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A Pioneer Heroine Known As "Mad Anne Bailey"

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The 1700s were a time of uncertainty, pioneers trying to survive, and some heroes and heroines doing their best to fight for a cause.

"Mad Anne Bailey" Pioneer Heroine

"Mad Anne Bailey" Pioneer Heroine

The Pioneer Heroine

Anne Hennis Trotter Bailey was born in 1742 in Liverpool, England, and immigrated to Staunton, Virginia as an orphaned teenager to live with relatives. Anne would go on to become famous as a famous frontier scout, messenger, savior of the Clendenin Settlement (today, Charleston, W. Virginia, and famous for her storytelling to the pioneer settlers.

In 1765 Anne married Richard Trotter, who was serving as a volunteer in the Dunmore War. Together they had a son, William, born 1767. Unfortunately, he was killed at the Battle of Mt. Pleasant in October 1774. Anne was furious and vowed revenge. So Anne left her son with a neighbor, donned buckskin clothing, grabbed her rifle, powder pouch, and hatchet, and set off to spy for the American Revolution.in the Shenandoah Valley. She filed reports of Indian activities or of the Indians who had sympathies with the British.

All along her routes, she recruited men to join the American conflict, and even after the war she continued to serve as a frontier scout and message of the forts. In 1785 Anne married John Bailey who was serving at Ft. Lee (today Charleston, W. Virginia). The two of them served as counts for the fort.

It was 1791 during an Indian siege that powder ran low and someone was needed to ride to Ft. Union for more powder. Without a moment's hesitation, Anne volunteered to ride the 100 miles through Indian lines and a hard trail to get the powder. Three days later, exhausted she returned to Ft. Lee. Anne was given the black horse she rode by the fort. She named the horse "Liverpool" after her hometown. Anne became an instant folk hero but she ignored the praise as simply something that had to be done.

Ft. Lee, today Charleston, W. Virginia

Ft. Lee, today Charleston, W. Virginia

"Mad Anne" and the Shawnee Indians

On one of Anne's rides between the forts, she was being chased by some Shawnee Indians led by Chief Cornstalk. She realized they were gaining on her, so she dismounted her horse and hid in a hollowed-out log. As the Indians searched for her and one of them even sat on the very log she was hiding in; and they finally left, taking her horse with them. The Indians set up camp not far from her hiding place. Anne waited till dark, and then she crept into the camp and 'stole' her horseback. A short distance away, she began to scream at the top of her lungs and kept it up for some time. The Indians thought she was processed and refused to go near her. They never bothered her again on her trips through the frontier. The Shawnee gave Anne a special nickname, "white squaw of Kanawha."

Anne Lived in the Forest for Twenty Years

After her husband, John, died, Anne gave her home up and preferred to live in the wilderness. One of her favorite places to rest was a cave at thirteen-mile creek, but she was getting older, and she moved with her son on his new farm in Gallipolis, Ohio, where her son built her a cabin of her own so she could enjoy her independence.

Anne died peacefully in 1825, surrounded by her family. She was first buried in the Trotter Cemetery in Ohio but was later reinterred in Mt. Pleasant Park in West Virginia. A monument was erected in her honor, and a mural is painted of her deeds. She was loved as a storyteller and got her name "mad Anne" because of her volatile temper. All who knew her said she could drink and swear like a man.

In 1861 Charles Robb dedicated a poem in her honor. Anne was fiercely independent and a true heroine of the American Revolution.

Anne Bailey Obituary

Anne Bailey Obituary

Poster of Anne Bailey

Poster of Anne Bailey

Anne Bailey Marker

Anne Bailey Marker

Shawnee Indian Chief Cornstalk

Shawnee Indian Chief Cornstalk

Comments

Liz Westwood from UK on November 06, 2020:

This is an interesting biographical and historical account. In this article you have brought history to life.

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on November 06, 2020:

Thanks for your visit, Rosina. I truly appreciate it.

Rosina S Khan on November 05, 2020:

This is an interesting account of Mad Anne Bailey who was known for her true heroic pioneer deeds. The memorial built in her honor looks gorgeous. Thanks for sharing, Fran.