Shawnee Captive: The Story of Mary Draper Ingles is the true story of heroic Mary Draper Ingles. In 1745, Mary moved with her parents to Draper's Meadow in the Shenandoah Valley. Here they hoped to finally have rich farmland and the freedom to worship freely--far from the greedy landlords of their native Ireland and the partisan rules of Quaker Pennsylvania. Mary and her family were industrious and strong, quickly learning skills to survive on the frontier. In 1750, at the age of seventeen, Mary Draper married twenty-year old Will Ingles-the first wedding of two white settlers in the region.
As more Europeans moved into the area, tension between the settlers and the Native Americans increased. Raids and killings by both sides became common. One day while the men were at harvest, a band of Shawnee warriors stormed Draper's Meadow, killing some settlers and burning the settlement to the ground. Taken captive were Mary, pregnant with her third child, her two young sons, and her injured sister-in-law.
Through intuition and courage Mary impressed her kidnappers almost
immediately. The captives were marched 800 miles over mountains to a Shawnee
village on the Ohio River, presumably to spend the rest of their lives among the
Shawnee tribe. But Mary vowed to escape and return to her husband and her
people. The story of this remarkable woman's harrowing and courageous trip home
places Mary Ingles at the pinnacle of American frontier heroes.