Captive Histories: Puritan Captivity Narratives and Native Stories from the Era of the Colonial Wars, 1675-1760

American Studies Seminar
Kevin Sweeney

Seminar leader Kevin Sweeney and undergraduate participants
The following American Studies Seminar research papers were written by students in the 2007 seminar, "Captive Histories: Puritan Captivity Narratives and Native Stories from the Era of the Colonial Wars, 1675-1760," under the supervision of Kevin Sweeney, Professor of History and American Studies at Amherst College, where he has taught since 1989. With Evan Haefeli, Kevin Sweeny has published Captors and Captives: The 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2003) and Captive Histories: English, French and Native Narratives of the 1704 Deerfield Raid (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2006), as well as articles on the Pennacook sachem Wattanummon and on the political uses of captivity narratives.

  • "Fictional Captivity Narratives of the Nineteenth Century: An Account of American Cultural Values," by Kristen Barnes
  • "Exploration of Jeremiadic Captivity Narratives as an Answer to Theodicy," by Eve Broffman
  • "Bound for Nationhood: The Indian Captivity Narrative and the Formation of American Culture and Identity," by Justin Brooks
  • "Thomas Symmes and the Battle of Lovewell's Pond: Whose History?" by William Cobb
  • "Through the Eyes of a Child: The Indian Captivity Narrative in Post-Revolutionary Children's Literature," by Jonathan Grant
  • "Changing Modes of Warfare in New England," by Derek Heidemann
  • "'O scenes surpassing fable, and yet true" The Changing Role of the Captivity Narrative for the Instruction of Children from the Seventeenth-Century New England Colonies to Nineteenth-Century America," by Valerie K. Jackson
  • "Benjamin Church- the Man, the Myth, the Legend: How and Why Captain Church Successfully Instilled the Use of Radically Different Fighting Methods within his Company during King Philip's War (1675-1676)," by Christopher Martin
  • "Native American Medicine," by Rachel Pennellatore
  • "'There is no reclaiming them': The Appeal of Native Childhood in New England in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries," by Steven P. Reed
  • "The Forgotten Massacre: The Abenaki Raid on York, Maine in 1692," by Patrick Rodenbush
  • "Dover Garrisons of 1675-1725: Function and Effectiveness," by Katharine Woodman

seminar discussion
Seminar discussion in the Elmarion Room of the Goddard Daniels House.

student examines collections
Kristen Barnes unfolds an 1836 hand-colored woodcut frontispiece from the Narrative of the massacre, by the savages, of the wife &
children of Thomas Baldwin

student examines collections
Jonathan Grant looks at an 1854 Massachusetts Sabbath School Society pamphlet entitled The Indian Girl.

student examines collections
Derek Heidemann with a rare Benjamin Church piece titled Entertaining passages relating to Philip's War dated 1716.

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