Native Americans kidnapped white children and raised them as their own | Saurab

The United States of America has a long and checkered history in becoming the country it is today. The most disturbing chapter is the conflict with Native Americans and the brutal methods used to resolve it. When the American pioneers began to move into unexplored and treacherous territories, that is, areas occupied by natives, they naturally had to face pushback and a long fight for land, in which both sides used unacceptable methods to achieve their end goal.

On the western frontier, American pioneers built their homes in a virtual war zone, on land stolen from the natives, putting their lives and those of their children in constant danger. The children of these American pioneers were often kidnapped by raids by native warriors. When Native American tribes lost their own children in wars with settlers, they evened the score. They would raid a white village, kidnap their children and take them home as hostages.

One such case was that of Frances Slocum, who was five years old when she was captured by three Delaware warriors on November 2, 1778, at the Slocum family farm in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Slocum grew up in what is now Ohio and Indiana among Delaware.

Slocum joins the Miami and takes the name Maconaqua after getting married Shepoconah (Deaf Man), who later became a Miami chef. She settled in Deaf Man’s Village along the Mississinewa River near Peru, Indiana, with her family from Miami. Slocum revealed to a visitor in 1835 that she was a white woman who had been captured as a child, and three of Slocum’s siblings came to see her two years later, in September 1837. But she refused to return in her original home and went back to the tribe.

Similar documented cases include Mary Campbell, The Boyd Children, Olive Oatman, Herman Lehmann, Mary Jemison, Eunice Williams, and Cynthia Ann Parker, among many others, in which captives refused to return to those from whom they were taken. .

Captivity by Native Americans was surprisingly common in colonial times. Captives were also more likely to choose their native communities over their colonial families. This puzzled European Americans to no end. They came to America believing that once Native Americans saw the superiority of religion, clothing, agriculture, housing, and all the comforts known to Europe, conversion would be simple.

It was such an unusual experience from the rest of the world that even benjamin franklin had to comment:

“When an Indian child has been brought up among us, learned our language and become accustomed to our customs, if he goes to see his parents and makes an Indian wander with them, nothing persuades him to ever come back. [But] when whites of either sex were taken as prisoners young by the Indians, and lived for some time among them, though ransomed by their friends, and treated with all imaginable tenderness to convince them to remain among them the English, but in a short time they become disgusted with our way of life, with the cares and pains which are necessary to sustain it, and take advantage of the first good opportunity to escape again into the woods, whence it there is no way to get them back.

Nohemi M. Moore