Elizabeth Duncan Porter: Heroine of the American Revolution

Elizabeth was born to Thomas and Elizabeth Duncan at Lancaster Pennsylvania in 1750. The Duncans were born in Scotland, moved to Ireland and then to the British colonies in America. They settled in Lancaster, which is known in modern times for the Amish community and lush green farms and hillsides.
Elizabeth enjoyed growing up in the beautiful countryside of Pennsylvania. In the spring she played with the lambs and picked flowers. But childhood ended early for Elizabeth; her father died when she was six years old and her help was needed for the family. She grew to be a strong and lovely woman.
At twenty-five she met a man who would sweep her off her feet ; she married her beloved Samuel Porter. As a member of  the Virginia militia, Samuel was one of the men responsible for patrolling the roads and trails to keep travelers safe from Indian raids. The British had enlisted the Indians to attack settlers on the western frontiers of the colonies.
The winds of war began to blow across America.
Samuel, Elizabeth, their two children, her mother, brother and other family members were captured by Indians  in 1780. It is thought that British soldiers were with them because they were not scalped. The attackers took all of their stock and possessions. 

They were marched and carried over 600 miles to Detroit. Elizabeth had to work hard to keep her little children quiet so they would not be killed by their captors. She was pregnant with her third child. Sometimes she was permitted to ride, she sat with her feet in water for hours and hours. Samuel was sentenced to die. The men were placed in stockades and pens and nearly starved to death.
Elizabeth was put to work cooking for the British officers. After preparing a meal, she saved scraps of bread and meat and smuggled them out in the dishwater. She placed the tub of water near Samuel’s prison. He was able to reach through the bars and get the food. Her act of courage probably kept him alive. 
Elizabeth, her children Margaret and Hugh and her mother were marched as a prisoners of war another 700 miles from Detroit to Quebec, Canada. 
On January 7th, in the bitter cold of a winter that would become known as the “little Ice Age,” far from her home, Elizabeth gave birth to baby Samuel. She was a captive of the British and Shawnee Indians because she believed in freedom.
Her husband Samuel suffered as well in the confinement of the prison camp. 8 of 10 American prisoners died in the hulls of British warships. He did not know what had become of Elizabeth, their baby or the other two young children.
Many people sacrificed much for the cause of independence. Some sacrificed everything.
Elizabeth took care of baby Samuel and little Margaret and Hugh the best she could. She sang to them the Celtic lullabies her mother had sung to her.
She told them the Bible stories she had learned as a child. Tales of Moses leading Israel to freedom; of brave Joseph and how Daniel’s life was spared.

She would have loved to have been home when Spring came. She would have loved to have worked in her garden with her children and enjoyed outings with her friends. Because the cause of freedom had meant so much to Elizabeth and Samuel; she had no home to return to. 
Samuel was a hard worker and tried to be helpful. His execution was stayed by a British commander who took a liking to him.
The price of independence was very high. When the war ended and freedom was won,  Elizabeth, Samuel and the others were released and made their way back to Virginia and to each other.
Samuel’s trials did not end with the war. An American officer accused him of treason because the British did not execute him. Tried again, he was cleared of wrongdoing. Elizabeth and Samuel had three more children. Their lives were filled with joy and sorrow and their sacrifice blessed their family for generations.
Elizabeth lived 95 years. She died and was buried in Jackson County, Missouri where a marker and plaque were placed to honor the memory of this heroine of the American Revolutionary War. Elizabeth’s legacy is celebrated today by the Daughters of the American Revolution organization with chapters that have been named for her. 

During Elizabeth’s lifetime, the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Revolutionary War fought, the Constitution was written and ratified, Joseph Smith was born, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized and Joseph Smith was martyred. It was a most  important era in the history of the world. 
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty-never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” 
Winston Churchill

“Pilgrims, Patriots and Pioneers”
Honoring the Builders of our Nation

Wednesday, June 25th at 3:30 p.m. Eastern
Kim Power Stilson’s Talkworthy Broadcast
BYU SiriusXM Radio 143
Please join us! 

Prairie Princesses and Pioneers

I’m working on a 

Prairie Princess Pioneer Heritage 
party for the ladies at church. 
Many of our ancestors trekked to Utah on foot from Illinois after being forced from their homes and farms by lawless mobs. 
They packed up all of their belongings, their families and provisions and the hiked over a 1,000 miles to the middle of nowhere to build new lives, new homes; finding some joy and beauty in the journey. We will celebrate their lives and the vision of these great pioneers who brought civility and culture to the wilderness, making it “blossom as a rose.” 

One of the pioneers was my ancestor. Chauncey Griswold Webb owned a blacksmith shop in Ohio, then moved with the Latter-day Saints to Nauvoo, Illinois. The shop still stands in Nauvoo and we visited there a few years ago. 

He built the covered wagon that Brigham Young used to journey west and accompanied him into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Chauncey was related to William Shakespeare. You never know who you’ll run into in the Wild West. 

Happy Trails! 

A Father’s Day Chat

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to our favorite hero! 

Here’s a questionnaire to find out a little bit more about 

Dad, his dreams and history. You might want to ask 

your grandpas and uncles too!


Some of your favorite things

What you loved to do with your Mom

…Your Dad

Your favorite relatives (and why)

Values your family instilled in you

Favorite childhood activities

Family trips

Books you loved

Who were your heroes?

Your dreams?

Your sisters and brothers

Your childhood home

Your grandparents

Memories of church

Your favorite teacher in elementary school (and why)

Your favorite holiday (and why)

Your favorite subjects in high school

Some popular songs

Did you play sports, act, write or….

What you did with friends

Your first job

Your first car

How you met my mother

Why you picked my name

About college

Your accomplishments

Service to God

Service in the community

Favorite vacations

People you’ve known

Your favorite president

Present dreams

Your favorite game

Your favorite scripture story

Things you wish you’d done differently

Your passions

Your hobbies

What you’d like to do

Life’s lessons you’d like to pass along to your family

(Reposted from an earlier blog)

Happy Father’s Day

Larry Karl Layton

This is a tribute is to my larger-than-life, very first hero; my handsome dad. He served his country as a soldier during the Korean War (he was a rocket scientist), served the children of Oceanside as an educator; and when he retired, served the students of China as an English teacher. 

To me, he stands for the right and is a strength and anchor. He is a patriarch. Although the trend in society is anti-patriarchal, I’ve always maintained that administered properly, a patriarchal society is protective and supportive of the well-being of women and children. 

Thank you Dad, my first and best super hero. 

A D-Day Tribute

Thank you to the American soldiers and the Allied forces who sacrificed to push back the tide of evil at the shores of Normandy 70 years ago today.

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty-never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” Winston Churchill

Summer Catering

Welcome McClatchy News Readers!

And thank you to delightful Erin Davis for including my comments in your summer catering piece today in 20 newspapers in 12 states nationwide.

It’s almost time!

Join host Kim Power Stilson and me for a patriotic program on BYU Sirius XM Radio 143

Wednesday, June 24 at 1:30 p.m. Mountain

 Planning ahead for Halloween fun this fall? 
Check out my 100 days to Halloween countdown:


And please join my friends as followers on this website for recipes, fun and entertaining ideas. 

I’m so glad you are here!