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Captured by the Indians: 15 Firsthand Accounts, 1750-1870
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Captured by the Indians: 15 Firsthand Accounts, 1750-1870

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  225 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Astounding eyewitness accounts of Indian captivity by people who lived to tell the tale. Fifteen true adventures recount suffering and torture, bloody massacres, relentless pursuits, miraculous escapes, and adoption into Indian tribes. Fascinating historical record and revealing picture of Indian culture and frontier life. Introduction. Notes.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 1st 1985 by Dover Publications
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I've been reading Gwynne's Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History and have been frustrated by the fact that the author seems only to have focused on sources written by white men and women. While scrounging through my shelves for something else I came across this and thought, "Hey, more white people having more thoughts!" It seemed as good a time as any to read it.

Actually, it's been rather interesting re
Mar 10, 2010 Karyl rated it really liked it
This book contains the stories of fifteen different people captured bey the Native Americans from the period of 1750 to 1870. It's a fascinating look at how the Native Americans lived from the perspective of someone who lived among them, though not by choice. The first few accounts are rather dry, having been committed to paper only years after the captivity came to an end, but the last two narratives are difficult to read. Both involve the brutalization of women and children by the Native ...more
Bri Fidelity
Having grown up on a steady diet of Magical Native Americans and twee New Age cultural appropriation, and coming fresh from Ishi In Two Worlds' litany of atrocities against native Americans by white landowners, this was...a bit of a nasty surprise.

I guess there never really are any Good Guys.
Aug 14, 2013 John rated it liked it
I picked this up at a used bookstore in Montreal, because I was thinking that Indian raids and French Canada just naturally go together. Poutine, freezing weather, and Indian captivity...that's Quebec for you. But then I enjoyed the poutine and walked around in the cold and failed to pick up the book until just now.
I read about half the accounts, and I'm going to keep it around and read more when I want just a quick little story before bed or something. I'm glad I bought it, but I was a little
Nov 08, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing
I think this book is incredible. First hand accounts of any event are usually the best source for information. This book contains 15 accounts of people that were captured by Native Americans and their experiences among them. These are some amazing stories and a very interesting and educational look into the lives of Native Americans during this time. Even if history isn't your favorite subject, this book is just flat out interesting. I have recommended it to several friends, most of which are ...more
Jan 08, 2014 Dpdwyer rated it liked it
Shelves: american-indians
An uneven collection of first hand accounts of time spent living with various Indian communities written by the captives themselves. It contained enough nuggets about Indian life to make it worth reading. It was interesting that while there were vivid descriptions of physical abuse and torture, there wasn’t a hint of any kind of sexual abuse or forced sex. Certainly one could not write openly about such things in the nineteenth century, but not even a hint! One thought is that sexual violence ...more
Dec 07, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, memoir
Great for history buffs who like to read memoir accounts of historical events. This book covers a chilling period in our history when settlers inched westward encroaching on Native People's lands. And it's mind-boggling to consider that these events (massacres and kidnappings) took place at roughly about the same time as the Civil War. With all it's misery, I have to admire the people (on both sides) who endured.
Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
As of October 2009:

Still working my way through this, one story every couple of weeks. They are remarkably similar to one another, but that could be due to the fact that most of the tales in the collection involve captivity by northeastern tribes - Wyandot, Ottawa, Huron. Maybe when I get to Florida and the Seminoles the narratives will be different.

December 2009:

Editor's Introduction aside, I'm not sure why this collection was assembled. It comes with no scholarly commentary and it collects st
Katy Dickinson
From my January 25, 2008 blog

