Jemima Suggett Johnson
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Crazy4horses
N 38° 12.854 W 084° 36.318
16S E 709649 N 4232296
Quick Description: Jemima Suggett's DAR record: Rank: Patriotic Service Description: Carried water to defenders of Bryan's Station. Was the first to suggest bringing water, and led the brave women to the spring when it was surrounded by Indians
Location: Kentucky, United States
Date Posted: 5/22/2021 4:25:14 AM
Waymark Code: WM1493X
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 0

Long Description:
On the night of August 14, 1782, the fort was surrounded by six hundred Indians and a few Tories under the renegade Simon Girty. The enemy lay in ambush until the next morning, and the first garrison knew of their presence was when a part of their number made a noisy demonstration at one end of the fort. Old Indian fighters in the garrison at once surmised that this was a feint to distract their attention away from the main gate, at the other end of the fort and a few rods from the spring that supplied them with water, and that the main body of the Indians was in ambush waiting to attack that gate.

About this time it was discovered that there was no water left in the fort. This was most alarming, the water being needed not only for drinking, but to extinguish the fires set by the blazing arrows which it was expected the Indians would use. Not an Indian could be seen in the vicinity of the main gate, but every man and woman at the fort knew that the enemy lay in ambush there, waiting for an opportunity to attack the gate as soon as it should be left unprotected. For any man to pass through the gate meant almost instant death.

It was Jemima Johnson, who then proposed a plan that has marked her name as a heroine for all time. It had been the custom for the women in the fort to go to the spring every morning for the day’s water supply. It was believed that the Indians, who had come in large force to capture the fort, thought that their ambush was still unsuspected and would, therefore, not fire on the women if they went for water as usual, because that would betray their presence.

“My daughter Betsy and I will take the lead, if the others will follow,” she said, and every woman in the fort was ready. From the oldest grandam to the young girls, bearing buckets and tubs, they streamed out of the big gate, simulating a nonchalance that none of them felt, while the men, with their long rifles at the loopholes, peered through, scarcely daring to breathe. Back came the women with the vessels filled, and while there may have been a little water spilled through nervousness and possibly some little crowding at the gate, they entered the fort again in good order. Then the gate shut behind them and the Indians, believing that the entire garrison was at the opposite end of the fort, began their attack. The fight lasted two days and a night, and then word came that help was coming and the Indians retreated, bearing with them many dead, picked off by the long Kentucky rifles.

When Mrs. Johnson headed the band of water-carriers she left behind in his cradle, her youngest son, Richard Mentor Johnson, who afterward became Vice-President of the United States. It is a matter of historical record that a blazing arrow, shot into the fort by the Indians, set fire to his cradle and that his sister Betsy put out the blaze as she was passing water to the men on the stockade.
Patriot Name: Jemima Suggett Johnson

Type of Service Provided: Patriotic Service Fort defender

Cemetery Name: Payne Cemetery Great Crossing, Scott County, Kentucky, USA

Text of the Grave Marker:
Jemima Suggett Johnson

Grave Marker Type: Original Tablet Marker

Historical Background:
Siege of Bryan Station, Kentucky

Visit Instructions:
Post an origional photo of the specific grave in question. Feel free to photograph new angles or apsects of the site. Include any history not included in the inital waymark.
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Crazy4horses visited Jemima Suggett Johnson 7/15/2021 Crazy4horses visited it