The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

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9780939218202: The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

In February 1676, during King Philip’s War, the frontier village of Lancaster, Massachusetts, was attacked by a party of Nipmuck Indians and completely destroyed. As relief from Concord approached, the attackers withdrew, taking with them 24 captives, including Mrs. Mary Rowlandson and her three children.
For almost three months the little family was forced to live with their captors and endure exposure to a New England winter.The youngest child, who had been injured during the attack, failed to survive. Eventually ransom was paid and the family released.
Mrs. Rowlandson’s account of her experience was published in 1682. It became a"best-seller" of its day and created a new literary genre, the captivity narrative. Such accounts were in part responsible for the mistrust and hatred of the Indians that plagued the country for centuries. It is also the first publication in English by a woman in the New World.

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About the Author:

Mary Rowlandson, née White, later Mary Talcott (c. 1637 – January 5, 1711) was a colonial American woman who was captured by Native Americans during King Philip's War and held for 11 weeks before being ransomed. In 1682, six years after her ordeal, The Sovereignty and Goodness of God: Being a Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson was published. This text is considered a seminal American work in the literary genre of captivity narratives. It went through four printings in 1682 and garnered readership both in the New England colonies and in England, leading it to be considered by some the first American "bestseller." Mary White was born c. 1637 in Somersetshire, England. The family left England sometime before 1650, settled at Salem in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and moved in 1653 to Lancaster, on the Massachusetts frontier. There, she married Reverend Joseph Rowlandson, the son of Thomas Rowlandson of Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1656. Four children were born to the couple between 1658 and 1669, with their first daughter dying young. At sunrise on February 10, 1675, during King Philip's War, Lancaster came under attack by Narragansett, Wampanoag and Nashaway/Nipmuc Indians. During the attack, which was anticipated by residents including Mary's husband, Joseph, the Native American raiding party killed 13 people, while at least 24 were taken captive, many of them injured. Rowlandson and her three children, Joseph, Mary, and Sarah, were among those taken in the raid. Rowlandson's 6 year old daughter, Sarah, would eventually succumb from her wounds after a week of captivity. For more than 11 weeks, Rowlandson and her children were forced to accompany the Indians as they travelled through the wilderness to carry out other raids and to elude the English militia. In Rowlandson's captivity narrative, the severe conditions of her captivity are recounted in visceral detail. On May 2, 1676, Rowlandson was ransomed for £20 raised by the women of Boston in a public subscription, and paid by John Hoar of Concord at Redemption Rock in Princeton, Massachusetts. In 1677, Reverend Rowlandson moved his family to Wethersfield, Connecticut, where he was installed as pastor in April of that year. He died in Wethersfield in November 1678. Church officials granted his widow a pension of £30 per year.

About the Author:

Mary White was born c. 1637 in Somersetshire, England. The family left England sometime before 1650, settled at Salem in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and moved in 1653 to Lancaster, on the Massachusetts frontier. There, she married Reverend Joseph Rowlandson, the son of Thomas Rowlandson of Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1656. Four children were born to the couple between 1658 and 1669, with their first daughter dying young. At sunrise on February 10, 1675, during King Philip's War, Lancaster came under attack by Narragansett, Wampanoag and Nashaway/Nipmuc Indians. Rowlandson and her three children, Joseph, Mary, and Sarah, were among the hostages taken. For more than 11 weeks and five days, she and her children were forced to accompany the Indians as they fled through the wilderness to elude the colonial militia. Years later, she recounted the severe conditions during her captivity for all parties. On May 2, 1676, Rowlandson was ransomed for £20 raised by the women of Boston in a public subscription, and paid by John Hoar of Concord at Redemption Rock in Princeton, Massachusetts.

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