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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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McDougald, Archibald

by Carole Watterson Troxler, 1991

fl. 1767–96

Archibald McDougald, Loyalist militia leader, moved from Scotland to Cumberland County, N.C., in 1767. When the American Revolution began, he owned 640 acres. In 1779 he tried to reach the British in Georgia but was captured and confined in a prison ship at Charles Town for ten months. He escaped to Savannah and joined John Hamilton's Royal North Carolina Regiment, serving until Lord Charles Cornwallis passed through Wilmington. At that time Major James Craig, commanding at Wilmington, made McDougald commander of the Cumberland County militia. Archibald led his men in three skirmishes with the rebels and was a leader in the capture of Governor Thomas Burke. Left in the country by the evacuation of Wilmington, McDougald was captured, paroled to Charles Town, and exchanged. He rejoined the Royal North Carolina Regiment and went with the corps to East Florida in 1782 and to Nova Scotia in 1783.

McDougald took 550 acres at the regimental settlement near Country Harbour, Nova Scotia, and an additional 600 acres in Kings County; the latter grant was escheated in 1796. He lived at Country Harbour until late 1787, when he went to London because the Loyalists' claims commissioners at Halifax had refused his claim on account of lateness. In spite of his strenuous efforts, red tape kept him in London until March 1790, when the commissioners gave him thirty pounds with which to return to Nova Scotia. McDougald resettled in North Carolina, however, apparently in Anson County.


Anson County Deed Book Z (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

Lindley S. Butler, ed., The Narrative of Col. David Fanning (1981).

Marion Gilroy, comp., Loyalists and Land Settlement in Nova Scotia (1937).

A. W. Savary, ed., Col. David Fanning's Narrative of His Exploits and Adventures as a Loyalist of North Carolina in the American Revolution (1908). (accessed August 29, 2014).

Additional Resources:

Fanning, David. The narrative of Colonel David Fanning (a Tory in the revolutionary war with Great Britain) : giving an account of his adventures in North Carolina, from 1775 to 1783. New York: Reprinted for J. Sabin. 1865. (accessed August 29, 2014).


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