The Unredeemed Captive, by John Demos, is a novel that depicts the hardships a family and their fellow townspeople endured during and after a Colonial New England massacre. It was on the fateful morning of February 29, 1704, in the town of Deerfield, Massachusetts that a group of Puritan townspeople were massacred and captured. A total of 48 people were grotesquely killed, while about one hundred and twelve were captured and became prisoners of a French and Indian war party. Among the captured were Reverend John Williams, his wife, and their children. The Reverend was and renowned Puritan Minister and was deeply committed to his Puritan beliefs and faith; it was this faith in God that kept him going through these difficult times. .
On the difficult journey to Canada, Reverend John William's wife and two of their children were killed. The rest of the journey to Canada was tough and treacherous for the whole group; nearly twenty people died along the way. The survival rate was better for younger children, teenagers, and men. Women and infants were the least likely to survive either due to natural causes or murdering. Once they reached their destination, Reverend Williams was split from his children; they each were sent to different locations. These times were tough for the Reverend, and eventually, after approximately two and a half years, the Reverend was finally released from captivity.
Reverend John Williams" return home was celebrated and he was reinstated as the religious leader of Deerfield. He was promised a new home and other amenities in order to help him recover from the terrible ordeal. Reverend Williams wrote a narrative titled "The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion", describing his experience in captivity. It served as a "revered part of the literary cannon of "Puritanism" (Demos 51). It gave people who had relatives in captivity hope.
Williams's youngest daughter, Eunice, was very young when she was captured.