Granny's Notes - the writing of Sue Gerard

They didn’t think Indians would strike a spot twice

Acquiring land was of utmost importance to the Boones, Bryans, Davises, McKinneys, Ramseys and many other pioneers who arrived in Missouri in 1799-1800.

Grandma’s Bible said that a young woman in our family left on horseback with a 3-week-old infant in her arms. Daniel Morgan Boone, son of our Rebecca Bryan Boone and Daniel, had hunted in Missouri for four years. He told his aging father about fertile land at good prices, flowing rivers, wild game, good markets for fur pelts in St. Louis - and Indians for trading.

Boone left Kentucky with unfinished business regarding land surveys and ownerships, but when he moved, the others moved also.

My ancestors, the Logans and Bryans, would probably have been helpless in the wilderness without Boone’s leadership.

Pioneer settlements were widely separated - about 30 miles apart - so that if the worst came to one group, there would be survivors in other groups who would nurse the injured and take care of the orphan children.

Daniel Boone left debts behind in Kentucky and was relieved to face a new beginning in Missouri at 65 years of age. He tamed some young otters and beavers and played with them as pets, but he was often seen in his long white canoe with a canopy over the middle - to protect pelts - and, as usual, he went where and when he wanted to hunt or trap or to just be alone. However, he came to the rescue of neighbors in one of the most dreadful raids.

At sunrise one May morning, Robert Ramsey was plowing, Mrs. Ramsey was milking a cow and children were playing when the cattle became restless, shaking their horns and bellowing. Mrs. Ramsey, pregnant, got to the house, but the Indians were upon them, rushing out of the woods waving their tomahawks. Robert Ramsey had a wooden leg and couldn’t run, but he reached their long tin trumpet and sounded a loud blast that frightened the intruders.

They tomahawked three children as they rushed to get away. Two children lay dying on the cabin floor; a third had hidden in tall weeds.

Mrs. Ramsey was groaning in premature labor as Daniel Boone "composedly" probed to remove a bullet that had passed through her husband’s groin.

No one expected the Indians to strike twice, but the next day, with men off in pursuit, the women were startled by the screams of a black boy.

A warrior had climbed over the fence and was running toward Mrs. Jonathan Bryan and her black woman with a tomahawk in his hand. He was so close behind that, before they could slam the door shut, he was halfway through!

While Bryan held the heavy door shut with all her might, the black woman pulled the tomahawk out of the warrior’s hand and brained him! At that moment, the boy screamed again. The women looked out to see another Indian only a few feet from the house.

Bryan snatched the still-loaded rifle of the dead warrior and shot his comrade. The bodies were buried near a sandstone boulder in the horse lot behind the house. The Bryan family ever afterward spoke of the dead warriors with a curious gentleness as "strangers who died while traveling that way."

I take this quote from John Bakeless’ "Daniel Boone: Master of the Wilderness."

Yes, Bryan was in our maternal lineage, and my grandmother did have that "curious gentleness" of the Bryans!

Click here to return to the index

 Subscribe in your RSS reader

Copyright © 1994-2010 Sue Gerard. All Rights Reserved. No text or images on this website may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the author, except small quotations to be used in reviews.