Tabitha Clay

Tabitha Clay

Virginia, USA
Death Aug 1783 (aged 15–16)
Mercer County, West Virginia, USA
Burial Bluestone, Mercer County, West Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 15099514 · View Source
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Daughter of Phoebe BELCHER & Mitchell Clay. In August of 1783. Mitchell had harvested his crop of small grain, and wanting to get the benefit of the pasture for his cattle off the ground on which his grain crop had grown, he asked two of his sons, Bartley and Ezekiel, to build a fence round the stacks of grain, while he went to search for game. While Mitchell Clay was out hunting, the two sons were building fences around the grain. The older daughter, along with some of the younger girls, was down at the river bank putting out the family wash. At the same time, a party of eleven Indians crept up to the edge of the field and shot Bartley Clay dead. The girls hearing the shot ran to the house for safety. Their path to the house was directly crossing where Bartley had fallen. An Indian attempted to scalp the boy and at the same time capture Tabitha Clay. She was trying to defend the body of her dead brother and prevent the Indians from scalping her brother. In this struggle, Tabitha was cut to pieces by the Indian with a butcher knife. The younger girls made it to the house safely. About this time, a man named Liggon Blankenship called at the Clay cabin. Mrs. Clay begged Blankenship to shoot the savage and save the life of her daughter Tabitha. But Blankenship ran away from the scene and reported to settlers on New River that the Clay family had been murdered by the Indians. The Indians got the scalps of Bartley and Tabitha Clay and captured Ezekiel Clay. Mrs. Clay took the bodies of Bartley and Tabitha to the house and laid them down on the bed. She took her small children and went to the home of a neighbor James Bailey, about six miles away. When Mitchell Clay returned from his hunting trip, he discovered the bodies of his family. Thinking that all of his family had been killed or captured, he left the cabin and headed for the settlements on the New River. A party of men under the leadership of Captain Matthew Farley went to the Clay cabin and buried the two children. They then pursued the Indian party. They caught up with the Indians in present day Boone County. Some of the Indians were killed. The pursuit party consisted of Captain Farley, Charles Clay, Mitchell Clay, Jr., James Bailey, William Wiley, Edward Hale, Isaac Cole, Joseph Hare, John French, and Captain James Moore. Charles Clay, brother of the two murdered children, killed an Indian who begged him in broken English not to be shot. Ezekiel Clay, the captive, was hurried away by the Indians who escaped the search party and was taken to the Indian town of Chillicothe, Ohio, where the third Clay child, Ezekiel, was burned at the stake by the savages.

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Tabitha Clay, killed by Indians. (1767-1783)

Gravesite Details Click on pictures for better view.
  • Created by: Ed Elam
  • Added: 31 Jul 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 15099514
  • Mark Linn
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Tabitha Clay (1767–Aug 1783), Find A Grave Memorial no. 15099514, citing Clay Memorial Park, Bluestone, Mercer County, West Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Ed Elam (contributor 46629771) .