Indian Captivity Stories/Mrs. Scott's testimony


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The following story was related by Mrs. Samuel McCorkle Scott, who as a young child was living in Southwestern Virginia, in Moccassin Creek Valley. Her family had moved there about 1772, and apparently took refuge during Indian attacks, at Cowan's Fort, and perhaps later at Moore's Fort. Mrs. Scott describes the capture of Ann Walker Cowan, whose husband Samuel had been KBI'd in 1776, as well as the death of Ann's brother Samuel Walker, and Ann's nephew William, son of John Walker IV. Samuel's estate went through probate in August of 1778, and so this event most likely occurred in 1777.

Mrs. Scott's account was taken by the Reverend Shane, whose collection of pioneer recollections was purchased by Lyman Draper, and preserved in the Draper MSC. Mrs. Shane confuses some of the persons. For instance, she identifies Ann Walker Cowan's brother as "Mathew" instead of Samuel. She also mistakenly says that Ann's sister married a Walker, when in fact she was referencing William son of John Walker, Ann's other brother.


(Comments in square brackets are believed to have been inserted by either Rev. Shane, Lyman Draper, or perhaps Emory Hamilton, from whose account this extract has been taken.)

One year while we lived on the clinch we had no need to fort, and did not fort. Cowan’s fort was about two miles from Moore’s fort. We went to it [Cowan’s] one year, but it was too weak; but seven or eight families. The Indians attacked it. Miss Walker, then the widow Ann Cowan was taken going to it from Moore’s. Her and her sister’s [sic, brother's] son, William Walker were taken - her sister married a Walker. Her brother Matthew? Walker [maybe Samuel (?-?)], if so this killing was prior to 18 August 1778] that went with her was killed, and the other man was shot at, but escaped and got into the fort. This Mrs. Cowan had just gotten back from this captivity as I passed the Crab Orchard [Lincoln Co., KY] coming out [to Kentucky]. Captain [John] Snoddy, and William and Joe Moore’s wives were sisters of her, [Ann Cowan]. They [the Moores and Snoddys] had moved there from Clinch and were forted there.