Appalachian Captivity Narratives


Captivity narratives in Appalachia are stories of the capture and restoration of individuals by Native Americans. A couple of the most popular accounts were those of Mary Rowlandson and Mary Draper Ingles. These stories were originally the memoirs of those who had gone through such an experience. However, once the popularity of the subject became known, a new literary genre emerged. The captivity narrative is deeply embedded in the history of the American Frontier and has captured the imagination of the American public for centuries. Today, many scholars analyze the reasons for the intense fascination of the subjects of captivity and abduction.

Introductory Text: 

Sayre, Gordon M. American Captivity Narratives: Selected Narratives With Introduction. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin 2000. ASU Main Stacks – E85 .A54 2000.

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 

Highly Relevant:

  • Captivity Narrative
  • Indian Captives
  • Indian Captivities
  • Captivity

Also Relevant:

  • Mary White Rowlandson
  • Mary Lewis Kinnan
  • Jenny Wiley
  • James Moore
  • Mary Draper Ingles
  • Thomas Ingles          

More General:

  • Native American History
  • Frontier History
  • Literary Genres
  • American Folklore
Library of Congress Call Numbers: 
  • E85
  • E87
  • E99
  • F225

Dickinson, Alice. Taken by the Indians: True Tales of Captivity. New York: F. Watts, 1976.                     
                        WCU General – E85 .D52 1976.

Sayre, Gordon M. American Captivity Narratives: Selected Narratives With Introduction. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin 2000.          
                        ASU Main Stacks – E85 .A54 2000.

Spencer, Oliver M. Indian Captivity. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms 1966.
                        ASU Main Stacks – E87 .S7422

Thom, James Alexander. Follow the River. New York: Ballantine Books 1981.
                        ASU App Coll – PZ4.T44 Fo 1981.

Vaughan, Alden T. and Edward W. Clark. Puritans Among the Indians: Accounts of Captivity and Redemption 1676-1724. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press 1981.
                        ASU Main Stacks – E85 .P87.


Ayer, Edward E. Narratives of Captivity Among the Indians of North America; A List of Books and Manuscripts on this Subject in the Edward E. Ayer Collection of the Newberry Library. Ann Arbor, MI: Gryphon Books 1971.
                        ASU App Coll – Z1209 .N53 1912a.

Vaughan, Alden T. Narratives of North American Indian Captivity: A Selective Bibliography. New York: Garland Publishers, 1983.
                        WCU General - E85 .G22 1983

Abstracts and Indices: 

Academic Search Premier
America: History and Life
Bibliography of Native North Americans


American Literature
American Quarterly
American Studies International

Compiled by: 

Compiler: Brittony Fitzgerald, 9 December 2008