Three Kidnapped Daughters
IN spite of all the talk about Indian wars and in spite of the December murders, Boonesborough had begun to feel fairly secure again in the early summer of 1776. Farther to the north, a few settlers had been killed, but Daniel and Squire Boone had come home from their surveying at the Falls of the Ohio without hint of danger. Daniel himself lived in an unfortified cabin by the river, and it is said that a few other settlers had even built cabins on the other side.
Everything seemed so safe that on Sunday, July 7, after the usual Bible reading, a party of three young girls went for a paddle on the river. Jemima Boone was suffering from a "cane stab" in the foot. It was not an infrequent injury, since the stubble of broken cane was sharp, and young girls and even grown women rarely wore shoes in the summertime. Jemima wanted to soak the wound in the cool water of the river, and Betsey and Fanny Callaway went with her to paddle.
These three were the belles of Boonesborough. Betsey, sixteen, was engaged to marry Samuel Henderson. Jemima and Fanny, though only fourteen, already had serious suitors eager to marry them. Daniel Boone was at the moment enacting the rôle of stern parent, opposing the marriage of so young a girl to Flanders Callaway, a nephew of Colonel Callaway.
A great many youngsters clamored to go along on the boat ride; but young ladies with suitors felt much too grown up to