Captivity narrative

genre of accounts by survivors

Captivity narratives are stories of people captured by enemies who are not civilized. Historians - people who study history - do not trust a lot of these stories. A lot of them are not written from a neutral point of view. Some historians that study Native American cultures are careful when they use these stories as sources.[1]

The Abduction of Daniel Boone's Daughter by the Indians, Charles Ferdinand Wimar, 1853

Captivity narratives from North America were published through the 18th and 19th centuries. They are a part of English literature, and more stories were written in India and East Asia later on.

Background Edit

Colonists in New England were often captured by Canadians and their Indian allies. This was because New France and New England had competition at the time. (This happened to the Canadians as well). The number of captives taken from the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries are unclear, however.[2] Some think that about 1,641 New Englanders were taken hostage during King Phillip's War (1675).[3] When the whites and Indians had conflicts in the mid-nineteenth century, hundreds of women and children were captured.[4]

References Edit

  1. Neal Salisbury. "Review of Colin Caolloway, 'North Country Captives: Selected Narratives of Indian Captivities'", American Indian Quarterly, 1994. vol. 18 (1). p. 97
  2. Introduction, Women's Indian Captivity Narratives, p. xv (New York: Penguin, 1998)
  3. Vaughan, Alden T., and Daniel K. Richter. "Crossing the Cultural Divide:Indians and New Englanders, 1605-1763." Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society 90 (1980): p. 53; 23-99.
  4. White, Lonnie J. "White Women Captives of Southern Plains Indians, 1866-1875," Journal of the West 8 (1969): 327-54