When the frontier village of Deerfield, Massachusetts was attacked by a party of French and Indians near dawn on February 29, 1704, the Reverend John Williams, his family, and his entire congregation suffered greatly. Forty-nine were killed, among them William's wife and two of their children. One hundred eleven were taken off as captives to Canada, including Williams and five of his surviving children. In The Redeemed Captive, Williams recorded with Christian resignation the terror and trauma of the raid, the long march through the snow and ice, and his years of captivity among the French. His account of the enemy invading his sleeping household and the ensuing ordeal still speaks of the travails of frontier life and of the New England Puritan character that enabled Williams and his flock to withstand these hardships and to return to Deerfield to rebuild the burned and sacked community.
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