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Individual Captivity Narratives

Indian Captivity Narratives and Women Captives


Individual Captivity Narratives

These are some women captives -- some are famous (or infamous), some less well-known.

Mary White Rowlandson - she lived about 1637 to 1711, and was a captive in 1675 for almost three months. Hers was the first of the captivity narratives to be published in America, and went through numerous editions.  Her treatment of the Native Americans is often sympathetic.

Mary Jemison - captured during the French and Indian War and sold to the Seneca, she became a member of the Senecas and was renamed Dehgewanus. In 1823 a writer interviewed her and the next year published a first-person narrative of Mary Jemison's life.

Olive Ann Oatman Fairchild and Mary Ann Oatman - captured by Yavapai Indians (or, perhaps, Apache) in Arizona in 1851, then sold to Mojave Indians. Mary died in captivity, reportedly of abuse and starvation. Olive was ransomed in 1856. She later lived in California and New York.

  • Olive Ann Oatman Fairchild
  • Book:
    Lorenzo D. Oatman, Oliva A. Oatman, Royal B. Stratton. The Captivity of the Oatman Girls Among the Apache and Mohave Indians. Dover, 1994.

Susannah Johnson

Elizabeth Hanson

Frances and Almira Hall - captives in the Black Hawk War

Rachel Plummer - captured May 19, 1836 by Comanche Indians, she was released in 1838 and died in 1839 after her narrative was published. Her son, who was a toddler when they were captured, was ransomed in 1842 and raised by her father (his grandfather).

Fanny Wiggins Kelly

Minnie Buce Carrigan

Cynthia Ann Parker - abducted in 1836 in Texas by Indians, she was part of the Comanche community for almost 25 years until abducted again -- by Texas Rangers. Her son, Quanah Parker, was the last Comanche chief. She died of starvation, apparently from grief at being separated from the Comanche people which whom she identified.

  • Cynthia Ann Parker - from The Handbook of Texas Online
  • Books:
    Margaret Schmidt Hacker. Cynthia Ann Parker: The Life and the Legend. Texas Western, 1990.

Martin's Hundred - the fate of twenty women captured in the Powhatan Uprising of 1622 is not known to history


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