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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.

Narrative of Robert Eastburn – Indian Captivities

A Faithful Narrative of the Many Dangers and Sufferings, as well as wonderful and surprising deliverances, of Robert Eastburn, during his late captivity among the Indians. Written by Himself. Published at the earnest request of many persons, for the benefit of the Public. With a recommendatory Preface by the Rev. Gilbert Tennent. Psalms 24, 6, 7, and 193, 2, 4. Philadelphia: Printed. Boston: Reprinted and sold by Green & Russell, opposite the Probate Office in Queen street, 1753. Preface Candid Reader: The author (and subject) of the ensuing narrative (who is a deacon of our church, and has been so for many years) is of such an established good character, that he needs no recommendation of others where he is known; a proof of which was the general joy of the inhabitants of this city, occasioned by his return from a miserable captivity; together with the readiness of divers persons to contribute to the relief of himself and necessitous family, without any request of his, or the least motion of that tendency. But seeing the following sheets are like to spread into many places where he is not known, permit me to say that, upon long acquaintance, I have found him to be a person of candor, integrity, and sincere piety, whose testimony may with safety be depended upon; which give his narrative the greater weight, and may induce to read it with the greater pleasure. The design of it is evidently pious; the matters contained in it and manner of handling them, will, I hope, be esteemed by the impartial to be entertaining and improving. I wish it...

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.

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