Boone County Kentucky Historical Society

The Story of Mary Draper Ingles by John Ingles (son)

[Note: Mary Ingles was captured by Indians, taken to Ohio and later brought to Big Bone Lick to help them make salt.
The grammar and spelling remain as they are in the document. Bigg Bone lick is put in bold.]
The Story of Mary Draper Ingles: A Memoir
by John Ingles (her son)
At the repeated solicitations of my relations and friends of which letters in my possession are suffitiant evidance, I have consented to write the following short history The application has been made to me as I am the only branch of my Fathers familey now in existance, who knows of the defficulties and sufferings my fathers own familey had to undergo at that early day, in attempting to settle this Western World. Though the greater part of the transactions to which allusion is made happened long before I was born yet having heard them so frequantly repeated by my father and mother in my early days they made such deep and lasting impressions on my youthfull mind that they will never be forgotten by me as long as I live and I believe are as fresh in my memory at this day as they ever was, I will therefore endevour to give a short but correct narative of the scens through which they had to pass in their first settling on the Western Watters of Virginia so fare as my recollection serves me at this time that a record of them may be preserved for the gratification of our friends and rising generation, However fabulous or romantick the narative may appear in some of its parts to many persons they are stubborn facts that could have been abundantly established by many witnesses at an earley day it been reqired. John Ingles Sn
My Father William Ingles moved to the Western part of Virginia sometime about the year 1750 with my Grandfather his father in law George Draper and his familey and settled nearley on the top of the Alleganey mountains at a place then called Drapers Meadows now called Smithfield and at this time owned by Cal. James Preston at that time there was but few I amiley if any besides their own on the west side of the alleganey in this section of country However other famileys shortly after emigrated to it and made scattering settlements at some distance from each other and continued to Injoy peace and harmoney among them for 3 or 4 years in the meantime there had been severale parteys of the northern Indians, to wit, the Shawneys passed by where my Grandfather lived on their way to the South and wood Commit depredations on the Cawtauba Indians but was still friendley to the Whites at that time however this hapey state of things did not last long the Indians found out that they [. . . ]gratify their Hethan thirst for bloodshead and plunder much nearer Home and at length commenced a warfair on the fronteer settlements & at a time it was little expected a partey of Shawneys fell in upon my fathers familey and an uncles Lamiley John Draper which lived at the same place and killed severale and took the balance prisoners, to wit, my mother and her 2 children Thos. 4 yrs & George 2 & Aunt Draper & othersa My grandmother Draper being a widow at that time & livin with my father was killed by [ . . . ] Col. Patton who was there who had a large claim of land in [. . . ] waters was killed, also, & some other persons not recolected My mother and her two children, Thea. the older 4 years old, and George abot 2 years old was taken as prisoners also my Aunt Draper who was wounded in her arm and Broke by a Ball which was shot at her in attempting to escape & severale others it so happened they made the attack on their harvest day and although there were severale men at the place the Indians took the advantage of attacking the hows while the men [ . . . ] at their work in the harvest field and the field being some distance [ . . . ] the howse new nothing of the attack untill it was Intierly out of Their power to render any survice to the familey My father when Hearing the allarm run up verry near to the howse thinking perhaps he might render some survice in some way although entierly unarmed the Indians discovering him two stout active Indians took after him with their tomehocks expecting to outrun him and kill him with their tomehocks & was very near affecting their purpose & nothing but a providential act saved him while the Indians were persuing him & gaining on him very fast one on each sid at some distance running through the woods where it was a little thick with brush & undergrowth, fortunately in jumping over a logg fell The Indians being so eager in persuit over run him my father on rising amediately Tacked back the other way and by that means made his escape as there was no chance for what white men that was there to render any releaf to the prisoners The Indians securing all the guns they had which was in the howse & so few settlers in the Country and them so fare distant apart that They had to abandon all Idea of aney farther persuit after them. The Indians went off entierly unmolested they gathered up their prisoners & plunder and started & steared their cource down the New River They made but slow progress in getting on as their way was much Impeded by the thickness of the forrest & undergroath which covered the whole country However on striking New River they persued on down it. The Indians having several Horses along packed with their plunder which they Had taken & the prisoners mett with considerable Defiqualty in getting on & the prisoners very roughly treated However from some cause [ . . . ] my mother said that they always treated her with more respect [ . . . ] aney of the other prisoners and permitted her to ride on one of the horses the greater part of the rod and to carry her children though my Aunt Draper who had her arm broke was principally put under her cear and my mother had to dress her wound and to procure stuff to dress it and wood frequantly send her off by herself into the woods to Hunt the wild coinphisey to put to the broken arm and would be gone a