Category Archives: Currituck


Donna Campbell Smith. An Independent Spirit: The Tale of Betsy Dowdy and Black Bess. Buford, GA: Faithful Publishing, 2006.

An Independent Spirit is based on the Revolutionary War-era story of Betsy Dowdy, who rode to warn a North Carolina general about the approach of British soldiers from Virginia. This book presents the year leading up to her famous ride, with fourteen year-old Betsy living on Currituck Island, riding her wild pony Black Bess, and traveling to Edenton. Betsy’s quiet life is interrupted when Virginia’s Lord Dunmore threatens her community and her beloved wild ponies. Her all-night ride from Currituck to Hertford brings news of troop movements and leads to a patriot victory at the Battle of Great Bridge. This edition of the book includes a bibliography and teacher’s guide.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2006, Children & Young Adults, Chowan, Coast, Currituck, Docufiction, Historical, Smith, Donna Campbell