Formerly I Was Well Known to You: Nature and Growth in Indian Captivity Narratives

Open Access
Sanchez, August B
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Rosemary Jane Jolly, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Marcy Lynne North, Honors Advisor
  • Indian Captivity narratives
  • Religion and Spirituality
  • Indians
  • Puritains
  • Woods
  • Nature
  • Wilderness
  • Gender
  • adoption
  • adaptation
  • assimilation
The American Indian captivity narrative genre went through three major phases of purpose during it’s nearly four hundred year life. At first captivity narratives served to contextualize suffering through God’s punishment. Next the captivity narratives were employed as propaganda, rallying support for America’s war with indigenous peoples. Lastly the captivity narrative was for amusement, with no ulterior motive than excitement. Collected from across genre phases, late 19th and early 20th century narrative collections acted independently of their original purpose. Captive Among the Indians may have been purposefully curated instructively, by paring hardship with nature to exemplify personal growth.