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The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier
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The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  1,188 Ratings  ·  140 Reviews
A true story... On New Year's Day 1870, ten-year-old Adolph Korn was kidnapped by Plains Indians. For three years, he thrived on their rough, nomadic existence, becoming a fierce warrior. Never readjusting to white society, he spent his last years in a cave, all but forgotten by his family. Determined to understand how a timid farm boy could have become so Indianized, auth ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 2004)
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Jason Koivu
Jul 21, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, non-fiction
Don't let the title fool you, this is not just a single story. There are numerous stories about abduction on the western frontier in The Captured, and most of them are written with all the enticement of a newspaper headline w/photo.


Okay, that was a little too sensationalistic...not to mention racist.

However, there is a load of action and gruesome imagery in The Captured, as many of the abductions were the result of raids during which there were casualties on
Anthony Whitt
Dec 09, 2013 Anthony Whitt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book and an interesting read. The author's narrative flows in an easy reading manner that will keep the readers attention from beginning to end. Zesch is from the area of the abductions and does a thorough job of describing the sometimes brutal attacks on the settlers from that time period. His knowledge of the Texas Hill Country and kinship with his pioneer ancestors add a unique personal perspective to his story. The final work is well worth the read and sheds light on the trag ...more
Aug 12, 2014 Jeanette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This non-fiction reads like a history book. It's clear writing and thorough research. But it is so fact-filled in the who, what, where, how, & why that the scope of people (numbers alone) in far flung spheres of location (huge expanses of the American Plains to Southern fringes of Texas) becomes a dry and difficult read.

Most of the prime and most documented to voiced experience cases were in the period 1840-80, with the most highlighted in most detail for 5 or 6 cases during and in the deca
Mar 24, 2015 David rated it it was amazing
Scott Zesch is a relative of Adolf Korn, a well-known Indian captive of the 1870s. Korn's captivity and the subsequent efforts to bring him back to his family excited much comment at the time. What is less well-known is that Korn never adjusted to white life after being an Indian. He became a hermit, living in a cave above the Llano River. The Captured is Zech's effort to make sense of great-uncle Adolph's experiences. Zesch compares the stories of many Texan child-captives, detailing Indian rai ...more
The stories of six boys and two girls who were kidnapped (in separate incidents) by Indians (Comanche and Apache) from their homes in the hill country of Texas during the 1860's. The events surrounding their capture are shocking and disturbing because of their brutality. Yet, on the other hand, the lives these children led after being assimilated into their new families and tribes were exciting, adventuresome, and fulfilling to such a degree that they all suffered greatly upon being forced back ...more
May 22, 2016 Kavan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 15, 2013 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a recently published and well researched history of children captured by Indians on the Texas Hill Country frontier during the 1860s to 1870s. Violence marked a backdrop to the times, the American Civil War pulled the US Army to the east and caused the closing of the Texas line of western defensive forts. So, once again tribal people roamed freely in Texas from the Panhandle to the Rio Grande. But at the war’s end, given the violent kidnapping and other actions, the forts were reoccupied ...more
Wow. This was very hard to read. Tragic on so many levels.

American Indians as a way of life stole children from neighboring tribes. They experienced a high mortality rate among their own people for various reasons, and used kidnapping as a way to replenish their numbers. When non-Indians moved into the Indians territory, the Indians continued their means of building up their numbers and kidnapped White, Mexican, and Negro children. For the parents to try to retrieve those children was something
Steven Howes
Jul 29, 2011 Steven Howes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the age of 12, the author's great uncle Adolph Korn was abducted by Commanche Indians in Texas on January 1, 1870 and eventually returned to his family approximately three years later. After hearing stories about his uncle's capture, his life among the Indians, and his difficult life following his return to white society, the author researched his uncle's life story and those of eight other children abducted by Indians. Even though the durations of captivity ranged from about 6 months to over ...more
Aug 01, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I didn't love Paulette Jiles' book The Color of Lightening, but what I found so fascinating was learning that many of the children(and some adults as well) abducted during the mid eighteen hundreds by Indians in the Texas hill country did not want to be returned to their white families. And most of those that were either ran away back to their Indian families, died young, or lead a isolated lonely life. It was truly heartbreaking. I was so intruiged with this that I looked at the bibliography in ...more
Feb 10, 2013 Reiden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Captured is similar to Empire of the Summer Moon, but tells the accounts of several captured children instead of one single story. This book was well written and does a great job at recreating the atmosphere of life in Texas during the mid 1800’s. It was hard to know who to feel sorry for at times: the parents of the kidnapped children, or the children who were then forced to return to their biological families. Most of captives wanted nothing more than to remain with the Indians who they so ...more
Jan 05, 2011 Jed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating! About white kids, mostly children of German settlers, in Texas, who were kidnapped by Indians in the 1860's & 1870's. Almost all these kids, once returned to their families, viewed their time with the Indians, whether a few months or a number of years, as the best of their lives. And that view continued into adulthood. And they had that view even when the raid in which they were kidnapped resulted in the torture & death of their family members.