considerable time and said she might had frequant oppertuniteys of leaving them but could not think of leaving her children still Harbouring a hope that they might be persued or they might be all released togeather in some way or Other They still worked on in this way untill they got down some little Distance above the mouth of the great Kanawa They came to a little salt spring in the Bank of the river the Indians stoped there and rested for a day or two there & with what kitties they Had with them boiled & mad some salt They then started on from there & persued this journey until they got to the nation where the Indians lived which was at the mouth of the Bigg Sioto & which took them about one month to performe from the time they were taken untill they arived at the nation. The next day after they got to the nation the prisoners had to undergo the Indian custom of running the gauntlett which was purformed by forming a two lines of all the Indians in the nation men women and children and the prisoners to start at the Head of the two rows formed & run down between the lines & every Indian giving them a cut or a pelt with switch sticks or such things as they could provide which was a very severe opperation and espitialy on my Aunt Draper whose arme had not got near well from the wound she had received when she was taken prisoner However my mother said she was exempted from that punishment and although she was treated with considerable more than the other prisoners met with all the comfort left her was the hope that she might keep her two children with Her and to render [her] such survice as occation might need However a few days Baf filed all Her hopes The Indians partey collected in a few days after who took prisoners and made a division of all the prisoners and her children taken away from her and consigned to different owners & was not permitted to asosiate to geather a tall Though trying as this circumstance was to her she was obliged to bear it and wore on under her applications in the best way she coud It so happened that there was some french traders there from detroit with some good trading with the Indians and as linen or Check shirts was great articles among the Indians and as my mother was a very good sewer she undertook to make some shirts for the traders at times when she was not Imployed Other weys and as shirts was a scarce article among the indians & one very much prised among them as a dress her permance pleased them so that they wood do any thing for her to get a shirt made and the frenchmen finding it a considerable advantage to them in selling their check & linnen to the Indians incouraged her very much & when she made a shirt for one of the Indians they would stick it upon a stick and run all ffirough the town to show it & praise my mother what a fine squaw she was Then the frenchmen would make the Indians go to their store and pay her in goods to at least twice the value of the shirt She continued on in making shirts for them in this way while she stayed rn this town which was two or three weeks & was making money very fast at about that time a party of the Indians started to the Bigg Bone lick which is now in the state of Kentuckey and took my mother & severale other of the prisoners to make salts my mother being so distressed in being seperated from her children & her situation such a disagreeable one that she came to the determined resolution that she wood leave them & try to get Home or dy in the woods & prevailed on an old duch woman that was there and a prisoner too to engage with her in the seemingly Hopeless & daring attempt and as my mother was determined to make the attempt they arranged their plan which was to get leave of the Indians to go a peace from the Lick with a view to Hunt & geather some grapes & provided themselves with a blankett and tomehock a peace & perhaps a knife and for fear of being Suspected took no other kind of clothing onley what was on them & those a good deal worn & started & as the Bigg Bone lick was 90 or 100 miles farther off than the camp and some little distance from the Ohio River they started in the after part of the day & steered their cource to strike the Ohio River which was all the guide they had to direct them I have frequantly Heard my mother say when she left the lick that she exchanged her tomehock with one of three frenchmen who was all sitting on One of the large Bones that was there and cracking walnuts at night the two women not returning the Indians became very uneasy thinking they had got a little of from the camp & were lost & used every exertions to find them not mistrusting their act and when they coud not find them concluded they had perished in the woods or [else] killed by some wild beast. This last circumstance was related to my father by some of the Indians who attended the treatey at point pleasant after the battle at the point and was the first time the Indians had heard what had become of my mother & old Duch woman. However on their getting to the river persued on up it & in the cource of 4 or 5 days reache the Indian town or rather on the opposite side of the Ohio river where there was a little corn raised & a cabbin They lay in the Cabbin all night and there was in the Cabbin some corn They ate of it and in the morning when they ware about starting ther Happened to be a (?) beast in the lot adjoining the cabbin They concluded to take it and pack on it what corn they coud to help them a long They did so and then started on a gain with the beast & corn and stearing on up the river & in sight of the Indian town & what was very extraordinary they saw severale Indian hunters that day & They so secreeted themselves that they never discovered them There was a little river emptid into the Ohio (to wit) Lyching river on the side they ware and was two deap for them to wade all their chance was to travell up it untill they could find a passage and after traveleing up Liching 2 or 3 days found a place where the freshes had Drifted up timber across that afforded