Jane McCrea was married to an American militia member. She was was captured and later killed by Native Americans. Her story became a cause celebre among Americans
Jane McCrea was engaged to a loyalist American militia member, who was serving in Ft. Ticonderoga. In the summer of 1777, Jane traveled to join her fiance at the fort. On the way to Fort Ticonderoga she stopped at a village by the old Fort Edward. There, she stayed at the home of Sara McNeil, another loyalist. On July 27, 1777, a group of Native Americans, who were part of Burgoyne's army, attacked the village of Fort Edwards. They killed a settler there and massacred his family. The Native Americans then took Jane McCrea and Sara McNeil Prisoner. While the events that came next are a source of some disagreement, it is generally accepted that the Native Americans became involved in a dispute and as a result killed Jane. They then scalped her head and took it with them back to General Burgoyne.
The killing of Jane McCrea caused an outcry throughout the colonies. At first, Burgoyne, wanted to execute the Native Americans responsible. However, he was told that if he did, he would lose all of his Native American support. As a result, the killing of Jane Mcrea solidified the opposition to the British in the colonies. The incident was used effectively to help recruit soldiers to the American cause throughout the colonies. As the story spread, and as it spread, it was exaggerated.