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Captive Children

More questions about Indians and captive children: Did the captive children really want to stay with the Indians and not return home?

Actually the answer was frequently, yes. Many of the children stayed with the Indians in spite of family efforts, sometimes relentless, to redeem them. Most of these were with the Iroquois. The Algonquin were much more willing to return the children and women, usually for money. Young Samuel Price would be an example, but the Iroquois were not usually so inclined. In addition, the children with the Iroquois did not seem to want to leave—I suspect the truth is somewhere in between the will of the children and the will of the Natives. Perhaps the children preferred the Indian society to that of the Puritans. Mary Field, Mercy Carter, Abigail French and Hannah Hurst were among those who stayed and married Indian men. Some returned to visit Deerfield as adults but then returned to their villages. Reverend John Williams’ Daughter, Eunice, was sought after by the tireless efforts of her family and particularly her influential father, but she repeatedly refused to leave her adopted home and village. This is well chronicled in the excellent academic work, THE UNREDEEMED CAPTIVE, by John Demos, 1994.
In addition, several women and children chose to remain with the French. In addition to Elizabeth Price were Thankful Stebbins, Freedom French and Martha French who married the young stonemason, Jacques Roi. Their Grandson became the first Archbishop of Québec. Read More 
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