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  • Writer's pictureCathryn Stanley

Author Alan Fitzpatrick to tell story of ‘forgotten’ Zane brother

ST.CLAIRSVILLE – The Belmont County Heritage Museum, 101 E. Main St. in St. Clairsville, invites you to join them for an evening with Alan Fitzpatrick, author of The Untold Story of Isaac Zane, White Eagle of the Wyandots. Fitzpatrick will present the life story of Isaac Zane, the forgotten youngest brother of the storied pioneer Zane family. The presentation will begin at 6:30 pm on Thursday, Oct. 28. Copies of Fitzpatrick’s books will be available for purchase. Admission is free. Donations will be accepted.

The Untold Story of Isaac Zane, White Eagle of the Wyandots is the third book in a trilogy written about the little-known history of white captives taken prisoner by Native Americans during the frontier wars of the latter part of the 18th century.

It was during those wars that tribal Clan Mothers mandated warriors bring captives back to villages for adoption, ransom, and trade. In contrast, colonial militiamen took no captives but rather killed Native men, women, and children as a means of “ethnic cleansing” the land they wished to possess.

Hundreds of white captives were taken to Native villages deep in the Ohio Country and never returned to colonial society. Consequently, they were believed to be dead, when in fact, we now know they were not.

The first book of the trilogy, The White Indians broke ground exploring the previously unknown number of captives taken by warriors to their villages where most were adopted into the tribes and assimilated.

The second book, Captives and Kin in the Ohio Country explored what happened to captives once they arrived in Native villages. This book delved into adoption ceremony, psychological assimilation, and why adoptees developed kinship ties that led to fulfilling lives in Native society, which was the reason why they did not leave when they had the opportunity to do so.

The third book of the trilogy is, The Untold Story of Isaac Zane, White Eagle of the Wyandot. It follows Isaac Zane from his capture in 1763 at the age of nine in the South Potomac River Valley during Pontiac’s War to his adoption by the Wyandot at Detroit, and his subsequent entry into the Wyandot warrior society at Upper Sandusky. Isaac was adopted, assimilated, married, and fought as a warrior against colonial frontiersmen to protect his family, clan, and tribe.

Isaac Zane never returned to white society. This book debunks the fanciful claims of historian apologists who concocted an imaginative narrative of Isaac Zane the pacifist Zane brother. Due to their deep-seated bias against Native Americans, they could not accept that a white man from such a revered Wheeling frontier family would “turn his back on his own people to live with savages.”

The Untold Story of Isaac Zane, White Eagle of the Wyandots meticulously debunks the false claims in American archives surrounding Isaac’s life. In return, it reveals his life story from Wyandot research sources; the people and place where Isaac was taken in 1763, the Wyandot Nation of the Ohio Country.

About the author: Having been born and raised in Canada, Alan Fitzpatrick has been a native of West Virginia since 1973 when he graduated from Kent State University in psychology and became employed at the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville as a Classifications Counselor. Since then, he has made the Wheeling area his home and ran a retail carpet business for 33 years before retiring. Alan has always been fascinated by the early frontier history of the Upper Ohio Valley, and in 1997, he was a founding member of “Fort Henry Days,” a yearly living-history commemoration and re-enactment of the 1782 last battle of the American Revolution. The event is held at Wheeling’s Oglebay Park every Labor Day weekend. Alan has written four non-fiction early-American history books dealing with the conflict between Native-Americans and colonials during the tumultuous period of the late 1700’s. They include Wilderness War on the Ohio, In Their Own Words, and The Place of the Skull.

For more information, call the Belmont County Heritage Museum at 740-298-7020.

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