themselves a passage but How to get their beast over was at a loss at length the old duch woman insisted she coud take it over on the drift pile & made the attempt but after getting it on a peace the beast fell in among the logg & there they had to leave it They then took what corn they coud carry themselves & then moved down untill they struck the Ohio again & then pursued on up the Ohio and thus was the Cource they had to persuee at every stream of water that came in Their way of aney size & which there was severale & they could never have surmounted that defiqualty Had it not beer at a season of the year when the water cources was very low & more so than common at the season eaven in this case was obliged to travele severale days Journey up severale of them before they could wade them & then down again to the Ohio which was their onley guide. They freequantly in passing up & down those streams to find a passage when they found the river made a bend & point of ridges [ . . . ] in wood attempt to cross these points of riges to shorten their distance and by being woorn down by fateigue & starvation wood have to pule themselves up by the srubs & bushes till they got to the top and to decend they wood slide all the way doxvn Under These defiqualteys and nothing to sustain nature but what they picked up in the woods such as black walnuts grapes pappaws etc. & very often so pushed with hunger that they wood dig up roots & eate that they knew nothing of and [. . . ] had made a little Improvement & built a cabbin the spring before & had planted some corn but the Buffalows & wild beasts had destroyed all the corn However my mother got into the cabbin and slept in the morning when she got out in the morning was examining about the little corn pack to find some corn or some thing she could eat discovered a little turnip or two which had escaped the wild beasts She pulled them and ate and at that time the old woman who was on the opposit side of the river saw my mother and Hallowed to her and begged very hard of my mother to come over to her again That she wood not do her aney harme However loth as my mother was to leave her after reflecting on how the old woman had treated her she thought perhaps the old woman might kill her and concluded that as she was out of her reach she had best keep so and from the hunters who hade made the settlement where she was before she was taken had geathered some eiday of the Distance she still had to perform and that the balance of the way she wood have to travele was a very rough one and although the little clothing which she had started with was nearley or entierly worn out or dragged off of her by the Brush on her long Journey & her mocosans intierly worn out that she had become litteralery naked and the weather growing cooler that her prospect of succeeding was almost a Hopeless one However, her resolution bore her up & she pursued on and to add to her defiqualtey There fell a little snow and all the Chance she had for keeping herself from perishing at night was to hunt out in the eavening a hollow logg or free and geather leaves & put in it and then crawl in amongst the leaves & lye & after pursuing on in this manner for 4 or 5 days after leaving the old woman travelling through the frost and wading waters & round cliffs of rocks that made in close in all this extrematy the old duch woman getting disheartened & discouraged got very ill natured to my mother & made some attempts to kill her blaiming my mother for perswaiding her away & that they wood dye in the woods and as she was a good deal stouter & stronger than my mother she used every means to try to please the old woman & keep her in a good Burner and at length get to the mouth of the great Kanawa & then had performed but very little more than one half of their Journey However They persevered on up the Kanawa in the same manner as they did the Ohio untill they got within 40 or 50 miles of where my mother was taken prisoner & the old woman became more illnatured and made another attempt to kill my mother & she thinks wood have affected it Had she not by accident got loos from the old woman & being somewhat more active & out run her this happened in the evening Just before dusk my mother in making her escape slipped under the river flank & hid herself untile after Dark and hearing nothing more of the old woman she crawled out & in looking about the moon giving little light espied a Cannee at the bank of the river which was the same the indians had taken them across on their way down on examining the Cannoe found it pritey much filled up with leaves & Dirt which had blown into it but could not find a pole or paddle in it She crawled up on the Bank luckeley came a cross a thin slab which came off of a tree which had been Blown down & shattered by the wind She took the slab and went to the Cannoe & Gleaned out the leaves & dirt Then pushed off the cannoe from the Bank and got in it and although she never had any Knowledge of stearing or workin a Gannoe before after making severale tryals found she could stear her on & finiley crossed the river to the other side it being at a place where some Hunters had made a little Improvement & built a cabbin the spring before & had planted some corn but the Buffalows & wild beasts had destroyed all the corn However my mother got into the cabbin and slept in the morning when she got out in the morning was examining about the little corn pack to find some corn or some thing she could eat discovered a little turnip or two which had escaped the wild beasts She pulled them and ate and at that time the old woman who was on the opposit side of the river saw my mother and Hallowed to her and begged very hard of my mother to come over to her again That she wood not do her aney harme However loth as my mother was to leave her after reflecting on how the old woman had treated her she thought perhaps the old woman might kill her and concluded that as she was out of her reach she had best keep so and from the hunters who hade made the settlement