On a frosty March night, a young wife and mother had a frightening dream. In her sleep, the wife witnessed a copper snake attack her husband. She watched in horror as its venomous fangs sank deep into her husband’s palm. As hard as she tried, she could not loosen its deadly grip.
In 1782, on Easter Sunday morning, several families took refuge in a small fortress called Miller’s Blockhouse that was located on land owned by Jacob Miller near Buffalo Creek Valley, Washington, Pennsylvania. According to local reports, native tribes in the area were uprising against the local settlers. In fact, some of the men from this local settlement were about two miles away, keeping watch over Rice’s Fort. Those that remained were John and Anne Hupp and their four children; Jacob Miller Sr. and some of his family; the family of Edward Gaither, Elizabeth and Matthias Ault who was John Hupp’s mother and stepfather.
Sometime during the night, a colt that belonged to Jacob Miller had wandered from its yard. Jacob Hupp decided to help his neighbor look for the stray. Since Anne had the strange dream the night before, she pleaded with her husband to stay with her and the others. She explained her premonition to him because she was troubled and concerned for his safety. Still, her husband ignored his wife and left with his friend to search for the animal.
The two men began their search; however, they were only a short distance away when Shawnee warriors ambushed the two men. Both men were killed. Shots rang out, and the war cries were heard at the blockhouse; the occupants within feared the worse and believed the two men were dead.
Quickly, a band of about seventy Shawnee turned their attention on the blockhouse. Only women, children, and one elderly man now remained inside. Immediately, Anne Hupp took control of the situation even though she knew her husband was dead. She tried to send out Jacob Miller’s eleven-year-old son, so he could let people at Rice’s Fort know that they were under siege. This young man’s brave attempt was thwarted as the Shawnee intercepted. Miller’s son turned and headed back to the fortress. From accounts given, tomahawks were thrown and barely missed the young boy. While jumping over a fence, he was shot, but the ball went through his arm. He made it back to the house, but he was exhausted from his run and from the loss of blood.
As the Shawnee approached the blockhouse, Anne took her muzzle and raced from loophole to loophole, so their attackers would believe the fortress was well protected. The other women kept the guns ready, so Anne could defend the blockhouse. This brave woman was also eight months pregnant at the time of this siege. During the attack, the other women discovered some of the men were returning from Rice’s Fort, and they began warning them of the Shawnee nearby. Since the women were shouting of the dangers of the nearby Shawnee and while Anne was shooting from within the fortress, the three men were able to race into the blockhouse and help protect the remaining settlers. The three men were Jacob Rowe, Anne’s brother; Jacob Miller, Jr, and Phillip Hupp, John Hupp’s brother.
That night, their attackers left. The next morning, the frozen bodies of John Hupp and Jacob Miller, Sr were discovered. The two men were buried in a single grave near the blockhouse. Soon after, the baby that Ann carried was also buried near its father.
For several years, Anne stayed with her brother-in-law, Phillip Hupp. In time, this brave woman married John May, and the couple had three children of their own.
Ann Hupp May (1757 – 1823)
wife of 5th great-uncle
John Hupp (1750 – 1782)
husband of Ann Hupp May
Casper Philip Hupp (1710 – 1761)
father of John Hupp
Phillip Hupp (1756 – 1831)
son of Casper Philip Hupp
Emanuel Hupp (1790 – 1840)
son of Phillip Hupp
Sarah Sallie Hupp (1822 – 1914)
daughter of Emanuel Hupp
HENRY ALLEN (1853 – 1942)
son of Sarah Sallie Hupp
Thomas Allen (1896 – 1975)
son of HENRY ALLEN
Dorothy Marie Allen (1934 – 2006)
daughter of Thomas Allen
Ann Marie Reeder Bryant
daughter of Dorothy Marie Allen
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Featured Image ~ Annie Spratt @ Unsplashed https://unsplash.com/collections/852025/wilderness?photo=OxTT6kZs_gU
Blockhouse ~ Ethan Sykes @ Unsplahed https://unsplash.com/collections/852056/cabins?photo=pgNyFfcNN9w