Faith and Survival

Faith and Survival

Mary Rowlandson was a colonist captured in a raid at her home in Lancaster, Massachusetts by the Wampanoag tribe of Native Americans. These Indians went to war to protect their culture and land against the colonists. Both sides started attacks where hundreds of men, women, and children were killed or taken captive. During the 11 weeks she was a slave to her captors, Mary Rowlandson's Christian faith helped her survive through the pain of starvation, extreme cold, beatings, and the sadness at the death of her 5-year-old daughter Sarah, who was wounded in the first attack.1 She saw her experience as a test of her faith in "the Sovereignty and Goodness of God," who had decided whether she would live or die during her captivity.2 Her captors released Mary and two of her children (the third died in captivity) on May 2, 1676 when her husband paid a ransom of 20 pounds. 3



1 Rowlandson M. The narrative of the captivity and restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. Narrative Of The Captivity & Restoration Of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson [serial online]. January 10, 2009;:2. Available from: History Reference Center, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 11, 2013.


2 Sweeney K. Taken by Indians. American Heritage [serial online]. Fall2008 2008;58(5):22-25. Available from: History Reference Center, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 11, 2013.


3 RM p. Mary Rowlandson. Hutchinson's Biography Database [serial online]. July 2011;:1. Available from: History Reference Center, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 11, 2013.