Mary Rowlandson was a woman who lived in the 1600's during the Colonial Age. She wrote a narrative to document her life through the war between the white settlers and the Indians from 1675 to 1676.
Mary Rowlandson's narrative has been so appealing to American readers because it is a first-hand insider's look on what it was like to be a Puritan woman who was captured by Indians.
Mary Rowlandson was born in England around the year 1636 (we do not know the exact year she was born). She was the youngest of five children and in 1639 she moved with her family to Massachusetts. There, in 1656, she married her husband, Joseph Rowlandson, the local minister. Years later, the Indian population started decreasing (mainly due to diseases from Europe), but the colony population was increasing rapidly. In 1975 King Philip (Metacomet) of the colonies declared war on the Indians. The war itself only lasted about a year, but around 2,500 colonists and 5,000 Indians were killed. 5 percent of the colony's people and 40 percent of the Indians were killed. It is known to be one of the bloodiest wars in American history. In February of 1676 a group of three tribes of Indians - Nipmuc, Wampanoag, and Narragansett - raided the colony town of Lancaster, where Mary Rowlandson lived. There, they captured Mary and her three children. She was separated from her kids and one died shortly after. Three months later, after being ransomed, she was with her family again. They moved to Connecticut. In 1678 her husband passed away and she wrote her narrative right before she died. .
Mary Rowlandson's story is a real life encounter. It's especially interesting since it was a Puritan woman who survived being held captive by Indians for three months. Since it was a woman's story it was written with both a feminist and a modest slant. The encounters that happened in the narrative were as if this story is a modern day Bible encounter.