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Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison
     

Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison

4.4 77
by Lois Lenski
 

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In this classic frontier adventure, Lois Lenskireconstructs the real life story of Mary Jemison, who was captured in a raid as young girl and raised amongst the Seneca Indians. Meticulously researched and illustrated with many detailed drawings, this novel offers an exceptionally vivid and personal portrait of Native American life and customs.

Overview

In this classic frontier adventure, Lois Lenskireconstructs the real life story of Mary Jemison, who was captured in a raid as young girl and raised amongst the Seneca Indians. Meticulously researched and illustrated with many detailed drawings, this novel offers an exceptionally vivid and personal portrait of Native American life and customs.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780064461627
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/28/1995
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
111,345
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.64(d)
Lexile:
800L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Come What May

Molly-child, now supper's done, go fetch Neighbor Dixon's horse."

Molly looked up at her father. At the far end of the long table he stood. He was lean, lanky and raw-boned. Great knotty fists hung at the ends of his long, thin arms. His eyes looked kind though his face was stern.

"All I need is another horse for a day or two," the man went on. "Neighbor Dixon said I could borrow his. I'll get that south field plowed tomorrow and seeded to corn."

"Yes, Pa!" answered Molly. She reached for a piece of corn-pone from the plate. She munched it contentedly. How good it tasted!

Corn! All their life was bound up with corn. Corn and work. Work to grow the corn, to protect it and care for it, to fight for it, to harvest it and stow it away at last for winter's food. So it was always, so it would be always to the end of time. How could they live without corn?

The Jemison family sat around the supper table. Its rough-hewn slabs, uncovered by cloth, shone soft-worn and shiny clean. A large earthen bowl, but a short time before filled with boiled and cut-up meat, sat empty in the center. Beside it, a plate with the leftover pieces of corn-pone.

"You hear me?" asked Thomas Jemison again. "You ain't dreamin'?"

The two older boys, John and Tom, threw meaningful looks at their sister, but said no word. Betsey, tall, slender fifteen-year-old, glanced sideways at their mother.

Molly colored slightly and came swiftly back from dreaming. "Yes, Pa!" she said, obediently. She reached for another piece of corn-pone.

Inside, she felt a deep content. Spring was here again. The sun-warmed, plowed earth would feelgood to her bare feet. She saw round, pale yellow grains of seed-corn dropping from her hand into the furrow. She saw her long, thin arms waving to keep the crows and blackbirds off--the fight had begun. The wind blew her long loose hair about her face and the warm sun kissed her cheeks. Spring had come again.

"Can't one of the boys go?" asked Mrs. Jemison. "Dark's a-comin' on and the trail's through the woods. . ."

"Have ye forgot the chores?" Thomas Jemison turned to his wife and spoke fretfully. "There's the stock wants tendin'--they need fodder to chomp on through the night. And the milkin' not even started. Sun's got nigh two hours to go 'fore dark. Reckon that's time enough for a gal to go a mile and back."

"But it's the woods trail. . . " began Mrs. Jemison anxiously. "'Tain't safe at night-time. . ."

"Then she can sleep to Dixon's and be back by sunup," said the girl's father, glancing sternly in Molly's direction. He sat down on a stool before the fireplace and began to shell corn into the wooden dye-tub.

"Mary Jermison, do you hear me?" he thundered.

"Yes, Pa!" said Molly again. But she did not move. She sat still, munching corn-pone.

Jane Jemison said no more. Instead, she looked down at her hands folded in her lap. Her hands so seldom at rest. She was a small, tired-looking woman, baffled by both work and worry. Eight years of life in a frontier settlement in eastern Pennsylvania had taken away her fresh youth and had aged her beyond her years.

Little Matthew, a boy of three, climbed into his mother's lap. She caught the brown head close to her breast for a moment, then put him hastily down as a waiting cry came to her ears. The baby in the homemade cradle beside her had wakened. The woman stopped wearily, picked him up, then sat down to nurse him.

"Ye'll have to wash up, Betsey," she said.

Molly's thought had traveled far, but she hadn't herself had time to move. She was still sitting bolt upright on the three-legged stool when her ears picked up the roll of a horse's hoofs.

Nor was she the only one. The others heard, too. As if in answer to an expected signal, the faces turned inquiring and all eyes found the door. All ears strained for a call of greeting, but none came. In less time than it takes for three words to be said, the door burst open and a man stumbled in.

It was Neighbor Wheelock. He was short and heavy. Like Thomas Jemison, he too had the knotty look of a hard worker, of a frontier fighter. It was only in his face that weakness showed.

Wheelock gave no glance at woman or children. He said in a low but distinct voice to Thomas: "You heard what's happened?"

The clatter of a falling stool shook the silence and a cry of fear escaped. Betsey, white-faced and thin, clapped her hands over her mouth. Mrs. Jemison, the nursing baby still at her breast, stood up. "Let's hear what 'tis," she said, calmly.

Chet Wheelock needed no invitation to speak. The words popped out of his mouth like bullets from a loaded gun.

