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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

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  799 ratings  ·  107 reviews
On New Year's Day in 1870, ten-year-old Adolph Korn was kidnapped by an Apache raiding party. Traded to Comaches, he thrived in the rough, nomadic existence, quickly becoming one of the tribe's fiercest warriors. Forcibly returned to his parents after three years, Korn never adjusted to life in white society. He spent his last years in a cave, all but forgotten by his fami ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,750)
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Jason Koivu
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
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
Phillip Elliott
I have a small amount of American Indian blood in my history. I never read or studied anything in my life until the last few years, when my curiosity started to drive me to study the plight of the American Indians for a while. I have read a number of books trying to understand a bigger picture of what the end must have looked like for the American Indian’s living on the open plains of the west. After reading about Cynthia Anne Parker I had to read more about the children who were captured and ra ...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
Anthony Whitt
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
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
Steven Howes
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
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
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
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
Mark Masters
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
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
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".
This story is taken directly from the author's family history . One of his Great Uncles(many "greats " ago), back in 1870,was captured by Indians . It seems that it was a fairly common occurrence in the area of Texas their families lived in . They were mostly settlers from Germany in that area,and several families had kidnappings,either of kids or sometimes ladies.
The main age group the Indians seemed to choose were kids between age 8-10 ... they also kidnapped ladies,but very seldom did they h
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.
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.
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.
This is a good story written for the general reader. It appears to be well researched, but it treats the stories told by "the captured," sometimes years after the events, as "facts." Occasionally he describes things his characters were seeing as if he had been there. A description of Palo Duro Canyon for instance. He his clearly describing something he saw in the present. He mentions the probability that they suffered what we now call PTSD and perhaps "Stockholm Syndrome" but the vividness of hi ...more
Scott Zesch (native Texan) began writing "The Captured" after finding the lonely grave of one of his reclusive and little-known relatives. His great-great-Uncle Adolph Korn had been kidnapped as a youth by Indians, but Zesch knew little of the details surrounding this incident.
Zesch expanded his research and found more information on other children that were captured by the indians and raised for varying lenghts of time with the tribes. The book focuses on 9 that children. Some were captured in
Another in the 'historical faction' category. Like most of them, the real strength of the book lies not so much in the salacious hook as it does in the snapshot of time, which here is post-war frontier Texas. While the story does continually return to the captured kids and the interesting phenomena of their 'naturalization', this struck more as a chronicle of the end of the native american against a tide of western expansion and settlement.

Interestingly enough, it left me feeling less sympatheti
Just started listening to this today. Very interesting so far. I definitely am interested to know how it happens, even though I know what happens! Sometimes it reads like a history book, but mostly the author is successful at telling it more like a story, even though I would call it a series of vignettes about various abductions by the Native Americans. I think he does a good job of sharing his personal exploration of trying to find out what the details of his ancestor's experiences were. Also, ...more
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
laura carbonneau
Oct 20, 2007 laura carbonneau rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history/culture buffs
The German and other European settlers of Texas in the late 1800s bore the wrath of the native people's, who in their desperation would raid settler communities, killing many, but often taking the children that weren't too young to be a burden and weren't too old to be set in their ways, so to speak. The children that were taken were often raised as a member of the tribe, and, according to this book, often were very content in their new life - which consisted of much more fun and excitement than ...more
This is the story of people who lived on both sides of a line in an irreconcilable conflict between cultures and societies. They experienced a duality of awareness that few in their age could even imagine.

Scott Zesch's biography of his ancestor Adolph Korn, a "White Indian", captured and raised for a few years by the Comanches, is eye opening and enlightening. Zesch explores the historical context of his ancestor and about ten other individuals who were captured on the Texas frontier by Indians
Fascinating! This is the most engaging, comprehensive book on Texas History I have ever read (not that I've read much) even though it only illuminates a sliver of that history. I don't know how many Texas History classes I've taken over the years, probably at least five, and never have I EXPERIENCED what the frontiersman and forefathers of our state experienced. From the lives of immigrant settlers to life in the city to Texan-Indian relations, to Texas-Indian culture this is a must-read for any ...more
Jan 16, 2014 Debbi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Debbi by: Jan Retherford
Scott Zesch's inquiry into the history of his uncle, Adolph Korn's, abduction by Comanches in the 1860s led him to the stories of several other children who were taken by both the Comanches and the Apaches. While I grieved at the beginning of the book for the parents whose children were gone, my heart truly broke for the children who were forced to return to white society. Contrary to their parents' nightmares and the visions conjured by newspaper articles, politicians, and rumor; most of their ...more
One reason I was drawn to the stories in this book, about European children captured by Native Americans in the Texas Hill Country, is that I grew up in the same area and recognized many of the places described. In fact, my German American ancestors lived on the same sort of hardscrabble farms that several of these children were taken from. But I think anyone interested in the history of the West would enjoy the vivid portrayals in this book. There are a few gaps in biographies of the individual ...more
Elizabeth Crook
This is a fantastic book. I spent a lot of my childhood in the hill country and have read a number of books on the extraordinary history of the area, including many first-hand accounts of the stories told here.But this book still had me from page one. It's a riveting narrative and also an eye-opening commentary on just how resilient and adaptive people are--and possibly on what little choice we really have about who we become.
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
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
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