Follow the River, written by James Alexander Thom, was based on the capture of Mary Draper Ingles by a group of Shawnee Indians and the escape that followed her captivity. It was a somewhat accurate account of the events that may have happened during her long journey to and from the Shawnee village. These similarities are very beneficial because it gives the reader a sense of the factual side of the journey. Thus, the reader is able to understand how hard a life the frontier people had to live. However, there are a few deviations that Thom makes. These differences may be small, but they have a major impact on the understanding of the factual account of Mary's journey. In this paper, I will attempt to describe some of the similarities and deviations between Follow the River and the original accounts by John Hale and John Ingles, Sr. and describe how this distorts the understanding of the true account.
After reading the original accounts of Mary Ingles' escape, I found that Thom's version of the event is similar in many ways to the actual account. Thom was very accurate in his description of the actual massacre that occurred at Draper's Meadow. In the account written by John Ingles, Sr., he names the people that were either taken captive of killed by the Indians. He writes that his mother and her two children, Thomas and George, his Aunt Draper, and Henry Leonard were taken prisoner by the Shawnees. John Ingles also states in his narrative that Colonel Patton, Casper Barger, his Grandmother
Draper and child were killed (8). In Follow the River, Thom describes the same people either being killed or taken captive by the Shawnee Indians.
Another similarity between the two accounts was the escape of Mary's spouse...