All members of a family had a role to play and it was important to the survival of the family that each did their specific jobs to the best of their ability.  The main idea for raising children was to “love but not pamper”.  Now and then a parent would make a small whistle or thoughtful gesture to each child which showed their “great love and nurturing nature”.

Colonial families for the most part lived geographically closely to each other and helped each other.  Extended members like grandparents were important to the survival and success of the family as a whole.  Older generations made sure the young ones were learning the lessons they needed to be “good citizens” for the future.

Images of Colonial America & Historic Williamsburg Today

(Colonial Environment)

Protestant churches


Wooden 1 room cabins much like back in Scotland but of different building materials

(Frontier Scots – Rural and Frontier Environment)

Keeping tradition. The Wedding

The Clan Facts

The Clan is a Celtic and Highlander concept, not just geographical, but racial, cultural, and temperamental.  Preceding the Christian era for 1000’s of years, Clans were run by a succession of warlike Celtic tribes.

Flora MacDonald helps Charles Stuart hide

Early Clans

By the late 13th century there was a clear emerging of Western Highland Clans, descended from the Scots of Dalraiden or Norse invaders.  These were the Macleods, MacKenzies, MacNeils, MacGregors, Maclean, MacNaugons, Campbells and MacDougalls.  At the time the Norse threat to Scotland waned and the English menace rose.  The death of Alexander III threw the country into turmoil in 1286.  The only child of the dead King was a daughter, and she was pledged to th heir to the English throne in attempt to find peace and unite England and Scotland.  Unfortunately she died on the way to England, and the Celtic line of royalty died too, leaving no successor.

Robert Bruce and John Balliol, both nobles of Anglo-Norman descent plus others claimed title and land and appealed to the English King Edward I who was known to be “ruthless”.  Edward’s goal was to bring all of Scotland under his rule.  Edward picked Balliol, but Balliol rejected the king, setting up France as his ally against England, and starting conflict which would continue for the next 100 years.

In the 1300’s England went to war with France so the Scots got a respite from being the source of conflict and only sat between it, until the French called up on them to fight on their behalf.

B the time King Edward III was on the throne, Scottish allegiances with the French and English were divided amongst themselves.  Clans made their own separate alliances, and the Western vs Eastern Highland clans were created politically.

Over the century that followed more clans evolved.  They were patriarchial societies with laws of succession and ownership with tenure.  Clansmen followed their Chief as leader of ancestry; not politics.  Clans had separate branches under ancestrally related leaders, and they often quarreled, yet when it came to bond against a common enemy, they found allegiances.  Eventuall clans and lands provided protection to those of common ancestry, not just in their family because they were “just living in the same place”.

Clan members took care of their chiefs, and the whole thing looked much and operated  much as a feudal system.  New Clans in the 15th and 16th centuries like the Frasers, Chisholms, Grants, Roses, hays, Inneses, and Gordons came to be of Anglo-Norman origin.  Others with Flemish ancestors came to be: the Sinclairs and Sutherlands.  The Menzies and the Stewarts were the new Royal Family, replacing the centuries old Macdougalls as leaders of all.  The Stewarts were ancestors of the Stewarts of Appin.  These Anglos adapted the cultures of the Celts with Gaelic traditions and set up the same patriarchial and feudal like systems.

The Frasers were a considerable Clan in the North Highlands who held great power from the 15th to mid-18th centuries.  They had large land holdings along a coastal strip plus wooded hinterlands.  Included on their lands were the Tower of Lovat and Beaufort Castle (the heart of the “Outlander” story).  The Fraser Clan still holds much land today.  They were a relatively “new” clan in the history of the Celts, having landed in England in the 12th and 13th centuries and in France before that.

Clans in the 18th Century

By 1707, the Scots retained many of the characteristics and lifestyles of their ancestors including use of the Gaelic tongue which was almost universally spoken.  They used it as much as a barrier against anglicization as a guardian of old values.

