Indian Captivity Narratives

Narratives about non-indigenous people’s captivity and bondage with native nations represent the oldest text genre to emerge in British North America. The reality of captivity and the texts’ blend of didactic and entertaining elements quickly popularized the genre. White English settlers authored most of these accounts. However, a small body of writings testifies to African American experiences of Amerindian captivity.

This page will assemble information about black-authored Indian captivity narratives from 1760 to 1860. After introducing Amerindian captivity and the captivity narrative, I provide case studies of the four best-known texts of this genre.

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