where she was before she was taken had geathered some eiday of the Distance she still had to perform and that the balance of the way she wood have to travele was a very rough one and although the little clothing which she had started with was nearley or entierly worn out or dragged off of her by the Brush on her long Journey & her mocosans intierly worn out that she had become litteralery naked and the weather growing cooler that her prospect of succeeding was almost a Hopeless one However, her resolution bore her up & she pursued on and to add to her defiqualtey There fell a little snow and all the Chance she had for keeping herself from perishing at night was to hunt out in the eavening a hollow logg or free and geather leaves & put in it and then crawl in amongst the leaves & lye & after pursuing on in this manner for 4 or 5 days after leaving the old woman travelling through the frost and wading waters & round cliffs of rocks that made in close to the river She Became so frosted & her limbs so swelled that it wood have been imposible she could have got aney farther but that kind providence which had sustained her through a Journey estimated not less than from 7 to 900 miles the rout which she was nessesarily obliged to travele exposed to the Inclemancy of the weather & verosity of wild beasts Hunger & starvation for forty two days and a half in an unknown wiliderness still profided for her releaf it so happened that a man of the name of Adam Harmon and two of his Sones was at a place on New River where they had settled and raised some corn that sumer securing their corn and Hunting. When my mother got to the improvement not seeing aney Howse began to Hollow Harmon on hearing the voyce of a woman was a good deal alarmed on listening being an old neighbour of my mother and well acquainted with her voyce said to his sons it certainly was Mary Ingles voice & knowing that she was taken prisoner by the Indians was cautious there might be Indians with her him and his sons Caught up their guns and run on to where my mother xvas & you may expect it was a Joyfull meating especialey to my mother’ However they got her on to their Cabbin entierly exosted & worn out by her expocers &. starvation Harmon Having pientey of fresh venison & Bear meat began to have some cooked for her and having a pritey good knowledge of her situation wood not suffer her to eate more than a few mouthfulls at a time & by change her vituals in [ . . . ]hich occurred which may seeme strange at the time they stole the Horse at the nation to bring off their corn the beast had on a bell and when they were obliged to leave the beast in the drift pile the old duch woman took off the bell & brought it the whole trip through all her extremity & distresses, However when my mother got up to the fort she prevailed on some of the men to go in pursuit of the old woman and after traveling 15 or 20 miles down New river met the old woman riding a leg aside on her old horse with the bell on him open & every once in a while wood Hallow that she might be discovered in case any person might be near However the men took her on up to the fort where my mother was and it was certainly a Joyful meeting where they were releaved of all their toyles & defiqualeys, at the time my mother got Back my Father and uncle John Draper had been gone sometime to the Cherokee Nation of Indians with a view to get some of them to go to the Shawneys & to try to purchace their wives & children or to try to procure their releas in some way or other Those two tribes being at peace with each other and thinking this plan might be the most favorable one they could devise, and on the very night after my mother returned to the fort at the Dunkerd Bottom my Father & Uncle Draper lay within a bout 7 miles of the fort on their return & you may guess what was the sensation and feejing of my Father & mother at his arriving at the fort the next day at so unexpected meting (my Aunt Draper did not get released untill about 6 years afterwards, the Circumstances of her Releas is not recolected) However my Father and mother continued at the Dunkert bottom untill the next spring and as the settlers in this country was likely to be Harrassed by the Indians again that season my mother became very restless and uneasy and could not be reconsiled to stay there. My father to gratify her moved her about 20 miles to another fort called Vauses fort on the Bead of roanoak where there was more famileys collected & a much stronger fort and more men to gard it but as the Indians was making Depredations on the fronteers she still could not rest reconsiled to stay there my father then moved Her down into Bedford Countey below the blue ridge and in the Cource of that fall there was a strong partey of French & Indians came on to Vauses fort attacked it and finally took the fort & killed and captured all the famileys that was there and had it not been through the drection of a kind providence that my mother had gone from this fort she wood have fallen into their savage Hand again & wood have been killed or taken prisoner the second time There was some circumstances which I have frequantly heard my father relate as respects two uncles of his and their familey which was at the fort when it was taken (To wit) John & Mathew Ingles The former being out from the fort when it was attacked Hearing the firing of the guns made towards the fort as fast as he could and on coming in sight found the fourt Intirely surrounded by the Indians his familey being in the fort made an attempt to rush through the Indians to get to his familey but the Indians discovering him aiming for the fort got around him he still rushed on with his gun in his hand untill they closed in so near that he shot his gun off at them They then closed in on him still beating them off with his gun untill he broke it all to peaces & then with the Harrele untile he got very near to the fort before they overpowered & killed him The Other brother Mathew was taken prisoner and different forms & soops