In celebration of Women’s History Month, we decided to share a few notes about a notable Henderson ladies.
Nancy Morgan Hart was born around 1735 in or around the Yadkin River valley in North Carolina. As a child she learned those things that were required to survive in the wilderness. She became an excellent herbalist. She could cook, sew, and she could make soap and all of those things women needed to be able to do to make a home. She raised six sons and two daughters.
Nancy was domineering and in charge when it came to running the household. She was feisty, had a fearless spirit and believed in exacting vengeance on those that offended her or her family.
Aunt Nancy, as she was often called, was a cousin to Revolutionary War general Daniel Morgan, who commanded victorious American forces at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina on January 17, 1781.
She was not the most attractive woman to look at. She had scars on her face left over from when she had smallpox. She was tall and a bit awkward, raw boned with red hair and a left eye that seemed to never be looking where the right eye was looking or vice versa. This little problem did not hinder her marksmanship. This lady could shoot with extreme accuracy.
Once she was taking a bag of grain to the mill when a band of Tories forced her off of her horse, threw the bag of grain on the ground and stole her horse. She picked up that heavy bag and walked the rest of the way to the mill. It was about this time she started a new sport. Nancy would watch the river and when she saw Tories crossing, she would kneel down and shoot them while they were helpless. She ran up a score.
This story and others where found in a letter from Mrs. Louisa H. Kendall whose uncle was John Hart, son of Nancy Hart. She was quoting some of the stories that Nancy had told to John Hart’s wife.
Nancy Morgan Hart came here in 1803 and lived out her days in Henderson County. She was buried in the Hart Family cemetery.
This article was written by Tom Jake of the Henderson Depot Community Room. The Community Room hosts special events throughout the year including Guided Walking Tours, Spooks & Legends Tour, River Heritage Day and other special events aimed at educating the public about Henderson’s history. For more info visit www.hendersondepot.org