Thursday, February 16, 2017

Deborah's Rock a love story


 Brandywine Creek above Baltimore Pike about 1905

NOTE; There are many stories of rocks in Delaware County about Indians and lost loves, Ravacoola in Glenolden and Annie's Rock in Clifton. Below is Deborah's story


The Story of the Tragic End of a Beautiful Indian Princess

Leaped Into Rushing Waters


Broken-Hearted Over the Death of Her Dusky Lover, She Brought External Rest in the Peaceful Water of the  Brandywine Near Chadd's Ford.

            "From a careful personal of local history and tradition handed down from our Heirs, the following article should interest all the lovers of ye olden times.
            When all Chester County was Nature's the great forest, stretched unbroken to the far west, and the red men reigned supreme.
            The Brandywine flows sluggishly, winding away among the hills; the forest trees extending their great arms from the high banks, throws dark shadows upon its surface.  Here was the favorite haunts of the Lenapes, one of the great Delaware tribes.
            Wawaset had just returned from the war path with many scalps and a prisoner, a young brave from a neighboring tribe.  He was bound to a pine tree in the midst of the camp to await a fate, on, so terrible.  He was weary from the long march, the thongs cut through the skin of his wrists, yet he never uttered one complaint. The camp fires were burning low, and the solitary guard was trying to warm himself by the embers.
            Presently a woman came silently from one of the wigwams.  It was Deborah, he daughter of Wawaset. Stealing softly through the night, she approached the captive.
            The girl was very handsome and in the darkness she appeared more like a spirit than human.
            "Modena," she whispered, "speak not and obey me," and without further words she cut the cords.  Taking him by the hand she led him quickly away among the forest trees. "Oh, I am so glad to be near you once again," said Deborah. "How came it that you were caught,  Every day I have gone to the white rock and waited for you, but you came not.  I was almost in despair"
            So sudden was the transformation from misery to joy, that the exuberant spirits of the Indian maiden were at their height.
            "I will tell you all soon, but now, we must fly while we may," whispered the brave.
            The guard had missed his prisoner, the alarm was raised and already the sound hear the shouts of the savaged as they rushed hither and thither in pursuit.  The night was damp and chilly, with a drizzling rain falling.  This fact rather aided them in their flight as the wet leaves gave out no sound.
        By following a glade through the hills they come to the creek at what is now called: Chadd's Ford.  Crossing they proceeded up the stream almost careless in there fancied freedom for they could not longer hear the shouts of the pursuers.  Then she told him how her father, ere another moon, was going to compel her to wed an old man, a cruel old brave, she could not love.  How her only hope was in his coming and so on.
            "You have saved my lift, fair one," replied Modena :and there is no thanks I can offer you that will re pay you, except my love.  Will you take that?
            History does not record her reply, but we can form an opinion.
            About midnight the two were resting seated on a fallen tree, when out of the stillness came the war whoop of the Lenapes and the deep voice of Wawaset shouted: "Surround them".
            There among the cedars was the chief, followed by a half dozen of his tribe, while others ran swiftly to either side.  Attempt at escape was useless.  Raising his club Modena stood in defiance to them all.  He had sworn to defend Deborah with hi life, now the time had come to prove his love.  The club fell again and again and at every blow a savage fell; but numbers told.  Overpowering him they literally cut him to pieces, his body rolling at the feet of the girl.  And she was compelled to see his scalp taken before her very eyes.
            Turning to her Wawaset sneered: "You ungrateful daughter.  How dare you defy me?  You are disgraced before the whole tribe.  Get up, you lazy hag, and march ahead.
            The girl hesitated a moment, gazing sadly at her dear friend, then with a cry like a frightened fawn she dashed to the cliff.  The placid waters of the Brandywine lay fifty feet below.  With one wild look and the sob of a broken heart she sprang into eternity.  There was a splash, a few circling eddies -- that was all.
            And to this day the high wall of rock that overlooks the historic stream at Cope's Foundries, bears her name, "Deborah's Rock."
            Two centuries have passed and the noble red man has been nearly driven from the earth; yet belated fisherman are startled to hear a rustling on the rocks above and see the spectral form of an Indian maiden, her dark hair waiving in the wind, poise on the brink a moment, then leap head long toward the water, but a mist seems to gather and the ghost vanishes ere it reaches the surface.                                           

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