The Unredeemed Captive Book Analysis

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The Unredeemed Captive (1995), a non-fiction book by American author and historian John Putnam Demos, is the true story of a kidnapping that shocked colonial Massachusetts. In February 1704, during the French and Indian War, a Native war party descended on the village of Deerfield and abducted Puritan minister John Williams and his family. Although Williams was eventually released, his daughter shocked the colonials by choosing to stay with her captors, eventually marrying into the Mohawk tribe. Exploring themes of colonial politics, the complex relationship between colonists and the native population, and the religious dynamics of colonial America, The Unredeemed Captive was widely praised for its extensively researched narrative. It won the…show more content…
England and France are at war over dueling claims to the Spanish throne, and the conflict has spread to the North American colonies where the Mohawk tribes have become aligned with the French. On February 29th, 1704, the war comes to the small New England town of Deerfield. The town is brutally attacked by a Mohawk raiding party and set on fire. Some of the residents are killed and scalped, some escaped, and others are captured and taken back to the territory of New France in what is now Canada. The target of the raid was Deerfield’s prominent reverend, John Williams, who was planned to be traded for the French captain Jean Baptiste Guyon, who was currently being held by the English. The Williams home was raided, and the two youngest children were scalped. Williams, his wife, and five other children ranging from fourteen to four were captured along with a hundred and twelve other Deerfield residents. The Williams children were scattered among the Indian tribes, and the captives were eventually sold to the French and traded in exchange for captives. Three years later, John Williams was able to make his way back and negotiate for the release of his children. He retrieved them all besides his now-nine-year-old daughter Eunice, who the Kahnawake Indians refused to negotiate

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