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Fort Edward in Washington County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Jane McCrea

Fort Edward, NY

 

— July 27th, 1777 —

 
Jane McCrea Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, May 18, 2019
1. Jane McCrea Marker
Inscription.  Jane McCrea was a Fort Edward area resident in 1777 during the Saratoga Campaign. With the approach of the British army, Jane’s brother, Colonel John McCrea a supporter of the Patriot cause, evacuated his farm on the West bank of the Hudson River, located on West River Road in the Town of Moreau. Unbeknownst to the family Jane stayed behind to meet her fiancé David Jones, a lieutenant in a loyalist militia unit serving with Burgoyne's regulars. Jane went to the house of Sarah McNeil, grandmother of her friend Polly Hunter. On July 27th, Jane and Sarah travelled up the Fort Edward hill to meet up with the British Army. Spotting a group of Native Americans led by the Chief Duluth, the ladies ran back to the McNeil house to hide. The Indians found Sarah and Jane and pulled them out of the cellar. Jane was placed on a horse and Sarah was forced to walk as she was physically unable to ride. On the way to the British Army, a second group of Native Americans, led by the Chief LeLoup, confronted Duluth and tried to take Jane. A struggle ensued, and at least one shot was fired, killing Jane. As she was already dead the Indians scalped Jane and returned
Rogers Island Visitor Center image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, May 18, 2019
2. Rogers Island Visitor Center
to the British Army's camp. Lt. Jones recognized the scalp and then found Jane's body near the site of the current Fort Edward High School. He buried Jane along the East bank of the Hudson River and then resigned his commission, moving to Canada where he died a few years later.

After her death, many claimed that this atrocity spurred area volunteers to fight in the Patriot army and help turn the tide of the Revolution with their support at the Battle of Saratoga. Stories of the young maid's beauty grew. There are no known contemporary images of Jane and later ones have shown her hair to be many colors, usually blonde or red. Later entrepreneurs used Jane's memory to sell all sorts of items. Songs, paintings, and prints were among the most popular. Pictures of Jane McCrea’s house on Broadway were very good sellers. Fort Edward resident George Harvey felled the famous tree near where Jane had been killed, the “Jane McCrea Tree” in the mid Nineteenth Century and created thousands of Jane McCrea souvenirs. Among the most popular items from this forest of Jane McCrea Trees came souvenir snuff boxes and canes.

In 1822 as the Champlain Canal was under construction, Jane McCrea's remains were removed from the East Bank of the Hudson River and placed in the McNeil lot in the State Street Burying Ground in Fort Edward. This was done with full ceremony. Thirty years later Jane's niece allowed her remains to be transferred to the Sandy Hill and Fort Edward Union Cemetery. In the early Twenty-first Century Jane’s remains were twice disinterred for scientific and historical purposes. It was found that two sets of female remains were in the grave, one of which was positively identified as Sarah NcNeil. It is thought that when Jane was moved to State Street that the two sets of remains became comingled. It was also discovered that reports of souvenir seekers stealing her bones in 1852 were true; however, most of the second, younger skeleton are present in the Union Cemetery gravesite minus her skull and a few other bones.
 
Erected by Rogers Island Visitor Center, Fort Edward Historical Association, Old Fort House Museum.
 
Location. 43° 15.93′ N, 73° 35.239′ W. Marker is in Fort Edward, New York, in Washington County. Marker can be reached from Rogers Island Drive. In front of Rogers Island Visitors Center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Edward NY 12828, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rogers Island - Fort Edward, NY (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Rogers Island - Fort Edward, NY (a few steps from this marker); The Hudson River at Fort Edward, NY (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Hudson River at Fort Edward (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Hudson River at Fort Edward, NY (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Hudson River at Fort Edward, NY (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Hudson River at Fort Edward (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Edward War Memorial (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Edward.
 
Regarding Jane McCrea. A search for McCrea in HMdb will yield 7 other markers in Washington and Saratoga Counties regarding Jane McCrea.
 
Categories. War, US RevolutionaryWomen
 

More. Search the internet for Jane McCrea.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 23, 2019. This page originally submitted on May 21, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 77 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 21, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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