A new influence came in at that time – money.  The Lowlands at the time were tied to the economies of England, while the Highlands were remote and considered a “barbaric place”.  English Lord President of Culloden Duncan Forbes said in the 1740’s,

“A Highlander Clan is a set of men all bearing the same surname and believing themselves to be related.. in each Clan there are.. subalternate tribes, who owe their dependence on the Supreme Chief of the Clan.. and look upon it to be their duty to support him in all Adventures.”

Highland Clans remained mostly military in structure, ready to take up arms at a word from the Chief.  Campbells could muster 1000’s, while most could only dredge up about 100 warriors.  Kings and noblemen from all countries made use of the political alliances of the various clans and their military service, making War a rather lucrative business for the northern Scots.

Highlanders were always at the ready to be called to the “crois taraidle” (“Burning Cross”) where they would cover wood with blood and loosely tie it into the shape of a cross and light it on fire.  Runners would take the flame from glen to glen, announcing the call to conflict.

The social order meant military discipline, even by women and children.  When the men left to fight, everyone else had to keep the Clan going.  Women hunted, guarded the lands and cattle, while the men raided.  Raiding was a regular source of income.  Protection money called “blackmail” was another source of income for Clans.  They would charge harassed Lowlanders to protect them.  It was especially lucrative if they were also the raiders.

During peacetime, the Clan Chief had complete power and could make up punishments as he wished.  On the other hand, he held sole responsibility for all people in his clan, no matter whom; e.g. if a woman was widowed, it was his responsibility to care for her and find her a new husband.  When the Chief went forth, he was like a Prince with a parade of Bards, Pipers, and Clansmen.

In the early days, Clan land was held by all in common, but by the 18th century, all land was owned by the Chief.

In the barren lands of the Highlands, they had to live simply, and to some Europeans – poorly.  They eked a living, and of the approximate 200,000 living there in the early 1700’s, only about half could be considered “employed”.  A “clachan” or “crofting township” was a cluster of buildings with houses made of turn and stone, thatched with heather.  Most were single rooms divided by a curtain with a peat fire in the middle with a hole in the roof for the smoke.

While outsiders felt sorry for them and wrote that the Highlanders must have been bored and lonely, the Highlanders enjoyed the peace and pace of their lifestyles.  They drank a home brewed whisky distilled from malted barley they grew themselves.  Around the peat fire at night they told stories of fairies and witchcraft and second sight.  They sang songs of victory and defeat to the accompiament of the “clarsach” and pipes.

     Merging Cultures & Conflict

Norse in America

The Scots with their Norse backgrounds actually met their relations in the Colonies by the 18th century the Dutch, Swedish, and others of Norse background had already been well established.  Hospitals were established by orders coming down from New Holland and New France in Canada.

The numbers of all of these including the Scots were not that great in 1700; just steady.  The Dutch and Swedes would come later at the end of the Civil War in the 1860’s-’70’s, and the bulk of the Scots would come in the 1820’s.  Most of those in the later migration would end up in the Midwest; predominantly Minnesota and the Great Lakes area.

It was however, called “The Great Migration” of Scots, for due to many factors, from 1717-1776, huge numbers of the working class Scots came to the Colonies.

The first Scots migrated in the 1600’s

“The Great Migration”

In 1777 newly arrived “Scotch-Irish” were greeted by family who had been living there for almost 3/4 of a century

Key reasons for the Scots to leave Scotland 1717-1776 to go to the American Colonies prior to the Revolutionary War were:

  • high rents by new English monarchy controlled lands
  • parliamentary regulations restricting even the performance of civil activities such as funerals and weddings
  • religious persecution against Protestants in Scotland (later the Catholics would come for the same reason in about 1856)

Because they came alongside the Irish who were suffering similar conditions, once in America, they were called all together “Scotch-Irish” or “Irish-Scotch”.  The “Irish” of the “Irish-Scotch” were actually previously displaced Scotsmen.

From 1606 to 1710 Lowlanders in particular of Scotland had migrated to the Province of Ulster in Northern Ireland to become tenant farmers.  Under King James of England who was in control of Ireland at the time, he then claimed their lands for the Crown in 1607-09.  He claimed that taking their land would protect the farmers from “reivers” (“rustlers”) who worked the southern borders between Scotland and Ireland.

