The story of Jane McCrea

In 1777, at the height of the American Revolution, General Schuyler was rushing to Fort Edward to collect his troops so that they could prepare a defensive against the advances of Loyalist General Burgoyne.

At Fort Edward occurred the death of Jane McCrea, the story of which, as set afloat at the time, is familiar to all, and was exploded years ago. Truth tells the story as follows: Miss McCrea was a handsome young girl, visiting friends at Fort Edward at the time of Burgoyne's invasion. She was betrothed to a young man living near there, who was then in Burgoyne's army. When that army approached Fort Edward, some prowling Indians seized Miss McCrea, and attempted to carry her to the British camp at Sandy Hill, on horseback. A detachment of Americans were sent to rescue her. One of a volley of bullets fired at her captors, pierced the maiden and she fell dead from the horse, when the Indians scalped her and carried her glossy locks as a trophy into the camp. Her lover, shocked by the event, left the army, went to Canada at the close of the war, and there lived a moody bachelor until he was an old man. He had purchased the scalp of his beloved, of the Indians, and cherished it as a precious treasure, upon which, at times, he would gaze with tearful eyes as he held the ever-shining locks in his hand. The body of Miss McCrea was recovered by her friends, and was buried at Fort Edward. A tale of romance and horror, concerning the manner of her death, went abroad. In September, a letter from Gates to Burgoyne, holding him responsible for her death, gave great currency to the story; and hundreds, perhaps thousands of young men, burning with indignation and a spirit of vengeance because of the outrage, flocked to the American camp.

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