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Lydia Shepherd (Boggs)

Also Known As: "Lydia Cruger"
Birthplace: Frederick, Frederick, MD, United States
Death: September 29, 1867 (101)
Wheeling, WV, United States
Place of Burial: Elm Grove, Ohio County, West Virginia, United States of America
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Captain John Boggs and Jean (Jane) Boggs
Wife of Daniel Cruger and Moses Shepherd
Mother of Bayliss D Shepherd
Sister of William Boggs; Martha Johnson (Boggs); Maj. John Boggs and James Boggs
Half sister of Elizabeth Crouse

Managed by: Vl Beck
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Lydia Shepherd

Birth: Feb. 26, 1766 Frederick County Virginia, USA Death: Sep. 29, 1867 Wheeling Ohio County West Virginia, USA

The life of Mrs. Cruger is an oft told tale and yet the history of Monument Place cannot be recounted without once more telling of that remarkable woman. She was born in 1766_she died in 1867, and lived through the period of time that includes the Indian Wars, the Colonial period, the War of American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the Civil War. Knowing this there is little wonder that her courage had the strength of steel_little wonder that she became almost sufficient unto herself. She was born in Frederick Co. VA, now Berkeley Co. WV, on Feb 26, 1766, the daughter of Capt. John Boggs and Jean (Jane) Irwin. Her grandfather, William Boggs moved his family from Londonderry, Ireland, to America in 1750, obtained a Fairfax grant of about 1000 acres and built his modest cabin but a short distance from the Warm Springs road running from Martinsburg to Berkeley Springs. There in her grandfathers home she was born. When she was a small child the family moved to Chartiers Creek, Western PA, and in 1774 her father Capt Boggs was stationed at Catfish Camp, now Washington, PA. Capt John Boggs was an intimate friend of Col. David Shepherd, the father of Col. Moses Shepherd, and when Fort Shepherd was beseiged by the Indians Sept 1, 1777, he went to the rescue with forty men, arriving the following morning. He was there to help restore order, to bury the dead, and to prepare for further defense of the Fort. In 1781, Capt Boggs was living on Buffalo Creek, where both he and his daughter were captured by Indians, but soon made their escape. After that they returned to Wheeling because of the very unprotected location of their home. Moses Shepherd was but seven years of age when Col.David Shepherd moved to the location of Monument Place and there built Fort Shepherd for the protection of the people of the surrounding neighborhood. Mrs. Cruger was one of the last of the slave owners. The Last Slave Sale by Mr. John Reynolds, of Ohio Co., W Va Tells an Interesting Little Story (Washington Reporter)