giving her but a little at a time to nurishe her up my mother said although Harmon had even so much fresh venison & Bear meat in the House that he did on the next morning have a fine fat little Beef killed to make Beef soop for her and by Bathing her feet and leggs got het in a day or two that she could travell having severale Horses they got them fixed and one for her to rid brought her on up to the Dunkert Bottom where the fort was and the only one near, and where all the people that were in the country had collected. Thus ended her tryals and defiqualteys of nearly 5 month from the time she was taken Prisoner & [ . . . ] days of that time in her returning back in the wilderness when my mother fell in with Harman and his sons related to him the circumstance of leaving the old woman behind & what had transpired and tryed to prevail on him to send his sons in persuit of her but from understanding the treatment which she had received from the old Woman he refused to gos However the old woman was more lucky than my mother was alittle above where my mother left her the old woman fell in at a nother place where some Hunters had mad a settlement & built a Cabbin The Hunters had but just left the place & had left a kettle nearly full of cooked venison & Bear Meat that old woman feasted on it and rested herself for a day or two The Hunters had also left a pair of leather small clothes which she also got drawed on & In additten had left an old horse providence seemed to provide for her the old ladey getting some of what is called Leatherwood bark & making a kind of bridle or halter & caught the old horse & mounted him and persued on her Journey but there is one circumstance after the indians had started to move off with their plunder & prisoners after getting on some little Distance they all stopped to arrainge some of their fixings. This Mathew ingies not being confined some of the Indians offended him in some Way being a stoubt strong man there happened to be a frying pan lying near where he was he caught hold on the pan & put his foot in the Bowl of the pan & rung off the handle and fell to work on the Indians and knocked them down whenever he could get in reach of them untill they overpowered him and got the pan handle from him This bold darring attempt pleased the Indians so well that they treated him with more respect than any of the other PrIsoners while ever he was with them & he got releas&rI some years after & returned to the Country again. Mv father & mother Continued to Jive in Bedford County for severale years in the menetime the settlers was still moving to the Western Watters & extending the settlements to a considerable extent west of New River my father returned to New River with his familey and got himself settled again although the Indians still was harrassing the fronteer every season for many years after his return his faniiley escaped their depredations although the famileys in the neighborhood was obliged almost every season to collect in forts and there was one at his Own Hows when there was a good many Collected every year at one time there was a Partey of Indians about [.] or 10 passed by new river settlements & being no settlements untile they got helowe the blue ridge on the Head of Smiths River they there killed and Destroye a familey or two & stole severale Horses to bring off their plunder that they had taken and also a woman and 2 or 3 Children prisoners and on their way back had camped within 6 or seven miles of my fathers fort to rest a day at a place where there had been a settlement aild a Rows built it so happened that one of the men from the fort went out the day the Indians was there on the Hunt of sollie of their Horses & happened to discover the Indians he yetuned amidiately to the fort & gave the alarm there being several0 men at the place my father raised 15 or 18 men amediately & persued to attack them though it being too late in the day before the company could start to get where the Indians was to attack them that eavening WHO detained untile some time in the morning of the next Thy before my fathei’ & the men got to the place where the Indians had Camped & the Indians had started from the place However they took their trail and followed as the Indians had not gone more than a half of a mile till they stoped & had kindled a fier and was kookking their Breach faa they not suspecting any danger was Intierly off their gard my fathers partey Crawled up tolerable near & fired on them before they knew anything of them However they flew to their guns and mad every resistance they coud to save themselves & their Propertey but being overpowered by the white [men] those that escaped being killed, run off leaving all they had behind them [ . . . ] was 6 or 7 Indians killed and they got severale Horses which was packed & the women & Children that was prisoners. There was one of the white men killed. This being the first and onley Defeat which the Indians ever met with in this section of Country and from that time never vent~ ered so fare through the settlement again The Imigra tion to the West releaved the Settler about New River in a great measure of their Harrassed situation and at length Injoyed peace & prosperity [. . .] marked out; but the fronteer settlements was still Harrassed by the Indians every year for many years after my Father returned to New River with his Familey). My father and mother lived and raised a small familey of 5 children 2 sons & 3 daughters who sustained as respectable Charectors as aney in the whole country my father died in the year 1782 at the age of 53 years my mother still continued to live in New River & Injoyed an extraordinary portion of good health after all her tryals & Defiqualteys untile the year 1815 & dyed at the advanced age of 83 or 84 years of age. from where my father lived to the nation and intierly unexplored by any white man they persued on to pitsburg but when ariving there found that the Indians had brok out in ware against the Whites & was driving all the