The temptation must have been compelling when most people had to be born into wealth and nobility in order to own land in Scotland. It was a time when their rents were being raised significantly high, reducing peasants to destitute poverty and starvation. Governor Johnston's offer was better than a pot of gold. Most sailed to the New England states or Virginia and traveled south on the Great Wagon Road. They settled in the Piedmont region, the center of the state. If they were lucky, whole communities traveled under the authority and protection of their Presbyterian pastors. Others were sold or sold themselves as indentured servants for 4 to 7 years.
One exception was the Argyll Colony. In July 1739, at least 350 people sailed The Thisle from Campbeltown of Argyll, Scotland and arrived on the shores of North Carolina, most likely the port of Brunswick, in September. They traveled up the Cape Fear River about 90 miles and settled what is present-day, Fayetteville. Due to the success of Argyll Colony, soon more Scottish families joined them.
The area is filled with pine trees and sand. They farmed corn, rye, peas, sweet potatoes, flax and cotton. They hunted deer, turkey, quail, rabbit, and fished. They raised horses, cattle, sheep and chickens. These Scots set up black smith forges, built tanneries, grist mills on the streams, and saw mills for timber. From the deep pine forests, they produced turpentine, resin, tar (as we're known as the 'Ole Tarheel State), and charcoal.
They spoke and read Gaelic and brought Gaelic Bibles with them. This was the language of choice in the Upper Cape Fear area from the arrival of the Argyll Colony in 1739 until the Civil War in the 1860's. Most families were bilingual, but Gaelic was mostly spoken at home and at church. They had a Gaelic printing press of which many of their publications are now house in the Presbyterian Historical Foundation in Montreat, NC.
Some of this research was used in creating the premise for Highland Crossings, a novella collection by Pamela Griffin, Laurie Alice Eakes, Gina Welborn, and Jennifer Hudson Taylor.