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Mary Rowlandson's The Soverainty (sic) and Goodness of God, Together with the Faithfulness of His Promises Displayed; Being a Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (1682) is the first and most widely-read captivity narrative among many published in the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as the first captivity narrative published in North America that reflects the experience of an English colonist.
Mary Rowlandson became a captive when Wampanoag Indians (most likely) attacked Lancaster (Massachusetts) on February 20, 1676, during what is known as King Philip's War, which lasted from about June, 1675, to August, 1676. Mrs. Rowlandson's narrative is structured chronologically from her capture through her "redemption," and, because she wrote according to the "Old Calendar," she dates her captivity from February 10, 1676. She uses the phrase "The First Remove, "The Second Remove," and so on, to organize her captivity in space and time. The First Remove, as she is taken by her captors away from Lancaster, begins on the night of her capture.
The Second Remove, which begins the following day (February 11), takes her to Princeton, Massachusetts. After a miserable night, suffering from a wound and trying to care for her sick child, Rowlandson describes The Third Remove, which took from February 12-27, ending at an Indian village near what is now New Braintree, Massachusetts, still in the western part of Massachusetts. She describes this Indian village as "an Indian Town, called Wenimesser." Her infant child died here, but her ten-year-old daughter, also Mary, was still alive at this point.
Mary Rowlandson's Fourth Remove took place from about February 28 to March 3, and she arrived at in Indian village called Nichewaug. Having left her daughter Mary at Wenimesser, Rowlandson did not see her again until after Rowlandson's release. Rowlandson believed the Fifth Remove, which occurred during the period of March 3-5, was caused by colonial troops being in the area. These forces were made up of Massachusetts and Connecticut troops. The Sixth Remove began and ended on March 6, with Rowlandson and her captors arriving at a swamp near Northfield, Massachusetts.
After a "restless and hungry night there," Rowlandson's Seventh Remove took her to a place called Squakeag, close to Beer's Plain somewhere in the Northfield vicinity. The next day, March 7, the Eighth Remove took her to South Vernon, Vermont (although she thought it was Connecticut), and here she met King Philip, the Indian chief who helped start the war. At this point, her narrative is unclear how long she remained near King Philip, but based on later entries, she appears to have been here or near here for at least a couple of weeks, which would be about March 15-20. The Ninth Remove places her near the Ashuelot Valley, New Hampshire. Between the Ninth to the Eleventh Removes, Rowlandson probably stayed near Ashuelot Valley, but the Eleventh Remove puts her near Chesterfield, New Hampshire. Because she left Chesterfield on or about April 9, we can guess that from March 15 until April 9, she was in New Hampshire between Ashuelot and Chesterfield.
The dates of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Removes are difficult to ascertain, but the Fourteenth Remove, which appears to have taken place between April 20-28, places her in Mount Wachusett near Princeton, Massachusetts, where negotiations for her release began.
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