A "Signal Stroke of Providence" - October 17
- 2013 17 Oct
Her beautiful, long hair was scalped off her head by Indians after she was shot. This was the fate of Jane McCrea, whose loyalist fiancé David Jones had only weeks earlier joined "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne, the British General marching with 5,000 troops from Canada to Albany, New York. Capturing Fort Ticonderoga, Burgoyne headed down the Hudson River Valley, making a treaty with the Mohawk Tribe to terrorize American settlements. When Indians returned to camp with a scalp of beautiful long hair, David Jones recognized it as his fiancée's. This resulted in an outrage that forced Burgoyne to tell the Indians to show restraint. Insulted, the Indians left Burgoyne stranded deep in the forest. Jane McCrea's death, later immortalized in James Fenimore Cooper's novel, "The Last of the Mohicans," rallied Americans and resulted in General Burgoyne's defeat at Saratoga. News of his surrender on OCTOBER 17, 1777, helped convince France to join the War. Considered one of the most important battles in world history, General George Washington wrote to his brother John Augustine the next day: "I most devoutly congratulate my country, and every well-wisher to the cause, on this signal stroke of Providence."