If men would examine how many are killed with weapons and how many eat and drink themselves to death, there would be found more dead from the cup and the kitchen than from the thrust of a sword. — Thomas More

Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

The Wedding Festivities

Of course Samuel Henderson led the party, and how fine he looked in his new shirt and leggings, with a mink-skin cap made so that the tail drooped gracefully down his back!

The night before, two fiddlers had come all the way from Boiling Springs to make music for the dancing, and when the bridegroom and his party appeared, the musicians struck up "The Campbells are Coming," in a way that made one fairly gasp for breath. We girls led Elizabeth out near the spring, where all the older people were waiting.

The ceremony was no sooner over than the bride and all the other girls went into the watch-house nearest the gate, where tables were spread with everything good to eat, from roasted deer meat to turkey and bear steaks, while the men had grand shooting matches, running races, and not a little wrestling, until Colonel Boone shouted that all were to go inside for dinner.

I must not forget to say that Billy covered himself with glory during the shooting match, for when it came to snuffing a candle without killing the flame, he did it squarely and neatly three times out of four, which was better than any of the older men could do. I was proud of him, and knew that father felt much as I did, for he patted the boy on the head in an admiring way, promising that he should have a rifle with the barrel as long as Colonel .Boone's, when the pelts we had taken the winter before were sold.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

After every one had eaten until it was not possible to swallow another mouthful with comfort, the dancing began, and how we did dance! When night came, the tables were covered with food again, and the dancers were glad, as I know full well, to have something more to eat. Of course dancing is only a pleasure, but before that merrymaking came to an end I was as tired as if I had been making soap or hackling nettle-bark all day.

Not until next morning did the fun cease; but long before the first of the merrymakers showed signs of having done with the wedding sport, I was in bed, sleeping soundly.

Jemima and I think that Samuel Henderson was right lucky to get Elizabeth for a wife, because in addition to being brave, she is a good housewife, and brings to her husband, a horse, two cows and a calf, four real wool blankets, and linen of her own weaving enough to fill a small chest. Colonel Callaway is well-to-do, otherwise his daughter never could have got together so much of a dowry.


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