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Title Letter [manuscript]: Mansf. [Mansfield, Conn.], Dear Brother [Stephen Williams], 1734 Feb. 7
Author Williams, Eleazar (1688-1742)
Date
Document Type Correspondence
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Letter written by Eleazar Williams to his brother Stephen Williams living in Longmeadow, Mass. on Feb. 7, 1734 concerning recent information about the possible discovery of their missing sister Eunice. Williams writes that he has learned about a woman in Newport, R.I. whose background in some respects resembles their sister. Although Williams fears that this woman is not Eunice, he still urges his brother to come to Mansfield to further discuss the matter. On the verso are notes in Stephen’s hand apparently drafting a message to be sent to another brother. Two weeks later Stephen arrived in Newport only to discover that this woman was a fraud.
Names Williams, John (1664-1729); Williams, Eunice (1696-1786)
Places Deerfield, Massachusetts, United States
Keywords captive, captivity, family life, massacre, French and Indian Wars
Theme Military Encounters: Conflicts, Rebellions and Alliances
Tribe / Nation
Culture Area Northeast
Additional Information The Deerfield Massacre occurred on Feb. 29, 1704 when a French and Indian war party from Canada attacked the Massachusetts village killing about fifty inhabitants and taking over one hundred prisoners. The entire family of the Rev. John Williams, except Eleazar, were taken prisoner at Deerfield and carried into Canada. Enroute Mrs. Williams and her two young sons were killed. Most of the family remained in captivity for periods of one to two and a half years and were gradually redeemed and allowed to return to Massachusetts. Only one sister, Eunice (1696-1786), was not redeemed and subsequently was adopted by a Mohawk family. The Williams family spent the ensuing decades attempting to secure her return. Eventually they discovered that she was not being held against her will, but had chosen to marry a Mohawk man. Although she was finally reunited with her family in 1740 in Albany, she continued to live among the Indians until her death.
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT box Ayer MS 3205
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue