Drapers Meadow lies within the New River watershed, in Montgomery County, Virginia, and within the modern boundaries of Blacksburg. The first settlers in the area were Adam Harman and his family. This family owned upwards of 15,000 acres of land in the area, and their properties may have included what became the Draper's Meadow Tract. In anyevent, in 1748 much of this area was included in the Woods River Land Grant to James Patton. Shortly thereafter Harmon served as an agent for Patton, selling parcels of land in the area that became known as Drapers Meadow. The first settlers of Drapers Meadow proper were the widow Eleanor Draper, and Thomas Ingles. Eleanor's family included her son John and daughter Mary. Thomas' family include sons William, Mathew, and John. Both families were present in the area by 1748. By 1755 about 20 families were in the area.
Rising tensions between the natives and western settlers were exacerbated by fighting in the French and Indian War and the encroachment on tribal hunting grounds. Recent victories by the French over the British, although north of Virginia, had left much of the frontier unprotected. Unlike the French pioneers who tended to be hunters and trappers, these settlers were establishing an agricultural community with potentially permanent inhabitants. On July 30, 1755 the small community at Drapers Meadow was the target of an Indian Raid.
From Source:Summers, 1903:52
The New river settlers were not permitted to escape the ravages of the Indians and the French, for on the 8th day of July, 1755, the day before Braddock's defeat, a considerable party of Shawnese Indians fell upon this settlement and wiped it out of existence. Colonel James Patton, Casper Barrier, Mrs. George Draper and a child of John Draper were killed. Mrs. William Inglis and her two children, Mrs. John Draper and Henry Leonard were taken prisoners. Mrs. Inglis was taken to Ohio, thence to Bone Lick, Kentucky, whence she and an old Dutch woman made their escape, and, after many days, returned to her home on New river. This invasion occurred on Sunday, the 8th day of July, 1755. Colonel Patton, accompanied by William Preston, was on a visit to the New river settlement, and was detained by sickness at the house of William Inglish. William Preston, William Inglis and John Draper were away from the house at the time. Mrs. John Draper, who first discovered the Indians, ran to the house, secured her infant child, and attempted to make her escape by the opposite side of the house, but she was detected by the Indians, and, having one of her arms broken, the child fell to the ground. She then took the child in the other arm and continued her flight, but was soon overtaken, the child taken from her, and its brains dashed out upon a log by the Indians. Colonel Patton, at the time of the attack, was seated at a table writing, with his broad sword beside him. He immediately arose, and killed two of the Indians before he was shot by others beyond his reach.
Those killed, wounded, or taken into captivity during the Drapers Meadow Raid is open to question, with different authors identifying different individuals. The following is based on the The Preston Register
At least five settlers are believed to have been killed
Five settlers were taken back to Kentucky as captives to live among the tribe, including:
At some point the captives were separated, and Mary Draper Ingles was parted from her children. She was later able to escape the Indians at Big Bone, Kentucky. She returned to Drapers Meadow having journeyed more than eight hundred miles across the Appalachian Mountains. The other captives were eventually ransomed and repatriated. Thomas Ingles is said to have lived among the Indians for many years, adapting to the Shawnee way of life so thoroughly that he never fully gave it up.
In the aftermath, Draper's Meadow was abandoned - as was much of the frontier for the duration of the French and Indian War. William Preston, who had been in Draper's Meadow on the morning of the attack but left on an errand and so was saved, eventually obtained the property, which became Smithfield Plantation. Out of the surviving family members, only the Bargers returned later to re-claim their land and settle.
DVD - "The Captives"