Who was Isaac Zane?

We found Isaac Zane mentioned in the  petition of the descendants of John Ward, a white man captured by the Indians as a youth and raised among them.  Isaac Zane was involved, but how and why?  We also discovered he had received land.

In the US Serial set, ID ASP028 Pub.land64, Jan 11, 1802, we find the answer in the form of a “Confirmation of Indian grant, petition of Isaac Zane,” excerpted as follows.

Isaac Zane was made a prisoner by the Wyandot Indians when he was 9 years old with which nation he has ever since remained, having married an Indian woman and having had many children.  His attachment to the whites has subjected him to numberless inconveniences and dangers during the almost continual wars which existed between the US and the Indians until the peace of Greenville in 1795.

Prior to that period, a tract of land on which he now lives had been assigned to him by the Wyandot Indians and that the land when given to him was not thought to fall within the boundary of the US, which now appears to be the case. 

Two certificates, one signed by 5 Indian chiefs at a place called the Big Rock on Sept. 10, 1800, state that the Wyandot Nation of Indians alotted the said Zane a tract of land of 4 miles square on Mad River and that Zane had a pre-exemption right ever since the year 1758 to the lands of the Wyandot Nation.  The second certificate is given by Abraham Chapline, a gentleman of character in the State of Kentucky, who certifies that he was made a prisoner in the year 1780 by the Wyandot and that at that time the British Indians  were marching with formidable force to attack the Kentucky country.  The said Zane found it out and gave Mr. Chapline a gun and ammunition with directions what course to proceed to alarm the whites and the said Zane also purchased another prisoner from the Mingoe Indians which he gave $100 for and furnished him with a gun also to go with the same Chapline to alarm the Kentuckians, and that the said Zane was very friendly to the prisoners in general. 

The petition continues with testimony from the Indian agent that at a conference with the chiefs of the Wyandot in October of 1799, they confirmed that they had given Zane land 4 miles square called Big Bottom on the Mad River, a branch of the Great Miami.  It is noted that this is the location where “Zane now lives.”

Five Indian Chiefs sign their names, by their mark at Big Rock on September 16, 1800.

  • Sas-ta-red-zi
  • Sa-en-tes-con
  • Des-cha-ra-man
  • Sy-et-ta
  • Da-ri-on

About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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