Lydia Bean (Russell)

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Lydia Bean (Russell)

Also Known As: "Lydia"
Birthplace: North Farnham Parish, Rappahanock County, Virginia
Death: Died in German Creek, Grainger County, Tennessee
Place of Burial: United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Lt Col William James Russell, Sr. and Martha Graydon / Russell
Wife of Capt. William Bean
Mother of Mordecai Bean; William R. Bean; George Bean; Robert Bean; Jesse Bean and 5 others
Sister of Capt. George Russell; John Russell; Jemima Douglas-Sevier; General William James Russell Jr.; Henry Russell and 4 others

Managed by: Private User
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About Lydia Bean (Russell)

Capt. William Bean, Lydia Russell, c1744

Pittslvania, Va pioneers of Tenn. Wm b Northcumberland Va d Washington Tn Capt. William Bean, Lydia Russell, c1744

Pittsylvania, Va first white settler west of the Alleghenies; companion of Daniel Boone c1760.


Lydia (Russell) Bean (1726-1788), William's wife, was captured along with 13 year old Samuel Moore in July 1776 by hostile Cherokee Indians prior to an attack on the Wataugu settlement. She was intercepted as she made her way from her home on Boone's Creek to Sycamore Shoals. She was sent to the Overhill Towns and was lead to the stake. But she was saved, it is said, by Nancy Ward, "Beloved Woman" of the Cherokees, who told the Indians that they could use Mrs. Bean's instruction in the making of butter and cheese. So her life was spared and later she returned to her home.

Nancy Ward's act may have had far reaching effects. When militant Cherokees prepared to attack illegal white communities on the Watauga River, Ward disapproved of intentionally taking civilian lives. She was able to warn several of the Watauga settlements in time for them to defend themselves or flee. Lydia was sentenced to execution and was actually being tied to a stake when Ward exercised her right to spare condemned captives. She took the injured Mrs. Bean into her own home to nurse her back to health. Mrs. Bean, like most "settler women," wove her own cloth. At this time, the Cherokee were wearing a combination of traditional hide (animal skin) clothing and loomed cloth purchased from traders. Cherokee people had rough-woven hemp clothing, but it was not as comfortable as clothing made from linen, cotton, or wool. Mrs. Bean taught Ward how to set up a loom, spin thread or yarn, and weave cloth. This skill would make the Cherokee people less dependent on traders, but it also Europeanized the Cherokee in terms of gender roles. Women came to be expected to do the weaving and house chores; as men became farmers in the changing society, women became "housewives." Another aspect of Cherokee life that changed when Ward saved the life of Mrs. Bean was that of raising animals. Lydia owned dairy cattle, which she took to Ward's house. Ward learned to prepare and use dairy foods, which provided some nourishment even when hunting was bad. However, because of Ward's introduction of dairy farming to the Cherokee, they would begin to amass large herds and farms, which required even more manual labor. This would soon lead the Cherokee into using slave labor. In fact, Ward herself had been "awarded" the black slave of a felled Creek warrior after her victory at the Battle of Taliwa and thus became the first Cherokee slave owner.

Lydia's brother George Russell, husband of Elizabeth Bean, was killed by Indians while on a hunting trip in Grainger County, Tennessee, in 1796. Her daughter, Jane Bean, was killed in 1798 by Indians while working her loom outside the walls of Bean's Station.

WILLIAM5 BEAN (WILLIAM4, JOHN (MACBEAN)3, WILLIAM 22, WILLIAM 11) was born December 09, 1721 in St. Stephen's Par., Northumberland Co., Virginia, and died May 1782 in Bean Station, Washington Co., Tennessee. He married LYDIA RUSSELL3,4 17595,6. She was born 1726 in Northumberland Co., Virginia, and died Bef. June 18, 1788 in Washington, Co., Tennessee.

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Lydia Bean (Russell)'s Timeline

St Stephens, Northumberland, Virginia, United States
September 2, 1726
North Farnham Parish, Rappahanock County, Virginia
March 28, 1738
Age 11
Chester County, Province of Pennsylvania
May 3, 1750
Age 23
Halifax, Virginia, United States
February 8, 1754
Age 27
Augusta County, Province of Virginia
Age 27
Pittsylvania Co, Va
Age 29
Halifax County, Province of Virginia
Age 31
Halifax Co, Va
Age 33
Boone Creek, Tennessee, United States
Age 33
NC or Va