The book The Unredeemed Captive is a story about
the French-Indian raid on the small town of
Deerfield Massachusetts. The raid is not a total
surprise to the people of Deerfield, they find out
a few days prior to the incident. They hear of
towns east of them being attacked. The town of
Deerfield did not feel that they were to be
affected by the Indians. These few extra days to
prepare for the Savages, did not help out, in
protecting the town. The Indians came, and wreaked
havoc on the small country town.
came in, and did as they pleased. They attacked
many homes, killing family members who did not
want to cooperate with them. The ones who did
cooperate, were taken with the Indians, on their
journey to Canada. One of the familys, that were
taken, was the Williamss. The Williamses know they
are destined for a march into a strange land (19).
John Williams was the minister in Deerfield, and
was a very well respected man. The journey was
very long and treacherous, and many died.
weak, or the lame were taken and killed, so they
would not slow down the pack. The ones who did
survive, were usually the teenagers, because they
were young, and could take the harsh climate. Once
the Indians reached Canada, they released many of
their captives, such as the Williams family. I
should say all but two of the Williamss were
returned to Deerfield. Williamss wife was killed
during the long journey, and Johns daughter
Eunice. John never did find out why his daughter
never returned to him, and this hurt he very
Eunice still remained captivated in Canada
(54). It was very disturbing to John, and the
town, that his daughter, either did not want to
return to her hometown, or was not allowed to
return. Eunice never did return to her family
again. She had a good life back in Deerfield,
before the raid. Or maybe so they all thought.
When Eunice was exposed to the Native American
heritage, something in her changed. We have to
keep in mind though, that she was only a young
child when she was taken, and couldnt have
realized what was going on.
She was very
vulnerable, and the Indians (who were supposed to
be the enemy figures), were the ones who took care
of her, and essentially raised her. When Eunice
arrived at Kahawake, she was given an Indian name,
and was basically recognized as one their tribe.
She went though a ritual naming ceremony, which
symbolized the crossing of cultural boundaries,
and the changing to the Kahnawake way of life.
This was true to many of the people who lived in
and around the tribe. According to on of the
French priests The Indians treated me as they
would have himself, because I had entered into all
his rights (141). Once a person was taken into the
Kahnawake culture, there were no differences
between the natives, and the whites. They were
treated with much respect, as if they were one of
their own. One of the main reasons why Eunice
probably did not return to Deerfield was because
of the memories she had.
When Deerfield was
attacked Eunice was only a child, and wasnt old
enough to realize the reason for all the horror.
She probably thought of Deerfield, and it reminded
her of death, and dying. She pictured all of her
friends, and relatives being murdered, and had no
desire to return, for the chance it could all
happen again. Although Eunice she did witness her
mothers death, by on of the Indians. In passing
through the abovesaid river, she fell down and was
plunged over her ears in water; after which she
traveled not far, for at the foot of this mountain
the cruel bloodthirsty savage who took her slew
her with his hatchet at one stroke (29). She still
for some reason, decided to stay with her captors.
It She was really too young, to have any good
memories of her hometown, only bad ones. Maybe the
reason for her choosing to make a permanent life
with the Kahnawake, was because of they way they
treated their children.
The way of life for the
children in the Indian tribes, was much different
from the Puritans view of t how children should be
raised. The children who grew up with the Indians,
we allowed to do much more than the puritan
children. The Indian children grew up by learning
from their mistakes. The Indians felt that the
children should be allowed to have some freedom,
before they grew up, and had to take on
responsibilities of the tribe. Their children were
essentially spoiled. No one would dare to strike
and punish them (144).
The Puritan children grew
up the way their parents wanted them to grow up.
If they did something that their parents did not
like, they were scolded, and hit. Children were
raised in accordance with Puritan norms and
values- were subject to careful discipline, and
were obliged, most especially, to curtail their
expression of personal will (142). The other
reason Eunice stayed with the Indians for so many
years could be the Indians matriarchal society. In
the Indian tribes, the wives basically made all
the decisions, and did the mens jobs. They didnt
have the traditional woman jobs. They worked out
in the fields, doing the farming, and raising the
They also made all the war decisions, and
took part in fighting in the wars. There were
regular women councils, which are always the first
to deliberate on private or community matters
(165). The puritan woman had the more traditional
role in society. They stayed at home, and took
care of the house, and children. This was
basically their life; they never really left their
house. The Indian women had a more important role
in their society, and had a chance to make
something of their life, unlike the Puritan women.
In conclusion, I feel that there were many reasons
for Eunice Williams staying with the Indians, for
pretty much all her natural life.
She was able to
have a better childhood living amongst the Tribe.
She also was able to be part of making important
decisions with the Indians; she wouldnt have been
able to with the Puritans. If she had stayed with
her puritan family, she would have been nothing
but a common housewife. With the Indians she was
able to grow socially, and spiritually..
Research essay sample on Integration Among Early American Settlers And Native Indians