By Colin G. Calloway
Revealing firsthand narratives of Indian captivity from eighteenth-century New Hampshire and Vermont.Narratives of Europeans who skilled Indian captivity characterize one of many oldest genres of yank literature. they can be credited with constructing the stereotype of Indians as merciless and bloodthirsty. whereas early southern New England money owed have been seriously inspired by means of a dominant Puritan interpretation which had little room for person and cultural differences, later northern New England narratives convey turning out to be independence from this influence.The 8 narratives chosen for this booklet problem previous stereotypes and supply a clearer realizing of the character of captive taking. Indians used captives to interchange losses of their tribes and households, and likewise to take part within the French and British ransom marketplace. those tales painting Indian captors as people with a special tradition and provide glimpses of lifestyle in frontier groups. Calloway enhances them with worthwhile historic heritage fabric. His publication will charm specifically to readers attracted to local American peoples and lifestyles at the north state frontier of Vermont and New Hampshire.
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Additional resources for North Country captives: selected narratives of Indian captivity from Vermont and New Hampshire
Indians often launched raids for the specific purpose of taking captives, and war parties sometimes took along thongs and extra moccasins for the prisoners they expected to take. Taking captives was a long- Page ix established practice in Indian warfare, with adopted captives filling the place of deceased relatives and, as warfare escalated in the woodlands of northeastern America, it became a vital means of maintaining population levels. With the waging of the imperial wars between France and England from 1689 to 1763, captive-taking became a means of weakening the English enemy to the south and also a source of revenue as French allies now bought the Indians' prisoners for ransom to the English.
On the 26th, Capt. Jonathan Williamson was brought to prison. He was taken at the new town on Sheepscot river. The same day came in, also, three men who were taken at Albany, three weeks before, and tell us that thirteen were killed, Capt. Trent being one. They were all soldiers for the expedition to Canada. On the 27th, Joseph Denox, and the 28th, Samuel Evans, died. The same night the prison took fire, and was burnt, but the things therein were mostly saved. We were kept that night under a guard.
More recently, scholars have looked again at captivity narratives as sources of information on Indian societies and cultural interaction on the American frontier. The narratives reprinted in this volume come from Vermont and New Hampshire, focused in the Connecticut Valley watershed between the Green and White mountains, and mainly from the second half of the eighteenth century. They provide insights into life and experiences on the north country frontier and into the nature of relations between the colonists and the local Abenaki Indians.