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Indian Captivity Narratives

This collection contains entire narratives of Indian captivity; that is to say, we have provided the reader the originals without the slightest abridgement. Some of these captivities provide little in way of customs and manners, except to display examples of the clandestine warfare Native Americans used to accomplish their means. In almost every case, there was a tug of war going on between principle government powers, French, American, British, and Spanish, and these powers used the natural prowess of the Indians to assist them in causing warfare upon American and Canadian settlers. There were definitely thousands of captivities, likely tens of thousands, as the active period of these Indian captivity narratives covers 150 years. Unfortunately, few have ever been put under a pen by the original captive, and as such, we have little first-hand details on their captivity. These you will find here, are only those with which were written by the captive or narrated to another who could write for them; you shall find in a later collection, a database of known captives, by name, location, and dates, and a narrative about their captivity along with factual sources. But that is for another time.

Rev. John Corbly’s Narrative РIndian Captivities

If, after perusing the annexed melancholy narrative, you deem it worthy a place in your publication, it is at your service. Such communications, founded on fact, have a tendency on one hand to make us feel for the persons afflicted, and on the other to impress our hearts with gratitude to the Sovereign Disposer of all events for that emancipation which the United States have experienced from the haughty claims of Britain a power, at that time, so lost to every human affection, that, rather than not subdue and make us slaves, they basely chose to encourage, patronize and reward, as their most faithful and beloved allies, the savages of the wilderness; who, without discrimination, barbarously massacred the industrious husband man, the supplicating female, the prattling child and tender infant, vainly sheltered within the encircling arms of maternal fondness. Such transactions, as they come to our knowledge well authenticated, ought to be recorded, that our posterity may not be ignorant of what their ancestors underwent at the trying period of our national exertions for American independence. The following account was, at my request, drawn up by the unfortunate sufferer. Respecting the author, suffice it to say, that he is an ordained minister of the Baptist faith and order, and held in high estimation by all our associated churches. I am, sir, yours, &c., William Rogers Muddy Creek, Washington County, July 8, 1785. Dear Sir, The following is a just and true account of the tragical scene of my family’s falling by the savages, which I related when at your house in Philadelphia, and you requested me to forward in...

Biography of Lindsey Corbly

Lindsey Corbly. The activities of Lindsey Corbly go far back into the pioneer history of Champaign County. He was here over sixty years ago and he endured the ordeals of life on the frontier. The years have visited his efforts with abundant prosperity. Material possessions have been only part of the riches of his experience. He has lived a life of honor, peace and industry, and now in his declining years, in his home at Paxton, he enjoys the esteem of both old and young. Mr. Corbly was born at Garrard’s Fort in Greene County, Pennsylvania, the third son of William and Rebecca (Stephens) Corbly, also natives of Pennsylvania. The records of the Corbly family go far back into pioneer days of the Pennsylvania colony. His grandfather, Rev. John Corbly, was a pioneer Baptist minister along the frontier line of western Pennsylvania. He was a native of England, but had come to America before the Revolution and first settled in western Virginia and afterwards in Greene County, Pennsylvania. He was instrumental in building the first church at Garrard’s Fort. This was a log building and other edifices followed it, while in 1909 the congregation erected their fourth church home, a brick edifice dedicated that year and named the John Corbly Memorial Church. The name was fittingly bestowed to honor one of the most devoted churchmen of the West. The proposition had been long discussed as to some appropriate memorial to this good and worthy man, and it was finally decided to erect a church which would stand for years and recall his good deeds and unselfish labors. Rev. John...

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