Captivity Narrative of Mary Rowlandson

1075 Words5 Pages
The Captivity Narrative of Mary Rowlandson (1682) Mary Rowlandson wrote “The Narrative of the Captivity and the Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson” in 1683 (Sweeney) six years after her release from captivity. It is an eyewitness account chronicling her captivity by the Algonquian Indians during King Philip’s war. The text provides insight into the colonial and native lifestyles and the conflict between the colonists and Indians within the context of the religious beliefs of the Puritans. Born in 1637 in England, Mary traveled with her parents, John and Joan White, to Salem, Massachusetts in 1639 (Campbell). She married minister, Joseph Rowlandson in 1656, and together they had a total of four children; their daughter Mary dying as toddler (Rassmussen). Rowlandson and her three surviving children were captured in their garrison home in Lancaster, Massachusetts by the Algonquian Indians on February 10, 1676, while her husband was away in Boston. She was held in captivity for 82 days, during which time she traveled over 150 miles, meeting King Philip before being ransomed (Sweeney). Following her release, Rowlandson was reunited with her husband and settled for a time in Boston. In 1677, she and her family moved to Wethersfield, Connecticut and the next year Rowlandson was widowed. She remarried in 1691 to Captain Samuel Talcott and lived to the age of 73 (Campbell). Rowlandson’s written account of her ordeal went through four printings in the first year “to become the first and perhaps most powerful example of the captivity narrative, an American genre that would influence future generations of American writers and moviemakers” (Sweeney). The emotional and detailed descriptions of her captivity are always connected to her belief in God, either through direct biblical quotes, or by references to God. In Puritan fashion, the “account of her captivity . . .
Open Document