"It's the Injuns again!" he cried, fiercely. "They've burnt Ned Haskins out and took his wife and children captive. They've murdered the whole Johnson family. They're a-headin! down Conewago, Creek towards Sharp's Run, a-killn', a-butcherin' and a-plunderin' as they come. There ain't a safe spot this side of Philadelphy. I'm headin' back east and I'm takin' my brother Jonas's family with me."

Thomas Jemison looked up from his corn shelling, but his placid face gave no hint of troubled thoughts. A gust of wind nipped round the house and blew the thick plank door shut with a bang. The children stared, wide-eyed. Jane Jemison sat down on a stool, as if the load of her baby had grown too heavy and there was no more strength left in her arms.

Meet the Author

In addition to illustrating the first four Betsy-Tacy books, Lois Lenski (1893-1974) was the 1946 Newberry Medal winning author of Strawberry Girl.

In addition to illustrating the first four Betsy-Tacy books, Lois Lenski (1893-1974) was the 1946 Newberry Medal winning author of Strawberry Girl.

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Indian Captive 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 reviews.
19tj More than 1 year ago
This book is the story of Mary Jeminson and her life with the Indians. Indian Captive is about a girl named Molly who is taken away from her family. She traveled with the Indians day and night, and finally was in her new home Seneca town. There she lived with the Indians. Learned their language, learned their lessons and much more. My favorite part of this book is when Molly feels like the Indians are her new family. I recomend this book to anyone who likes to sit for the whole evening and read. Is she going to like the Indians? Want to know? Read the book.
19hs More than 1 year ago
This book was about a girl named Mary Jemison, but everyone calls her Molly, and her adventure with the Indians and what they were like. She discovers how to cook like them, eat like them, and sew like them. She makes good friends on the way. My favorite character in this book was the Indian story teller because I really liked the stories he told. I did not really like the book because it was a little bit boring but I did like some parts. My favorite part was when the story teller came. My least favorite part was when Mary was just walking and walking. I really did not like the beginning of the story because I did not understand what was going on. It was not a bad book, but if you¿re like me and you like books that get to the point straight away and do not like super super long books that detail a lot, then you probably wouldn¿t like this book.
19bw More than 1 year ago
The Indian Captive is a book I will always remember. Molly Jemison, an average girl on the Pennsylvania home-front, is taken captive by the indians. Soon she finds out that she has been adopted by an American Indian woman called Earth Woman. Molly makes many friends in her fight to freedom and she soon finds out that she can feel just as at home with the indians as she did with her birth family. If you want to know if she will ever go back with her native people read this book NOW!
19az1 More than 1 year ago
Indian Captive is an amazing true story and is very touching. Indian Captive is about a girl that gets captured by the Indians and has to walk a long way before she reaches the Indian village Seneca town. She learns to plant, cook, and make clothes in the Indian way and she even learns to speak Indian and a lot more. My favourite part was when Molly the girl makes friends with Turkey Feather because that was just like how I make friends at new schools. If you like learning about Native American Indian cultures you will never put this book down. Even if you're not interested in Indians , give this book a try. Will Molly be able to stay with the Indians or will she run away?
19sk More than 1 year ago
It is a story about a girl named Mary Jemison, (but she is always called Molly) getting kidnapped by Indians. By living with the Indians, she learns lots of things about nature and faces a new life. My favourite part of the story is when Molly makes friends with a girl the same age as her called Beaver Girl. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read about what kind of life Indians lead. If you want to find out if Molly ever went back to the white people again, go read the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read. Its my favorite. I have probably read it 50 times and it never gets old. Every woman, no matter what your age, should read this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So go i was upset when it was done .pore girl tooken from her family i would rather die
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had to read for school.... I LOVED IT!!!!!
road2know More than 1 year ago
What an interesting journey this young girl takes. You will enjoy the way the story unfolds and the lessons that Molly learns along the way. I enjoyed how accurately the story seem to reflect the time period and the Indian culture.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read it for YASA ( a book club for girls) and i really enjoyed it! If you like adventure and challenge this the book for U!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You suck this book rules
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good story, to bad the pictures are so small. To review before mine. You need to learn to spell.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading the book. It is an eninteresting book to read. I like it because it adventerus book. I highly recamend it for people who read book adverturus book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Write in journal if you have toooooo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started reading this book for a book report never finish becuz its sssssssoooooooooooooo boring dont read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree with some other people. It sucks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was my favorite book by far, it has my two favorite things, realityish stuff, and INDIANS!!!! I loved learning about the seneca indians and their lifestyle, and how they coped with the wars and settlers taking their land, that stuff always made me angry. I'd say great read for ages 9- I'm not sure. This book is GREAT although I'd strongly advise reading the free sample first, but I think you'd get sucked in anyway, I couldn't put it down!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about mollys hard journey to her new home i paid but its defentily worth it for all ages
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very interesting book! Children will love it... I know I did! I'm reading it to my younger siblings and they enjoy it very much, always wanting more! It shows the way the Indians live and how hard it is for white people to live with them. I like how it has a happy ending too! (Well, semi happy)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got my (paper back) copy when I was in fivth grade and I truly regret not reading it right away. Molly is so nice and when i finally did finish reading it I was so proud of myself. Very well written and I recomend it to everyone