Thursday, January 25, 2007

Meandering

No bird photos to show, just some images of my day:

lover trees

gnarly tree over brook

creepy shed

bit of color

tree road map

s curve

where the sign used to be
Now here's a bit of history about this particular picture. I tried to find the sign that used to be here, but in its place is a water playground.
Anyway, many years ago, I read a book called "Follow the River". It is about a pioneer woman named Mary Draper Ingalls who lived with her husband and two young boys in what is now Virginia. (The Blue Ridge mountains)
Shawnee Indians raided her village in 1755, killed most of the men and women, and captured Mary, her children (and she was pregnant at the time), her sister-in-law and one man. The natives took them to their village in Kentucky, and their route was the New River to the Ohio River. Mary gave birth along the way, and it was said that the Indians were impressed with her strength. She lived in their village for, I believe, a few months. During a trip to a salt lick (Big Bone Lick) to gather salt, Mary escaped with a Dutch woman, leaving her boys, sister-in-law and baby girl behind with an Indian woman who had lost her own baby.
Mary and the Dutch woman walked 1000 miles back to Draper's Meadows, in Virginia....from Kentucky. It took so long because neither of the women could swim, so when they encountered a tributary (of which there were many), they would have to walk up the tributary until they could find a shallow place to cross. This trip was made from the beginning of October well into November. The women survived by eating berries when they could find them, and when winter came, they ate tree bark and grubs found under the bark. Eventually, the womens' clothes disintegrated and their shoes were lost. Mary and the Dutch woman were separated when the Dutch woman, wild with hunger, tried to kill Mary for food. Mary arrived back at her home, skeletal, frozen and all of her hair had turned white.
Over a period of many years, she and her husband had more children, and actually found one of their sons living with the Shawnee and bartered to have him returned. Her sister-in-law was also returned after many years. The baby girl and the younger son were never found.
So where does the above picture come into this? Across the Ohio from where I was standing, Mary and the Dutch woman passed on their way back to Virginia.
Cool, huh?

8 comments:

vicki said...

Wait! I was still loving the post below and those darling girls and all those boring feeder birds. I wandered off for a couple minutes, came back and voila!

This is a wonderful tale. Susan. I enjoyed it with all the photo illustrations. Plus, it wasn't as gorey as that Donner Pass story.

LauraHinNJ said...

Isn't Vicki a card?

Susan Gets Native said...

Vicki:
Thanks...I have loved that story since I first read it. It was hard to remember that it actually happened, and not too far away from where I grew up.
Laura:
She is, that.

Mary said...

I liked that story, it's amazing, and you told it very well. Thanks!

NatureWoman said...

You know I'm lovin' the history in your post today - thank you so much for sharing it with us! Women are strong today, but somehow I think they were much stronger back in those days.
I love the quiet photos, too. I can hear the silence from here.

Anonymous said...

Terrific story! Such strength and such physical hardship. If I were a kid the white hair would be the best part!

I love your photo montage (haven't used that word in a long time!) The pictures tell an equally wonderful story.

Susan Gets Native said...

Forgot to mention this tidbit:
Laura Ingalls (as in Little House on the Prairie) is a direct decendent of Mary Draper Ingalls.

katdoc said...

Susan,

When I left Marietta, one of the gifts my staff gave me was a copy of Follow the River. I loved it, and your post makes me want to re-read it. I like looking at the Ohio River and realizing the connection to the past. It is awesome to me to think about how hard it would be to walk all that way, especially with no food or supplies and a crazy companion who wants to kill and eat you!

I always wondered if there was a connection between Mary and Laura.

~Kathi