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John Gyles Captivity Narrative – Indian Captivities

John Gyles captivity narrative provides a stunning display of Abenaki culture and lifestyle, as it was in the 1690’s. John was 10 years old when he was taken captive in the attack on Pemaquid (Bristol Maine) and his narrative provides an accounting of his harrowing treatment by his Indian captors, as well as the three years exile with his French owners at Jemseg New Bruswick. His faith in Christ remains central in the well-being of his mind throughout his ordeal.

French Founders

Let us give a final glance at the map. It is the general belief that a line of elevated land, now some eighty or ninety miles due north of the Louisiana coast, is the prehistoric shore of the Gulf. A range of high, abrupt hills or bluffs, which the Mississippi first encounters at the city of Vicksburg, and whose southwestward and then southward trend it follows thereafter to the town of Baton Rouge, swerves, just below this point, rapidly to a due east course, and declines gradually until, some thirty miles short of the eastern boundary of Louisiana, it sinks entirely down into a broad tract of green and flowery sea-marsh that skirts, for many leagues, the waters of Mississippi Sound. Close along under these subsiding bluffs, where they stretch to the east, the Bayou Manchac, once Iberville River, and the lakes beyond it, before the bayou was artificially obstructed, united the waters of Mississippi River with those of Mississippi Sound. Apparently this line of water was once the river itself. Now, however, the great flood, turning less abruptly, takes a southeasterly course, and, gliding tortuously, wide, yellow, and sunny, between low sandy banks lined with endless brakes of cottonwood and willow, cuts off between itself and its ancient channel a portion of its own delta formation. This fragment of half-made country, comprising something over seventeen hundred square miles of river-shore, dark swamp-laud, and bright marsh, was once widely known, both in commerce and in international politics, as Orleans Island. Its outline is extremely irregular. At one place it is fifty-seven males across from the river shore to the...

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