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The Life of Mary Jemison: The White Woman of the Genesee

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Taken captive at the early age of thirteen by Seneca Indians, Mary Jemison was trained in the wilderness to the ordinary duties of the Indian female. ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of The Life of Mary Jemison: The White Woman of the Genesee

Overall customer rating: 5.000
Susannah

Fascinating!

by Susannah on Jul 23, 2009

In 1755, 13-year-old Mary Jemison was kidnapped by Shawnee Indians. She was subsequently adopted into a Seneca family as a replacement for a slain relative. James Seaver interviewed Mary several years before she died at age 91. In this book, he tells the story of her life, most of it in her own words. Mary vividly describes her horror at her fate -- stolen away with her family & some neighbors, most of whom are killed. Tensions are high between Native Americans & white settlers, exacerbated by the French & Indian War, & Mary's innocent family is caught in the middle of the hostilities. Mary describes her adoption into a Seneca family, & her kind treatment there. Straddling two worlds -- that of the white settlers & that of the Native Americans -- Mary can speak even-handedly about the bad & the good of each. After many years, when she is offered a chance to return to live among white people, Mary turns it down. She is no longer responsible for only herself. She has been married twice, & she has several children. She chooses to remain among the Senecas. This edition (1991) contains several lovely engravings from the 1877 edition, showing Seneca mode of dress & artifacts, plus some of the people from the narrative. There is a magnificent engraving of the warrior Corn Planter, & engravings of two of Mary's descendants. This is a really good book & a fascinating read.

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