Glasgow: Printed for the Booksellers, [nd, ca. 1830]. 24pp. Titlepage vignette. 12mo. Titlepage surrounded by an ornamental border. Dbd. Near fine. Item #WRCAM30507
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 a young Williamson, wearing a top hat and sailor's outfit. Vail notes that the present edition has been dated from 1800 to 1830. In our opinion, the typography would seem to lean toward a date of 1830. OCLC locates only seven copies. Scarce. VAIL 1275A. AYER 323. SABIN 104478. HOWES W500. OCLC 5241951.