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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 the Captivity of Mrs. Isabella M’coy – Indian Captivities

Narrative of the Captivity of Mrs. Isabella M’coy, who was taken Captive at Epsom, N. H., in the Year 1747. Collected From the Recollections of Aged People who knew her, by the Rev. Jonathan Curtis, a Minister of that Town, about Seventeen Years ago, and by Him Communicated to the Publishers of the New Hampshire Historical Collections. The Indians were first attracted to the new settlements in the town of Epsom, N. H., by discovering M’Coy at Suncook, now Pembroke. This, as nearly as can be ascertained, was in the year 1747. Reports were spread of the depredations of the Indians in various places; and M’Coy had heard that they had been seen lurking about the woods at Penacook, now Concord. He went as far as Pembroke; ascertained that they were in the vicinity; was somewhere discovered by them, and followed home. They told his wife, whom they afterwards made prisoner, that they looked through cracks around the house, and saw what they had for supper that night. They however did not discover themselves till the second day after. They probably wished to take a little time to learn the strength and preparation of the inhabitants. The next day, Mrs. M’Coy, attended by their two dogs, went down to see if any of the other families had returned from the garrison. She found no one. On her return, as she was passing the blockhouse, which stood near the present site of the meeting-house, the dogs, which had passed round it, came running back growling and very much excited. Their appearance induced her to make the best of her way...

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