Brice Russell Family Scalped and Left For Dead

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Story by unknown origin - family tree documents. For more information about the Brice Russell family please fill free to write or email. Christy Westell,   6218 Inway Dr., Spring, TX 77389
    cwestell@flex.net


Brice Russell was born in Scotland, date not known, but in the 16th century. He was educated for a minister in the High Church of England, Presbyterian. He fled from that country to America in the day of the Presection. There were four of the Russell brothers. Brice landed in Virginia and never heard of his brothers again. The Russells of the New England states and of N. Carolina are supposed to be of the same family.

In those days the parents called a son to the ministry and educated him for that purpose. Brice was selected by his parents to be a minister, but never preached. The bible which his father gave him when he started to America was, in 1900, in the possession of his great grandson, Rev. G.B.
Russell of West Point, MS. The bible was published in 1648, perhaps the oldest bible in the country.

Brice moved to the Watanga Valley (perhaps Sullivan Co., in E. TN) the beginning of the Revolutionary war.

He married Jane Thompson.  Their  children were:
1 - George Russell (killed by Indians?)
2 - Heugh Russell   
3 - Jane Russell     m. George Birdwell
4 - Rachel Russell    m. Joseph Birdwell
5 - Isabelana Russell    m. Raif Nailor
6 - Polly Russell
7 - James Russell   
8 - Andrew Russell    m. Agnes Martin
9 - Brice Russell    m. Susan Phillips

The mother of this family, Jane Thompson Russell, was scalped by the Indians and left for dead, she was found by some negro children who reported to the white family nearby. The white family took her in till her
own family could come for her. She was scalped down to the ears and lived for years afterwards. This is one of two cases only in history of ones living after being scalped. At the time Jane T. Russell was scalped her son George was supposed to have been killed by the Indians as he was never
seen again.  At the same time two of her daughters, Rachel and Isabelana,  were carried away captives to Detroit, MI and kept until they were grown.  The girls were between 8 and 12 years old years old. During their captivity they were not mistreated except to be made slaves to work for theIndians.

They were made to "run the gaunlet" between two rows of Indians who had clubs which they tried to use on the victims, if they lived they were not bothered again. Rachel, being the older and stronger would fight
back - despairing of ever being able to escape, and preferring death to captivity all of her life, she determined at the first provocation to kill an Indian, this she did thinking they would kill her, but to her suuprise they treated her better and called her brave woman.

Raif Nailor, a Frenchman, also a captive, planned his escape and told the girls of his plans. If they wished to take chances with him, they would make the attempt together. The girls agreed. On the night set to start, the Indians all asleep, as near one o'clock as they could guess, they slipped away. Taking a horse which they had selected to assist them in their desperate undertaking, they made all possible speed. Before the close of the second day, they heard the Indians and dogs on their trail. Hastily holding a consutation, it was decided that Rachel being the stronger of the girls should take her chances, while Raif took the younger girl on the horse to make the run for their lives. If they escaped they would return for Rachel. Rachel hid in a large hollow log, she heard both Indians and dogs cross over the log several times that day and night. Nailor and Isabelana made their escape and after two days he returned to find Rachel.
After three months and a perilous journey they reached the Watanga Valley.

Their mother, who had been scalped, told her husband that she had a premonition that the girls would be home and for him to go to the river to meet them.  There had never been a word concerning the girls since they disappeared.

Both girls married and went on to have families of their own.
The younger girl Isabelana married the Frenchman, Raif Nailor.

Story by unknown origin - family tree documents. For more information
about the Brice Russell family please fill free to write or email.
    Christy Westell
    6218 Inway Dr.
    Spring, TX 77389
    cwestell@flex.net

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