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Henry Mallow Believed First Ohio White Baby

Article taken from The Lima News, March 6, 1935

Five Claims For Distinction On Historical Records At Columbus


Leader For Honor Born In 1758 Where Portsmouth Now Is Located

COLUMBUS, Mar.6 - Who was Ohio's first white baby? Take it from Harlow Lindley, curator of history of the Ohio Archeaological and Historical society, that is a moot question.

Leafing through a sheaf of records of Ohio's historical progress, Lindley pointed to five claims for that distinction.

Of two recently received, Lindley said, that concerning Henry Mallow appears to top them all. Mallow, according to the records submitted to the society, was born Nov.18, 1785 near where Portsmouth is now located.

Records submitted relative to the birth of the Mallow baby make up a thrilling and apparently untold chapter of the days when the French and Indians were battling the British.

"Henry Mallow's mother," Lindley related, "was captured during an Indian raid on a fort in the upper Ohio Valley region.  She and her two children, a boy and a baby girl, were taken captive."

"The woman's husband was away when the raid was made."  Several other occupants of the fort were taken captive with Mrs.Mallow and the two children.  All were started down the Ohio river astride logs."

Because the baby girl cried, according to information furnished to Lindley by Clara G. Mark of Westerville, Ohio, a descendant of the Mallows', she was abandoned along a trail and left to die.

"The Indians took their captives, " Lindley continuted, "To a camp on the west side of the Scioto river, but north of the Ohio river and opposite of where Portsmouth is now situated.

"Because Mrs.Mallow was a fine seamstress she gained favor with the Indians.  Then, according to the story handed down in the Mallow family, a baby boy was born to the woman November 18, 1758.  The baby was Henry Mallow.

A statement taken from the record submitted by Miss Mark says, "the Indians took the baby and bathed him in cold waters of the Ohio to wash out all the white blood and make a good Indian out of him."

Meanwhile, Mrs. Mallow's other son, identified as Adam, had been taken to another Indian camp near where Chillicothe now stands.

Sometime after the birth of Henry Mallow, Mrs. Mallow and the baby, Lindley was informed, were taken to New Orleans, by the Indians and sole to a Frenchman who provided transportation for the woman and the child back to the settlement, in what was known then as Virginia, where she was captured.

Mrs. Mallow rejoined her husband, but they never returned to Ohio, according to the family history.  However, Adams Mallow, who has been released by the Indians, made his home near Chillicothe.

"According to our information," Lindley related, "Henry Mallow died in Kline West Virginia, in 1934.  Although we have not had time to check this claim, Miss Mark has corroborated her records in several instances, and the case cannot be overlooked.

"But the question as to who actually was the first white baby born in Ohio may never be settled definitely," he concluded.

And here is the standing of other claims, according to Lindley's records:

(2) James Conner, in September 1771, at what was known as Connersville

(3) John Lewis Roth, July 4, 1773, at Columbia

(4) Ephrian Cable, March 15, 1787, in Jefferson County

The Cable case was the other recently brought to the attention of Lindley. Cable was described as the first white child in Caldwell's history of Jefferson and Belmont Counties.

(5) Polly Heckwelder, in 1790.



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