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The Unredeemed Captive


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The Unredeemed Captive

  1. 1. The Unredeemed Captive<br />By Susan Hiner<br />History 140<br />
  2. 2. Deerfield Colonials Attacked<br />On February 28, 1704, 50 French soldiers and 200 Indians, Abenakis from Montreal, Hurons and Mohawk Iroquois from Kahnawake, attacked the town of Deerfield, Massachusetts. <br />Many colonists were killed, and hundreds captured, including an important leader of the Puritan community, Reverend John Williams and five of his children.<br />
  3. 3. Journey to Canada<br />During the eight week journey by foot to Canada, his wife was killed. He and his four children were captured and released after varied lengths of time; however his daughter Eunice was captured and taken to Kahnawake, Montreal Canada to live with the Mohawk Iroquois Indians. <br />The theme of this book centers on Eunice Williams and the efforts of her Father, family, community and acquaintances to bring her back from captivity. <br />
  4. 4. Kahnawake and Eunice<br /> There are many differences between Indian and colonial living in the eighteenth century. The Indians lived very differently than the English including their ‘cabins’, clothes, society and language. <br />Typically, Indians have been described as savages; however I found it most interesting to learn that their culture is simple.<br />The Indians are patience and hard working. Whole families live together in a “matrilocal” system. The women take care of child rearing, gathering wood, working in the fields, preparing food and basically everything except going to war and hunting. <br />Eunice was adopted very quickly into her ‘new’ family with the Catholic religion. In fact, within two years she forgot the English language and only spoke the native Mohawk language, and three years after her capture, she was unwilling to return to New England.<br />
  5. 5. Family Prayers and Visits<br />Rev. John Williams tried everything he could to ransom his daughter and have her brought back to Deerfield, including letters to the governor, to no avail. <br />He received word about her from fur traders and other released captives and he saw her at least twice, however she was still not willing to come ‘home’. In 1729 Rev. John Williams died, never seeing his daughter Eunice since 1714. <br />Her older brother Stephen Williams was a pastor as well in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. He prayed for her return to her English family as well, and in 1740 she finally came to Longmeadow with her Indian husband, for a visit only. <br />With the help of an interpreter, Joseph Kellogg, a former captive, her brother pleaded with her to come back and live with them, but again she would not consent<br />Living so many years with the Kahnawake, at such an early age, this became her true home and the English home was now foreign to her. <br />She died in 1785 at the Kahnawake village and never came to stay with her English family permanently. After many prayers and pleadings from her brother who died in 1782, he considered her ‘as captive no more’.<br />