Mary Rowlandson was taken prisoner during King Philip’s War by a band of Nashaway who set fire to her house in Lancaster, Massachusetts. Her sister, brother-in-law, and nephew were killed and Mary was shot, wounding both her and the child she was holding. The child would die in her arms several days later, but Mary survived and was redeemed after three months of captivity, during which she traveled some 150 miles and met with King Philip (Metacomet) himself. Rowlandson’s story was the first of a series of Indian captivity narratives which constituted the first uniquely American literary genre; their themes of capture and wilderness paved the way for later tales of pioneers, cowboys, and Indians.
Mary White Rowlandson, A true history of the captivity & restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson…Printed first at New-England: And re-printed at London, and sold by Joseph Poole, 1682. A 682t