Edinburgh: Printed by J. Tod & Son, 1805. vi,138pp. Engraved frontispiece portrait (partially colored). 12mo. Contemporary plain wrappers. Corners bit curled on preliminary and final few leaves. Overall a very good copy in original, unsophisticated condition, untrimmed. Item #WRCAM27958
A classic Indian captivity narrative, first published in 1758 under the title, FRENCH AND INDIAN CRUELTY. Vail calls this "the most popular of all Indian captivities." Peter Williamson was born in Scotland but was kidnapped and sold into bondage in Pennsylvania when he was eight years old. His master proved kind and ultimately his benefactor, leaving Williamson enough money to marry and establish himself on a farm near the forks of the Delaware. In 1754 he was captured by Indians, probably Delawares, held captive for three months, and submitted to various tortures and humiliations. Escaping in January 1755, he joined the army and was first sent to Boston, then with the expedition to defend Oswego. When Oswego was captured by the French, he was wounded and taken prisoner. Finally he was paroled and sent to England, arriving in November 1756. Williamson seems to have been a popular figure in Scotland, whence he returned in 1758. Many chapbook editions of his captivity narrative appeared into the 19th century. This edition includes a wonderful engraved portrait of Williamson, "in the dress of a Delaware Indian." VAIL 1269. SABIN 104481. AYER 326. HOWES W500.