fronteer settlers before them and was obliged again to return without accomplishing his purpdse & had to wate untile war subsided my father & Baker again started and went on my Father thinking it wood be a good article and One that might add in the inducement in the purchase of his son from his Indian father though a very impruend One took severale smale Keggs of rum When getting a mong the Indians their great thirst for the rum Induced my father to let them have some not thinking of the Consequances by their getting drunk They attempted to kill him and would certainly have affected their purpose had not the squaws hid him & kept him hid until they got sober However they persued on through many other defiqualteys untile they got to the Town my brother lived which was at the mouth of the Siote when gettin through he found that my brother had gone with his old Indian father to Detroit and his onley chance to get him then was to wait there untile they returned his situation was a very dangerous one but fineley Determined to wait their return by Baker Having severale acquaintance in the nation having been prisoner with them before & also my Father Having a verry good natural turn to please those whome he was among the Indians became very friendley & very much attached to them and after wating there about 13 days the old Indian & my brother returned and on my brothers lerning who my father was he took an attachment to him and was perfectly willing to come home with him and after paying his old Indian father a pritey round price for him again started on toward home the little fellow never showing any Disposition to leave him & becoming more & more attached to my father tile he got home it is hard for me to express the feelings of a tender mother of Once more receiving to her armes her Affectionat child that had been absent 13 long years from her little Thomas as he might be Justly called so altho 17 years old at that time was very much under the common size of common boys of his age & an entier Indian in his manner & apearance & could not speake one word of English and although he was restored to his friends a relatives his heathen customs & manners was so different to that he became very restless & uneasy and it was with considerable defiqualtey he could be reconciled to stay though my Father & mother both using ale means of reconciling him & Humouring him in their power he wood take pets at times and wood start off and be gone 2 or 3 days at a time which occationed his parents great distress for fear that he wood not return However by Indulging him & Humouring him in all his little fits become more and more reconciled it was with considerable defequalty in getting him to change his Indian custom of wearing his clothes & shooting with his Bows & Arroes & such amusements as he had been accustomed to but by using a good deal of pains to Improve him & to lern him to speak the English language and got him some what sivolized my father sent him down the Country to Abemarl County to old Dr. Walkers to go to school after being there a while he Improved very much in manners & also in learning & became a very good English schollar but never became entierly broke of some of his little Indian actions after remaining there 3 or 4 years returned home quite sivolized, not long after his return home he engaged in the campaign which was going Out against the Indians under Gen’l Charles Lewis who Had the battle with the Indians at point Flesent Mouth of the Great Kanawa Thos. Ingles was in the detachment which was under Col Win. Christian which was a little in the rear of the main Army and was not present in the time of the inguagement but got up to the place the same night after the action He was One of the troops which was stationed there the winter following and when the treaty of peace was confirmed & the Indians came to the point he fell in with a great many of his old acquaintances & went on home with them to the town & stayed some time with them The season following the troop at the Point was discharged & he returned home Some time after his return he got maryed to a Miss Elliner Griles He then settled on a Creek called Wolf Creek a branch of New River After living there a few years moved to a valuable tract of land his father gave him on the head of the Blue stone, a nother Branch of New River and continued there 1 or 2 years But finding his family was so much exposed to the perpetual depredations of the Indians & being one of the most frunteer settlements and nearley right on a tract where the Indians passed repeatedly to kill & plunder not thinking himself nor familey safe there moved about 15 or 20 miles more to the Heart of the settlement into a place called Burks Gardain it was a situation which there was settlements all around but none within 10 or 12 miles This Burks Gardain is a large tract of land intierly surrounded by a large Mountain and no Other familey living in the place but his own excepting an old Batcheler and his negro boy of the name of Joseph Mix that lived a lout two miles from him and his situation might have thougit to have been safe as to the excurtions of the Indians belur so localexsituated & settlements all round and more exposd to danger However after living there severale years in the spring of [ . . . ] a partey of Indians found their way into Burks Gardain and one morning after my brother ha( gone out into his plantation where a negroe fellow was [ . . . ] plow my brother Was alarmed by hearing an unusual noise towards the Hows Ran towards the Rows and when he cane in sight saw ins Bows surrounded by a partey of Inditns and having no chance of rending any releaf to his fimilev returned to where the fellow was Plowing Gut loos tie Horses and each of them Mounting a horse took of for the nearest settlement on the Head of the north fork of Holston in what is called the Rich Valley&o it so hapened that there was a Capt had called a muster of men on that day He got to the muster ground a little after the aiddle of the day being