Mary Draper Ingles

Mary Draper Ingles

Re-enactment at the William and Mary Ingles Draper Farm. Image courtesy VisitRadford.com.

For 250 years, myth and legend have swirled around Mary Draper Ingles. At Glencoe Museum we’ll help you separate fact from fiction, understand the historical context for her capture, and learn the true story of her capture and remarkable escape.

The Capture

On July 30, 1755, a Shawnee war party attacked a homestead at Draper Meadows, killing several people and capturing Mary Draper Ingles – along with her sister-in-law and two young sons. The Shawnees led them on a harrowing month-long trek to their territory in what is now southern Ohio.

But it’s not Mary Draper Ingles’ capture that has made her a heroine of so many stories and dramatizations. Mary earned fame for her daring escape and courageous return on foot through the Appalachian wilderness.

The Escape

Mary Draper Ingles escaped her captors and followed rivers back to the New River Valley: first the Ohio, then the Kanawha, and finally the New. She walked more than 400 miles of wilderness in 42 days, crossing parts of what is now Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia.

Nearly dead of hunger and exhaustion, she finally reached a place along the New River that she recognized and began to shout for help. Adam Harmon heard her cries and rescued her – and the Mary Draper Ingles legend was born.

Learn More

The story of Mary Draper Ingles has been told – and embellished – in numerous publications and dramatizations. Visit Glencoe Museum to get the facts – the real Mary Draper Ingles story.