Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fort Dearborn Massacre Survivor Cooper Who Settled In Detroit

The story of old Fort Dearborn told of the fate of members of the Cooper family:

"The story of John Cooper, surgeon's mate at Fort Dearborn, was similar in many of its details to that of others in the battle.  Cooper was accompanied by his wife and two young daughters... . Cooper was among the killed, and when the Indians made a rush for the women and children in the wagons, a young Indian boy attempted to carry off Isabella, but encountered so lively a resistance that he was obliged to throw her down.  He succeeded in scalping her and would have killed her outright had not an old squaw prevented him. The squaw, who knew the Cooper family, took Mrs Cooper and her children to her wigwam and cured the girl of her wound. The family remained in captivity two years when they were ransomed. They afterwards lived in Detroit. The mark of the wound on the girl's head caused by the young Indian's scalping knife was about the size of a silver dollar and of course remained with her through her life."

Some names and details have changed according to the EarlyChicago website:

Cooper, Ezekiel  settler who built a house on the N side of the river close to the Forks in 1809; with wife, Mary, had four children: James (1797), Isabella (1800), Anne (1806?), and Frances (1809?); died early in 1811...; later that year, Mary remarried discharged Fort Dearborn soldier Thomas Burns, and gave birth to Catherine...; only Mary, Isabella, and Catherine would survive the 1812 massacre... .
Cooper, Isabella  born in 1800; daughter of Ezekiel and Mary Cooper, stepdaughter to Thomas Burn...later married George Fearson of Detroit, younger brother of Mary Julia Fearson, wife of William Whistler... .

George Fearson was the son of John and Mary Amable Fearson.  There is a marriage listed between George Fearson and Elizabeth Cooper here.

United States Census, 1830
name: George Fearson
event place: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan Territory
page number: 39
nara publication number: M19
nara roll number: 69

George Fearson died in 1846 and Elizabeth (Cooper) Fearson died in 1847 according to records at Ancestry records.

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