nearley 20 miles from where he started On giving the alarm there was 15 or 20 men ameliately volunteered to go in persuit of the Indians Howeve’ as each man had to go home or to get his necessary aqui~ments for his it was night before they could meet to persue. There was 12 or 15 men started & it was sometime in the morning of the next day before they could get to [ . . . ] place when my brother got back to his place could not find any appearance of any part of his fantiley & his Rows hint up and all in except what the Indians had taken off He was then in hopes that the Indians had not killed aney of the familey and had taken them all as prisoners The men then agreed to persue them The Indians had taken his wife and [ . . . ] Children a negroe fellowe & a negroe wench his eldest child a little daughter about 5 years old called Mary a little son about 3 years old named William & a little daughter at the mothers bres S or 9 months old The Indians after plundering the Howse & taking such things as they needed or coud carrey off set the flows on fier and Burnt it up and then packed the two negroes with what they could carry and each one taking what he could started off with their prisoners it so happened that at the very time the Indians attacked the flows the old man Win. Nix & His negroe who lived about 2 miles off was going to the hows but in getting in sight of the flows discovered the indians he amediateiy took back and both him and the negroe boy ware a fat the old man ran on However across the mountain another direction from where my brother went to another settlement and gave the alarm & raised 5 or [ . . . ] men & came on back and got to the place shortley after my brothers partey got there They all Joined in the pursuit They were all men well trained in following indians trails The Indians being some what suspitious that they might be pursued and every precaution on leving no sighn that they cood prevent and as they were obliged to pass though some part of the settlement of What is called Clinch Settlement They moved on very causiously & but slowly The white men got their trail & persued it on to the settlement of Clinch it so happened that there was at the very time a campane of Malitia stationed on the frontear as a gard to the settlers & when my Brother and His partey got to Clinch there was some more men Joined his partey & strenghened his partey to a bout 21 men & getting some more supplys in provisions etc persued on after the indians had got clear of the settlement intierly and not being persued as they thought began to be a little more negligent putting out their signs However the persuing partey using all diligance and after 5 or 6 days persuit discovered they were gaining upon the Indians and persuing with muvh caution & the indians begening to think themselves nearley out of danger became still more tarder & cearless However on the 6 or 7 day that the had been in persuit the spies who kep a hed discovered the indians in the eavening where the Indians had taken up Camp They returned to the parley and gave the information The company concluded that they wood lay back and try to asertain the situation of the ground & incarnpment that night & not to attact them untile day ligh the next morning They arrainged their plan and a Capt Maxwell who had the command of the company was to crole round in the night with one half of the me to the apposil sid of the camp from where they were & bring on the attact at day light my brother Thos was to crawl up with his parley on the near sid & ly in wait till Maxwell attacked them on the other unfortunately Maxwell in trying to get to his pint got off from the Camp & Coud not find it My Brother & his partey got up within a few feet of the Camp under a bank & was lying waiting every moment for Maxwell to fall on them daylight beginning to break the indians begining to wake up & to move about the men was at lenth discovere& The Indians took the allarm & began to tomehock the prisoners my brothers partey Jumped in uppone them as quick as they possibly coud my brother Jumped into the Camp and got Hold of his wife While the Indians was trying to tomehock his wife it was a most unlucky surcumstance all though my Brother was well aware in their being discovered that their firs effort wood be to kill the prisoners & mentioned it to all the men that they might be apprised although with all the exertions they could use the Indians accomplished their end They tomehocked his wife & two of his children the two elder the one at the breast escaped & the two negroes his little son was so badly wounded that he dyed before they left the ground his little Daughter lived 3 or 4 [ . . . ] and then dyed His wife was very badly cut in two or three places in her Head but recovered after extracting 13 pieces of her scule bone before it got well It is astonishing to think althou the men Jumped into the Camp a mediately they found they ware Discovered & shot severale guns at them that the indians all escaped & with most of their arms & another unfortunate circumstance Maxwells party had got a half a mile off at the time & the Indians on making their escape run right through Maxwells men & Maxwell Having on a White Hunting shirt one of the Indians shot him through the Boddey & Killed him it was always thought by the partey that they had killed some of the Indians but if they did they got off and so secreetted themselves that they could not be found They were obliged to Continue on the ground untill late in the day on the account of my Brothers little son dying & Maxwells being killed to try to Bury them in some manner While they were detained there they frequantly Could hear a noise like a person groaning in the agoneys of death and still serched to find it thinking it to be one of the Indians who was shot but the Lorrell &. Brush being so thick they could not find him after getting all tixed they all started back for the nearest settlement of Clinch which took them about 4 days to purform on account of my Brothers wife and