Aaron Beardsley was the husband of Fanny Beardsley and owner of Beardsley's Trading Post.

Personal HistoryEdit

Beardsley was an Indian trader, bringing goods across the Treaty Line to the Cherokee and selling them at his trading post in the backcountry. He bought his fifth wife, Fanny Beardsley, from her father and brought her, with other goods acquired in Baltimore, down to his house, where he essentially kept her prisoner; he forbade her to leave the homestead, or to show herself to anyone who might come to the house. His first four wives all died of unknown causes. Around 1758 Aaron bought a pair of twin boys, Josiah and Keziah Beardsley, from a ship captain after the death of their parents, and brought them to his homestead as bond servants on what was to be a 30 year bond.

Events of the NovelsEdit

The Fiery CrossEdit

In December 1770, while gathering men for the militia, Jamie and Claire Fraser arrive at the Beardsley's Trading Post. Fanny had bolted herself inside, not wanting to allow them or anyone in due to the current condition of her husband, Aaron Beardsley. She reluctantly allows them to enter the house after it becomes apparent they will not leave.

Fanny directs them to the loft where her husband lies helpless. Upon seeing Beardsley – unable to move, sitting in his own filth, having likely suffered a stroke – the Frasers ask Fanny about how he came to that state. She tells them that he had been chasing her, and collapsed in the loft; given his size, she had been unable to move him down, and she says he has been up there for about a month. Given her physical appearance, it is easy to see that her husband beat her.

When Claire examines Beardsley more closely, she determines that while it's true Fanny could not have moved her husband, she has not been caring for him very well either. She had given him only bread and water, despite having an abundance of other foods. It also becomes obvious that she had been torturing him, cutting into his leg and letting it fester. When Claire tells her she could perhaps save Aaron's life, Fanny waits until she is alone with him again to try and finish him off. She is interrupted by Jamie, who briefly struggles with the woman, and she breaks his nose with her elbow.

After Jamie explains clearly to Beardsley what his outlook is, he asks the man whether he wishes to live, or be put out of his misery. Beardsley chooses the latter, accepting that he has no hope of recovery. Fanny leaves the house with Claire while Jamie attends to the man's final wish. Jamie and Claire bury him on his property.


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Physical AppearanceEdit

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  • Aaron is possibly from the Hebrew name אַהֲרֹן ('Aharon) which is most likely of unknown Egyptian origin. Other theories claim a Hebrew derivation, and suggest meanings such as "high mountain" or "exalted".[1]
  • Beardsley is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from some minor, unrecorded or now "lost" place, believed to have been situated in Nottinghamshire or Leicestershire where the name is most popular.[2]



  1. Behind the Name: Aaron - accessed 16 June 2016
  2. Surname Database: Beardsley - accessed 02 June 2016

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