Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/McDonald, Flora

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McDONALD, Flora, Scottish heroine, b. in Milton, island of South Uist, Hebrides, in 1722; d. there, 5 March, 1790. She was the daughter of Ronald McDonald, of Milton who belonged to the McDonalds of Clanranald. Her father died when she was an infant, and her mother having married McDonald of Armadale, Skye, Flora was removed to that island. In June, 1746, while on a visit to South Uist, she met Capt. O'Neil, one of the companions of Charles Edward Stuart, then on his wanderings after his defeat at Culloden, and O'Neil proposed that Flora should take Charles with her to Skye, disguised as a woman. She refused, but, after an interview with the prince, entered warmly into the scheme. After encountering serious dangers, Flora, the prince, and an attendant reached Skye, where they were assisted by Lady McDonald, who consigned the prince to the care of her husband's factor. Soon after his arrival in Skye, the prince bade farewell to Flora at Portree, and sailed for France. The part she had taken soon became known, and she was imprisoned until the act of indemnity, in 1747. In 1750 she married Allan McDonald the younger, of Kingsburgh, and emigrating with him and their family to North Carolina, in 1774, they settled in Fayetteville. They had been preceded by many of their countrymen, after the battle of Culloden, to this region, where at one time Gaelic was spoken in six counties of the state. Afterward they removed to Cameron hill, and again to a different part of the state. On 3 July, 1775, her husband, who, though aged, was a man of energy and influence, met Martin, and concerted with him a rising of the Highlanders. He served with the loyalists as captain, and was captured at Moore's Creek, and confined at Halifax. She then obtained a passport from a Whig officer, and, at the request of her husband, sailed from Charleston to her native land in a British sloop-of-war. On the voyage home they were attacked by a French frigate of superior force, and, when capture seemed inevitable, Flora left her cabin, and stimulated the crew to renewed exertion by her acts and courage. Her arm was broken during the conflict. She landed safely in Scotland, and never again left that country. On her death-bed she requested that her body should be wrapped in one of the sheets in which the prince had slept at the house of Kingsburgh in 1746. She was remarkable for her beauty, for the ease and dignity of her manner, and her loyalty to “Prince Charlie” has been the theme of scores of Scottish poets. “Flora McDonald's Lament” is one of the Ettrick Shepherd's finest and most popular productions. Her husband survived her a few years. Five of their sons served their king in a military capacity. The accompanying picture is from a portrait that was in the possession of her last surviving son, Lieut.-Col. John McDonald, of the British army.