CHAPTER V --FAMILY ORIGINS IN AMERICA
MANTA RAY DRUMMER, our distant cousin, wrote a 1977 letter to BETTY CARIA regarding her great grandmother EMMA LOUISE KING BARR, younger sister of WILLIAM FRAZIER KING and MARY ELIZABETH KING HOEL. The letter said one of her deceased aunts had written as follows: "Grandfather KING (SAMUEL NEWTON KING) was born in Lawrence County, North Carolina. He was the son of WILLIAM (H) KING who was the son of JOHN KING who came from Scotland and settled in North Carolina prior to 1812." Although there is no Lawrence County in North Carolina the information is very significant as it appears to closely tie this family to a large immigration of Scottish Highlanders that arrived in North Carolina between 1737 and 1775. Having read about the routes that many people took moving south from North Carolina and then west it is very likely our KING% lived in Lawrence County, Alabama and SAMUEL NEWTON was born there after which the family moved north again to Tennessee and then to Dade County, Missouri. As stated elsewhere the census record shows SAMUEL NEWTON KING was born in Alabama. That was on February 19,1819. We have good reason to believe the family lived in Lawrence County and that the year 1812 in the above quotation may indicate the year the family left North Carolina for Alabama following the Revolution. Regarding SAMUEL N's wife MARGARET L. KING, born February 9,1827, the early census records show her as being born in Tennessee but later ones considered more likely to be correct show it as Alabama. At age 21 SAMUEL N. came to Dade County with his parents WILLIAM (H.) and SARAH KING who homesteaded land there. We have no further record of WILLIAM (H.) or SARAH KING after they deeded this same land to their son and daughter-in-law, SAMUEL N. and MARGARET L. KING. Possibly they returned to Tennessee or Alabama. A detailed look at Lawrence County, Alabama and genealogical and local histories of the Highlander Counties in North Carolina could be very helpful in Developing more leads on this family.
The book "Race Elements Among the White Population of North Carolina" tells the story of the 1737 to 1775 immigration to North Carolina from Scotland. The Highlanders lived in northern Scotland and offshore islands under very primitive conditions for over 600 years. They had little contact with outsiders except for raids on each other and on the cattle and property of their neighbors, the Lowlanders to the south. Their political system of clans with loyalty to the chiefs and ultimately to the kings of Scotland was ideally suited for the bare subsistence they could maintain by farming and grazing the cold and rocky hillsides. Each clan member had a common ancestor with the chief so all were related. Their costumes and music were developed over the centuries. The men were known as fierce fighters who left most of the cultivation, farming with home made tools, and cattle raising to the women, children, and the elderly as this was not proper employment for a warrior who was always armed and subject to call from the Chief. There was little in the way of manufacturing, commerce, or trade. The Clan Chiefs who had the most land and kept much of the booty seized in raids, together with a few clansmen in choice locations accumulated some wealth. In many cases these two groups helped finance the poorer people in their eventual flight to North Carolina. Some books on Scottish history paint a much brighter picture than this one on the early life of the Highlanders.
After the battle of Culloden in 1746, won by the British Army, the British Government decided to break the clans. Lands were distributed to the conquering soldiers, much of the cultivated land was returned to pasture, rents were increased, and an already bare survival made even worse. The Clansmen revolted but were defeated again by the English "Butcher of Cumberland" who led the British troops. The author of the book states "soldiers fell upon the helpless, their cattle slaughtered, their huts laid in ashes. Women and children without food, homes, husbands, or fathers wandered helplessly among the hills and valleys to die of cold and hunger." Every house within 50 miles of Inverness had been burnt and the soldiers boasted that "no man nor beast had been left alive."
A few Highland families had reached the Cape Fear River valley of North Carolina in 1729. Glowing reports were sent back to Scotland. Neal McNeal returned from America to Scotland in 1739 and came back with a shipload of 350 Highlanders. The British House of Commons encouraged this emigration with a 10-year tax exemption and allowed a 1,000 pound (British) subsistence payment while a family was getting established. A flow of immigrants in an unbroken stream from the Highlands began with shipload after shipload arriving at the ports of Wilmington, North Carolina and Charleston, South Carolina. On arrival they went directly to the Cape Fear valley and promptly started locating any relatives or friends who might have preceded them. The popular Highland song of the day was "Going to Seek a Fortune in North Carolina." They founded the city of Fayetteville. The ships "Molly"," Adventure". and "Jupiter" among others, brought many loads from Islay and Inverness. There were usually 150 to 200 passengers per ship together with what possessions they were allowed to bring plus general cargo. The people and their settlements were spread throughout the present North Carolina counties of Anson, Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Hope, Moore, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, and Scotland. Wouldn't it be nice to have a diary of our ancestor JOHN KING who very likely made this journey? In 1775 the British Colonial Governor Martin reported to the King of England that there were an estimated 15,000 Highland Scots in North Carolina from which he Could raise an army of 3,000
The Scots had arrived at a bad time. Trouble was heating up with the British. The Scots from the beginning expressed loyalty to the British throne although they joined with other North Carolinians in numerous petitions to London for relief from their grievances- most of which went unanswered. But when it came to military action they said they had had enough in Scotland and refused to join the revolutionary movement, even against their old enemy the British Army. Even so, prior to the Revolution, the Highlanders had been appointed to positions such as sheriff and justice of the peace and were allowed representation in the colonial North Carolina General Assembly. However, the Scots had a language problem. They spoke Gaelic and all commercial, legal, social, and political communications were in English. Within very few years they overcame this problem until only a few of the oldest people, lingering beyond their allotted time, still used their native tongue. By the second generation, their Scottish brogues disappeared and only their Highland names distinguished these people from their English neighbors.
