Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

The Story Told by Jemima

Ten minutes later I had Jemima in my arms, and she was telling me all the dreadful story.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

It seems that while the canoe was drifting down the creek, close to the bank, and when it was near the mouth of the river, five Shawnees in full war paint suddenly came from the bushes and waded into the water until one of them took hold of the canoe, shoving it in front of him toward the shore. Jemima confesses that she was nearly dead with fear, believing all three of them would be killed at once; but she screamed with her full strength until a big hand was clapped over her mouth in such a manner that she could hardly breathe.

Fanny Callaway sat like a statue, so Jemima says, her face as white as if she had been dead, and seemingly unable even to whisper; but Elizabeth showed her courage in a way to make us people of Boonesborough, and particularly Samuel Henderson, proud of her.

She picked up one of the paddles and, before the painted Shawnee realized what she was about, brought it down on his head so hard as to cause a severe wound.

It was of little use for the poor girls to fight, however. They were without weapons, and there were five of the Indians, who, after dragging the prisoners ashore, threatened to tomahawk the first that made the slightest outcry.

Of course the girls knew that the Indians would not hesitate to carry out such a threat, so they held their peace.

Before setting off across country the savages made Jemima and Fanny put on Indian moccasins, so that our people might not be able to trace them readily; but Elizabeth refused to take off her shoepacks, and because of her spunk it was possible for Colonel Boone and his party to make certain they were on the right trail.


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