Mad Anne Bailey as presented by Suzanne Thomson (Living History Nights)

  Dates & times
  • Sat, 06/11/2022 - 6:00pm
  Category Tweens, Teens, Adults


Mad Ann Bailey large

Join frontier scout and storyteller Mad Anne Bailey on Saturday, June 11 at 7:00 PM in the library's Riverside Room as she reminisces about her life as a frontier/Indian scout in the Kanawha Valley and Southeast Ohio. 

Listen as she recounts her journey towards becoming a frontier scout; her daring exploits in the Kanawha and Ohio Valleys, including her help in rescuing Fort Lee (modern day Charleston) from a Shawnee Indian attack; and her life in Gallia County in her later years.

There are many descendants of Anne's only child, William Trotter, still living in Gallia County and Southeast Ohio.

Local musicians Kendra Ward and Bob Bence will be performing period-appropriate dulcimer tunes from 6:15 - 6:45 PM.

Suzanne Thomson's living history portrayal of Bailey will begin at 7:00 PM. A Q & A session will follow the performance. Questions can first be asked to Thomson as Bailey, and then to Thomson as herself.

Refreshments will be available for a donation from 6:00 - 6:45 PM and after the Q & A session.

If at all possible, attendees are asked to park in the gravel lot directly across from the Library on Spruce Street.

A special "thank you" to Our House Tavern Museum for allowing William Trotter, Jr.'s (grandson of Mad Anne) rifle to be displayed during this event.

What is "Living History Nights"? Performances that bring history to life. Each night a scholar/living historian will assume the role of a notable historical figure and perform a monologue based on the life of that individual. This will be followed by an audience Q & A session with questions addressed to both the character and the scholar/living historian.

This event, presented by the Gallipolis Chautauqua Committee, is suitable for all ages and is free and open to the public.

Anne Hennis Trotter Bailey (1742-1825) was born in Liverpool, England and came to Staunton, Virginia in 1761. In 1765, she married frontiersman Richard Trotter and they had a son William. On October 10, 1774, Richard was killed in Dunmore's War at the Battle of Point Pleasant.

Driven to madness in her grief and unable to care for their son, Anne left William in the care of others and became a renowned spy, scout, and huntress during the American Revolution and Indian Wars. In 1785, Anne married John Bailey, also a frontiersman and scout, and they moved to Clendenin's Settlement (now Charleston, WV). In 1791, when Fort Lee at the settlement was facing attack by the Shawnee, Anne became a heroine of the Kanawha Valley by riding out at great risk to secure needed supplies.

Known as the White Squaw of the Kanawha Valley to some, and Mad Anne to others, Suzanne Thomson tells Anne's amazing story of frontier devastation, madness, and daring triumph.

Suzanne Thomson has spent more than ten years researching and portraying the historical figure of Mad Anne Bailey. Thomson has been painted by several renowned artists, appearing in more than a dozen paintings depicting Anne Bailey and life in the 18th century.

Suzanne is a staff writer for Muzzleloader Magazine and contributing author to Muzzle Blast Magazine, Journal of the Early Americas, and On the Trail magazine. She is the founder of OWL Outdoor Wilderness Ladies, an organization dedicated to getting more women in the woods and on the trail. In her "real life", Suzanne is a busy mom, happy wife, and business executive.