Captives of the Century


The Life of Mary Rowlandson


The Life of Mary Rowlandson

Mary Rowlandson, a British American Colonial, was born in England, but was taken to America when she was a child. At that time, she married Joseph Rowlandson, a Congregational minister, and had three children. During Rowlandson’s time, she was one of the bestsellers in American Literature because she wrote an account titled A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson 1682, which was about her captivity during King Philips’s War.1 While kept in captivity, she was treated poorly, but because of her knitting and sewing skills, she got better treatment. Later in May 1676, Rowlandson reunited with her husband and her two children (one of them died in captivity). This account was first published in Boston, 1682, and then it was republished in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London. It was so popular in the colonial literature and captivity genre over thirty editions. It was believed that Rowlandson died a long time after her husband died, but according to a late 20th-century scholarship, she married Capt. Samuel Talcott in 1679, and lived 30 years more.2

1 RM, plc. "Mary Rowlandson." Hutchinson's Biography Database (2011): 1. History Reference Center. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

2 “Mary Rowlandson” Britannica Biographies. EBSCOhost, 2012. Web. 1 March 2012.

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Chaos on the Rowlandson Home Front

Eli S.

On February 10, 1676, thirty-nine year old Mary Rowlandson’s town was attacked by Algonquian Indians. The Indians charged in just as light was dawning. Everyone inside of the Rowlandson’s household was pinned against the back wall. Bullets were raining down like hail against the brick wall, and when a fire erupted, Rowlandson had no choice but to step out on the threshold with her five year old daughter. A bullet pierced her hip, and one struck her daughter as well. However, they survived the attack with a handful of others who were all taken into captivity. Mary Rowlandson traveled with the Algonquian Indians for eleven weeks before she was ransomed. The Indians beat her constantly, and rationed her barely enough food to survive. Finally, John Hoar of Princeton, Massachusetts, bought her for twenty euros, which is $26.80 by today’s standards. Eventually, Mary Rowlandson was reunited with her husband and older children after the long journey she had been on. However, her five year old daughter perished one night in an Algonquian camp.

Sweeney, Kevin. "Taken By Indians." American Heritage 58.5 (2008): 22-25. History Reference Center. Web. 7 Feb. 2013.

"Mary Jemison" Ohio History Central. July 1, 2005. 8 February 2013.

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Life of Mary Jemison


Mary Jemison was born in the year 1743 and died in 1833. In the 1762 during the French and Indian war she was attacked her brothers escaped, her parents were captured and killed but Jemison was taken and adopted by a Seneca family {basically an Indian tribe} She married the leader who was then killed in the massacring of the village in 1778 then the village was destroyed and she lived in a cabin I until she died in 1833. Then the remains of her body where placed in letchworth state park

Citation: Jemison, Mary." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online School Edition.

Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2013. Web. 8 Feb. 2013
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