Although the lifestyle might have began with rough treatment, soon many of the captives came to look to the Native Americans as their adopted family. That was the case with Francis.
Photo credit: Martha Bennett Phelps
In 1835, a trader named George Ewing met an elderly woman of the Miami tribe named Maconaquah. She was in her sixties and a respected woman among the tribe, a widowed grandmother whose husband had been their chief. And so you can imagine his surprise when this old woman told him she had born to white parents.
As a child, he soon found out, Maconaquah’s name had been Frances Slocum, the daughter of a Quaker family who had been stolen away from home by Seneca warriors when she was five years old. A Miami family had bought her for a few pelts, and they’d raised her as their own.
57 years had passed since her capture. She’d grown up among the Miami, gotten married, seen her husband rise to chiefdom, given him four children, and raised them until they had children of their own.
Frances’s brothers hadn’t stopped looking for her since the day she was captured. When word got out that she was still alive, her brother Isaac met with the sister he’d lost decades ago and begged her to come home.
Frances, though, had forgotten how to speak English. Communicating through an interpreter, she told him, “I do not wish to live any better, or anywhere else, and I think the Great Spirit has permitted me to live so long because I have always lived with the Indians.”
True to her word, she stayed with her captors until the day she died—and she was buried next to the man who had been her husband.
Bottom line here is that she just flat out did not want to go anywhere. She had lived with and made her home with the Indians for so long, it was the only life she knew. Can't say I blame her.
Coffee out on the patio again this morning.