True Bravery - Women on the Frontier

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Posted by Victoria on January 18, 1998 at 12:57:31:

"I have seen the face of war before Mr. Poe, but never war made upon Women and children."

Her experience must have been limited, even in the European theaters. We are most often entertained by the herioc deeds of the men who lived and fought on the frontier. It is more difficult to find information on the women outside of the Captivity Narratives and statistics, but sometimes small anecdotes appear. The following is excerpted from a letter from Loudon to Cumberland found in "Military Affairs in North America 1748-65" Ed., S. Pargellis.

Albany 3d October 1756.
Lt. Kennedy's two prisoners are arrived. The Indians...seized the landlady of the house, in order to scalp her, when Lt. Kennedy came in and saved her, and an old Swiss, whom they brought along with them; and after a march arrived here in 28 days. They say, the Lady was handsome when she set out, but she is much altered, thro' hunger, wett, and all sorts of weather, added to fear, which was not without good grounds; for as they had been pursued for five days, by about three hundred Indians, they had thrown away all their provisions, and were reduced to such straights from hunger, that they several times proposed to eat the Lady, but Lt. Kennedy got her saved. I never saw people so thoroughly wore out as those people are; the Indians are but just alive; Lt. Kennedy is better than they are, but extremely weak; the woman has stood it the best, but they had a long march before they met her. They reckon, the way they came, that she walkt about six hundred miles. (Edited for brevity)

For women caught up in the storm of war survival was often the ultimate and sometimes unreachable goal.


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