In retrospect and reality, King James wanted to build a buffer zone using the Protestant Lowlanders against Irish Catholics.  By 1640 there were 100,000 Scots living in Ulster, but economic, political, and religious conditions caused them to go to the Colonies.

Meanwhile Across the Ocean

More than 200,000 Scotch-Irish had arrived on the Eastern Colonies by 1777
Another wave of Scots would come to America in the mid and late 19th century through New York or the Great Lakes into the Midwest

In 1709 when the movement began, and by 1717 when it began in earnest, there were already a large “handfull” of Scots living in the Colonies from the 17th century.  When 5000 Ulsterites arrived all at once in Pennsylvania in 1717, however, the flow kept going until by the time fighting started in the Revolutionary War, there were over 200,000 Scotch-Irish fighting on the Patriot side.

Most of these entered the country via Philadelphia, PA, and settled in the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania.  Others kept going further west into the backcountries of the eastern seaport Colonies of what are now Maine, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.  In the backwoods and northern parts of New York State and Pennsylvania in particular, they became a buffer between the French and Indians.

Pockets of Scotch-Irish ended up on the New England coast, but most were a large part of the western pioneer movement by the 19th century in exploring the western American frontier.

Cultures Integrate

The Highlander was known as the frontiersman in the new American Colonies

Culturally the Colonial Scot was known as an independent frontiersman with a rifle and one hand and his other hand on the Bible.  Most to come during the Great Migration were Presbyterians, but some quickly converted to Methodist and Baptist once in the country.

The Presbyterian Scotch-Irish, though not as strict nor intense in their religious fervor as their nearby neighbors the Puritans who also flourished in New York and Pennsylvania, promoted literacy and higher education.  They wanted all Scots in America to be able to read Scripture at least.

Princeton University, founded by Scotch-Irish

It was the Scotch-Irish communities who founded colleges like Princeton, Dickenson, Alleghany, and Hampton-Sydney in the northeast.  They also opened universities in Delaware, Pittsburgh, across Pennsylvania, Virginia, and both the Carolinas.

The Ideal Scotch-Irish-American

The ideal and perception of the Scot in the Colonies was of a truly masculine figure with superior strength, courage, and fearlessness be it at war or fighting for his family while living in the hinterlands of the expanding country
Legend and stories centered around the romance of the Highland Warrior displaced to the backwoods of America
The romantic image of the strong and courageous Scot applied to the women too
Scottish colonists went west into the frontier and wilderness, while many did stay in the populated areas too

The ideal of the Scot in America was that they were virile and had physical strength beyond the norm.  There was a

“pride of manhood in masculine courage, physical strength, and warrior virtue”,

according to historian Fischer.  This attitude was logical given the history of Clans and the constant work to survive back in Scotland.  The skills and culture of the Highlands transplanted almost exactly to the borderlands of America.  They established their new home much as their ancestors had in Scotland.  Ironically, both did it alongside the Dutch who settled in the same places.

By 1776 Scotch-Irish made up 10-15% of the entire Colonial population.  They were the backbone of George Washington’s Army during the Revolutionary War.  It can be assumed they fought so hard: 1) because of their warrior culture and pride in strength; 2) they had a heightened hatred of the British and an anti-Crown attitude after what the English had done to them for centuries (despite the integration of Norman-Saxon blood such as the Stuarts in their own ranks).

The Scots had come to the New America to escape exactly what the Patriots were trying to escape:  rents, regulations, excessive taxation, control of the individual and his property, and government corruption – the same as they had experienced since the 1640’s in Scotland.

The Scotch-Irish were the first to fight for the Patriot Cause in America
Scotch fought and died for the Patriot cause in America

Scotch-Irish served in many ways for the Patriot cause including providing spies, hard goods and services like wagon repair, as well as fighting. Whomever couldn’t fight, did what they could such as donating livestock

“The first voice publicaly raised in America to dissolve all connection with Great Britain came, not from the Puritans of New England nor the Dutch of New England,; not the Carolinans nor Virginians, but from the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians.” — George Bancroft, Historian

Scotch-Irish Notables in Later American History

Descendants of “The Great Migration” Scotch-Irish have provided 47% of American presidents to date.  James Buchanan, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant, Grover Cleveland, Chester Arthur, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George HS and George W Bush, and Bill Clinton all trace Scottish-Irish lineage.