little daughter being both Badly wounded and weak about the time the partey got to the Head of Clinch my father who had gone on there from New River and luckiley had taken on with him a Doctor met them [. . . ] my Brothers little daughters scule being so much fractured with the tomehock that she dyed the next day after they returned to the settlement However the Doctor rendered infinite survice to my brothers wife and after proper application for a few days rendered her able to travell and all the familey there was left started for New River and in the cource of a few month my Brothers wife got intirely well. My Brother continued on New River that season with his family though at that time the Hoolston Country was for settling and the Eastern part of Tennessee & mv Brother Thos still inclining to be on the frunteer settlements on account of rainge & raising stock moved to Tenn. and settle on the Wakaugna a branch of Holston River at a time that there was but few settlers in that country & a good deal exposed to the depredations of the Cherokee Indians who frequantly committed Depredations on the fronteer settlements & killed the settlers he continued there 5 or 6 years untill he got himself tolerable comfortably fixed so as to live in plenty the people beginning to settle tolerable thick around him he began to get uneasy & restless to get farthur on to the west where he could have more room, sold out & moved about 50 miles lower dow the Hoiston River and settled on a creek called Mossey Creek then amost an intier fronteer is a country affording a delightfuil summer rainge and plenty of corn for winter range for stock but laboured under the same defiqualteys as to the dangerous situation as to his familey exposure to the depredations of the Indians though he continued unmolested and improved Another very good plantation & comfortable fixed btn the settlers still followed him & setling thick all around him as usual began to get restless & uneasey & about that time there xvns a parcele of troops sent down the Hoiston River & built a fort at this place where Knoxvill now is & called fort Knox for the purpose of Having some check on the Indians in committing depredations on the frontiers anct not long after Fort Knox was erected my Brother Thos sells out his possessions on Mossey Creek and moves his familey down to the neighbourhood of fort Knox & settles agaln intierly exposed to the depredations of the Indians and although there were frequant Hostile parteys of Indians passing and committing depredations on the settlements his familey escaped & the country soon became settled & the town of Knoxvile began to Improve However my Brother Thos continued on the place which he settled near Rnoxviie & Improved it as usual and got himself Comfortabley fixed again & procured severale other Tracts of land in that neighbourhood and had got his familey pritey well raised up and one of his daughters marryed & rather seemed to be settled for the remainder of his life but Hearing of a man who was owing him a considerable sum of money & run off being at Natches & understanding that he might secture the debt in case he went there [. . .he took into] His head that he wood go and see him at any rate and as it was a long and teadious rod to travell by land & mostly through an indian Country though friendley, the Chicasaws. he concluded rather to run the risque of going by watter & although there was freequantly Boats running down the river from Knoxvile to Natcheys & Orleans he concluded it wood expedite his journey to go in a smale Boat and procured a Bote for the purpose. Thor was 2 or 3 other men to accompany him on a trading expedition They got ale ready & started & went on very well untile they came to the Mustle Shoals in the Tennessee River They attempted to pass them without a pilot The sholes being more defiqualt & rougher than they expected and after getting nearby through their Bote upset & threw the men and all their [ . . . ] into the river & all the chance for their own escape was by swiming or holding to the Bote as it so happened where they were upset was not fare from the shore my brother Thos though an exolent swimmer stile Hung to the Rote & the current stile drifting him near on to the bank at length he was so near that by the assistance of some friendley Indians which was in view aiding him JOt him and the Bote stoped lut what was most remarcable when the Rote upset my brothers saddle baggs which had all his clothes & what money he had with him in it somehow or other in the scuffele caught in one of his armes & he hele to it & also with the other to the Rote untile they got to the shore which was everything that was saved Their situation was truly a destressing one Severale hundred miles from home & right in the midst of Indians all their clothes & provisions [ . . . ] & everything lost or nearly so onley what my brother saved by holding [ . . . ] and was at a considerable loss to know what to do but However the Indians were friendbey & agreed to furnish them with provisions & some other things that they stood in need of & they finalley concluded to pursue on their Journey mad the nessessary preparhtions & started on again & purformed their Journey. My brothers getting to Natches made some Inquiry for his man that he went and at length found him but intierly unable to pay him. That his Jorney at the risque of his life was ale for nothing thought my brother after viewing this country he became so pleased with it that he wood move his familey to it and on his returning home amediately Sold off all his property at a considerable sacrifice to get to a nother new country as he had formerly done and moved his familey & settled near Natcheys This last navative was related to me by my Brother himself on his return from that countrey & before he moved his familey after his moving to that countrey I have little or no knowlage what traspired only from Hearsay
[The Story of Mary Draper Ingles: A Memoir, by John Ingles. Copyright expired, public domain.]