12. Has a lead mine ever been located
in the area?
13. Why was none of my family contacted
regarding the honors accorded to my great-great-great~grcat~granndmother
by the State of Kentucky when her grave was marked, or were they?
No lead mine
has ever been discovered in this area, to my knowledge, in recent years,
although its existence was common knowledge to older residents living in
the Big Sandy valley. The home manufacture of lead musket balls became
a lost art several generations ago, and this may account for the
mines loss to modern folks. It was simply no longer of great importance
to anyone. It is said by some that the reason it has not been found
is that most folks in this area today would not recognize lead ore if they
stumbled upon a truck load scattered along the Interstate! And that
certainly includes me. And too, there are still some very remote
areas remaining in the Big Sandy valley, and it is known from legend and
tradition that the Indian captors of Jenny Wiley had to travel to a distant
location to obtain the lead ore which they gave her to smelt. It
is interesting to note that the legendary John Swift silver mind was said
to have existed in this area, and lead and silver ore are often found together.
Explorers have searched for the Swift mine for years without any notable
success. It is also interesting to note that Jenny was purchased
by one of the chiefs from the other for a bag of silver broaches.
The chief certainly knew where the lead mine was located; did he
also know the location of the Swift silver mine? It would be interesting
to know the answer to that one, wouldn't it?
I do not know
if any of the questioners family were invited to the ceremony honoring
Jenny Wiley. It is very possible that no one knew where they were!
The Jenny Wiley Association was not in existence at that time, and of course
we played no part. The following is quoted from The Founding
of Harmans Station and the Wiley Captivity by William Elsey Connelley,
and is contained in the preface written by Mr. Edward R. Hazelett of Paintsville,
on January 26, 1966:
1960, House Resolution 63 was introduced in the Kentucky Legislature.
The Resolution directed the Department of Conservation to mark the grave
of Jenny Wiley, and the Department of Highways to fence the cemetery in
which the grave lies; limited expenditure to $1000.00 for marking
and $500.00 for fencing. The resolution passed the House March 2,
and the State Senate March 9. It became law March 31 of the same
year. To date, a rather substantial marker has been erected, but
many historians disagree with some of the data contained in the inscription.
Nearly six years have passed since this Resolution became law, but the
enclosure fence has not been built. (Note: A fence was constructed
after this writing. RLW)
"The marker at
the grave of Jenny Wiley was dedicated Saturday, November 27, 1965.
The Hon. John Fred Williams, native Johnson Countaian, historian, educator,
industrialist, delivered the dedicatory address to a crowd of about 450.
Dr. Arville Wheeler, native Johnson Countaian, educator, historian, author
of "White Squaw," reviewed the research for his book about Jenny Wiley.
The River Development Club, assisted by the Johnson County Historical Society
and the Kentucky Young Historians at Mead Memorial High School, Williamsport,
and at Paintsville High School, Paintsville, sponsored the dedication program.
Appropriate music was provided by the Mead memorial High School Band.
A crisp wind ruffled flags on the sun-lit hill as a DAV color guard marked
the gravesite, and later presented a 21-gun salute. Robert L. Whitaker,
Henry Stapleton, John Fred Williams, Dr. Arville Wheeler and Bob Kennedy
unveiled the hugh marker as the Mead Memorial Band played "My Old Kentucky
Home." Mr. Merida Wiley, a direct descendant, delivered the invocation."
This event was
open to the entire public, and a turn out of 450 people indicates that
a sizable group took part. I'm sure the questioners family would
have been more than welcome to attend.
14. Which is the correct spelling of
the blockhouse: Harman Station, or Harmon Station?
The correct spelling
of the blockhouse name is HARMAN'S STATION, although HARMON'S STATION is
sometimes used. The German branch of the Harman family may be traced
to the valley of the Danube River, and Mr. Henrich Adam Herriman, who was
later called Adam Harman. The blockhouse was primarily constructed
by a group lead by the son of Henrich Herrman, Matthias Harman, Sr.
Matthias Harman, Sr. was born near to Strasburg in the Shenandoah Valley
in 1736, his mothers name was Louisa Katrina, and he may have been the
youngest son. Matthias became known far and wide as one of the greatest
souts, exploers, Indian fighers and soldiers on the frontier. Mr.
Edward Hazelett speaks of Matthias Harman thustly:
Sr. has been the most neglected and most underrated of the Indian fighters
along the Virginia-Kentucky frontier. He was seldom equalled and
not surpassed in deadly combat with the savage warriers. He fought
the Indians from the headstreams of the Big Sandy to the Ohio River.
He met the Indians on their own land and defeated them by their own methods
Sr. spent his final years on the Dry Fork of the Big Sandy River in Tazell
County, Virginia. He died 2 April 1832 at the age of 96 years.
15. What ever became of William Elsey
Connelley’s collection of artifacts and memorabilia following his death?
16. “In 1831, almost forty years after
her ordeal, a Baptist preacher sat down with Jenny Wiley and wrote out
her account in longhand Caudill’s novel is based on this personal narrative.”
Those words are written in the ‘Editor’s Preface” of the 1994 edition of
Harry Caudill’s Dark Hills to Westward, The Saga of Jenny Wiley.
With that in mind —
unknown at this time.
- Who was the Baptist preacher and
- What happened to his account?
Baptist preacher who recorded Jenny Wileys story was her son Adam Brevafd.
William Elsey Connelley says of Adam Brevard:
"I knew him intimately
and long, and I never heard his reputation for truth and veracity brought
into question. He was a minister of the Gospel."
