The drawing accompanying this sketch of the life of Jesse Hughes is from an old photograph of Jesse's home on Hacker's Creek, near the mouth of Jesse's Run, and about a mile from West's Fort in what is now Lewis County, West Virginia. It was used as a illustration simply because it is the only available picture connected in any way with the famous Indian fighter.
Jesse was born about 1750 but the exact place of his birth is not known. He came to Hacker's Creek around 1769 from the South Branch Valley with a group of home seekers led by Samuel Pringle.
In 1771 he married Grace Tanner, the daughter of one of the first settlers, and built his home on the ready cleared land of a former Indian village.
But Jesse was not cut out for farming. By nature he was a woodsman and spent most of his time roaming the forests in search of game. Between him and his brother, Thomas, a supply of fresh meat was always kept on hand and in addition, Jesse acquired a knowledge of the surrounding territory which was later to be of inestimable value to the settlers from Bush's on the Buckhannon to Morgan's on the Monongahela.
Jesse's father, Thomas, who settled on Elk Creek, in what is now Harrison County, West Virginia, was killed by Indians two years later. The obudurate hatred of all Indians engendered in the the restless, half wild Jesse by this occurance, coupled with his uncanny ability as a woodsman, made him the scourge and dread and the pet hate of every Indian ventering into his vicinity.
Jesse was of medium height, lean and wiry and possessed of an unmatched endurance, agility, and fleetness of limb. His countenance was fierce-as was his temper-with thin lipd, a narrow chin, acqualine nose, and piercing restless eyes of an indefinable color between blue and grey.
The settlers of northern West Virginia came to look upon him as a protector and his presence lent a sense of security at any fort or pioneer's cabin when he made an appearance. They believed that Jesse could out fight, out shoot, out run or our smart any Indian that lived. And their belief had a lot of basis in fact. For from the battle of Point Pleasant on through the Twenty-Two Year War that followed, Jesse Hughes waged war against the red men, wherever and whenever the opportunity presented itself. Yet, from every encounter he emerged without serious injury. He took no one knows how many scalps but, through it all he kept his own.
Sources on Jesse Hughes