Betty Zane HTML version

In a quiet corner of the stately little city of Wheeling, West Va., stands a monument on
which is inscribed:
"By authority of the State of West Virginia to commemorate the siege of Fort Henry,
Sept 11, 1782, the last battle of the American Revolution, this tablet is here placed."
Had it not been for the heroism of a girl the foregoing inscription would never have been
written, and the city of Wheeling would never have existed. From time to time I have
read short stories and magazine articles which have been published about Elizabeth
Zane and her famous exploit; but they are unreliable in some particulars, which is
owing, no doubt, to the singularly meagre details available in histories of our western
For a hundred years the stories of Betty and Isaac Zane have been familiar, oft-
repeated tales in my family--tales told with that pardonable ancestral pride which seems
inherent in every one. My grandmother loved to cluster the children round her and tell
them that when she was a little girl she had knelt at the feet of Betty Zane, and listened
to the old lady as she told of her brother's capture by the Indian Princess, of the burning
of the Fort, and of her own race for life. I knew these stories by heart when a child.
Two years ago my mother came to me with an old note book which had been
discovered in some rubbish that had been placed in the yard to burn. The book had
probably been hidden in an old picture frame for many years. It belonged to my great-
grandfather, Col. Ebenezer Zane. From its faded and time-worn pages I have taken the
main facts of my story. My regret is that a worthier pen than mine has not had this
wealth of material.
In this busy progressive age there are no heroes of the kind so dear to all lovers of
chivalry and romance. There are heroes, perhaps, but they are the patient sad-faced
kind, of whom few take cognizance as they hurry onward. But cannot we all remember
some one who suffered greatly, who accomplished great deeds, who died on the
battlefield--some one around whose name lingers a halo of glory? Few of us are so
unfortunate that we cannot look backward on kith or kin and thrill with love and
reverence as we dream of an act of heroism or martyrdom which rings down the annals
of time like the melody of the huntsman's horn, as it peals out on a frosty October morn
purer and sweeter with each succeeding note.
If to any of those who have such remembrances, as well as those who have not, my
story gives an hour of pleasure I shall be rewarded.