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Currier & Ives rendering of Jane McCrea's murder
Currier & Ives rendering of Jane McCrea's murder

Digging for the truth of Jane McCrea

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Jane McCrea was a young North Country woman who became a martyr of the American Revolution. In 1777, McCrea and a neighbor, Sarah McNeil, were captured at Fort Edward by British soldiers. McNeil survived, but McCrea was murdered and scalped -- most likely by native warriors who were fighting as part of the British army. Her death sent a wave of anti-British rage through the American colonies. In the centuries since, a lot of mysteries have grown up around McCrea. How exactly did she die? Is she really buried within the Fort Edward monument that became a tourist attraction? In a new article for Adirondack Life magazine, David Starbuck tries to answer those questions. Starbuck lives in Chestertown and teaches anthropology at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. Over the last three years, he led the team that dug up McCrea's remains and used forensic science to learn about her life. Starbuck told Brian Mann that the controversial project didn't answer all the questions, but turned up some pretty big surprises.

Postscript: Last year, after the research was finished, Jane McCrea and Sarah McNeil were reburied in adjacent graves.

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