Colonial Virginia was always intended to be a piece of England translated to the Chesapeake Bay. King James I expected his three kingdoms-Scotland and Ireland being the other two-to develop their own American colonies. By 1640, however, the surviving overseas plantations were all English, and neither Scots nor Irish were especially welcome. Nevertheless, many a Scot still made his way to Virginia, though not always under circumstances that commended the journey.
Writing on the Colonial Williamsburg web site, Bruce P. Lenman offers an excellent description of the conditions under which many immigrants arrived from Scotland. He describes the process by which men, women and children were involuntarily placed on board ships for the Virginia. These people often were "slaves without shackles."
Lenman writes, "We tend to think of slaves as black, but Caucasians were enslaved in Tangier. Indeed, they were enslaved in Scotland. Male and female Scots coal miners and salt workers were slaves until 1799. The status was hereditary."
This is a fascinating insight into the lives of many settlers of the New World, although perhaps not the story that some of us imagined when we first read about our brave and stalwart ancestors.
You can read this excellent article by Bruce P. Lenman at http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/Foundation/journal/Spring05/scots.cfm