Betty Zane passing her retrieved supply of gunpowder to the Fort Henry defenders, via Wikipedia.

Imagine running through an open fire of gunshots, clutching onto the supply of gunpowder in your hands for your dear life. Your clothes are pierced, but you are miraculously unharmed as no bullet has struck you – that is the story of Betty Zane, the 15-year-old American Frontier Heroine whose precious load of gunpowder had saved Fort Henry in 1782.

Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Zane was born on July 19, 1765, in Virginia before moving to the town of Wheeling, West Virginia which was founded by her brothers, Ebenezer, Silas and Jonathan. It was in September 1782, when Betty had returned from schooling in Philadelphia when Wheeling was besieged by Native Americans who were allies of the British. The inhabitants sought refuge in Fort Henry but had not secured an adequate supply of gunpowder to continue their defence until relief would arrive.

As legend foretold, Betty had stepped up to retrieve some from her brother’s fortified house, allegedly stating that ‘’Tis better a maid than a man should die.’ The supply she retrieved enabled the defenders to not only successfully hold off the Indians and British until support arrived, but also solidify her tale in American history.

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