The Highland Scottish came to North Carolina primarily in 1739, when the present royal governor of North Carolina persuaded 360 of them to immigrate to the state. These proud people left their native country for various reasons, including political freedom, religious freedom and economic. Many were forced out of their homes and couldn’t afford the extravagent rent prices their landlords were charging, forcing them to seek a new place to settle.
Many had the goal of garnering a grant to a piece of land. They settled down in areas such as Upper Cape Fear and Cross Creek. A good portion were into farming, raising crops like corn and wheat, along with raising sheep and pigs. Others chose to get employment within the naval industry. James Campbell was one of these immigrants, and became well known for helping to set up three different Presbyterian churches in the state. Their primary language at home and at church services was Gaelic, but this changed after the Civil War as the language declined to be used.
When the Revolutionary War began to stir up, many of these Scots fell in line with the Loyalist side of the coin, supporting England. Once the war was finished, those who remained loyal to England moved out of the United States to areas such as Novia Scotia and Barbados. There were many who lost their loyal leanings after the Battle of Moore’s Creek that occurred in 1776.
Those descendants still in North Carolina today continue to show off their heritage, taking part in the Highland Games that are held in July. This event started during a popular rebirth in desire to remember their past. There are other games held, such as the Loch Norman Games. The heritage that stretches back to before the Revolutionary War continues today, determined never to be forgotten.