In tracing the history of our Russell family I’ve realized that the Russell men were most often military men having served our country in the American Revolutionary War and just about every conflict and war since then, but that story will be told another time. This is about one of the Russell women,
daughter of William Russell, sister of George Russell, my husband’s gr-gr-gr-gr-great
grandfather (that is nine generations of Russells between Robert Doyle Russell
and William Russell). Lydia
The incident that changed Lydia’s life forever and insured her place in American history is well documented and can be found by googling her name but I will tell it here with the caveat that this is not original research on my part – I too googled her name.
"She was captured by the Indians as she rode horseback toward
She was told that she would be killed. She was questioned . . . [and] taken to a little town along the
Bean was taken to Toquo and tied to a stake at the top of a large mound. The
fire had been lighted around her when the Beloved woman, Nancy Ward, arrived on
the scene. Little Tennessee River
Revolted at the thought that a Cherokee should torture a squaw she hastened to the rescue, scattered the burning brands and cut the bonds which fastened the prisoner.
She took Mrs. Bean to her own house where she was treated kindly.
Lydia Bean in her gratitude instructed Nancy Ward and the other Cherokee women in the art of making butter and cheese.
Due to Mrs. Bean's training Nancy Ward became the first owner of a herd of cattle."
Further reading taught me much about Nancy Ward, a Beloved Woman of the Cherokee, to whom Lydia Russell Bean owed her life when she was saved from being burned at the stake. I believe
Lydia is credited with bravery at the time of her capture by the Indians, for she led her captors to believe the garrison at the Watauga settlement was well defended, thus preventing an attack. Although she was saved from certain death in July of 1776, her brother George, our ancestor, was killed by Indians in May of 1797, and
I know very little about
William Bean died in May 1782 at German Creek, NC which is now Grainger County, Tennessee, on property awarded him by North Carolina for his participation in the Revolutionary War. Lydia died in 1788 in Northumberland, Virginia, the circumstances of her death unknown.