In 1745, Mary Draper moved with her parents to Draper’s Meadow in the Shenandoah Valley. Here they hoped to finally have rich farmland and the freedom to worship freely – far from the greedy landlords of their native Ireland and the partisan rules of Quaker Pennsylvania. Mary and her family were industrious and strong, quickly learning skills to survive on the frontier. In 1750, at the age of seventeen, Mary Draper married twenty-year old Will Ingles, the first wedding of two white settlers in the region. As more Europeans moved into the area, tension between the settlers and the Native Americans increased. Raids and killings by both sides became common. One day while the men were at harvest, a band of Shawnee warriors stormed Draper’s Meadow, killing some settlers and burning the settlement to the ground. Taken captive were Mary, pregnant with her third child, her two young sons, and her injured sister-in-law. Through intuition and courage Mary impressed her kidnappers almost immediately. The captives were marched 800 miles over mountains to a Shawnee village on the Ohio River, presumably to spend the rest of their lives among the Shawnee tribe. But Mary vowed to escape and return to her husband and her people. The story of this remarkable woman’s harrowing and courageous trip home places Mary Ingles at the pinnacle of American frontier heroes.
CHARLESTON, WV – Quarrier Press is pleased to announce the release of its newest title, Shawnee Captive: The Story of Mary Draper Ingles. This is the true account of Mary Ingles’ capture by the Shawnee and her courageous and harrowing escape from the Ohio River through the Kanawha and New River valleys. A revered West Virginia heroine, Mary’s story has been passed down by generations. It has been stuff of campfire lore, as well as the subject of novels and plays. The most fascinating question answered by her story is this: How did a white pioneer woman survive an 800 mile journey through parts of the New River Valley no white man and few Indians had ever penetrated?ﾠﾠﾠﾠﾠ
In Shawnee Captive, author Mary Furbee has used meticulous research to compile the most accurate and complete account of this incredible tale, including letters and writings by Mary’s son, John Ingles. Furbee traces Mary’s parents to their native Ireland and then to Quaker Pennsylvania. In 1745, the prospect of religious freedom and rich farmland brought Mary’s family to Draper’s Meadow in the Shenandoah Valley. In 1750, at the age of seventeen, Mary Draper married Will Ingles-the first wedding of two white settlers in the region.
As tension between the settlers and the Native Americans increased in the Valley, raids and killings by both sides became common. One day Shawnee warriors stormed Draper’s Meadow, killing some settlers and burning the settlement to the ground. A very pregnant Mary Ingles was taken captive, along with her two young sons and her injured sister-in-law. The Shawnee marched their captives over 800 miles to a village on the Ohio River to spend the rest of their lives in captivity. But Mary vowed to escape and return to her husband and her people. The story of this remarkable woman’s harrowing trip home-fending off animals, starvation, frostbite and worse-places Mary at the pinnacle of American frontier heroes.