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The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier Hardcover – October 21, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (October 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312317875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312317874
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

On New Year's Day, 1870, Adolph Korn, the author's ancestor and son of German immigrants, was captured by three Apaches near his family's cabin in central Texas. Adolph was traded to a band of Quahada Comanches, with whom he lived until November 1872, when the Comanches traded their captives for those held by the U.S. Army. Adolph was irrevocably changed. Considering himself Indian, he lived in a cave, and died alone in 1900. The author's search into Korn's sad life led him to the similar stories of eight other children captured in Texas between 1865 and 1871. Drawing on his tenacious research and interviews with the captives' descendants, Zesch compiles a gripping account of the lives of these children as they lived and traveled with their Indian captors. He delves into the reasons for their "Indianization," which for most of them lasted the rest of their lives, and discusses why they couldn't adjust to white society. A fascinating, meticulously documented chronicle of the often-painful confrontations between whites and Indians during the final years of Indian Territory. Deborah Donovan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Scott Zesch grew up in Mason County, Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University and Harvard Law School. He is the author of the novel Alamo Heights, and he is the winner of the Western History Association's Ray Allen Billington Award. He divides his time between New York City and a ranch in Art, Texas (population 3).

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Customer Reviews

I found this book fascinating and a very good read.
John Berry
This book has well written and detailed stories of Indian raids in the Texas hill country during the 1860's and 70's and the abductions of children.
Steve Lower
Author Zesch does a tremendous job of researching his work, and his source material is first-rate.
Michael Jandrok

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

204 of 207 people found the following review helpful By Smallchief on November 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I was pleasantly surprised at how good this book is. Author Zesch has turned out what should become a minor classic of Texas and Western history.

"Captured" is about the experiences of nine White children captured by Comanches and Apaches from 1865 to 1871. The children lived among the Indians for up to 12 years. Several of them were members of the large German-speaking community which settled in the Texas Hill Country west of San Antonio.

As the author wryly notes the only career path for Comanche men was "warrior" and the author details many of the brutal battles between Comanche and Texan. There are massacres and atrocities and gore galore here, but also a bit of humor and humanity. White children captives were often treated kindly and adopted into the tribe. Despite being eyewitnesses to the murder of their families, several of the male captives profiled by Zesch came to prefer the wild and free life of a Comanche warrior to that of a Texas sodbuster. Most notably, Herman Lehmann was one of the last few Comanche holdouts to surrender to the Whites in 1878 and he was a willing and enthusiastic participant in many battles against White soldiers and raids on White communities. Zesch also details the inability of the freed captives to readjust to life as Whites. Most became alienated drifters and a few later rejoined the defeated Comanches on reservations in Oklahoma. Many also lived to ripe old ages.

There are many volumes of stories about Whites being taken captive by and living among the Indians. This is the best I have read. The author delves into reasons why so many White captives came to prefer living among Indians rather than returning to their own culture.

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79 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Claudia McGill on May 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book tells the story of some ordinary children who had extraordinary experiences, and the immediacy and directness of the author's writing makes their long-ago world come alive. The premise of the book, searching for the facts to flesh out the story of a long-forgotten relative, grows into something larger and more emotionally-ridden than simple history. This book is fascinating and you won't want to put it down once you start - not the usual thing for a non-fiction account. I was left with a lot to think about at the end of the book, about the way society handled things 100 years ago, the effects of their exeriences on these children... and I also wondered how I or anyone I know would have reacted in these circumstances, circumstances which still come up at some place in the world today every day.
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90 of 95 people found the following review helpful By John Boland on July 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I usually like to "put in my two cents" with an Amazon review when there aren't any other reviews or when I disagree strongly with the other reviews. Why just "echo" what other people are saying, I figure? But, this book is so well-written and fascinatin' that I gotta write somethin'. This is one of those few books that you'll remember and think about for a long time to come.

I "read" this book using "Books on Tape" audio CD. (You can get this book on ONE Mp3 CD---very convenient to listen while you're in your car or waiting in line someplace)

I liked the book so much I just ordered my own hardcopy! Also, I ordered some of the "source books" mentioned in the narrative. Maybe I'll review those when I read 'em. As a result of reading this book, maybe sometime in the future I'll travel to "the hill country" of Texas and Fort Sill, Oklahoma to take a look see myself at where some of the events took place. This book is a "DaVinci Code" for people who love history and who appreciate a good story! Enjoy! Email:boland7214@aol.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By John Moore on December 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
picked up my first copy of this book in Fredericksburg, TX where I happened to be eating some BBQ and looked across the street to see an old settlers outpost fort. I wandered around to check it out and the volunteer guide there showed me the book and said it was an amazing story about a little known niche of our history - children kidnapped by the Indians to re-populate their own tribes thorugh a process of "the strongest will survive and be good warriors" they rode the kids hard and if they cried or shoed signs of weakness, they killed them on the spot, figuring they wouldnt be worth the effort to train and raise. if the kids were able to endure the introduction phase, then they began living life like kings, training to shoot arrows, ride horses, fight, and hunt all day. leaving the domestic chores to the women. nearly all of them eventually were returned or sold back to the white settlers but some refused to go and a number of them ran away and rejoined their indian families.

it reads like an adventure book and proves that real life is better than fiction. the Author does a great job o story telling and is very diligent to accurately reflect true historical data as pulled from historical interviews, military records and newspaper articles.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By J. Daily VINE VOICE on January 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Author Scott Zesch started out researching information on an ancestor, Adolph Korn. What he ended up with is a fascinating book on the lives of other families of Texas settlers who had children abducted and also their frontier lifestyles. Also included are the stories of not just his ancestor Adolph Korn, but other children who were Indian abductees as well. Incredibly well researched (especially for an Aggie.) He leaves no stone unturned. The stories these abductees had of their lives with the different tribes are absolutely fascinating. Not having read much before about Indian abductions, especially intriquing was how difficult re-assimilation back to their native white culture was for these former child abductees. Even if they had only spent a few months with the Indians. A great factual look back at what life on frontier was like. Highly recommended.
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