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02 November 2016

#30DayFHWChallenge Day 2



Day 2: Think of your ancestor as a character in a novel, and describe him or her in a few short paragraphs. What color are her eyes? What is she wearing? How does she carry herself? What kind of voice does she have?

Thinking of an ancestor as a character in a novel is easy when said ancestor IS a character in a novel.  The above illustration is Howard Chandler Christy's interpretation of how Jonathan Zane looked. Jonathan Zane was my 4th great-grandfather on my Dad's side.  Jonathan, along with his older brothers Col. Ebenezer Zane and Silas Zane, settled Wheeling, WV in 1769 along with some others from the Moorefield, Hardy Co. WV area. Of course both were in VA at that time. Wheeling was first called Zanesburg but they changed it at some point. I've also seen his character described in other books. Since I know better than to inadequately try to better what someone has done, I will describe him as quoted.

Two men in the brown garb of woodsmen approached. One approached the travelers; the other remained in the background, leaning upon a long, black rifle.

Thus exposed to the glare of the flames, the foremost woodsman presented a singularly picturesque figure. His costume was the fringed buckskins of the border. Fully six feet tall, this lithe-limbed young giant had something of the wild, free grace of the Indian in his posture.

He surveyed the wondering travelers with dark, grave eyes.
The Last Trail, Zane Grey

At one point in the book, his own brother says, "Jonathan does not seem to realize that women exist to charm, to please, to be loved and married. Once we twitted him about his brothers doing their duty by the border, whereupon he flashed out: 'My life is the border's: my sweetheart is the North Star!"

Zane Grey describes the brothers as similar in appearance. "Colonel Zane laid his hand on his brother's shoulder, and thus they stood for a moment, singularly alike, and yet the sturdy pioneer was, somehow, far different from the dark-haired borderman."

And the woman in the book who falls in love with him, describes him as follows:
He was clad from head to foot in smooth, soft buckskin which fitted well his powerful frame. Beaded moccasins, leggings bound high above the knees, hunting coat laced and fringed, all had the neat tidy appearance due to good care. He wore no weapons. His hair fell in a raven mass over his shoulders. His profile was regular, with a long, straight nose, strong chin, and eyes black as night. They were now fixed intently on the valley. The whole face gave an impression of serenity, of calmness.
Helen was wondering if the sad, almost stern, tranquility of that face ever changed, when the baby cooed and held out its chubby little hands. Jonathan's smile, which came quickly, accompanied by a warm light in the eyes, relieved Helen of an unaccountable repugnance she had begun to feel toward the borderman. That smile, brief as a flash, showed his gentle kindness and told that he was not a creature who had set himself apart from human life and love.
The Last Trail, Zane Grey

In Myers' History of West Virginia, Sylvester Myers quotes
De Hass' Extracts from Withers' Border Wars
Ebenezer Zane's Brothers.
(De Hass' Extracts from Withers' Border Wars.)
In the spring of 1771 Jonathan and Silas Zane visited the west and made explorations during the summer and fall of that year. Jonathan was, perhaps, the most experienced hunter of his day in the west. He was a man of great energy of character, resolution, and restless activity. He rendered, efficient service to the settlements about Wheeling in the capacity of sp3^ [sic] He was remarkable for earnestness of purpose and energy and inflexibility of will, which often manifested itself in a way truly astonishing. Few men shared more of the confidence and more of the respect of his fellow men than Jonathan Zane. He was one of the pilots in Crawford's expedition, and it is said, strongly admonished the unfortunate commander against proceeding; as the enemy were very numerous and would certainly defeat him. He died in Wheeling, at his residence, a short distance above the site of the old first ward public school. He left large landed possessions, most of which were shared b}^ [sic] his children.
 Benjamin Blumel, in The Zanes: A Frontier Family, also quotes Withers, saying, "The brothers, Ebenezer, Silas and Jonathan, who settled Wheeling, were also men of enterprise, tempered with prudence, and directed by sound judgment. Ready at all times, to resist and punish the aggression of the Indians, they were scrupulously careful not to provoke them by acts of wanton outrage, such as were then too frequently committed along the frontier."

Blumel also quotes a genealogical manuscript by Alma A. Martin, saying, "While Jonathan Zane was involved in many battles with the Indians he did not consider himself an Indian fighter or killer. There is a family story that Jonathan was sitting peacefully in a tavern in Wheeling, in the later days, when a stranger came up to him and asked how many Indians he had killed. Jonathan was so angry and insulted that he got up and walked out without finishing his drink."  At one point in the book Blumel refers to Jonathan Zane as "Deathwind" but he was NOT known by that name. Jonathan as well as his Zane siblings got along with certain tribes, such as the Wyandot tribe of Chief Tarhe. Tarhe's daughter fell in love with and married Jonathan Zane's brother. So the Zane family definitely didn't have problems with all tribes, certain ones, yes. Especially the ones the British soldiers stirred to attack Ft. Henry in Sept. 1777 and Sept. 1782. Col. Ebenezer Zane also had a guide named Tomepomehala who accompanied Jonathan Zane and Ebenezer Zane's son-in-law, John McIntire, on their survey of what became Zane's Trace in southern Ohio to Maysville, KY.

The man known as Deathwind, le vent de la mort (French), or Atelang (Lenape) was Lewis Wetzel. Wetzel was well known by the Native Americans and his scalp, had someone taken it, would have been a major coup. He had a reputation for having little patience or mercy. His parents and sisters had been killed by members of a tribe which left him angry.  

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