04 June 2010

Family Matters

So, after some inspiration from my Mom - here is a quick look at two of my ancestors:

Nancy Hart

Mother and Revolutionary Hero; Nancy was known to have a fighting spirit since her youth.  During the Revolutionary War, she often volunteered for local spy missions, helping the local militia by providing information about the movements of various British units in the area.  This involved several daring trip into the British encampments in the guise of a crazy man, to avoid suspicion.  Cross-dressing for a good cause.

The most famous of her exploits occured when she was surprised at home by a group of six British soldiers who were scouting the local area for food.  Nancy, always ready to fight, let the men into her home and promised them drink and food.  While the men drank her store of alcohol, Nancy spirited away their rifles, which had been stacked in a corner of the cabin.  After being discoved, Nancy grabbed the remaining rifle and proceeded to hold the men at gun point until she could send her young daughter to fetch help from a neighboring farm.  During the standoff, apperantly one of the soldiers made a move to snatch her gun away.  Nancy made good on her threat to shoot the first man who moved or attempted to escape.  After the neighbors arrived, the remaining soldiers were hung from a tree in the side yard of the cabin.  Although many have doubted the daring deeds of Nancy, family histories and some surviving records proved that she was indeed a real hero.  During the 1920s, this fact was given further proof when the construction crew for a local railroad spur turned up a shallow grave containing 6 bodies and revolutionary war artifacts on the old Hart property.

Daniel Boone

Nancy Hart was also the first Cousin to Daniel Boone, the famous frotiersman, revolutionary soldier, surveyor, hunter, and indian fighter of the south.  He tramped throughout the Appalatian Mountains, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee, most before they were even considered as anything but wilderness territories.  The truths and myths surrounding his life have become childhood legends that continue to shape ideas of american ambition and tenacity.

Portrait of Daniel Boone, reworked copy after an original painting from life by Chester Harding in 1819.  Hardings painting repoduced below is the only known image of Boone taken from life.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing story about Nancy and the soldiers! I'm glad you shared it!

    Maybe you should name your daughter after her so she will be brave!