A Different View
(of the Birth of an Indian Child to Jenny)

by Russell L. Whitlock, Secretary
Excerpt from the Jenny Wiley Association Newsletter, Winter 1998

   In the last newsletter, we mentioned the many different accounts of Jenny Wileys capture, imprisonment and escape.  Have you read the book Jenny Wiley Pioneer by John Nathan Bennett?  This book differs in many ways from most accounts of the Jenny Wiley story, and I found it to be very interesting.  (We do not, unfortunately, have publication rights to this book.)  As I understand it, Mr. Bennett relates the story as it has been handed down through generations in his family.  He indicates, in the Epilogue, that the story was handed down from Jean Wiley, who married Richard Williamson, their daughter Amy, who married Abraham Smith, the Smiths daughter Eva, who married Alfred Green, and finally the son of Eva and Alfred.

    Mr. Bennett mentions in his book that Jenny bore seven children after her escape from captivity, and in the epilogue states, "In 1831 she suffered a stroke and died, leaving seven children, all of who were born after her return from the terrible experiences of her captivity and escape."  His statement, "...leaving seven children...", caught my attention at once.  The statement seems to indicate Jenny left seven living children at her death.  As I have mentioned in this space before, we all know of five living children (JANE, SARAH, HEZEKIAH, ADAM BREVARD, and WILLIAM), and are aware of the legendary part Indian child.  It is commonly spoken of in the Big Sandy Valley area that there was a Wiley child who died and was buried at the same location where Thomas Wiley is buried.  Do any of our readers have any information concerning this child who died?  We do not know the date of death of this child, its sex, or even whether it was one of the children of Thomas and Jenny.  we know of it only as "a Wiley child."  I wonder if Mr. Bennett was including this child in his statement that there were seven children born to Jenny?  If so, that would account for the seven children if we include the Indian child.  Information or comment is welcome!

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