WITH this county is associated the name of Flora MacDonald, born at South Uist, Scotland in 1720, and died March 4th, 1790.
She is celebrated for having aided and accomplished the escape of Charles Edward, the young pretender, after the battle of Culloden, April 16, 1746.
In 1750, she married Alexander MacDonald, with whom she came to North Carolina in 1773, and settled near Fayetteville in this county. He was a captain of the Royal Highlanders, and was engaged in the battle of Moore's Creek Bridge, where he was taken prisoner, and confined in Halifax jail. Flora returned to Skye, Scotland. She was of much personal beauty, and of great energy and determination of character. On the voyage home an attack on the ship was made by a French ship of war, and when the English ship was about to be taken, she rushed on the deck, and by her example and courage drove the enemy off. In the contest her arm was broken.
Several of her sons were officers in the army. One of them was a colonel, and a Fellow of the Royal Society.
The character and life of Flora MacDonald have excited the imagination of Sir Walter Scott, Mrs. Ellett and others. A more full and detailed sketch of her life and character may be found in "the History of the Jacobites," and in the History of North Carolina, II., 126.
She died in 1790, and her name is still remembered by the old folks about Fayetteville with reverence and regard.
Foote has said of this amiable and illustrious character, "England has her Elizabeth, Virginia her Pocahoritas, and North Carolina her Flora MacDonald."
Another character appears in the early history of this county, and as he was somewhat notorious, his name is presented--Farquard Campbell.
He was a shrewd and active politician, and tried to make favor with both sides, but as in all similar efforts, the favor of both sides was lost.
I find from a dispatch of Governor Martin to the Earl of Dartmouth, dated on board of the Cruiser, October 16th, 1775, the following:
"I am surprised to hear that the Scotch Highlanders have declared themselves neutral. This I attribute to the influence of a certain Farquard Campbell, an ignorant man who has settled from his childhood in this county, an old member of the assembly, and has imbibed all the American prejudices. By advice of some of my countrymen, I was induced to communicate with him, and sound him, in case mattus came to extremities, and was assured of his loyalty. He expressed to me his abhorence of the violence done at Fort Johnstone, and in other instances and discovered so much jealousy and apprehension of the ill designs of the leaders in sedition, giving me at the same time so strong assurances of his loyalty, and of the good dispositions of his countrymen, that I, never suspecting his dissimulation and treachery, was led to impart to him the encouragements I was authorized to hold out to His Majesty's loyal subjects, which he received with much approbation. From the time of this conversation, in July last, I heard nothing from Mr. Campbell, until the late convention at Hillsboro, when he appeared as a delegate from the County of Cumberland, and there, according to my information, unasked and unsolicited, and without provocation of any sort, he was guilty of the base treachery of promulgating all I had said to him in confidential secrecy, which he had promised sacredly to observe, and aggravating the crime of falsehood by adding his own invention, in declaring he had rejected all my propositions."
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