This 33-page story is an an amazing, radical testimony of a 18th century woman wholly devoted to God who was kidnapped along with six of her children by Indians. Two of her children, one only six years old, were bludgeoned to death during the raid of her home in Dover, New Hampshire.
This is a story not to be missed. In fact, I think this is crucial reading.
As a Quaker Christian, Elizabeth Hanson carried a compassionate attitude and a peaceable, non-hostile submissiveness during her ordeal that is truly mystifying to our modern way of thinking. That’s why it’s buried literature and feminists don’t want us reading this stuff.
During her entire captivity—with the ill and abusive treatment toward her and her children through starving, beating, and excessive over-landing with an infant who was only 14 days old at the time—she maintained her composure and obedient attitude without fail. To be able to remain peaceable through such unbelievable hardships as she had to endure—watching her children get killed with a hatchet and scalped, listening to her master constantly threaten to kill her other children while beating them severely, and her infant under threat of being cooked and eaten if it thrived and fattened up (since it was starved and bony from captivity)—is unquestionably a rock solid testimony of faith.
That faith made the story what it is. The sense that she knew that God was protecting her during many close calls with death at her captors hands was actually shared by her captor himself. The fact that her newborn 14-day old baby survived the 26 days of brutal overland trekking and the subsequent five months in captivity in Canada through winter was not only a miracle that Elizabeth believed was God’s doing but was also believed to be miraculous by her captor as well. It actually caused her captor to accuse her baby of being “a devil”.
This is actually a good glimpse into what Indian men were like. They were like all men. While her male captors were constantly on an unpredictable roller coaster of emotional instability beating and raging against her and her children when they failed in hunts and went hungry (reminds us of so many men out there of all races and people, doesn’t it?) suffering from overt superiority complex stubbornness syndrome, the Indian women were completely the opposite. They often showed compassion toward Elizabeth and her children. While we know that the Indians had civility as Benjamin Franklin pointed out—they were still unrighteous because all men are inclined to harming unless/until surrendered to Christ.
This is also a good look into the early Christian testimonies of the suffering and trials of being an American pioneer in a new land. That modern elites and feminists call these Indian Captivity Narratives “political propaganda” is laughable and completely inane. Feminists dislike them greatly because they were, and are, important pieces of American literature written by Christian women during the founding of America. For them women were not supposed to be free to write and publish books in the 17th century; they were supposed to be oppressed without any rights to do what they wanted and unhappy. These narratives show nothing of such unhappiness or oppression with their way of life. That’s why they tell us it’s propaganda.
The way modern feminists criticize this genre of American literature reminds me of how we criticize North Korean propaganda when they stage things to make it appear to us that they are doing just fine. When that kind of accusation is made against early America I find that very suspicious. To think that these women writers of America’s early history are actually being accused of being “stupid” at best or deceptive little liars at worst is amazing. They would actually have us believe that they are not true reflections of the times and that the correct way to understand early America is to judge it through the modern liberal “light” of “gender and race”. They tell us, as though we’re incompetent children, that we need to read this stuff with a highly alert and critical attitude. Good grief. What does that tell you? It tells you should read this literature, immediately, and listen to it.
I’ve learned that this type of fear-mongering over literature actually provides me a strong clue as to what I should read. Read the stories for yourself. They are not political propaganda. These were pioneers who struggled to survive and were fortunate if they lived long lives. Elizabeth died at aged 53. The mortality rate was extraordinarily high, there wasn’t a nation or politic in place and thus no nationalism, and all they had was their families and religion—what the hell did they care about propagandizing anyone?
Women did not feel oppressed by their culture in America’s 17th century. Their understanding of themselves and others was not in terms of gender and race because as an issue it didn’t exist. They judged on a spectrum of Savagery vs. Civility, civility being the whole point of reference as savagery was by definition the absence of civility. Benjamin Franklin was the one who argued that Indians did display some civility even if many of them scalped and killed children. Even for him, in defense of Indians, it was the spectrum of savagery vs. civility. He never made a point of people needing to stop judging Indians by their color or race. The Quakers, Puritans, and others weren’t that dimwitted. No one in those times ever brought up issues of gender or race. The spectrum of civility was based on morality and that morality had an objective basis: The Bible. When you remove the Bible, morality becomes subjective. Then when you remove morality, as we have done today, the only thing left to judge people by is objective human attributes (i.e. race, colors, genders, science). Because science is impartial and subject to human emotionalism it is too often skewed or ignored because it does not always tell us what we want to hear. Jesus taught us, as did Martin Luther King, to judge by content of character: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 7:24.
This is why the left and its institutions right now are living in la-la land and have no grounding in reality. Their judgments are confounded, contradictory, and lack consistency because they have zero basis.
Read the story online for free here.