I am their mother, who shall bar me from them.

On the burning of Royalton, Vermont, by the Indians, in 1776, Mrs. Hendee, of that place, exhibited a praiseworthy and heroic character. The attack was sudden, and her husband being absent in the Vermont regiment, and she being in the field, the Indians seized her children, carried them across White river, at that place perhaps an hundred yards wide and quite deep for fording, and placed them under the keepers having the other persons they had collected, thirty or forty in number, in charge. On discovering the fate of her children, Mrs. Hendee resolutely dashed into the river, waded through, and fearlessly entering the Indian camp, regardless of their tomahawks menacingly flourished round her head, boldly demanded the release of her little ones, and persevered in her alternate upbraidings and supplications, till her request was granted. She then carried her children back through the river and landed them in safety on the other bank. But not content with what she had done, like a patriot, as she was, she immediately returned, begged for the release of the children of others; again was rewarded with success, and brought two or three more away; again returned and again succeeded, till she had rescued the whole fifteen of her neighbors’ children who had been thus snatched away from their distracted parents. On her last return to the camp of the enemy, the Indians were so struck with her conduct that one of them declared that so brave a squaw deserved to be carried across the river, and offered to take her on his back and carry her over. She, in the same spirit, accepted the offer, mounted the back of the gallant savage, was carried to the opposite bank, where she collected her rescued troop of children, and hastened away to restore them to their over-joyed parents.


Excerpted from Noble Deeds of American Women
(Patriotic Series for Boys and Girls)
Edited by J. Clement
With an Introduction by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney
BOSTON: Lee and Shepard, Publishers
Entered by Act of Congress, in the year of 1851,
by E. H. Derby and Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the Northern District of New York

Leave a Reply