Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier” as Want to Read:
The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  689 ratings  ·  102 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Captured, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Captured

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,500)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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.

WHITE BOY CAPTURED BY ENGINES!!!
description

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 b
...more
Jeanette
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
...more
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
Kurt
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
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
Jed
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
...more
Melinda
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
...more
Lisa
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
...more
Tom
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
Mom
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".
Michael
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.
Susan
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.
Kitchengrrl
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.
Reiden
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
Marci
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
...more
Gavin
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
...more
Diana
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
Emily
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
Miles
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
...more
Randee
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
Debbi
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
Cheyanne
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.
David
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
J.R.
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
...more
Gloria
Book Club book (from a while ago; missed that month).

This is Laura's cousin's book, and it was pretty darn interesting. I will admit that I was thrown off at first by the fact that we were actually following several stories (which he explains is necessary, in order to try to recreate what might have been his uncle's experience) and this made it a little hard to track while reading. But I really enjoyed it, even though it was incredibly sad. Very well balanced in his recounting of the captive's a
...more
Ashley Blanchette
After reading, The Son, I was interested in learning more about the children of Texas settlers that were kidnapped by Indians. This book takes you through 8 different children's abductions, their circumstances, descriptions of their captivity and how they fared when they were reintroduced to society. It read like a fast paced thriller but at times jumped around too much. Overall a very interesting book.
Ellen Johnson
I guess I really liked this not nec. for the quality of the writing but for the inherent interest of the subject matter and the thorough explanation of it. If anyone knows of something similar on the abductions over 100 years earlier in the northeast, I'd be interested in that too. Raises more questions than answered but that's understandable because of the lack of available evidence left behind by captives, e.g. regarding their motivations and feelings. All in all it seems to say that kids had ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 49 50 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride
  • Andersonville Diary
  • Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend
  • The Comanche Empire
  • The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral--And How It Changed The American West
  • Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors
  • A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn - the Last Great Battle of the American West
  • The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History
  • The Killing of Crazy Horse
  • Comanches: The Destruction of a People
  • Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas
  • Hearts West: True Stories of Mail-Order Brides on the Frontier
  • Along The Enchanted Way: A Romanian Story
  • Captured by the Indians: 15 Firsthand Accounts, 1750-1870
  • The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman
  • A Sorrow in Our Heart: The Life of Tecumseh
  • Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
  • Shot All to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West's Greatest Escape
The Chinatown War: Chinese Los Angeles and the Massacre of 1871 Alamo Heights

Share This Book