Conflicts in The Unredeemed Captive Essay

1164 Words 5 Pages
At the start of John Demos' book The Unredeemed Captive, a group of Native Americans attacked the English town of Deerfield, kidnapped a few of its people, and took them to Canada. Thirteen days after the attack, on October 21, 1703, the "Reverend Mr." John Williams, the town's leader, wrote to Joseph Dudley, the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, for tax relief, funding to rebuild the fort, a prisoner exchange to free the captured residents, and soldiers to protect the town. Governor Dudley agreed to fulfill the reverend's requests, and stationed 16 soldiers at the town's fort (p. 11-13). In response to English counterattacks against the French colonies, Governor Pierre de Rigaud, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, began planning a …show more content…
A key feature of the "civilizing" process was the conversion of the "savages" to the settlers' respective religions. The settlers developed many "prayer towns" in which the converted natives worshipped. Ironically, some of the captured Europeans became at least as uncivilized as the natives they sought to convert. Reverend Williams' daughter Eunice, for example, was seven at the time of her capture (p. 35). However, her young age is not the only reason for her conversion. During the trek to Canada, she noticed many other failures of her father and of the Puritan faith. Neither Rev. Williams nor the Puritans still in the English colonies could prevent the natives from executing her mother after she became exhausted and fell into a lake (p. 29). They also could not fight the natives' decision to separate many families, including her own, by splitting up the captured colonists into small groups (p. 33). The Puritans still in the English colonies were unable to negotiate the prisoners' release in a timely fashion, and the reverend could only tell his fellow captives to continue praying and reciting their catechisms. The Mohawks, Jesuit missionaries, and the French government took many measures to encourage prisoners to convert to Catholicism and resettle in Canada. During the trek to Canada, the Mohawks carried the children when they were unable to walk (p. 29). Several Mohawk families "adopted" and rebaptized many of the prisoners upon their

Related Documents

Buyer Protection | Tops & Vests | Ghost Sweeper Mikami