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SharePrint Media File

Type: Video

Series Title West Virginia: A Film History

Filmmaker Mark Samels

Company West Virginia Humanities Council

Format DVD


On July 8, 1755, Shawnees attacked a small settlement at Drapers Meadows on the New River. They killed four settlers and took five prisoners, including a pregnant mother, Mary Ingles and her two sons.

Ingles gave birth to a baby girl as she was led to a Shawnee village west of the Ohio. There, Ingles’ sons were taken from her. Then a few weeks later she saw a chance to escape.

Knowing she would be caught if she carried a child, Ingles left her daughter behind and ran.

She fled east, struggling through the New River Gorge, up into the mountains. She slept in caves, ate roots and berries, and crossed 500 miles of wilderness. Forty days later, Mary Ingles saw a cabin near a field of corn and shouted for help.

William Ingles returned to Drapers Meadows where he and Mary had four more children. Thirteen years later, the Ingleses purchased their eldest son, Thomas, from his adopted Shawnee parents. The boy often disappeared for weeks into the wilderness carrying only his bow and arrow. The Ingleses never saw their other two children again.

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