Thomas, James and Stephen
Thomas, James and
Stephen Osborne, who are thought to have been brothers probably moved to
the Clinch from someplace in North Carolina. Stephen settled at Osborne's
Ford (now Dungannon) and Thomas and James in lower Castlewood. The
old log home of James Osborne is still standing just behind the Quillen
home in lower Castlewood and it was in this house he was living when his
daughter Lucretia was captured and carried away by the Shawnees.
The home of Mrs. Russell Harman is built on the spot where Thomas Osborne
was living when killed by the Indians. This tragedy occurred sometime
prior to August 17, 1790.
that the attack on the Thomas Osborne family came early on a morning of
a very foggy day. Upon arising it was found that some livestock was
missing and a bound boy was sent to look for them. He was said to
have been on a hill slightly to the northeast of the house when the fog
lifted and saw the Indians approaching the house. He lay flat on
the ground until the Indians were gone and thus escaped notice and capture.
Thomas Osborne went to the door of the home and was shot while standing
in the door, Lucretia Osborne, niece of Thomas and daughter of his brother,
James, was visiting in the home. She fled the house and started toward
her own home about a mile away across the hill. The Indians pursued
and captured her in a cornfield just east of the house, Mrs. Minnie Osborne,
wife of Thomas, and a "bound girl" named Betsy Walls were apparently captured
in the house.
The Indians quickly
started with their captives up a narrow hollow in a southwesterly direction
toward the present Bangor where Clinch River is shallow and easily forded,
which would have put the river between them and the settlement quickly
and thus on a direct course to their towns north of the Ohio River.
After traveling a very short distance up the narrow hollow they observed
that Mrs. Osborne was lame and they then and there tomahawked and scalped
her under a large honey locust tree that stood well into the memory of
those living in the area today.
The family of James
Osborne had long since given Lucretia up for dead, except her mother, who
it is said looked every day at a path where she would appear if she ever
returned. One day as the mother gazed at the path longingly her faith
was rewarded for walking along the path was her daughter Lucretia and a
strange man who turned out to be her husband.
James Fraley, a
militia Indian spy who many times fought the Indians on the frontier, lived
about a mile from the Thomas Osborne home. In his pension statement
filed in Floyd County, KY, in 1834; he has this to say:
(Castlewood) were attacked and the Indians killed Thomas Osborne, and Minnie,
his wife, which I helped bury in the same coffin. They took two girls
prisoners, Lucretia Osborne, niece of Thomas, and Betsy Walls. In
spite of all that could be done they took off the girls to Canada and kept
Lucretia Osborne four years. Betsy Walls was killed by the Indians
beating her on the head, Lucretia Osborne was exchanged and brought to
Detroit. She there married one Armstrong, who brought her back to
Virginia, and from whom I learned the fate of Betsy Walls."
In Russell County
Court Order Book 1, page 207, dated 17th August, 1799, is this entry: "On
motion of James and Stephen Osborne, letters are granted them for administration
of the estate of Thomas Osborne, deceased."
In reference to
the "bound" children of Thomas Osborne, Russell County Court Order Book
1, page 29, dated April 18, 1787, reads: "...Two female children of James
Walls are 'apprenticed' to Thomas Osborne."