How could the Camerons have sailed to the Colonies in Outlander?

Jocasta told the story that she and Hector sailed to the Colonies after Culloden in Outlander. How was that possible if all the ports were closed?
Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ
Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /

There are plenty of times that plot holes form in fiction. Outlander has a few of them, and I’m not just talking about the TV series. The books aren’t immune from plot holes.

One that has come up is the question about how Jocasta Cameron and her husband, Hector, managed to get to the Colonies after Culloden. Claire had asked about running away and sailing somewhere, but Jamie made it clear that all ports were closed. So, how did the Camerons manage to sail?

Jamie was likely incorrect in his assumptions in Outlander

Let’s just start with the fact that nothing in history says that all ports were closed in the leadup to Culloden. Nor were they all closed afterward. Trade was still needed, people were still able to move around. There were some ports that were open.

So, Jamie was likely mistaken in the assumption that all the ports were closed. There was one in Inverness open until at least February 1745.

It’s more of a convenience for the plot for Claire and Jamie. If Jamie tells Claire that the ports are closed, they won’t end up sailing away and Jamie will need to fit at Culloden. Also, running away while pregnant wouldn’t have been a good idea, and Jamie would never leave his men. He was a wanted Jacobite. His family at Lallybroch would have been in danger, and he wasn’t going to allow that.

Hector booked secret passage to the Colonies

There’s a chance that the Camerons didn’t sail under their own names. It’s not like you needed a passport to get anywhere back then. We know that Hector booked secret passage for three people after Culloden. This would have been for his wife and daughter, only his daughter died along the way.

Hector was also a wanted man. He was a Jacobite traitor, so he would have been stopped at the port had he tried to get on the ship.

The benefit for Hector and Jocasta was that their names weren’t on the broadsheets. They weren’t as recognizable as Jamie, so they would be able to get away under assumed identities. Then once they were in the Colonies, they could use their own names.

It could be a small plot hole, but it could have just been a comment from Jamie that wasn’t quite true in Outlander.

7 period dramas Outlander fans should watch. dark. Next. 7 period dramas Outlander fans should watch