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Lydia Russell Bean
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Birth: Sep. 29, 1726
Richmond County
Virginia, USA
Death: 1788
Tennessee, USA

Lydia's brother was killed by Indians and she was taken captive. She was to be killed but an Indian woman named Nancy Ward was able to rescue her and get her back home to her family.

Changes to Cherokee society

As a Ghigau, Nancy had the power to spare captives. In 1776, following a Cherokee attack on the Fort Watauga settlement on the Watauga River (at present day Elizabethton, Tennessee), she used that power to spare a Mrs. William (Lydia Russell) Bean, whom she took into her house and nursed back to health from injuries suffered in the battle. Mrs. Bean taught Nanye-hi how to weave, revolutionizing the Cherokee garments, which at the time were a combination of hides and cloth bought from traders. But this weaving revolution also changed the roles of women in the Cherokee society, as they took on the weaving and left men to do the planting, which had traditionally been a woman's job.

Mrs. Bean also rescued two of her dairy cows from the settlement, and brought them to Nanye-hi. Nanye-hi learned to raise the cattle and to eat dairy products, which would sustain the Cherokee when hunting was bad.

The combination of weaving and raising of animals turned the Cherokee from a communal agricultural society into a society very similar to that of their European-American neighbors, with family plots and the need for ever-more labor. Thus the Cherokee began buying and selling slaves. Nanye-hi was among the first Cherokee to own black slaves.

Around the same time Sequoyah introduced the first written language for the tribe. A complete Bible was first printed in the 1830's, hence the Cherokee were considered one of the Five Civilized Tribes

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Family links: 
 Parents:
  William Russell (1677 - 1757)
  Martha Henley Russell (1692 - ____)
 
 Spouse:
  William Bean (1721 - 1782)
 
 Children:
  Robert Bean (1747 - 1793)*
  Jesse Bean (1750 - 1800)*
  Elizabeth Bean Dove (1764 - ____)*
  Sarah Bean Bowen (1768 - ____)*
  Russell Bean (1769 - 1829)*
 
 Sibling:
  George Russell (1720 - 1797)*
  Lydia Russell Bean (1726 - 1788)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Unknown
 
Created by: Ruth DeJa
Record added: Sep 13, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 58612708
 

Lydia is my 5th great grandmother. I am so proud of her, she was a brave and intelligent woman, a wonderful mother and wife. The Bean and Russell families of today are proud of her yet.
- Marilynn Miller
 Added: May. 25, 2017

- OkieFind
 Added: Apr. 2, 2017
Remembering Family. Lydia Russell Bean is my 5th great-grandmother and Nancy Ward is my 6th great-grandmother. Both strong women that I am proud to have as my ancestors.
- RhettaSue
 Added: Aug. 14, 2016
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