William and Mary Draper Ingles

This section includes some facts about William Ingles/Inglis of New London and about William and Mary Draper Ingles, and the unconfirmed hypothesis that both Williams may be same person, meaning that Mary Draper Ingles may have lived in New London for a time.

  • 1754, May 22 – First court of Bedford County held at home of Matthew Talbot, Gent.; William Callaway offered 100 acres of his land for a new court house and prison. (Became New London Towne.) William Ingles purchased Lots 17 and 39 (Lot 17 would later be purchased by Andrew Holt in 1826.
  • 1763ish – Robert Cowen named in Chancery Court suit against William Inglis in Bedford County Court.
  • “Chancery Causes: Thomas Cooper vs William Inglis” 1762-001, Bedford County, Virginia.
  • Ingles references: I cannot determine whether the William Ingles/Inglis of New London was the same as William Ingles, husband of Mary Draper Ingles, a woman famous for having been kidnapped in 1755 by the Shawnees (Draper’s Meadow Massacre, near present-day Blacksburg, VA) and then escaping and travelling hundreds of miles on foot. It is certainly possible these are the same people; the Virginia History Exchange (http://www.vahistoryexchange.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/About-the-Ingles-Family.pdf) and the (partial) transcript of The Narrative of John Ingles (http://bcplfusion.bcpl.org/Repository/MI_MS_trans.pdf) indicated that they lived in Bedford County, below the Blue Ridge, for a few years as Mary recovered from her trauma. By 1760, they had established Ingles’ Ferry on the New River and Wilderness Road (near present-day Radford, VA).
  • Here is the National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form for Ingles’ Ferry (https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/VLR_to_transfer/PDFNoms/077-0013_Ingles_Ferry_Inn_1969_Final_Nomination.pdf).
  • In the town plat of New London, a William Ingles is shown to have purchased Lots 17 and 39.
  • There is also a Bedford County Chancery Court case (1762-001) involving a William Inglis at New London, with the dates 1761, 1762, and 1763 mentioned. By those dates, the husband of Mary Draper Ingles may have moved away from New London; however, other documents show that he owned land in several areas “along the New River, along the Holston River, in Burke’s Garden, and along the Bluestone” (the Virginia History Exchange).
  • Hale, John Peter (1824-1902). Trans-Allegheny Pioneers: Historical Sketches of the First White Settlements West of the Alleghenies, 1748 and After (originally published 1886), Third ed., edited by Harold J. Dudley. Raleigh, NC:  Derreth Printing Company, 1971. Dr. Hale’s book, pp. 93-96, indicates that William and Mary lived in a settlement “down below the Blue Ridge, and not far from the Peaks of Otter.” It says, “Mrs. Ingles remained in the settlement below the Blue Ridge until there seemed a better prospect of peace and security at the frontier; she then returned to New River, where her husband and she permanently established themselves at ‘Ingles’ Ferry.’” By my best understanding from this book, they may have settled in the Peaks of Otter area around 1755 (the year she was captured and escaped) or 1756.
  • Wikipedia (“Mary Draper Ingles”) cites “Historic Ingles Ferry and Farm Permanently Protected”, Virginia Outdoors Foundation, August 2009 (http://www.virginiaoutdoorsfoundation.org/2009/08/historic-ingles-ferry-farm-permanently-protected/), for the establishment of Ingles’ Ferry as 1762, though the article says 1772. Wikipedia’s article, “Ingles Ferry” indicates that William Ingles got the tavern license for it in 1762. So they may have been in the New London area (if that is where they were) for anywhere between 1755-1762.
  • The original town plat has the lots being divvied up in 1754. Perhaps William Ingles made a stop there before Mary was captured with the idea of settling there due to Indian attacks further west. Perhaps the lots purchased as listed were not necessarily purchased all at once, but are listed as the original purchasers of particular lots, no matter specifically when they were purchased. These theories are my pure speculation and have not been researched.
  • Professor Donna Donald of Liberty University and the Friends of New London has stated in a personal correspondence, “New London was considered close to the Peaks of Otter and I’m not aware of any settlement west of New London at that time. New London would have been called a settlement and not a town at the time since it took a while for buildings to go up. The town was organized in 1754, but Mead didn’t build his tavern until 1763. If they [William and Mary Draper Ingles] lived in Bedford County (which is confirmed), it would be surprising to find them anywhere besides New London in the 1750s.”
  • The Memoirs of Letitia Preston Floyd (http://www.suddenlink.net/pages/fpreston/sfletprmem.htm) mentions a Col. William Preston and Col. William Ingles (husband of Mary Draper Ingles). Ann Smart Martin’s Buying into the World of Goods (pp. 44-45) mentions a Planter William Preston, a Col. Preston, and a Majr. Ingles, the last two of whom had dealings with John Hook. I do not know if they are the same people mentioned by Letitia Preston Floyd.