Also notable and influential Americans descended from Scotch-Irish Colonials include composer Stephen Foster, frontiersman Davy Crockett, inventor of the steamboat Robert Fulton, Samuel Morse of Morse Code, Cyrus McCormick who invented the reaper, Edgar Allen Poe poet, James Monroe of the Monroe Doctrine, Mark Twain, and James Polk.


Scotland Then

Craigh na Dun in Scotland where the story really gets going

Outlander is a new Hit TV series that airs on Starz, based on the extensive book series written by Diana Gibaldon.

(excerpt from Wikipedia): “In 1946, after working apart during the Second World War, British Army nurse Claire Randall and her husband Frank Randall, a history professor, go on a second honeymoon to Inverness, Scotland. Frank conducts research into his family history and Claire goes plant-gathering near standing stones on the hill of Craigh na Dun. Investigating a buzzing noise near the stones, she touches one and faints; upon waking, she encounters Frank’s ancestor, Captain Jack Randall. Before Captain Randall can attack her, he is knocked unconscious by a highlander who takes Claire to his clansmen. As the Scots inexpertly attend their injured comrade Jamie, Claire uses her medical skill to set Jamie’s dislocated shoulder. The men identify themselves as members of Clan MacKenzie, and Claire eventually concludes that she has traveled into the past. She represents herself as an English widow who is traveling to France to see her family. The Scots do not believe her and take her to Castle Leoch, where Claire searches for a way to return to her own time.

Claire, Jamie, and grown up daughter Brianna, finally are together in Season 4 of “Outlander” on Starz


The highlanders of 1743 see Claire as a “Sassenach“, or “Outlander”, ignorant of Gaelic culture. Her medical skills eventually earn their respect; but the clan chieftain, Colum MacKenzie, suspects her of being an English spy. Colum sends her with his brother, Dougal, to collect rents; on the way he also solicits donations for the Jacobites, overseen by Ned Gowan, a lawyer from Edinburgh who is working for the Clan.

When chance again brings her to his attention, Captain Randall tells Dougal to bring Claire to him for questioning. There is suspicion that she is perhaps an English spy. To keep Claire from Randall, Dougal has her wed Jamie, which makes her a Scottish citizen. Torn between her attachment to Jamie and the thought of Frank, Claire tries to return to Craigh na Dun. However, she is captured by Randall’s men, requiring Jamie to rescue her. Upon returning to Castle Leoch, Claire continues acting as the official healer, and befriends Geillis Duncan, the wife of a local official, who shares a knowledge of medicine.

Eventually Claire and Geillis are charged with witchcraft while Jamie is away, but Jamie returns in time to save Claire. While imprisoned with Geillis, Claire learns that Geillis is part of the plot to restore King James to the Scottish throne along with Dougal and that she is also pregnant with his child. Just before their escape, Claire realizes that Geillis is, like herself, from the future, when she sees a smallpox vaccine scar on her arm. Geillis also sees Claire’s scar.

This is the oldest known structure in Scotland today, standing just outside the battlefield of Culloden

Claire tells Jamie her real story, and he takes her to Craigh na Dun. When he offers her the chance to stay or go, she decides to stay. Jamie takes her to his home of Lallybroch, where they meet Jamie’s sister Jenny and her husband, Ian. Though Jamie is still a fugitive from the British, he reclaims his position as Laird of Lallybroch, until one of his tenants betrays him and he is taken to Wentworth Prison. Claire and the MacKenzie clansmen attempt to rescue him, but they fail, and Claire is captured by Randall, who threatens to have her raped. Jamie offers himself in Claire’s place, and Randall frees Claire into the woods. Claire tells Randall that she is a witch and tells him the exact day of his death, which she knows from Frank’s family history.

