By SAM TERRY
Jobe Publishing, Inc.
While residents of the thirteen American colonies were celebrating the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain, some of the earliest residents of Kentucky were yet uninformed about the world-changing news while they struggled for safety in the vast wilderness. On Sunday afternoon, July 14, 1776, Elizabeth and Fanny Calloway, daughters of Col. Richard Calloway, and Jemima Boone, daughter of Daniel Boone, were captured by Shawnee Indians while in their canoe on the Kentucky River a short distance from Ft. Boonesborough.
Daniel Boone, Samuel Henderson, John Holder, Flanders Calloway and four other pioneers formed a search party to rescue the girls who ranged in age from 14 to 16. Their search was aided by Elizabeth who broke twigs off bushes and tore small pieces of fabric from her dress which she dropped along the way. To give rescuers another clue, she impressed the print of her shoes where the ground would allow it. Ultimately, the girls were liberated when the rescuers surprised the Indians early one morning.
Days later, on August 7, Elizabeth and Samuel Henderson became the first couple married in settled Kentucky. s Squire Maugridge Boone, Jr., a younger brother of Daniel Boone, performed the ceremony. Elizabeth’s sister, Fanny Calloway, married John Holder and Jemima Boone married Flanders Calloway.
The dramatic tale became at least part of author James Fenimore Cooper’s 1826 historical novel, “The Last of the Mohicans.”
The following May 29, 1777, Fanny Henderson, daughter of Elizabeth and Samuel, was born at Fort Boonesboro, the first non-Native American child born to parents who were married in Kentucky.