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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor

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Ebenezer Zane

Fort Henry - Zane - A Stan Klos Company

ZANE, Ebenezer, pioneer, born in Berkeley county, Virginia, 7 October, 1747; died in Wheeling, Virginia, in 1811. He was of Danish descent. Zane made the first permanent establishment on Ohio river in 1770, on the present site of Wheeling, and built there a block-house called Fort Henry, from which he repelled several attacks that were made by the Indians during the Revolution, the last assault being in 1781.

He was a disbursing officer under Lord Dunmore, held several other civil and military posts, and attained the rank of colonel. He owned the land where the city of Zanesville now stands, on Muskingum river.

--His sister, Elizabeth Zane, born in Berkeley county, Virginia, about 1759; died in St. Clairsville, Ohio, about 1847, had returned from Philadelphia, where she had completed her education, to Fort Henry a short time before its siege by the Indians in September, 1777. Among its defenders were her brothers, Ebenezer and Silas. The ammunition in the fort having been exhausted, Ebenezer Zane remembered that there was a keg of powder in his house, sixty yards distant, but, the person that should endeavor to secure it would be exposed to the fire of the Indians. Every man in the fort offered to perform the perilous service but at this juncture Elizabeth Zane came forward and asked permission to go for the powder, giving as a reason that her life was of less value to the garrison than that of a man. She was so importunate that a reluctant consent was finally given. She went out of the gate of the fort, fearlessly passed the open space to her brother's house, which she entered, and, having secured the powder, retraced her steps amid a shower of Indian bullets, entering the fort in safety with her valuable prize. She was twice married, and resided at St. Clairsville, Ohio.

Appleton Encyclopedia Of American Biography
Corrections -  by Dorsey Ricks

First, the blockhouse that Zane built was not known as Fort Henry.  It was
only a blockhouse, easier to defend than a normal log cabin.  When the fort
was built it was a government built fort.  It began life with one name but
was later changed to Fort Henry after the revolution began.  It did incur
several attacks the last assault being in 1782, not 1781 as reported in the

Also, Zane's sister, Betty (Elizabeth) Zane returned to Fort Henry area in
1781 after the attack of that year.  She ran from the fort to Zane's
blockhouse to get the powder.  Eb Zane and his brother Jonathan had
remained in the blockhouse because he swore they (the Indians) would not
burn down his home again.  Another brother, Silas, was in the fort during
this siege which was  the last battle of the American Revolution.  Betty
Zane's birth date is likely wrong as well, but that is a common problem
with her.  She was 16 when she ran with the powder in 1782, you do the math.


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