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Captors and Captives: The 1704 French and Indian Raid on Deerfield (Native Americans of the Northeast)

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1558494190
ISBN-10: 1558494197
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Editorial Reviews


"In Captors and Captives, historians Evan Haefeli of Tufts University and Kevin Sweeney of Amherst College have produced an impressive account that explores the raid from the conflicting viewpoints of the raiders, both French-Canadian and Native American, and the Deerfield villagers—as well as its place in the century-long conflict between the two colonial empires." --Boston Sunday Globe

"A definitive new account of the raid. . . . The authors reconstruct the events surrounding the raid from multiple points of view. They also explore the motivations of the various players, from Paris to Boston." --New York Times

"In sum, Evan Haefeli and Kevin Sweeney have written an exceptionally well-researched, engaging, and cogent book. Captors and Captives is sure to become the standard account of the 1704 raid, likely to withstand the scrutiny of antiquarians and professional historians alike. The authors' meticulous research has uncovered new insights about a story that has been told and retold for three centuries. They have also expertly situated Deerfield with the historiographies of New England, New France, and Native America, suggesting new directions for each of these vibrant and complex subfields. If Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville accomplished the extraordinary by approaching Deerfield with so formidable and diverse an arsenal, Haefeli and Sweeney's book is a fitting commemorative for the event, for they have done the same." --Reviews in American History

"Captors and Captives is highly engaging because it crosses so many geographical, social, and cultural boundaries and cuts across many of the specializations within the field of early American history. . . . With is clear prose and uncomplicated organization—the book remains free of heavy theory while its authors confine a lot of the hard work of the social historian to appendixes and maps—Captors and Captives should be accessible to undergraduates and a popular reading audience. This book, the end result of a partnership between two fine historians, is the definitive study of the 1704 French and Indian raid on Deerfield." --American Indian Culture Research Journal

"Captors and Captives is ethnohistory at its finest—a detailed examiniation of all sides of the frontier and the connections that held them together." --Journal of British Studies

About the Author

Evan Haefeli is assistant professor of history at Tufts University.

Kevin Sweeney is professor of history at American Studies at Amherst College.


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Product Details

  • Series: Native Americans of the Northeast
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Univ. of Massachusetts Press (December 31, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558494197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558494190
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This books breaks down to what leads up to the most infamous destruction of a town during any of the four French/Indian wars.Very well researched and layed out to make you part of the history thats happening.A play-by-play of the actual attack with excellent reference charts as back-up info as the saga unfolds.I can't say enough about this book,definitely not dry history in any sense.If your a colonial military history buff or a student of the French and Indian wars than this is the one to read.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By ct reader on July 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
This work skillfully profiles the 1704 raid on Deerfield in sections entitled `Creating Communities,' `The Raid,' `Negotiating Empires,' and `Preserving Communities.' The authors examine assailants and victims in depth to enable the reader to decide who (if anyone) was right or wrong. Formative history, the raid itself, the aftermath, and lasting political significance is admirably related.

A minor criticism is the lack of a wider discussion of the English/Iroquois alliance against the French (e.g. Gabriel Druillettes and Jean Paul Godefroy's rejected mission for mutual alliance at New Haven in 1651; NY Governor Thomas Dongan's declaration of the Iroquois as English subjects in 1683, etc). The English protected and supplied a confederacy that attacked New France and her native allies (Hurons, Ottawas, Eries, Andastes, Delawares, Neutrals, Tobacco, Illinois, etc) mercilessly from 1609-1701. This was a smart move (as Philbrick points out in `Mayflower' - Mohawks were largely responsible for defeating Metacom - King Philip - 1675-6).

The authors don't fully explore the routine, repeated Iroquois assaults involving French families whose members fought at Deerfield (Pierre Boucher and 40 other colonists held off 600 Iroquois at Trois-Rivières in 1653; the previous year the town was devastated by the massacre of it's governor and 21 other habitants. Joseph François Hertel de LaFresnière spent 1661-3 in Iroquois captivity after torture including loss of a thumb and burned limbs). Iroquois assaults on New France make the Deerfield raid look like a walk in the park. On 4 August 1689, for example, 1500 Iroquois attacked Montréal, destroying 56 farms and killing or capturing over a hundred colonists (all with English blessing).
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Format: Paperback
Any collection strong in Native American or early American history should make Captors And Captives: The 1704 French And Indian Raid On Deerfield a collection acquisition: explores the raid from different viewpoints of the raiders, both French-Canadian and Native American, and the Deerfield villages alike, showing the confrontational and friendly relationships between diverse groups of the times. In using the individual experience to provide history and social and cultural insights, Captors And Captives provides an outstanding social coverage.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Blue Sky on December 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book was absolutely wonderful. The breadth, scope and perspective given from all angles is just the best. The amount of research and compilation that had to be done to create this very readable history book and a miracle, especially considering that the sources are multi-lingual. It is a book that I have read three times so far and I find new things each time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shirley Miller on April 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book provides good background details on the motives of people from all sides who were involved in the 1704 Deerfield raid. Those factual details and explanations make it possible for the reader to imagine and almost feel what it must have been like for the people involved, Indian and French, as well as English colonials. Haefeli and Sweeney do a good job of covering the complexity of interaction between the multiple cultures that led to the events and aftermath of the raid. There's a map to illustrate the locations of the houses within and without the village palisades. The book also includes reference charts to give the reader a comparative summary at a glance of the captives and what happened to them and the material damages and losses to the village. I'm a descendant of a few Deerfield residents from that period (John Sheldon, Sr.; his son, Ebenezer; the Stebbins family, through Sheldon's wife, Hannah Stebbins Sheldon; and the Hinsdales and Wrights through intermarriage with Ebenezer's descendants in later generations), so this story has interested me ever since I first encountered it in genealogy research. I'd already read Captors and Captives from our local library, but purchased it in order to have my own copy for reference.
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