on our Campus.....
Flora Macdonald Remembered
March 5th marks the 231st anniversary of the death of our campus' namesake, Flora Macdonald. Born on an unrecorded date in 1722 in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, this young woman seems to have been on the wrong side of history at every turn.
Having helped the Young Pretender (Bonnie Prince Charlie) escape to France, she was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Due to financial hardships, she and her family emigrated to North Carolina in 1774. Following the outbreak of the revolution, she and her husband, being loyal British subjects, supported the Crown. Her soldier husband Allan was captured and Flora was driven from her home, her possessions stolen by revolutionary neighbors. After reuniting with Allan in Canada, Flora eventually returned to Scotland. En route, her vessel was attacked by pirates and she was wounded in the arm, having refused to hide below deck. Flora and Allan were eventually reunited and lived out the rest of their days on the Isle of Skye. She died and was buried there at Kilmuir at the age of 68.
This sounds like a life filled with nothing but hardship and tragedy, however, Flora is not remembered as a victim but rather as a heroine. The words etched on her tomb, penned by the eminent Dr. Samuel Johnson, beautifully summarize her life: "...a name that will be mentioned in history, and if courage and fidelity be virtues, mentioned with honor."