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 Beautiful Belmont, Part 47 -- The Story of Elizabeth Zane.

by John Salisbury Cochran.

See previous entry: Beautiful Belmont, Part 46 -- Remembering Robert E. Lee.

What a haven from the strife and anxieties of life is a graveyard. In the upper end of Walnut Grove Cemetery, the dead of recent generations lay peacefully and quietly side by side. Lower down, the Indian mound, at the time we were there, covered the dead of a race of people long since gone. No matter how many ages intervened between the deaths and burials of these two races, their silence was all the same, their sleep equally profound.

Inside the brick wall, in the southwest corner, we found the grave of Elizabeth Zane, pointed out to me by our grandfather, who knew her well. Nothing but a little raised mound of earth marked her resting place, no monument yet erected to this truly great Revolutionary era heroine. Minerva asked me for details of her life, and I told her that our grandfather, who was about four years her senior, had said that she was tall, willowy, graceful and good looking. She was entirely fearless, always enterprising, very athletic and could run like a deer. She was a dead shot with a rifle and a fine horseback rider. With another female companion about as daring, she was one day hunting on horseback near what is now Tiltonville, about five miles above Martins Ferry, up the Ohio River, when they came across a large wildcat. Elizabeth Zane, without dismounting, shot it dead from a large tree, bringing it home with her.

Grandfather had described her as a woman of considerable polish and great independence. She acquired these qualities no doubt in the east, where she was born and raised, and in the boarding school at Philadelphia. He described her as always cool and collected, and ever ready to take things as she found them. Having great self-confidence, she believed there was always some way to overcome obstacles. He regarded her as a remarkable woman, and said she grew somewhat stout in her later years. She died in the latter part of 1828, on the farm adjoining our grandfather's, at about the age of 63.

Minerva asked what my grandfather had told me about whether it was Mollie Scott, and not Elizabeth Zane, who had carried the gunpowder during the attack on Fort Henry. I told her that grandfather said the story was ridiculous, that only after many years had anyone ever disputed that Elizabeth Zane was the heroine of that dangerous exploit, and that he had more than once talked with Elizabeth and Mollie about it, and others at the fort at the time, including Mrs. Cruger, and all had made the same statement -- that it was carried by Elizabeth Zane.

Our grandfather was, before and after the siege of Fort Henry, a frequent visitor of the fort on his hunting and scouting expeditions. Neither Mollie Scott nor any of her descendants have ever claimed she carried the gunpowder.

"Elizabeth was married twice, if I am correctly informed." said Minerva. "Can you tell me of her descendants?"

I explained that her first husband was a Scottish gentleman by the name of Ephraim McLaughlin, by whom she had five children, all daughters. The eldest, Mary, married Edward Hadsel of Marshall County, West Virginia; Sarah married a wealthy gentleman by the name of Paul in Natchez, Mississippi; Rebecca married George Brown of Martins Ferry, Ohio; Miriam married a Mr. Morgan, and the youngest, Hanna, was the wife of Ebenezer Martin, the founder of Martins Ferry, formerly Martinsville. "Our friend Miss Kate Martin is one of their children," I pointed out. After the death of Mr. Martin's first wife, Hanna, he married Minerva Zane, who was a daughter of Jonathan Zane. She is the mother of Rebecca Martin Van Pelt, John Lee Van Pelt, Isaac Martin, Lucian Martin, and Mrs. Will Wood.

Elizabeth Zane's second husband was Jacob Clarke, who was well-to-do and who survived her a number of years. There were two children by this marriage, Catherine and Ebenezer. Catherine was the mother of Jacob Thomas, of the firm of Stone & Thomas, merchants in the city of Wheeling. Thomas Stone of that same firm married her daughter, Elizabeth. Ebenezer Clarke married a Miss Hayward, and by that union had many children. One of their sons, Captain Taft Clarke, was a soldier in the Mexican War and also in the Civil War. Another, Ebenezer, also fought in the Civil War. "Daniel Clarke of Martins Ferry is their son," I added. Daniel Clarke was subsequently mayor of Martins Ferry. His family remained in that city. Two of his daughters, Miss Nora and Miss Verne, taught in the public schools. His son, Roy Clarke, was later a United States soldier in the war in Cuba.

See next entry: Beautiful Belmont, Part 48 -- A Trip Back to the Future.

For the table of contents and first entry in this series, see: Beautiful Belmont, Part 01 -- Table of Contents and Brief Introduction.

This entry is adapted from Bonnie Belmont: A Historical Romance of the Days of Slavery and the Civil War, by John Salisbury Cochran, which was published originally in 1907. The book has been reedited extensively for inclusion in the Pierian Press Fulltext eBooks database, and is included on the Stratton House Inn Web site by special permission. This special edition of Beautiful Belmont is licensed for use ONLY on this Web site. It may not be copied or downloaded, but may be used for educational purposes and personal pleasure under fair-use provisions via this Web site. Please note that this Stratton House Inn iteration of the book does NOT include the subject headings assigned each chapter for use in the Fulltext eBooks database.

CO-AUTHOR: Wall, C. Edward. (Editor)
CO-AUTHOR: Schultheiss, Tom. (Asst. Editor)

DATABASE: Fulltext eBooks: Copyright (c) 2000 The Pierian Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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