This book recounts the amazing life story of a 16-year-old American Revolutionary-era soldier, including his captivity, adoption, and eventual flight to freedom from the Iroquois Six-Nation Indian tribes. The story is retold with historical accuracy and an even-handed treatment of the conflicting interests of the loyalists, Iroquois, and Patriots.
At age14, David Ogden narrowly escaped the Iroquois's notorious Cherry Valley Massacre by crawling through a small firewood passageway and slipping away. As an adult, he survived the brutal Battle of Queenston Heights, in which 500 of his comrades died. But Ogden was more than just lucky—he was also extremely resourceful, tough, and determined.
David Ogden was born into an unusually tumultuous time in America—the colonials were struggling to throw off the yoke of British rule while also battling the Iroquois tribes for control of their ancestral lands. The bibliography of anyone who survived a life in the late 1700s frontier days of New York would be a great tale, but David Ogden's story stands alone, even within historical context of his times.
Captive! The Story of David Ogden and the Iroquois is a compelling true adventure story of one young colonial soldier's bravery, choosing a daunting 126-mile race to freedom fraught with the risk of death over being assimilated into an alien society. This story is told with all the factual historical information that was missing from all the original captivity narratives, but accurately retains the flavor of the period and the voice of the 18th-century protagonist.
• Includes portraits of Iroquois chief Joseph Brant and Sir William Johnson, photos of tools, equipment, and personal belongings of the book's two primary protagonists, Ogden and Brant, and images of prominent buildings featured in the story
• Maps of Ogden's escape route and the New York frontier clarify the 18th-century world for modern readers
• Bibliography includes 20 sources for original manuscripts, diaries, collected papers, and official government documents, 18th, 19th, and 20th century scholarly studies, and many original Indian captivity-narrative books
• Extensive endnotes give further historical information
• Josiah Priest's original 1840 narrative of David Ogden's story, A True Narrative of the Capture of David Ogden among the Indians in the Time of the Revolution, and of the Slavery and Sufferings He Endured, with an Account of his Almost Miraculous Escape after Several Years' Bondage, is also provided
• An inspirational, true-life hero story of a young man who survived two wars, a number of Indian attacks, and a prolonged captivity in a foreign world that still resonates with today's teenage readers
• One of the first modern updates of a story from the country's first (substitute “earliest”) literary genre, the Indian captivity narrative
• Presents a revealing study of the Iroquois Six-Nation tribes, their customs, and their way of life, documenting their desperate and doomed battle for survival against the encroachment of white men on their tribal lands