And that view is understandabl
Mark Masters
Jun 24, 2011 Mark Masters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-history
I initially picked this book as supplement for the book, “Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History”, by S.C. Gwynne. I read that book in 2010, and it left me eager to learn more about the Indians in the southwest and their interactions with Texas settlers. This book was not only a good follow-up to that book, but it stood on its own as “good read.”
Scott Zesch’s “The Captured...” book differs from the “Emp
Aug 31, 2008 J.R. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
There have been captivity narrative books before including some by former captives. Zesch went beyond many of these in his quest, interviewing surviving relatives, digging into dusty archives and meeting with Comanche elders to gain a better understanding of tribal ways. He does not romanticize about the hardships of life on the frontier or that of the Native Americans. Nor does he mince in showing that compassion and brutality were not restricted to one side.

While Zesch found scanty records to
♥ Sandi
Sep 14, 2015 ♥ Sandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-want
Well researched story of the 1800's. This novel covers 8 children abducted by Indians in Texas and their plight back to their white families. 15 pages of actual pictures - both abducted children and Indian chiefs. This is written by the grandson of the sister of one of the abducted children - many times removed. It not only tells of the children's lives - both before and after the abduction, but also of their family circumstances and death.

This book was very fact based - hidden well in a strong
Aug 06, 2014 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great synthesis of a variety of sources into an easily readable and enjoyable account of the captivity of 5 "white indians". Very personal at times. Enlightening and perhaps provocative contrast of parenting behaviors of German settlers and Native Americans. One of the best I've read describing Native American culture and behavior. Perhaps more interesting to me because I had great aunts and uncles born in Oklahoma Indian Territory while the main players in this account were still alive. Easy re ...more
Nov 02, 2008 Mom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thouroughly enjoyed reading this book about children captured by Indians in the 1860/70's in Texas. The author was motivated to research and write this book upon discovering one of his relatives had been an Indian captive. Good insights into the Indian lifestyle at a time when it was being changed forever, and the difficulties these captives faced upon return to their families and "civilization".
May 27, 2016 Mindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this on our first local vacation to Bandera, Texas, and was fascinated by this chapter in Texas history. Really appreciated that the author, a relative of one of the children abducted, worked hard to understand the Native American side and the impact of new settlers on their existence. A balanced, insightful, and well-researched read.
I have read 2 books on Indian captivity. This is an interesting read and I would recommend to anyone that has a interest in the subject or a interest in American history or American Indians.
Aug 01, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating account of the children captured by the Indians. Primarily because they liked it so much, reluctant to return home. Good follow-on to Sam gwynne's book about the Comanches.
Jan 29, 2009 Kitchengrrl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really great history of Indian captives in the late 1870s in Texas. I learned a lot about the whys of this practice, plus ineresting insights into the captives' lives.
May 26, 2015 Jerome rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting slice of Americana we seldom hear about.
After I read News of the World by Paulette Jiles she referenced this book if anyone wanted to read more about the lives of Indian captives during the late 1800's, so I decided to check it out because I LOVED News of the World. The author decides to research this topic because his great-great uncle Adolph Korn had been captured by Indians as a child and lived with them for 3 years before his rescue. Zesch had always heard family stories that Uncle Adolph never really recovered from his capture an ...more
Derek Baker
Jan 11, 2017 Derek Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Caution. Caution. I may use the term Indian or Native American, or American Indian!

I wasn't ready to start reading this book but opened it to sample a few pages and could not put it down. It was a good follow-up read after Summer of the Comanche Moon which I read some time ago.
I don't know if the author (Scott Zesch) is a professional historian, but he does a good job of pulling his research together and telling life stories in the context of "period" happenings. He seemed to do his best to hold

Nov 28, 2016 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I learned so much about children and teens who were captured by Indians in Texas in this carefully researched narrative history. Scott Zesch had a relative who was captured by an Apache raiding party and then was traded to a Comanche band where he spent three years. Zesch also found eight other children who were captured and told their stories also. The reactions of the "White Indians" when they returned to their families was very interesting. I hope more historians and resear ...more
Nov 16, 2016 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating, interesting, meticulously researched, surprising, humbling, eye-opening account of true abductions of white children by Indians on the Texas frontier. I heard about this book when I recently read Paulette Jiles novel about one such capture, "News of the World." I wanted to know more about the subject as I had trouble wrapping my head around the fact that many of the children who were returned to their families wanted to go back to their Indian lives. After reading "The Captured," I ...more
Nov 17, 2016 Kathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I listened to most of this book on CD. When there were about 2 discs left, I got bored and didn't finish it. I read it because it was recommended reading after I read the book, News of the World by Paulette Jiles. There were some interesting parts, but I felt there was not a lot of first hand description of the captives' experiences. Much of that seemed to be the author's speculation on what might have occurred. I wish I could read a book written entirely by one of the captives. I wonder if such ...more
Nov 10, 2016 Vivian rated it it was amazing
Read with my 13 yr old grandson as research for a Texas History project. We both enjoyed the book since we have family currently living in area of the books setting. The story opened up several discussion topics.......ethics, survival, genocide, faith and family. This book has violence too harsh for younger children but it enforces how strong our ancestors were.
Sep 15, 2016 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I give it 4 stars and found it a fascinating book to read, I also found it very disturbing.
I’ve not really read much about this part of our history, nor read much about the Native American tribes of the Southern Plains. Of course, we’ve all seen the Westerns, painting the Comanches and Apaches as cruel and bloodthirsty killers who terrorized the settlers, and I’ve lived long enough to see the narrative shift to giving more weight to how dreadfully the Native Americans were treated by th
Tamara O'Hare
Oct 10, 2016 Tamara O'Hare rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read! I loved it for its historic story, but its also very interestingly told.
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