Anne Bailey

Extracted from Sketches of History, Life, and Manners in the United States by a Traveller
Published in 1826 by Anne Royall

And more than all this, I have seen the celebrated heroine, Ann Bailey, who richly deserves more of her country, than a name in its history.

This female is a Welch woman, and is now very old. At the time Gen. Lewis's army lay at the Point, a station on Kenhawa river, Ann would shoulder her rifle, hang her shot-pouch over her should, and lead a horse laden with ammunition to the army, two hundred miles distant, when not a man could be found to undertake the perilous task - the way thither being a perfect wilderness, and infested with Indians. I asked her if she was not afraid - she replied, "No, she was not; she trusted in the Almighty - she knew she could only be killed, and she had to die some time." I asked her is she never met with the Indians in her various journies, (for she went several times.) "Yes, she once met with two, and one of them said to the other let us kill her, (as she supposed, from the answer of the other,) no, said his companion, ___ dam, too good a soger, and let her pass:" but how, said I, did you find the way, - "Steered by the trace of Lewis's army, and I had a pocket compass too." "Well, but how did you get over the water courses?" Some she forded, and some she swam, on others she made a raft; she "halways carried a hax and a hauger, and she could chop as well has hany man;" such was her dialect. This is a fact that hundreds can attest. A gentleman informed, that while the army was stationed near the mouth of Elk, he walked down that river to where it intersects with Kenhawa, for the purpose of fishing; he had not remained long there before he heard a plunge in the water, and upon looking up, he discovered Ann on horseback swimming toward him; when the horse gained the landing, she observed, "cod, I'd like to a swum." She was quite a low woman in height, but very strongly made, and had the most pleasing countenance I ever saw, and for her, very affable. "And what would the General say to you, when you used to get safe to camp with your ammunition." "Why he'd say, you're a brave soldier, Ann, and tell some of the men to give me a dram." She was fond of a dram. When I saw the poor creature, she was almost naked; she begged a dram, which I gave to her, and also some other trifle. I never shall forget Ann Bailey. The people here repeat many sayings of hers, such as "the howl upon the helm on the bank of the helk" - that is, an owl on an elm upon the bank of Elk river.

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