Collection: Indian Captivities

Mary Draper Ingles Chimney Plaque

Captivity and Escape of Mary Inglis (Ingles) – Indian Captivities

The captivity of Mary Draper Inglis (Ingles) is a third person account of her captivity and eventual escape. Mary was captured by Shawnee Indians along with her two sons, and sister-in-law from Draper’s Meadow in 1755. She eventually made her escape, along with another dutch woman, a few months later. This is her story.

Narrative of Marie Le Roy and Barbara Leininger

The Narrative of Mary le Roy and Barbara Leininger. Who for four and a half years were captive among the Indians, and on the 6th May 1759 arrived happy in this city. From her own lips never written and promoted to the Press. This manuscript gives an account of the captivity and escape of these two girls, whose families lived on Penn’s Creek, in the present Union County, Pennsylvania. It also provides a lengthy list of names of other prisoners met by the two ladies in their captivity.

The Narrative of Francesco Giuseppe Bressani – Indian Captivities

The Italian Jesuit missionary Father Bressani was born in Rome, 6 May, 1612. At the age of fourteen he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus. Becoming zealous to serve as missionary among the American Indians, he went to Quebec in the summer of 1642, and the following year he was sent among the Algonquins at Three Rivers. In April, 1644, while on his way to the Huron country, where a mission had been established, he was captured by the Iroquois, who at that time were an exceedingly fierce and even cannibal nation, perpetually at war with nearly the whole known continent. By them he was subjected to tortures, but finally was made over to an old squaw to take the place of a deceased relative. From her he was ransomed by the Dutch at Fort Orange (the modern Albany), and by them he was sent to France, where he arrived in November, 1644. Despite his terrible experiences among the savages, and his maimed condition, the indomitable missionary returned to Canada the next spring, and labored with the Hurons until their mission was destroyed by the Iroquois four years later. In November, 1650, Bressani, in broken health, went back to his native land. Here he spent many years as a preacher and home missionary. He died at Florence, 9 September, 1672. The following account of Father Bressani’s sufferings among the Indians is translated from two of his own letters in his book Breve Relatione d’alcune Missioni nella Nuova Francia, published at Macerata in 1653.

The Abduction of Daniel Boone's Daughter by the Indians

Indian Captivity Narratives

This collection contains entire narratives of Indian captivity; that is to say, we have provided the reader the originals without the slightest abridgement. Some of these captivities provide little in way of customs and manners, except to display examples of the clandestine warfare Native Americans used to accomplish their means. In almost every case, there was a tug of war going on between principle government powers, French, American, British, and Spanish, and these powers used the natural prowess of the Indians to assist them in causing warfare upon American and Canadian settlers. There were definitely thousands of captivities, likely tens of thousands, as the active period of these Indian captivity narratives covers 150 years. Unfortunately, few have ever been put under a pen by the original captive, and as such, we have little first-hand details on their captivity. These you will find here, are only those with which were written by the captive or narrated to another who could write for them; you shall find in a later collection, a database of known captives, by name, location, and dates, and a narrative about their captivity along with factual sources. But that is for another time.

Narrative of the captivity of Alexander Henry, Esq – Indian Captivities

Narrative of the captivity of Alexander Henry, Esq., who, in the time of Pontiac’s War, fell into the hands of the Huron Indians. Detailing a faithful account of the capture of the Garrison of Michilimacki-Nac, and the massacre of about ninety people. Written by himself. 1Mr. Henry was an Indian trader in America for about sixteen years. He came to Canada with the army of General Amherst, and previous to his being made prisoner by the Indians experienced a variety of fortune. His narrative, as will be seen, is written with great candor as well as ability, and to the

Narrative of Mrs. Clendenin – Indian Captivities

Narrative of the Destruction of the Settlement of Green-Brier, Virginia, together with the capture and surprising conduct of Mrs. Clendenin, who was among those Who Escaped the Tomahawk of the Indians at that Massacre. 1Whether the following narrative was ever in print, except as it stands in Mr. Martin’s Gazetteer of Virginia, I have never learned. It would seem from the following note accompanying it in that work, “that it was extracted from memoirs of Indian wars on the western frontiers of Virginia, communicated to the Philosophical Society of Virginia, by Charles A. Stuart, Esq., of Augusta Co.” Ed. After

Narrative of the Captivity of Maria and Christina Manheim – Indian Captivities

Frederick Manheim, an industrious German, with his family, consisting of his wife, a daughter of eighteen years of age, and Maria and Christina, his youngest children, (twins,) about sixteen, resided near the river Mohawk, eight miles west of Johnston. On the 19th of October, 1779, the father being at work at some distance from his habitation, and the mother and eldest daughter on a visit at a neighbor’s, two hostile Canasadaga Indians rushed in and captured the twin sisters. The party to which these savages belonged consisted of fifty warriors, who, after securing twenty-three of the inhabitants of that neighborhood,

Experience Bozarth’s Heroic Stand – Indian Captivities

Signal Prowess of a Woman, In a Combat with Some Indians. In a Letter to a Lady of Philadelphia Westmoreland, April 26, 1779. Madam, I have written an account of a very particular affair between a white man and two Indians. 1 Reference is probably made to the desperate encounter of one Morgan and two Indians. Ed.  I am now to give you a relation in which you will see how a person of your sex acquitted herself in defense of her own life, and that of her husband and children. The lady who is the burthen of this story

Rev. John Corbly’s Narrative – Indian Captivities

If, after perusing the annexed melancholy narrative, you deem it worthy a place in your publication, it is at your service. Such communications, founded on fact, have a tendency on one hand to make us feel for the persons afflicted, and on the other to impress our hearts with gratitude to the Sovereign Disposer of all events for that emancipation which the United States have experienced from the haughty claims of Britain a power, at that time, so lost to every human affection, that, rather than not subdue and make us slaves, they basely chose to encourage, patronize and reward,

Narrative of the Captivity of of Mrs. Francis Scott – Indian Captivities

A True and Wonderful Narrative of the Surprising Captivity and remarkable deliverance of Mrs. Francis Scott, an inhabitant of Washington County, Virginia, who was taken by the Indians on the evening of the 29th of June, 1785. On Wednesday, the 29th day of June, 1785, late in the evening, a large company of armed men passed the house on their way to Kentucky, some part of whom encamped within two miles. Mr. Scott’s living on a frontier part generally made the family watchful; but on this calamitous day, after so large a body of men had passed; he lay down