[This post was written by Alison Thurman and Josh Hager, Reference Archivists]
This blog is intended as a “bonus feature” for fans of Outlander who want to explore the world of Jamie and Claire through original documents housed at the State Archives of North Carolina. SPOILERS for the first 9 episodes of Season 4!
Outlander, the hit series from Starz, has officially arrived in colonial North Carolina. This season, Jamie and Claire will traverse the state from Wilmington to the mountains. The State Archives of North Carolina will join them on this journey as we showcase documents that provide a window into their world. Welcome to our biweekly series, Documenting the World of Outlander, wherein each new entry in our series will focus on one topic that appears on screen in Outlander.
In the most recent episodes of Outlander we have seen Jamie and Claire receive a land grant for 10,000 acres in the back country of North Carolina upon which they build a homestead they name Fraser’s Ridge. Fraser’s Ridge appears to be a successful farm and happy home for the Frasers, but there is always a new challenge around the corner wherever they go. In this case, one of the realities of living in the North Carolina back country in 1767 for Jamie and Claire, is carving out a peaceful and respectful relationship with their closest neighbors, the Cherokee Indians, also referred to as the Tsalagi. In this entry of our blog series we would like to focus on Native Americans, specifically the Cherokee, and showcase some of the documents in the State Archives that pertain to the complicated history of colonial expansion and changing land boundaries in North Carolina during the late 1760’s and beyond.
Native Americans in Early North Carolina: A Documentary History, edited byDennis L. Isenbarger, is now available. This landmark work chronicles through primary sources the Native American experience in North Carolina from the earliest European explorations in the late sixteenth century through the last decades of the eighteenth century. Documents in the volume are drawn from journals and other personal accounts, the letters of both private citizens and government officials, land grants and deeds, court records, acts of the Assembly, correspondence and reports of government agencies involved in Indian affairs, records of the Executive Council, newspapers, governors’ papers, records of the Moravians, Church of England records, and the laws of North Carolina. General subjects presented through the sources are folkways, religion, trade, land (possession and dispossession), war, colonial interaction, and reservations.
Native Americans in Early North Carolina: A Documentary History (paperbound. pp. xiii, 362, indexed) retails for $20.00 (plus shipping and NC sales tax). Click here to order a copy through the online Historical Publications Shop.
If you are unfamiliar with the Archives Information Circulars (or the AICs, as they are sometimes known), they are essays written by members of the Archives staff on a specific subject of research. They also serve as guides to the materials in our collections relating to that subject. Currently there are nineteen circulars available online that cover everything from: colonial records, marriage bonds in North Carolina, African-American resources, Tennessee records available in our collections, records relating to Native Americans, and materials that show North Carolina’s contributions to various war efforts.
The circulars are available in PDF format and are maintained by our Public Services Branch, the same unit that runs our Search Room and responds to requests for copies or research. Please visit the Services page for a complete list of Archives Information Circulars.