Indian Captivities

AccessGenealogy.com. Indian Captivity Narratives. A collection of first hand Indian captivity narratives from a variety of sources. For a list of sources, please see title page.

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.

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 …

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Narrative of the Sufferings of Peter Williamson – Indian Captivities

Not for the faint of heart or stomach, this is a graphically descriptive recounting of the captivity of Peter Williamson, who was taken by the Delaware Indians, at his own house near the forks of the Delaware in Pennsylvania. Of all the sufferings reported by captives, this particular account appears to go above and beyond the usual descriptions, almost to the point of unbelievability – because in this case, he doesn’t simply report the acts of cruelty, but vividly describes them in the most horrid fashion, even to claim the Delaware committed cannibalism on one of their captives, and then explaining how they did it.

Narrative of the Escape of W. B. Thompson – Indian Captivities

John W. B. Thompson’s story of “captivity” is really a captive story about being attacked by Seminole Indians at the Cape Florida Lighthouse he manned with what appears to be his slave. Written by him to let his friends know that he was alive, though crippled, the letter to the editor of the Charleston (S. C.) Courier details the frightful event of 23 July 1836. The Seminole Indians who attacked him likely pillaged the premise for supplies as they were taking their families into the marsh around Cape Florida where they were attempting to hide from the forced migration of their tribe to Oklahoma.

Narrative of the Captivity of Sergeant Lent Munson – Indian Captivities

Narrative of the captivity and escape of Sergeant Lent Munson, who fell into the hands of the Western Indians at the time of Lieut. Lowry’s defeat. As Lieut. Lowry and Ensign Boyd, with about one hundred men, were escorting two hundred and fifty pack horses with provisions from fort St. Clair to General Wayne’s camp, …

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Narrative of the Captivity of Quintin Stockwell – Indian Captivities

Quintin Stockwell, Who was taken at Deerfield, in Massachusetts, by a Party of Inland Indians, in the Year 1677; Communicated in his own Words, and Originally Published by the Eminent Dr. Increase Mather, in the Year 1684. A particular account of the interruption in which Stockwell and others fell into the hands of the Indians …

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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 …

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Narrative of the Captivity of Nehemiah How

A Narrative of the captivity of Nehemiah How, who was taken by the Indians at the Great Meadow Fort above Fort Dummer, where he was an inhabitant, October 11th, 1745. Giving an account of what he met with in his traveling to Canada, and while he was in prison there. Together with an account of Mr. How’s death at Canada. Exceedingly valuable for the many items of exact intelligence therein recorded, relative to so many of the present inhabitants of New England, through those friends who endured the hardships of captivity in the mountain deserts and the damps of loathsome prisons. Had the author lived to have returned, and published his narrative himself, he doubtless would have made it far more valuable, but he was cut off while a prisoner, by the prison fever, in the fifty-fifth year of his age, after a captivity of one year, seven months, and fifteen days. He died May 25th, 1747, in the hospital at Quebec, after a sickness of about ten days. He was a husband and father, and greatly beloved by all who knew him.

Narrative of the Captivity of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson – Indian Captivities

Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, Wife of the Rev. Joseph Rowlandson, Who Was Taken Prisoner when Lancaster was Destroyed, in the Year 1676; Written by Herself. On the 10th of February, 1676, came the Indians with great numbers  upon Lancaster: their first coming was about sun-rising. Hearing the noise of some guns, we looked out; several houses …

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Narrative of the Captivity of Mrs. Isabella M’coy – Indian Captivities

Narrative of the Captivity of Mrs. Isabella M’coy, who was taken Captive at Epsom, N. H., in the Year 1747. Collected From the Recollections of Aged People who knew her, by the Rev. Jonathan Curtis, a Minister of that Town, about Seventeen Years ago, and by Him Communicated to the Publishers of the New Hampshire …

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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 …

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Narrative of the Captivity of John Ortiz – Indian Captivities

John Ortiz, a Spaniard, Who was Eleven Years a Prisoner Among the Indians of Florida In the year 1528 Pamphilo de Narvaez, with a commission, constituting him governor of Florida, or “all the lands lying from the river of Palms to the cape of Florida,” sailed for that country with 400 foot and 20 horse, …

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Narrative of the Captivity of Frances Noble – Indian Captivities

Narrative of the captivity of Frances Noble, who was, among others, taken by the Indians from Swan Island, in Maine, about the year 1755; compiled by John Kelly, Esq. of Concord, New Hampshire, from the minutes and memoranda of Phinehas Merrill. Esq. of Stratham, in the same state; and by the Former Gen. Tleman communicated for publication to the editors of the Historical Collections of New Hampshire.

Narrative of the Captivity of Capt. William Hubbell – Indian Captivities

A Narrative of the desperate encounter and escape of Capt. William Hubbell from the Indians while descending the Ohio River in a boat with others, in the year 1791. Originally set forth in the Western Review, and afterwards republished by Dr. Metcalf, in his “Narratives of Indian Warfare in the West.” In the year 1791, …

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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. When I reached Michilimackinac I found several other traders, who …

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Narrative of the Captivity and Sufferings of Miss Sarah Gerish – Indian Captivities

Miss Sarah Gerish, who was Taken at the Sacking of Dover, in the Year 1689, by the Indians; as Communicated to the Reverend Dr. Cotton Mather, by the Reverend John Pike, Minister of Dover. Sarah Gerish, daughter of Capt. John Gerish, of Quochecho or Cocheco, was a very beautiful and ingenious damsel, about seven years …

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Narrative of Robert Eastburn – Indian Captivities

A Faithful Narrative of the Many Dangers and Sufferings, as well as wonderful and surprising deliverances, of Robert Eastburn, during his late captivity among the Indians. Written by Himself. Published at the earnest request of many persons, for the benefit of the Public. With a recommendatory Preface by the Rev. Gilbert Tennent. Psalms 24, 6, …

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