1782 William Crawford, Simon Girty, and History

Last month when I visited Washington, D.C. for the first time in many decades, I toured the National Museum of the American Indian, opened as part of the Smithsonian Institution in 2004. It seemed to me that one way of understanding more about the complex relationship between the European/American cultures and the American Indian cultures was to read reports from individuals who h
Sep 30, 2014 Max rated it it was amazing
I had thoughts, should have written them when I had them. Alas. This book sparked reviews I think because of emotional reaction-shock. Of the acts that could be called “atrocities”, none are more appalling than what other cultures, “whites” included, have done and still do. To me, there was reason behind the acts, unlike ignorance a la Salem witch trials and inquisition. Guantanamo? Rapists and rape crews? Drones?
Also, I think, because of the “closeness to nature” if you will, readers felt the a
Alexander Geronzin
Sep 14, 2016 Alexander Geronzin rated it it was amazing
This is a great source of primary resources for anyone writing or studying Native American History.
Feb 05, 2016 Nicole rated it it was amazing
This book is probably the first narrative I read in regards to actual accounts of people on the ground living in the situation that is an Indian community. I read it several years ago, and though some of the stories have stayed in my mind since, I just recently got back into reading accounts of children or women that were kidnapped and held by different tribes. As I was reading other accounts, this one kept coming back in my thoughts. I enjoy the regular and mundane details of life on the plains ...more
Lindy Jones
Jul 15, 2011 Lindy Jones rated it it was amazing
Amazing... Fascinating read for me because I took a Native American literature class in college, but I'd never read anything about Native Americans from a white settler's perspective. I've read James Fenimore Cooper, though. Cooper romanticizes some aspects of the French and Indian War, but is accurate in a lot of instances, especially the practice of burning white captives at the stake. This book really hit close to home because some of my ancestors on both my mom and dad's sides were killed in ...more
רחל כוכב
Apr 25, 2014 רחל כוכב rated it did not like it
This one left me short of breath. The book consists of true stories of settlers captured by the Indians, but the brutality was just TOO much for me...(and I am not even a squeamish person) Each story starts out fairly pleasant, moves towards the sickening part...and the end, is only for sadists-and I am not one- due to the content, I don't recommend this one.
This book is certainly not the one you sit in an easy chair and read.
Jul 24, 2008 Charlie rated it really liked it
I had heard so many stories of how so many captives preferred their Indian lifestyles to their colonial that I was surprised here to find 15 stories that weren't so gentle. The brutality to men ( mostly) was savage and the tortures unbearable and merciless. Most of the women here seemed to hate their captors and waited journals of the captured. Though it got a little tedious the stories offer considerable variation of the experiences.
Jun 25, 2013 Glenn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: friends
Shelves: history
I'm simply amazed at these real events which happened in the not-so-decent past. Heartrending accounts of capture and escape, as well firsthand experiences with Indian life in this now, very tame country of ours. So much Native American history has been romanticized in movies and on TV, that it is probably impossible to separate reality from fiction without stories like these. I'm thankful they were preserved.
Susan Prudhomme
May 01, 2015 Susan Prudhomme rated it really liked it
This book is a fascinating antidote to the prevailing worship of Native American culture. While there are certainly many admirable aspects, it is also true that these people sometimes practiced unbelievable cruelty to outsiders. It's good to have a balanced view. This book is not for the squeamish - it's gruesome and horrifying in parts, but always thought-provoking and interesting.
Rhonda Lawrence
Mar 30, 2016 Rhonda Lawrence rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books so far. Extremely interesting tales from those that were taken by different tribes with associated footnotes explaining or debunking what was said by those that wrote their stories. Learned a lot of things about the tribal life and understanding the fear on both sides. Highly recommend it.
Mar 05, 2011 Carpii rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-history, own
I enjoyed this, but as other reviewers pointed out, quite a lot of the accounts are very similar, and some of them feel just a little exaggerated.

There are some real gems though, well worth a read
Jan 18, 2011 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book years ago and still remember it vividly. The book contains wonderful accounts of being captured by and living with various Indian tribes. Stirring, incredible accounts that move and stir. I highly recommend this book.
Sharon Zink
Aug 18, 2013 Sharon Zink rated it it was amazing
This may be the best book I will read this year. The accounts are about capture and imprisonment by the Indians in all parts of the United States; men as well as women; good treatment and cruelty, etc. An excellent book.
Fredrick Danysh
The stories of men and women who were captured by the Native Americans and what their lives were like.
Nov 20, 2008 Michael rated it really liked it
The best part of this book is that many of the stories are published separately, but you can get them all in this cheap book.
Jul 29, 2012 Alexis rated it really liked it
You obviously have to take the stories in this book with a grain of salt given the time period in which it was written, but it was interesting nonetheless!
Anna Crosby
Apr 08, 2014 Anna Crosby rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Very unexpectedly fun to read! I picked it up in history class and couldn't put it down. I love the different takes on Indian life - both good and bad.
Kiki Hughes
Jan 16, 2014 Kiki Hughes rated it really liked it
Going to use this book for my outside reading list. Yes, some of the stories are similar but they provide an inside look at Indian life in the early years of our country.
Andrea Drummond
Jan 28, 2014 Andrea Drummond rated it really liked it
I was hoping for at least a couple of stories where the captives liked their new Indian families so it's a little one-sided, but still an interesting glimpse into a part of American history.
May 23, 2014 Garnet rated it it was amazing
I agree with the other reviewers, shocking brutal behavior by the Indians goes over the top in a lot of cases. I wanted more female accounts though the last one is the best written.
Julie West
Apr 27, 2016 Julie West rated it really liked it
Learned some about the customs and practices of the different tribes, the horrors the captives went through, also that some elected to stay with the tribe. Wyandots were mentioned in a few chapters.
Mar 03, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing
AWESOME!!!! They do not teach this in our schools....I wonder why. Real True stories from the actual accounts of those involved. A MUST read.
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