Captors and Captives: The 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield / Edition 1

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On February 29, 1704, a party of French and Indian raiders descended on the Massachusetts village of Deerfield, killing fifty residents and capturing more than a hundred others. In this masterful work of history, Evan Haefeli and Kevin Sweeney reexamine the Deerfield attack and place it within a framework stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. Drawing on previously untapped sources, they show how the attack grew out of the aspirations of New England family farmers, the ambitions of Canadian colonists, the calculations of French officials, the fears of Abenaki warriors, and the grief of Mohawk women as they all struggled to survive the ongoing confrontation of empires and cultures. Haefeli and Sweeney reconstruct events from multiple points of view, through the stories of a variety of individuals involved. These stories begin in the Native, French, and English communities of the colonial Northeast, then converge in the February 29th raid, as a force of more than two hundred Frenchmen, Abenakis, Hurons, Kahnawake Mohawks, Pennacooks, and Iroquois of the Mountain overran the northwesternmost village of the New England frontier. Although the inhabitants put up more of a fight than earlier accounts of the so-called Deerfield Massacre have suggested, the attackers took 112 men, women, and children captive. The book follows the raiders and their prisoners on the harsh three-hundred-mile trek back to Canada and into French and Native communities. Along the way the authors examine how captives and captors negotiated cultural boundaries and responded to the claims of competing churches and empires -- all against a backdrop of continuing warfare. By giving equal weight to all participants, Haefeli and Sweeney range across the fields of social, political, literary, religious, and military history and reveal connections between cultures and histories usually seen as separate.
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Editorial Reviews

American Indian Culture and Research Journal
""Captors and Captives" becomes the most sweeping history of the French and Indian raid on Deerfield. . . .(it) will also attract readers because the authors prove that scholars can have it both ways; they can pay close attention to the choices, decisions, and concerns of many individuals and small communities, as well as chart the larger successes and failures of competing colonial empires. "
Canadian Journal of History
"Their own enjoyable and authoritative account will long remain prominent in such discussions, and it deserves a wide readership."
"By far the most comprehensive alaysis of the attack ever published. . . . Haefeli and Sweeney have sought to present a single, coherent narrative rather than providing disaggregated, multiple stories from French, British, Abenaki and Iroquoian perspectives. . . ."Captors and Captives" makes a significant contribution to regional history. . .Anyone hoping to understand the raid should begin by reading this book."
Journal of British Studies
""Captors and Captives" demonstrates the importance of studying both the ethnohistorical and imperial frontier. . . . It is the intertwining of these many stories, complete with the complex motives of the participants, that makes this book stand out. "Captors and Captives" is ethnohistory at its finest -- a detailed examination of all sides of the frontier and the connections that held them together."
The Journal of the Historical Society
"This book is well written and easy to read, very unusual for an academic work, and should reach a wide audience. . . ."Captors and Captives" is a worthwhile book."
H-Net H-AmIndian
Haefeli and Sweeney have provided a great service in compiling this collection of primary sources. . . . The numerous explanatory footnotes provide excellent factual clarification and understanding for the uninitiated in the complexity of the Deerfield raid, and the introductory pieces to each individual source will give students significant explanation to understand the texts' greater significance. . . . [Captive Histories] will also hopefuly serve as a call for scholars to look more seriously at Native sources in order to gain a truer and more inclusive understanding of Native and European encounters of all types. -- Holly A. Rine
Library Journal
The February 29, 1704, raid on Deerfield, MA, was a traumatic blow to the psyche of British colonists in North America, realizing their worst fears. The event has spawned a number of monographs, including John Demos's wonderful The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America. Demos's work explored how the Deerfield raid affected an extraordinary Puritan family. Haefeli (history, Tufts Univ.) and Sweeney (American studies, Amherst Coll.) build upon Demos's work by examining the fate of the other residents of Deerfield, at the same time exploring the causes and ramifications of the raid. By exploring how the raid was planned and why, the authors show that the interests of such disparate groups as Canadian colonists, French officials, New Englanders, Kahnawake Mohawks, and the Iroquois, among others, all collided violently. At the same time, readers learn how captors and victims interrelated despite cultural boundaries. This is a valuable addition to the historical literature concerning colonial North America and is thus highly recommended for all academic and larger public libraries.-John Burch, Campbellsville Univ. Lib., KY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558494190
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Publication date: 11/13/2003
  • Series: Native Americans of the Northeast Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations ix
Maps xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction: War and Captivity 1
Part I Creating Communities
1 Frontier Town 11
2 New France 34
3 Natives and Missions 55
4 Between Empires 78
Part II The Raid
5 Warnings 95
6 Assault 112
7 Retreat 125
Part III Negotiating Empires
8 Adopting Captives 145
9 Diplomacy and Scandal 164
10 Imperial and Parallel Wars 185
Part IV Preserving Communities
11 Native Villages 211
12 Nobles and Habitants 232
13 New England Imperialism 250
Afterword: Remembering February 29, 1704 272
A Identities of Native Peoples 279
B Status of Deerfield Residents 280
C Identities of French Raiders 282
D List of the 1704 Deerfield Captives 283
E French and Indian Raids on New England, 1703-1712 286
F Fates of the 1704 Deerfield Captives 290
G Fates of New England Captives Taken between 1703 and 1712 291
Abbreviations 293
Notes 295
Bibliography 343
Index 361
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