Author Topic: Women's History Month 2021 - Elizabeth Zane  (Read 93 times)

Offline Mrs. Smith

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Women's History Month 2021 - Elizabeth Zane
« on: March 28, 2021, 10:01:56 PM »
Welcome back for the second half of this week’s Women’s History Month two-fer, and a good lesson in never underestimating teenage girls!

In September 1782, Betty Zane was with her family and other settlers from her community in Ft. Henry, seeking refuge from about 250 Indians and 50 loyalists from Butler’s Rangers.  Inside the fort were only about 20 men of fighting age, and 60 women and children.  These settlers had successfully defended against several attacks by the enemy, but found themselves running perilously low on black powder.  They all knew they faced a horrible fate if unable to replenish their dwindling supplies.

Luckily there was a known store of powder in a nearby cottage about 40 yards away.  The men gathered to determine which of them would make the dangerous trek to retrieve the powder, when up walked 16-year-old Betty Zane. With confidence she stated, “I will go.”  The men initially shouted her down, stating this was no job for a mere girl, to which she replied, “I would rather die that way than remain here and wait for death.”  Betty reminded the men that they had “not one man to spare.” Because she was a girl, the enemy was not as likely to shoot her, and they all knew that she could outrun each and every one of them. 

Against this they could not argue, and agreed to send Betty after the powder.  They opened the gate to the fort and out Betty went, easily and not at all hurriedly, towards the cabin.  The stunned Indians began yelling, “squaw, squaw,” but not a shot was fired as she made her way to the cabin.  Once in the cabin, a keg of powder was emptied into a table cloth, which Betty slung over her shoulder.
She knew before she stepped back outside the enemy was not likely to simply watch in amazement as she made her way back to the fort. She began running as fast as her feet would carry her, for she was running for her life and the lives of her fellow settlers.  This time enemy fired upon her.  She could hear the bullets whizzing by her head – in front of her, behind her – hitting the ground around her.  Betty had made it almost back to the fort when she went down. The settlers looked on with horror.  Luckily, she had only tripped and was able to make her way back into the safety of the fort’s walls unscathed.

The defenders, with the retrieved powder, were able to fend off the enemy for another day and a half, at which time the enemy gave up and left.  Betty had saved them all.  What makes her feat even more incredible is the fact that she had been without sleep for 40 hours, pouring molten lead into molds to make bullets. 

Sybil Ludington and Elizabeth “Betty” Zane knew very much what they were about.  They exemplified the courage and strength of many women of the Revolutionary War.  These women loved Liberty and knew the importance of maintaining it.  They were willing to do whatever it took, even risk their lives, to defend it. 

Works Cited
Grey, Zane. 1998. Betty Zane by Zane Grey. Public Domain in USA.
Ross, Tara. 2019. She Fought, Too, Stories of Revolutionary War Heroines. Dallas, TX: Colonial Press, LP.
"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." - Robert A. Heinlein

"A generation which ignores history has no past, and no future." - Lazarus Long

"I will accept the rules that you feel are necessary for YOUR freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." - Robert A. Heinlein

"What we do now echoes in eternity." Marcus Aurelius

"I can kill you with my brain." - River Tam

Rifleman 5/29/16
Distinguished Rifleman 06/19/19 LADYSEED
KD Rifleman 10/20/19  KD Requal 10/04/20

Offline Aliquippa

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Re: Women's History Month 2021 - Elizabeth Zane
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2021, 07:47:54 AM »
Thanks for the story. I did a little research on Elizabeth Zane because at my IBC I was assigned to tell her story in a three minute presentation. Her story is an inspiration for young women and remind us to never underestimate the courage and ability of teenagers .

Many folks not from this Ohio area will not know this but years ago there was a product available named after her and many people enjoyed Betty Zane popcorn sold in tins.
Also of note, her brother was founder of Zanesville, Ohio.

Offline Mrs. Smith

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Re: Women's History Month 2021 - Elizabeth Zane
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2021, 12:02:38 AM »
Additional tidbits are fun ways to enhance a story!  Betty Zane popcorn? That's awesome!  I bet it tasted like courage and fortitude  O0
"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." - Robert A. Heinlein

"A generation which ignores history has no past, and no future." - Lazarus Long

"I will accept the rules that you feel are necessary for YOUR freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." - Robert A. Heinlein

"What we do now echoes in eternity." Marcus Aurelius

"I can kill you with my brain." - River Tam

Rifleman 5/29/16
Distinguished Rifleman 06/19/19 LADYSEED
KD Rifleman 10/20/19  KD Requal 10/04/20