Throw your soldiers into positions whence there is no escape and they will prefer death to flight. — Sun Tzu

Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis

The Watchfulness of the Indians

Many of our men believed that the Indians had not given up the attack on our fort, but rather had drawn back into the forest, where it would be possible to watch us while they remained safely out of range, and that they were but waiting until they should be stronger in numbers before making another attack.

From this time on, for many a day, we were as completely shut inside the stockade as if 'the gates had been barred on the outside. Our men could no longer go out even in the night, because the Indians entirely surrounded us and seemed content to hold our people prisoners. There was nothing to prevent them from hunting at any time, while we were actually hungry and sometimes suffering for water, when the cattle had drunk the spring dry.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

We had altogether, counting such marksmen as Billy, twenty-two who could be depended on to fight desperately, and it was the business of us women and girls to see that these brave fellows had nothing to do but guard the fort; therefore we strove to keep a check upon our own appetites, so that they might have the food they needed.

I should give due praise to Simon Kenton, for I have heard father say again and again that, with the exception of Colonel Boone, there was no one who did such valiant service; and in order that something of his part in the fight may be known, I am going to set down what he did when the second attack was made on the fort.


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