"Caty Sage"

Caty Sage main page | song & audio | newspaper clippings

On July 6, 1792, five-year-old Caty Sage was abducted from her home in Grayson County by persons unknown. As the legend goes, a local soothsayer predicted the girl would eventually be found.

In 1848 Caty's brother Charles was in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. A Wyandotte Indian told him that he closely resembled a white woman living with his tribe. "Sally," as she was called by the Wyandottes, had been given to them in trade by the Cherokees. Charles went to the village and saw a family resemblance in the woman, who spoke no English. Charles' brother Samuel then came and confirmed Caty's identity.

Having been with the Indians for so long, Caty was bound to the Native American lifestyle. She had been married in the tribe three times, and she refused to leave with her brothers. Caty and Charles did, however, keep in touch. She died of pneumonia in 1853.

"The Ballad of Caty Sage" was originally a poem written in the 1930s by Eva Boyer of Carroll County. The poem was published in The Grayson Gazette and was set to music by J. C. Pierce of Galax. Pierce performed it at the 1940 Galax Old Fiddlers Convention and later recorded it on small commercial labels.

Caty Sage main page | song & audio | newspaper clippings

Deathly Lyrics:
Songs of Virginia Tragedies


Audio Credits


Breeding Mill

Caty Sage


Dewey Lee


Freeda Bolt

Great Kanawha

Kent Steffie

Mollie Tynes

Old 97

Poor Goins

Roanoke Riot

Rye Cove

Talt Hall

Vance Song

Wreck of the 1256