McCrea, Jane

McCrea, Jane (1752-1777) Revolutionary heroine: McCrea is better known for how she died than for how she lived. She was engaged to a Tory lieutenant and was awaiting the return of her fiancé when the British were marching from Canada into New York. When Burgoyne and some of his allies from the Wyandot tribe attacked the area in 1777, McCrea had no time to escape to safety or explain her position. Although the woman with whom she was staying was not injuried by the onslaught, McCrea was shot and scalped by Burgoyne's Native American allies. Although she would have been considered a royalist because of her engagement to a British officer, the patriots depicted her as a martyr to their cause, and the story of the manner of her death helped rally support for the Continental troops.