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Babb, Bianca (26 August 1856–13 April 1950), pioneer and captive of Native Americans, was born in a covered wagon near Lecompton, Kansas, en route from Wisconsin to Texas, the daughter of John S. Babb and Isabel A. Babb (maiden name unknown), who were settlers and ranchers....

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Duston, Hannah (03 December 1657–1736), Massachusetts settler and Indian captive, was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, the daughter of Michael Emerson and Hannah Webster. Her father was an English shoemaker who immigrated to Massachusetts and married the daughter of an original settler of Ipswich. Hannah was one of fifteen children. Nothing is known of her life before her marriage. In December 1677 she married Thomas Duston (also written as Dustin, Dustan, and Durstan), a bricklayer and farmer originally from Dover, New Hampshire. They lived in a cottage two miles from Haverhill and had thirteen children. Thomas became a respected citizen and was appointed a constable for Haverhill....

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Jemison, Mary (1743?–1833), captive, was born on a ship en route to colonial Pennsylvania from Ireland, the daughter of Thomas Jemison and Jane Erwin, a Protestant couple of Scotch-Irish background. The family settled on a farm in Franklin Township, Adams County, in south central Pennsylvania about ten miles northwest of present-day Gettysburg....

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Kelly, Fanny Wiggins (15 April 1845–15 November 1904), captivity narrativist, was born near Orillia, Ontario, the daughter of James Wiggins, a farmer, and Margaret Barry. Although the father died en route, the family migrated in 1857 to Geneva in the Neosho Valley of Kansas, where they experienced the ravages of drought, grasshoppers, and the border conflict of the Civil War. Late in 1863, Fanny married Josiah Shawahan Kelly, a farmer and discharged Union veteran who had spent several years in California. Attracted to the new mining districts of what was then Idaho and would soon become Montana Territory, they began the long overland journey. Traveling at that time was dangerous for several reasons: the upper plains Indians were increasingly agitated in reaction to white encroachment, the bloody Minnesota Sioux rebellion of 1862 had only recently been put down, and many army troops had been withdrawn to fight against the South....

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Parker, Cynthia Ann (1827–1870), Comanche captive and mother of Quanah Parker, Comanche captive and mother of Quanah Parker, was born in Clark County, Illinois, the daughter of Silas Parker and Lucy Duty, pioneer farmers who moved to East Texas in 1832. During her lifetime Parker achieved legendary status, but her story was either ignored in history books or so exaggerated that it became impossible to decipher her true experiences. Some authors used her story to foment anti-Indian sentiment; others sought publicity by claiming involvement in her life. Others contributed to the large body of historical fiction about Parker that has been accepted as fact. To clarify these discrepancies, a thorough examination of all accounts must be made....

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Mary White Rowlandson. Print of a wood engraving, 1857, depicting capture by American Indians. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-113682).

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Rowlandson, Mary White (c. 1637/38–05 January 1710), author of the earliest full-length Indian captivity narrative, was born probably in England shortly before her parents, John White and Joan (maiden name unknown), landowners, immigrated to New England in 1639. Mary White was brought up in a comfortable household. When her father died in 1653, he was the wealthiest landowner in Lancaster, Massachusetts, with an estate valued at £389. Around 1656 she married Joseph Rowlandson, who was ordained in 1660 and became a prominent member of the Puritan clergy. They had three children (a fourth died in infancy)....

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Slocum, Frances (04 March 1773–09 March 1847), Indian captive, was born in Warwick, Rhode Island, the daughter of Jonathan Slocum and Ruth Tripp, farmers. Her Quaker parents moved a year after her birth to present-day Scranton, Pennsylvania, and then later to Wilkes-Barre. Slocum was captured shortly after the July 1778 Wyoming Massacre in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania, in which Indians and British loyalists attacked and killed American settlers. Slocum was snatched in retaliation—it is said—for a brother (even though a Quaker) serving in the battle against the Indians. In her captivity she met a goodly number of similar people who had been snatched....

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Wakefield, Sarah F. Brown (29 September 1829–27 May 1899), white captive and writer, was born in Kingston (or Kingstown), Rhode Island, the daughter of William Brown and Sarah (maiden name unknown) of North Kingston, Rhode Island. She moved to Minnesota in the 1850s and in 1856 in Shakopee, twenty-two miles southwest of Minnesota, married Dr. John Luman Wakefield, formerly of Winstead, Connecticut, and a graduate of Yale University Medical School....

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Williams, John (10 December 1664–12 June 1729), minister and author, was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Williams, a shoemaker, and Theoda Park. Choosing a life path different from that of his father, he attended Harvard College and graduated in 1683. After two years of teaching school in Dorchester, he married Eunice Mather in 1688 and was ordained as the minister of Deerfield, Massachusetts, on 17 October of the same year. The couple had twelve children, ten of whom lived to maturity....