Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

Attacks by the Indians

Within a week after Simon Kenton left us, for, in order to warn our people when danger threatened, he was going about from place to place learning what he could of the movements of the Indians, we heard that the men at McClelland's Station had had a regular battle with the Shawnees; worst of all, two had been killed. and two others captured, only to be tortured at the stake.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

From that day we heard nothing but news of massacres and attacks, and there was no longer any question but that the Indians were bent on our destruction.

Once more we were shut up closely within the fort. Samuel and Elizabeth Henderson came into the stockade, leaving their beautiful home; and we were able to gather only the smallest part of our crops. Again we women and children went out into the fields harvesting, with all the men of the settlement to guard us, and scurried in whenever an alarm was raised. By day we watched for the savages and at night dreamed that they were upon us, until our life, which had been so peaceful by comparison, was much the same as a torture.

Day by day word came that not only the Shawnees, but all the other Indians around, were coming into Kentucky, being sent by the British in Detroit, who hoped to serve their king by hiring the savages to attack all the settlers in this part of the country.

In this spring of 1777 there have been many days when we were actually hungry, although there was game to be had in abundance if our people could have gone out after it. First, we killed the oldest of the sheep for meat, because the supply of meal had run short, and then, one after another, the rest of the live stock, hoping all the while that the savages would not dare attack so strong a fort as ours at Boonesborough.


Front Matter

At Boonesborough
Beginning of the Story
Boone on the Yadkin
Boone Moves his Family
Ready for the Journey
What we Wore
Driving Cattle and Sheep
Camping at Nightfall
The Long Halt
Jimmy Boone Goes to Clinch
Murder of Jimmy Boone
A Time of Mourning
The Faint-hearted Return
A New Home
Making Moccasins
Tanning Leather
Governor Dunmore
Our Home on the Clinch
Household Duties
Attacked by a Wildcat
Fighting the Wildcat
Boone and Father Return
The Wilderness Road
Building the Forts
Gathering Salt
Our Home in the Fort
Ready for Cooking
Furnishing the House
The Hominy Block
The Supply of Water
Sports Inside the Fort
Wrestling and Running
Religion of the Indians
Indian Babies
Colonel Callaway Arives
News from Eastern Colonies
Venturing Outside the Fort
Dividing the Land
Who Owned Kentucky?
Ready to Build a Home
Billy's Hard Lot
Preparing Flax
Spinning and Soap Making
Broom Making
More Indian Murders
Indian "Signs"
Woodcraft and Hunting
Pelts Used as Money
Petition of the Settlers
Making Sugar
Building Fences
Capture of the Girls
My Willful Thoughts
Finding the Trail
The Pursuit
The Story Told by Jemima
Elizabeth's Heroism
Rescuing the Girls
Alarm Among the Settlers
Indians on the Warpath
The First Wedding
The Wedding Festivities
The Brides Home
The Housewarming
Attacks by the Indians
Besieged by the Savages
In the Midst of the Fight
The Assault by the Indians
Failure of the Assault
Watchfulness of the Indians
The Sortie
My Father Wounded
Our Wounded