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Monday, June 20, 2016

Georgia #RevWar Heroines Trilogy: Hannah Clark



2 – Hannah Harrington Clark

Hannah Harrington Clark (b. 1737) moved with her husband Elijah Clark from North Carolina to the Ceded Lands (or “Distressed Territories,” according to missionary evangelists) of Georgia in the fall of 1773. Described as a “large, muscular” woman, Hannah, then the mother of several young children, was known to be quiet but efficient and authoritative. 

Reconstructed Clark cabin at Elijah Clark State Park, Lincolnton

The family settled on Red Lick Creek, a fork of Long Creek. The fort they established became known as Clark’s Camp or Clark’s Station, and the creek Clark’s Creek. Clark called it “Woburn.” Wild grapes, oats, cane and peavines flourished in forests burned off annually by Creek Indians, streams teemed with shad and trout, and flocks of wild pigeons could take two days to pass over. Yet the area that became Wilkes County in 1777 seethed with unrest against the Indians as well as British Loyalists. Clark became a leader of Wilkes County militia serving every three months from November 1776 to June 1780, leaving Hannah to guard the home front during a time backwoods atrocities rivaled those depicted by the Mel Gibson movie “The Patriot.”

Hannah was not one to be cowed by British reprisals. One winter she sewed a dozen fine, frilled-bosom shirts for Elijah, only to have a maid reveal their smokehouse hiding spot. Hannah didn’t forget the shirt incident. After Elijah was wounded in the first siege of Augusta, she rode fifty miles with twins in her saddle to his camp. As her house burned at the hands of Tories, British soldiers accosted her and tried to take the only item she saved, a quilt made by her daughters. She refused to give it up even when the Tories wounded her horse. 

Colonel Elijah Clark
Although Hannah followed her husband’s troops in the eleven-day, 1780 civilian exodus to safety on North Carolina’s Watauga River, she returned to Georgia with him before war’s end. Hannah was said to be with Col. Clark when the British surrendered at the second siege of Augusta. She lived to see her son John, who had fought alongside his father, twice become governor of Georgia.

12 comments:

  1. How many incredible women like this never had their story told? Gosh, she's amazing. I think it comes from complete dedication to one thing - family, God, country... and not holding on to the things that we put so much emphasis instead (material possessions, entertainment, the easy life).

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  2. Agreed, Debra! So few of us modern folk would be prepared to make it during Colonial days. When I was studying the GA militia troops I was shocked how much ground they would cover so fast, mostly over Indian trials!

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  3. This post is great Denise. There certainly were some amazing women in America's history.
    Blessings, Tina

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    1. Thanks, Tina! Yes indeed. My third post in this GA Heroines trilogy will feature the woman who inspired my latest Colonial fiction ... Nancy Hart. :)

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  4. I loved Jimmy Carter's book, In the Hornet's Nest, which featured Clark and his wife. Great article Denise!

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    1. I read his book about growing up in Plains and used it for research for WHITE: Book One of The Restoration Trilogy (1920s back story). I remember being so surprised to hear he'd written a Rev War novel! I still need to read it.

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  5. I love the cabin and stories like this. She was a strong woman.

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    1. There's something so satisfying about the simplicity of log cabins. I love them, too!

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  6. Hannah is the perfect example of the strong, brave, tenacious women who were so instrumental in our country's struggle for freedom. So glad to read her story!
    Connie

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  7. Glad you found it interesting, Connie! If possible, Nancy Hart was even more fascinating. She's coming in August. :)

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