m. est. 1730/32
Facts and Events
Accounts of the Saga of Betsy Henry
An account of the kidnapping of Betsy Henry by Indians abt. 1750-1753: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~berry/newupload/pages/A1e-1.htm
The saga of Betsy Henry notes that the Henry family lived in Pennsylvania at the time of her abduction, which appears to have taken place sometime between 1750 and 1753. James Henry’s first appearance in Augusta County records was not until 1758, so the family probably moved to Virginia a few years after their kidnapping tragedy. At the time of the captive exchange at Fort Pitt, which is believed to have taken place between 1764 and 1767, James Henry owned 340 acres of land in the southwestern corner of the Beverly Grant, which corresponds to area around the modern day Spottswood Station. If the part of the story about the possible murder of Betsy Henry’s Delaware husband is true, it occurred while James Henry was living in Augusta County, Virginia. In the winter of 1781 Robert Alexander’s will was proved, and it noted that James Henry was an adjacent landowner. In addition, Robert’s son William, the father of the William Alexander who married Betsy’s daughter, Sally, was mentioned in the will. The close proximity of the Robert/William Alexander family lends further credence to the connection of Betsy Henry to this James Henry. Finally, in James Henry’s 1806 will, which was proved after 1809, he identifies Sarah Alexander as the wife of William Alexander, but also notes a daughter named Sarah who still retains her maiden name, further supporting additional elements of the abduction story. The 1812 document identifies this daughter as later marrying James Poage and moving to Ohio. In essence, the basic elements of the Betsy Henry saga, as they apply to her brother James Henry, can be supported by primary source records from Augusta County. The bottom line is that the combination of reliable secondary source data and unquestionable primary source data provide a rich and robust illumination of James Henry’s life, not to mention a tightly focused and detailed view of the raw and sometimes violent elements of life, as well as a rather personal view of the clash and melding of European and Native American cultures on the colonial American frontier.
REPORT OF THE COMMISSION TO LOCATE THE SITE OF THE FRONTIER FORTS OF PENNSYLVANIA. VOLUME ONE., CLARENCE M. BUSCH., STATE PRINTER OF PENNSYLVANIA., 1896.
The Frontier Forts in the Cumberland and Juniata Valleys. By Jay Gilfillan Weiser.
In the same year Robert Robinson in his Narrative states that there was a murder committed by the savages in close proximity to this fort, given in the following language: "I forgot to give you an account of a murder done at our own fort in Sherman's Valley in July, 1756. The Indians waylaid the fort in harvest time, and kept quiet until the reapers were gone; James Wilson remaining some time behind the rest, and I not being gone to my business, which was hunting deer for the use of the company. Wilson standing at the fort gate, I desired liberty to shoot his gun at a mark, upon which be gave me his gun and I shot. The Indians on the upper side of the fort, thinking they were discovered, rushed on a daughter of Robert Miller and instantly killed her, and shot at John Simmeson; they then made the best of it they could and killed the wife of James Wilson and the widow Gibson, and took Hugh Gibson and Betsy Henry prisoners. The reapers, being forty in number, returned to the fort, and the Indians made off. While the Indian was scalping Mrs. Wilson, the relator shot at and wounded him, but he made his escape."