Diarist Janet Schaw’s Short-Lived Stay at Brunswick

On February 14, 1775, Janet Schaw, a noted colonial diarist, arrived in Brunswick from the Caribbean.Journal of a Lady of Quality

Born near Edinburgh, Schaw left for the New World in October 1774, beginning her diary, which would later be published as Journal of a Lady of Quality, the day after setting sail.  After making brief stops in Antigua and what’s now St. Kitts, Schaw and her brother set sail for North Carolina.

Though only planning to make a brief stop in North Carolina, they stayed in Brunswick for about a month and then left for a family plantation near Wilmington. As the American Revolution began to heat up in late 1775, Schaw and her family fled to a British warship and then back to Europe.

Schaw would’ve been likely forgotten if not for her Journal, which is considered an excellent portrayal of pre-Revolutionary North Carolina from a Loyalist perspective. The journal is often used by scholars because Schaw’s candid observations depict aspects of 18th century life that many other sources do not.

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