Olive Oatman

Indian Captive in Present-Day California Olive Oatman was a fourteen-year-old girl whose family was killed in 1851 in present-day Arizona by Native Americans, possibly the Yavapai, who captured and enslaved Olive and her sister. A year later Mojave Indians adopted the two girls. After four years with the Mojave, during which time her sister died of starvation, Oatman returned to white society. Her story has been told, retold and embellished so many times – in the media and in her own memoir and speeches – that the truth is not easy to discern. Image: Olive Oatman after she was ransomed Mojave blue cactus ink tattoo on her chin: Five vertical lines with triangles set at right angles Credit: Arizona Historical…

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Frances Slocum

Abducted by Indians in Pennsylvania Frances Slocum, or Maconaquah, (1773-1847) was an Indian captive who was taken from her family home in Pennsylvania in 1778 by the Delaware Tribe. She was raised by an elderly Miami Indian couple in what is now Ohio and Indiana. Slocum was reunited with her white relatives in 1838, but remained with her adopted Native American family for the rest of her life. Image: The austere woman portrayed in this painting by artist John Froehlich is much less Frances Slocum and far more Maconaquah. Childhood and Early Years Frances Slocum was one of ten children born to Jonathan and Ruth Tripp Slocum, a Quaker family who emigrated from Rhode Island to the Wyoming Valley of…

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Rachel Silverthorn

Heroine of Fort Muncy During the Revolutionary War, settlements throughout the Susquehanna Valley in north central Pennsylvania were attacked by Loyalists (Americans loyal to England) and Native Americans allied with the British. In the early summer of 1778, news came of a group of Native American warriors, perhaps accompanied by Loyalist and British soldiers, heading for the West Branch of the Susquehanna River to destroy settlements there. Image: Rachel Silverthorn’s Ride This mural is in United States Post Office Building in Muncy, Pennsylvania. It depicts Rachel on Captain Brady’s white horse warning settlers to return to the fort. There were many smaller incidents of violence against settlers in the area, but on June 10,1778, a party of sixteen settlers were…

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Elizabeth Archer Renick

Indian Captive Image: Indians Returning English Captives to Colonel Bouquet November 1764 Elizabeth Archer, daughter of Rebecca Thompson and Sampson Archer, had come from northern Ireland in 1737 with her family, who took claim to 1000 acres near Natural Bridge, VA. In 1741, Elizabeth married Robert Renick, who had settled in Augusta County, VA, in 1740. They lived in what was then the Virginia frontier. Virginia records show that on June 10, 1740, Robert Renick received a patent to 400 acres of land on the Buffalo Lick Branch in Augusta County, VA, and on November 10, 1757, obtained a patent to 90 acres on Purgatory Creek, a branch of the James River.

Mary Jemison

Indian Captivity Narrative The Taking of Mary Jemison By historical artist Robert Griffing Mary Jemison was born in 1743 aboard the ship William and Mary in the fall of 1743 while en route from Northern Ireland to America. Upon their arrival in America, the couple and their new child joined other Scots-Irish immigrants and headed west from Philadelphia to what was then the western frontier (now central Pennsylvania). The Jemisons squatted on territory that was under the authority of the Iroquois Confederacy, and Mary grew up on that farm, 10 miles west of present-day Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Although life was hard on the western edge of the colony of Pennsylvania, Mary fondly recalled these “childish, happy days” full of hard work…

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Marguerite Kanenstenhawi / Eunice Williams

Captured at the Deerfield Massacre Image: Depiction of Eunice Being Led Away from Deerfield Eunice’s captor hurried her toward the north gate Illustration copyright Francis Back Eunice Williams was born in Deerfield, Massachusetts, on September 17, 1696, the daughter of Puritan minister the Reverend John Williams and his wife Eunice Mather Williams. The girl who would grow up to become the most famous “unredeemed captive” had a conventional New England Puritan upbringing until the age of seven. Her family’s wealth and prominence made her early life a bit more privileged than that of other young Deerfield girls, and her fate as an adopted Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) better known. On February 29, 1704, in the pre-dawn hours, a force of about 300…

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Mary Ingles

Virginia Woman Kidnapped by Shawnee Warriors Image: Map Showing the Journey of Mary Draper Ingles The red line shows her movement west as a captive of the Shawnee Indians, and the blue line her return east. The entire trip took place in the summer and autumn of 1755. Into the Wilderness Born in 1732, Mary Draper was the daughter of George Draper and Eleanor Hardin, Irish immigrants to Philadelphia. In the 1740s, the Drapers were among the first white settlers to scale the Allegheny Mountains, which were the western edge of colonial exploration and settlement at that time. They, along with Colonel John Patton, Thomas Ingles and his sons William, Matthew and John settled a natural glade that was well…

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Hannah Dustin

Indian Captive Image: Painting by Junius Brutus Stearns, 1847 Earliest known painting of the Hannah Dustin Story Hannah Dustin/Duston was a forty-year-old colonial New England woman who was captured during an Indian raid, and escaped from her captors by killing them in the night and fleeing in their canoe. She is believed to be the first woman honored in the United States with a statue. Born Hannah Emerson on December 23, 1657, Hannah Dustin, her husband Thomas, and their nine children were living in Haverhill, Massachusetts, when the town was attacked by Abenaki Indians on March 15, 1697. Thomas fled with eight of the children, but Hannah, her six-day-old baby Martha, and her nurse Mary Neff were captured.

Mary Rowlandson

The Year: 1676 Born around 1637 in Somerset, England, Mary White was the sixth of ten children. Her family immigrated to New England when she was very young, settling first in Salem and later in the frontier town of Lancaster in the Massachusetts Colony. In 1656, Mary married Joseph Rowlandson, the Harvard-educated Puritan minister of Lancaster, and for the next twenty years she occupied the role of a Puritan wife, tending to her home and raising children. Captured by the Narrangansett While her husband was away in Boston trying to convince the Colony’s leaders to provide military protection for the town, Mary Rowlandson’s life was radically disrupted on February 10, 1676, when a contingent of Narraganset Indians attacked and burned…

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