A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison by James Seaver is
one of the best Indian captivity narratives ever written. In April
1758, the Jemison settlement, about eight miles west of Gettysburg,
PA, was attacked by a raiding party of French and Shawnee Indians.
15 year old Mary and one young boy were taken captive, the rest
suffered cruel deaths. Mary was soon turned over to two Seneca sisters
who eventually led her to her western New York State homeland along
the Genesee River. She remained voluntarily with the Seneca until
her death at age 91, after rising to a position of great prominence
among the tribe. In 1823, at age 80, Mary related her memoirs to
James E. Seaver, who published them the following year.
woman's story became the inspiration for Robert Griffing's painting
and later print of The
Taking of Mary Jemison and The
Adoption of Mary Jemison.
167 pages, paperback