Betty Zane, born on July 19, 1759, in Virginia, was the daughter of Nancy and William Nolan Zane. In her early age, they moved to the area now called Wheeling, West Virginia. Ebenezer Zane, the brother to Betty, pioneered this area inside the turbulent Ohio Valley, which was home to Native Americans who started to become hostile as a result of encroachment on their land.
The colonists were defying the royal order which reserved land to the west of Appalachian Mountains for Native Americans. The attacking threat increased when the American Revolution started from the east; when the tribes living beyond these mountains wanted the British to abandon rebellion, and most of them begun to ally with the Britons.
Betty’s family together with other few families established Fort Henry and named it Patriot Fort Henry in 1774. This port was a parallelogram, 150 feet wide, and 356 feet long, on the sloping side overlooking Ohio River; now known as the Tenth and Main streets in Wheeling, West Virginia. The surrounding of this fort was a stockade fence that was twelve feet high, with a three feet walkway around the inside. As long as supplies last, this city was practically impenetrable.
This fort covered almost three-quarters of the acre, with a blockhouse on each corner, with bold picket lines, eight feet high, extending from each other. The enclosure had several cabins that each family used, and the main entrance was through the gateway on the side of the straggling village. Continue reading “Betty Zane Revolutionary Patriot”