Aberdeen: Printed by John Burnett, 1801. 144pp. Contemporary half sheep and marbled paper boards, old shelf number stamped in gilt at foot of spine. Worn at spine ends with short crack at upper portion of rear joint, boards rubbed. An occasional bit of foxing or staining in the text. Overall, a very good copy in unsophisticated condition. Untrimmed. In a cloth chemise and half morocco and cloth slipcase, spine gilt. Item #WRCAM47272
The Frank Deering copy, with his gilt leather bookplate on the front free endpaper. 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, but this is the first copy of this Aberdeen edition that we have owned. this copy is also interesting in having the bookplate of a Scottish circulating library on the front pastedown, reading "W. Cockburn's Circulating Library, Instruther. Where may be had, every article in the Book & Stationary Line." VAIL 1267. SABIN 104480. AYER 324. HOWES W500.