Setting All the Captives Free: Capture, Adjustment, and Recollection in Allegheny Country

Setting All the Captives Free: Capture, Adjustment, and Recollection in Allegheny Country

by Ian K. Steele

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Among the many upheavals in North America caused by the French and Indian War was a commonplace practice that affected the lives of thousands of men, women, and children: being taken captive by rival forces. Most previous studies of captivity in early America are content to generalize from a small selection of sources, often centuries apart. In Setting All the Captives Free, Ian Steele presents, from a mountain of data, the differences rather than generalities as well as how these differences show the variety of circumstances that affected captives’ experiences. The product of a herculean effort to identify and analyze the captives taken on the Allegheny frontier during the era of the French and Indian War, Setting All the Captives Free is the most complete study of this topic. Steele explores genuine, doctored, and fictitious accounts in an innovative challenge to many prevailing assumptions and arguments, revealing that Indians demonstrated humanity and compassion by continuing to take numerous captives when their opponents took none, by adopting and converting captives into kin during the war, and by returning captives even though doing so was a humiliating act that betrayed their societies' values. A fascinating and comprehensive work by an acclaimed scholar, Setting All the Captives Free takes the study of the French and Indian War in America to an exciting new level.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780773589902
Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
Publication date: 11/01/2013
Series: McGill-Queen's Indigenous and Northern Studies , #71
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 552
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Ian K. Steele is professor emeritus and adjunct research professor of history at the University of Western Ontario. His previous books include Politics of Colonial Policy, Guerillas and Grenadiers, The English Atlantic, Betrayals, and Warpaths. A festschrift in his honor, English Atlantics Revisited, edited by Nancy L. Rhoden, is available from McGill-Queen's University Press.

Table of Contents

Illustrations, Maps, and Tables xi

Preface xiii

Introduction 3

Part 1 Captured in "Peacetime" 9

1 Taken along Warriors' Paths 13

2 Taking Traders, 1745-54 33

3 Colonial Soldiers Take Captives, 1754 54

Part 2 Captured in War 73

4 Taken in Raids, 1754-59 77

5 Taken in Sieges and Surrenders, 1756-58 117

6 Taken in Battles, 1755-59 127

7 Indian War with Traders and Soldiers, 1763-65 142

8 Indian War with White Settlers, 1763-65 163

Part 3 Captivity, Conversion, and Escape 185

9 Trails into Captivity 187

10 Allegheny White Indians 198

11 Escaped 231

12 The Bereft 250

Part 4 Setting All the Captives Free 259

13 Diplomacy of Gift Exchange, 1756-62 263

14 Redeemed and Exchanged, 1745-62 290

15 Forced Return of Captives 309

16 Imperial Moment, 1765 340

Part 5 Afterwards and Afterwords 351

17 Restoring and Revising Identities 355

18 Captivating Accounts, 1755-1826 384

Conclusion 429

Tables 435

Abbreviations 437

Appendix: Named Captives Taken on the Allegheny Frontier, 1745-65 439

Notes 553

Index 675

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