I remember very well the sale of the last Negro in this county "at auction" said John Reynolds, an old resident of Ohio Co., W VA last week. "There was a public sale of the effects of an estate of a man named Higgs, near Wheeling, and among the effects was a good "field hand" a powerful, well-built Negro man. Thomas McConn, Esq. one of the oldest citizens and Magistrates in the State was the auctioneer. The attendance was large, as the sale of Negroes was rather a novelty. Some of the wealthiest and most influential farmers of the county, as well as merchants and business men of Wheeling, were there. The Negro was started at $500 and went up to $800, where he was knocked down to John Goshorn, a merchant of Wheeling and a large land-holder in the county. The Negro was well known, and as he was taken along the National road toward Wheeling hundreds came out to see him and bid him good-by. I had not seen such a sight since the day that old "Hickory Jackson" made his last journey from Washington to Wheeling to take the boat home to Tennessee. The Negro was set to work on a farm near Wheeling, but lived only a few months. There was never another Negro sold in the county for within a short time the war broke out and nearly all of the slave-holders hustled across the line in order to "get out" of the Union. Mrs. Lydia (Boggs) Cruger was the last of the slave-holders. She kept a dozen or fifteen till the proclamation of President Lincoln liberated them. Mrs. Cruger's farm lies four miles east of Wheeling, on the National road and is at present owned and cultivated by Major Loring. She died along in the last of the sixties(1867) at the age of 102 years old. Her first husband, Colonel Sheppard (Moses Shepherd), and her last husband was Colonel Moses Cruger(General Daniel Cruger), were both gentlemen of National fame. The mansion of Mrs. Cruger was the stopping place of Henry Clay, James K. Polk, Andrew Jackson, John C. Calhoun, and many others of National prominence from 1820 to 1860. Henry Clay sent his colored body servant one day ahead of him to call on Mrs. Cruger to notify her of his approach and ask the courtesy of hospitality for one night. The occasion of Mr. Clay's visit was always signalized by a reception to the aristocracy of the county and not a few of the older residents of Wheeling recall with feeling of pleasure the Clay visits to the Cruger's mansion. So great was Mrs. Cruger's admiration of the Kentucky statesman that she had a monument erected in the most prominent corner of her grounds. This corner happened to front on the National road, Clay's own most imperishable monument, and it is pointed out today as the enduring relic of the lady's regard for the great Whig apostle. Mrs. Cruger, as a slave-holder was a model. Of the dozen or fifteen slaves held by Mrs. Cruger, not one of them could complain of his or her condition of involuntary servitude. They did not work, as the old lady persisted in managing her estate herself despite the tokens of senility that forced themselves on her heirs. She had not for many years sold a slave, but frequently bought them. She was often heard to remark that she had seen the rise and fall of the slave system in this country, and she herself was perhaps the only slave-holder who stood by and saw the liberation of her slaves without regret. She also is associated with the Ft. Henry gunpowder exploit in Sept 1782 with Molly Scott and Betsy Zane.

Family links:

 Daniel Cruger (1780 - 1843)
 Moses Shepherd (1763 - 1832)*
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: Stone Church Cemetery Elm Grove Ohio County West Virginia, USA

Created by: Dr B Record added: Apr 05, 2007 Find A Grave Memorial# 18781543

LYDIA BOGGS (Shepherd, Cruger) - Feb. 26, 1766 - Sept. 26, 1867. One of the defenders of Fort Henry during the siege of Sept. 11, 1782. During the siege, Lydia assisted in melting bullets. Marker location - Stone Church Cemetery, Ohio County, W. Va. -

HISTORY OF MONUMENT PLACE AT ELM GROVE, WEST VA. Faction Records Taken From Congressional Library, Washington, D.C.

From the collection of Mr. Arch T. Hupp, Jr.


Only a very brief sketch can be given of the wife of Colonel Moses Shepherd, Lydia Boggs, (Mrs. Cruger).

Lydia Boggs, daughter of Captain John Boggs, was born in Berkeley county, Virginia, February 26, 1766. Captain Boggs was living at Chartiers creek, Western Pennsylvania, previous to 1774. In that year he moved with his family to the vicinity of Wheeling. He was the intimate friend and associate of Colonel David Shepherd, and when Fort Henry was besieged by the Indians, September 1, 1777, Captain Boggs, who was stationed at Catfish Camp, (now Washington, Pa.) twenty-five miles from Wheeling, went to the rescue with forty men, arriving there the following morning and assisted in restoring order, burying the dead and preparing for the further defense of the fort.

Captain Boggs was sheriff of Ohio county, and was one of the magistrates of Ohio county in 1785. His son William was captured by the Indians in 1781, but escaped and returned home eighteen months later. In July, 1871, Captain Boggs lived on Buffalo creek, but returned the following year to Wheeling. His daughter Lydia accompanied him in all of these removals, and was with him in the siege of Fort Henry, and as her father was in command of Fort Henry during the second siege, she was also present then and did her part in assisting in the defence, molding bullets, making ammunition and relieving the weary soldiers.

Graves, Etc. Submitted by Gary Timmons. Added by Janet Milburn 29 August 2017 (There is much, much more about Lydia, including her following marriage to, General Cruger, a member of congress from New York state. They were married in 1833.

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Lydia Shepherd's Timeline

February 26, 1766
Frederick, Frederick, MD, United States
Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia, United States
September 29, 1867
Age 101
Wheeling, WV, United States
Elm Grove, Ohio County, West Virginia, United States of America