-The Founding of
Harmans Station pages 50 and 51
"Adams is probably
known best as a preacher and the child who told the story of his mother's
page 60 - by Clayton R. Cox
Adam Brevard attempted
early on to record the story of Jennys capture and escape but became unhappy
with his efforts and destroyed them before they were published. William
Elsey Connelley addresses this question in The Founding of Harmans
Station and the Wiley Captivity:
"Mr. Wiley (Adam
Brevard - RWL) was very anxious that the account of his mother's captivity
and escape should be preserved. Although deficient in the matter
of education he did try more than once to write it out. So unsatisfacotry
were his efforts that he did not preserve them. He exacted from me
a promise that I would write the account of the trials and sufferings of
his mothers. This is the fulfilment of that promise."
(B) As stated
above, Adams manuscript was destroyed by him prior to publication.
17. In view of the previous comment,
in the Introduction to Caudill’s Dark Hills to Westward The Saga of Jenny
Wiley, which he wrote, he states “the earliest accounts of her story were
written down nearly eighty years after her death.” Is this a reference
to Connelley’s work, and if it is, why the discrepancy between the conflicting
statements? and if it isn't, to what reference was Caudill referring?
I cannot comment
on Harry Caudills thoughts and what he might have been making refernce
to in the introduction to his book. However, I can comment upon how
the Jenny Wiley story came to be finally and accurately recorded.
Adam Brevard Wiley
to write down hismothers story at an earlier date, but destroyed it.
Shall we hear Connelley on this point:
in education, he (Adams Brevard - RLW) did try more than once to write
it out. So unsatisfactory were his efforts that he did not preserve
The story of Jenny
Wiley was not finally recorded for publication until 1910 when The
Founding of Harmans Station adn the Wiley Captivity was first published
by Connelley. Since Jenny was known to have died in 1831, Mr. Conneley
set down in print her story some 79 years following her death. Hence
the statement, "---the earliest accounts of her story were written down
nearly eighty years after her death." Adam Brevards unsucessful attempts
were not taken into consideration since they were obviously not completed
and did not appear in their original form in any of the written record.
No doubt, the information Adam had tried ot record was funishe dby word
of mouth of William Elsey COnnelley, and that became the basis for Connelleys
assume (not a very smart thing to do) that Harry Caudill
turned to Connelleys book for much of this information.
18. In Jenny Wiley Country, Volume I
by C. Mitchel Hall, shows that Thomas Wiley was granted 400 acres on Lexisa
Fork in Floyd County (Cert. 114) with a survey date of 11- 6-1804, and
that this information can be found in the County Court Orders, Floyd County,
Archives Kentucky State Historical Society. For what purpose might
he have been awarded this land grant, and where might this information
19. In all of my research of the time
and era in question. I have discovered that the Cherokee claimed the lands
south of Kentucky, while the Shawnee were north -- yet in everything I've
read relating to Jenny Wiley, just the opposite appears to be the case,
and I can't quite reconcile this discrepancy.
holds that Thomas Wiley was a Revolutionary War soldier and was awarded
a land grant for his service. I cannot supply any documentation for
this statment, and it must be taken at face value.
Scalf, in his book Kentuckys Last Frontier, speaks of the Wiley
captivity. At one point Mr. Scalf says:
the valley, them came out to the Ohio (River) and descended to opposite
the present site of Portsmouth (Ohio.)" - Page 82
In his book Jenny
Wiley Pioneeer Mother and Borderland Heroine, Mr. Scalf states further:
"Across the river,
at the mouth of the Scioto River, was the Shawnee Lower town, so called
to differentiate it from the Upper Town of the Shawnee above the mouth
of the Kanawha River." (Kanawha River is in West Virginia. - RLW)
At a later point
in Mr. Scalf's narrative he writes:
"---Cap John came
to the cave and pulled her outside to a tree. ---They were going
on a hunt, he explained, and would return some time that day and afterward,
when it was convenient for him, they would journey to the Cherokee towns
on the Little Tennessee River."
The above quotes
would seem to indicate that the Shawnees were indeed situated to the North
of Kentucky, and the Cherokees to the South, as had always been my own
understanding. I cannot comment on what others may have said on this
20. In my research (to date), I am finding
striking similarities between the capture and captivity of Jenny Wiley
and others throughout the area (Archibald Scott and Family, James Moore
and Family, The Davidson Family, the capture and captivity of Mary Ingles
- to name a few), and (so far) I am unable to find any mention of her outside
of local (Kentucky) sources. Could you explain this inconsistency?
I2. In Arville Wheeler’s "White Squaw"
states that Thomas Wiley had come from Scotland to settle in America 10
years ago” (p. 51) which would be roughly 1779 - yet there are indications
that he was in Virginia as early as l774 and had served in the militia
entitling him to a land grant. If Wheeler’s statement can be authenticated,
how can this disparity be resolved?
My only comment
upon this question would have to be a repeat of the answer to question
number 6. The story of Jenny Wiley must be well known outside of
Kentucky since the Jenny Wiley Association has members cattered thorugh
out the entire United States.
Clayton R. Cox
in Appalachia Crossroads indicates that Thomas Wiley and his brother
Samuel migrated to America from Ireland. Thhis does not mean Thomas
was not of Scottish descent, for many Scots settled in Ireland. Mr.
Cox also indicates taht Thomas and Jean (Jenny) Sellards married ca 1779
in Walkers Creek, Virginia. It would stand to reason taht Thomas
had been to America for some time prior to his marriage to Jenny.
Much of the information concerning these events is traditionary and has
no written verification. My suggestion to the questioner is that
he obtain Arville Wheelers documents of authentication, comapre them with
all other information, and determine which sources are correct, and which
are in error, thus any disparity would be resolved. I have never
seen the documents Mr. Wheeler used to authenticate his owrk,and would
much appreciate receiving copies of them if they are available.