The old clan system had fallen apart in the new world but was rapidly restored as the Scots realized they were going to have to fight. They told the British govenor of the Colony that they were prepared to support the royal cause. Allan McDonald who led the Highland fight against the British back in Scotland now reorganized his immigrant troops on the side of the Loyalists against the American revolutionaries. On February 18,1776 McDonald's army of 1600 Highlanders from the 10 Scottish counties were dressed in tartan garments, feathered bonnets, and carrying broadswords started marching toward Wilmington singing their native songs to the tune of shrill bagpipe music. They were to join Lord Cornwallis who had 52 ships on the way there with seven regiments of British regulars. Cornwallis plan was to cut off the Carolina troops and crush the rebellion by separating the north from the south. The Highlanders met the rebels at Moore's Creek bridge in the early morning darkness on February 27th and gathered to force a crossing. The American muskets cleared the bridge of McDonald's troops. Replacements swept in but the revolutionists gained complete control. Only one rebel soldier was killed but 70 Highlanders lost their lives. They lost 13 wagon loads of supplies including food, swords, rifles, and ammunition. Allan N. McDonald, many of his officers and 850 soldiers were taken prisoner. When Lord Cornwallis and his troops arrived in Wilmington by sea and learned what had happened they turned south and landed at Charleston, South Carolina instead. After many years of victories the Highlanders had now been defeated twice, first by the British in Scotland (2 times) and now by the Americans in North Carolina. Other than for the Scots North Carolina was a leading colony in the clamor for independence. Only four months later the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia.
The fate of the defeated Highlanders was again a hard one. In 1777 the General Assembly of North Carolina passed an act demanding the expulsion from its borders of all residents who would not take an oath of allegiance to support the cause of independence. Great numbers of these over-loyal people returned to Scotland. Many found new homes in Nova Scotia (New Scotland). Their exodus from North Carolina was comparable to their previous exodus from Scotland. It is said that this excess loyalty to the King of England was a direct result of the centuries-old clan system under which loyalty to the Chiefs and to the Kings of Scotland was a persons first obligation regardless of circumstances. Those who remained pledged their allegiance to the new Country. Many of them joined the Revolutionary Army and contributed to victory at the battle at Kings Mountain which is said to have turned the tide of the revolution in favor of the Americans. History shows that Highland names in all fields of endeavor, both in the nation and among the famous of North Carolina, and have been second to no other element of the population.
While we do not know at this time exactly what part our ancestors may have played in these events we can reasonably assume that JOHN KING took the oath of allegiance to support the cause of American independence. Following the Revolution there was a renewed movement of people south and west from North Carolina. John's son WILLIAM (H) KING may have been born in one of the Highlander counties of North Carolina or in Lawrence County, Alabama [or in Laurens South Carolina].
The book "Race Elements in the White Population of North Carolina" by R.D.W. Connor has a bibliography of other sources of information. This 1920 book is available from The Reprint CO., P.O. Box 5401 Spartansburg, South Carolina 29301. Also it should be available in any library with a good collection on Southern genealogy or North Carolina history.
THE SCOTS-IRISH PEOPLE
To avoid confusion it should be pointed out that the Scottish Highlanders were a completely different group of people from the Scots-Irish. The Scots-Irish were Scottish Lowlanders from south and west of the river Clyde in Scotland. In 1610 King James I of England sent 30 to 40,000 of these Scottish Protestants to Ulster in Northern Ireland where he was having nothing but trouble. By 1720 after more than 100 years in Ireland these Scottish Lowlanders found reform there to be impossible. Following several crop failures and excessive taxation assessed by the British on products of the Ulster linen mills, many of these people also left for the new world. They arrived mostly in Philadelphia. Large numbers immediately went south to the Valley of Virginia and thence throughout the Southern Colonies. The Scots-Irish from the start were strong advocates of independence from England. They made up a large part of the Revolutionary Army and many of their names are well known in American history. We have no indication that any of our KING ancestors were Scots-Irish unless by marriage. This is to point out that the Scots in America came from completely different backgrounds