Thereafter Claire is befriended by Sir Marcus MacRannoch, a former suitor of Jamie’s mother. While MacRannoch’s men distract Wentworth’s guards, the clansmen drive a herd of cattle through the underground halls, trampling a man. They rescue Jamie, who has been assaulted physically and sexually by Randall, and take him to MacRannoch’s stronghold, where Claire tends Jamie’s wounds. As soon as Jamie is able, they and Jamie’s godfather, Murtagh, escape to Saint Anne de Beaupre’s monastery in France, where another of Jamie’s uncles is abbot. As she and Jamie emerge from a sacred hot spring under the Abbey, Claire reveals that she is pregnant.”

The story continues through what will be 6 seasons.

The whole “Outlander” craze started with this book

The primary books are (from the site)

  1. OUTLANDER, which is published as Cross Stitch in the U.K.
  8. WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD. Nicknamed “MOBY,” the eighth book in the series was first published in the U.S. in the summer of 2014.
  9. GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE— which she is currently writing and researching— will be the ninth book in the OUTLANDER series of novels. Completion and publishing dates have not been announced yet.

Modern interpretations of the Scottish Tartan have gone a little wacky and yet they are not THAT far out of line!
William Cumming, Piper to Laird Grant, 1714

The ruggedness of the Scottish land led to the logical separation of the Highlanders into small groups called clans.  Each clan was ruled by a chief, and the members of a clan claimed descent from a common ancestor.

There are currently more than 500 active clans registered all over the world, and they still play an important role in maintaining Scottish culture and tradition.  There are annually more than 100 gatherings of clans, which draw visitors to the Highlands.

As of the 2011 census, there were almost 60,000 Gaelic speakers in Scotland.  The language is in decline, so many schools in the west of Scotland teach Gaelic as a second language or teach units in Gaelic.

Scots today live in rural and urban areas much as in the rest of the world, and make a good living off of tourism, even though they no longer run freely over the land wearing kilts as in the romantic images of the country.

At formal occasions Scottish men proudly wear Highland Dress which consists of a kilt and other garments.  The Scottish kilt is worn with kilt hose, woolen socks, turned down at the knee with garter “flashes”, and a sporan, a type of pouch which hangs around the waist from a chain or leather strap.  Belt with embossed buckle, Argyll jacket, kilt pin, and black knife are common accessories.

Women’s Highland Dress was influenced by the current fashion of the day, as were the American Colonies, and will be discussed as “Colonial”.  The primary difference between Scottish women’s dress and European or Colonial are the textiles.  These will be discussed below in detail too.

Haggis is Scotland’s current national dish, although a good curry is a favorite.  Haggis is a dish containing a sheep’s “pluck” (heart, liver, and lungs) minced with onion, oatment, suet, spices, salt, and stock; simmered in the animals stomach. Other favorites are Scottish fish and chips, deep fried mars bars, and Arbroath Smoke (special smoked Haddock fish).  Whisky is a favorite, but so is Im-Bru, a carbonated fruit flavored drink.  Tourists are especially fond of shortbread, a buttery biscuit.

Modern entertainment still includes the ceilidh, especially in traditional Highland hotels and small villages.  A ceilidh is a traditional Gaelic social gathering usualy held in village halls or hotels, and involves playing folk music an dancing.  In the old days it was literary entertainment with stories and tales recited.

Ceildh today

Religion is still an important part of the Scottish culture.  The Scottish Presbyterians,  is the official and largest organized church in the country.  The Roman Catholic Church, called the Church of Scotland has the 2nd largest group of worshippers.  An interesting Sunday activity happens around 2 pm when people crowd a local shop to read the Sunday Paper along with a national drink.  It is a social time for neighbors and friends.

Roxburghe golf course in Kelso, Scotland

Scotland is renowned as the “Home of Golf” and golf brings many tourists to the country.  For the Scots though, soccer is the national passion and beating England is an important goal every year.  Competition between “The Old Firm” Glascow’s Celtic vs Rangers clubs is fierce.

Much of Scottish history, culture, and traditions are saved through many festivals year round and throughout the country, especially during Hogmanay.


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