Fraser's Ridge is a tract of land in western North Carolina, which covers about ten thousand acres. Its proprietor, Jamie Fraser, lives there with his extended family, and by 1779 there are over 60 tenant families living on the land.
When Jamie and Claire arrive in Wilmington, they discreetly set about finding a buyer for one of their gemstones, in order to turn its value into cash that they can use. While in town, Jamie encounters a cousin-by-marriage, Edwin Murray, who happens to be the secretary of Governor William Tryon's wife, and Jamie manages to secure an invitation for Claire and himself to dine with the governor. The true goal of the night is to persuade a wealthy German guest at the dinner to purchase the gemstone, but after the rest of the guests have left the party, the governor has a private conversation with Jamie (on which Claire eavesdrops) about another matter: an offer of a land grant in the North Carolina wilderness where, under Jamie's sponsorship, tenant families would be induced to settle and work the land.
It's an offer not without its drawbacks. As Jamie explains to Claire later, the reason the governor might make such an offer to Jamie so soon after meeting him, might include the fact that Jamie is a soldier by nature and experience, and having someone like Jamie with a certain amount of control over remote areas of the colony, where unrest has already bubbled up in the past, would be very beneficial to the governor. Jamie also notes that, even though the governor waved off the fact that Jamie is Catholic and the law allows only Protestant men to hold such land grants, this would be a sort of leverage the governor holds over Jamie – as long as Jamie complies with what the governor wants of him, there's no problem, but if Jamie doesn't, the governor could easily use it against him.
In late summer of 1767, Jamie and Claire travel through the wilderness for a suitable place to settle, if they were to accept Tryon's offer. By September, they begin building shelter in the form of a one-room cabin, in which Jamie, Claire and Young Ian will live through the winter. They also construct two sheds, one for storing and curing meat, and another for Claire's herbs and other foraged goods.
By late 1770, the Ridge had more than thirty families inhabiting the land under Jamie's sponsorship.
Jamie starts building a one-room cabin that will shelter him, Claire and Young Ian in September 1767. The cabin's hearth is blessed upon arrival of John Quincy Myers and Duncan Innes, and the cabin is finished later that month.
In early September 1769, when Brianna surprises both of her parents with her arrival, Jamie sets to work building an additional room onto the original cabin while the construction of the new, much larger house on a hill nearby is yet to be finished.
The Big House
Jamie starts to build the Big House in the summer of 1769. In early September, he goes to Cross Creek to buy glass windows for the house as a surprise for Claire. The foundation for the house is laid and the rooms are marked out.
Construction of the house is delayed by several months following the tumult of rescuing Roger from the Iroquois. Upon their return in early summer of 1770, Jamie continues work on the house, his progress spurred on by the cramped, tense conditions in the small cabin. By autumn it is complete, a two-story "modest frame house, white-washed and shingle-roofed" with glass windows.
On December 21, 1776, the house is burglarized by Wendigo Donner and a group of his accomplices. They break one of the containers with Claire's highly flammable ether. When Young Ian lights a match, the house goes up in flames and burns down overnight.
- Fergus and Marsali Fraser (1768–1774)
- Thomas Christie (1771–1775)
- Arch Bug † and Murdina Bug † (1770–1776)