It’s recently been estimated that Americans spend $19.5 billion on Valentine’s Day. Whether you go all in or prefer to recast the holiday as “Singles Awareness Day,” people have been baring their heart and soul through love notes for centuries. In early America, as long as quill, ink, and paper were on hand — one … More Will you be my 18th century Valentine?
This month I contributed my first byline to Salt magazine here in Wilmington, NC. Check out the full article on Flora MacDonald and crew at “Thistle Among the Pines: Flora MacDonald and the Highland Scots of the Cape Fear.”
When I left North Carolina in 2014 for my Ph.D. adventure in Scotland, a new trend was on the rise. Like many other cities in the state, and indeed the country, my hometown of Wilmington also became the home of several new microbreweries as the trend of home brewing and craft brewing swept the US. … More “Beer is a good family drink”: Women and Craft Brewing in early North Carolina
In 1966 historian Gordon Donaldson wrote that, in essence, Scotland’s “greatest export” was its people.  Over the course of five centuries, Scots migrated to every corner of the world. They are, in many ways, a very mobile population. My own research has looked at Scottish families (from both the Highlands and Lowlands) who settled … More Five on a Friday: It’s Tartan Day!
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s Women’s History Month! I’ve really been enjoying keeping up with posts on social media of really cool women from around the world that I haven’t heard of before. It’s inspiring and reminds me that there is still much more we don’t know about women’s experiences. So without further ado, … More Five on a Friday: Incredible North Carolina Women
TW: suicide I encountered Alexander Duncan in the spring of 2016. Reading through the business correspondence of James Murray, a Scottish merchant who settled in Wilmington, North Carolina in the early 1730s, I found Murray’s connection with Duncan, another Scottish merchant in the port town. By the 1760s, James Murray had relocated to Boston where … More Where’d you go, Alexander? Finding death in the archives