62 A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson: One Poor Wounded Babe

Jessica Esdale

I chose to rewrite “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson” from the perspective of her sick, injured and dying child.

1. Her background story is pretty straight forward, she is the six-year-old daughter of Mary Rowlandson, her name is Sarah Rowlandson, and she has two siblings. Mary Rowlandson and Joseph Rowlandson. They are from Salem in the Massachusetts Bay Colony (now known as the state of Massachusetts) and she was born around 1670. Sarah grew up with her parents and siblings till February 10th, 1676, when the Narragansett, Wampanoag, and Nashaway Native Americans captured and took held of Rowlandson’s family. Sarah was the youngest of the three children sustaining injuries from the captivity, she died a week later due to her injuries. She was later buried by the Native Americans.

2. I can’t find any textual evidence to show what she looked like nor her characteristics, so I am assuming she looked as followed. I picture her with blonde hair down to her waste that was tied back with ribbon, the tips of her hair curled into itself and her skinny stick-like figure was only about 42 inches tall and 40 pounds. She was energetic and loved nature. Up until the point of capture she was a fun-loving free spirit.

3. Mary’s narrative follows Sarah for about 3 removes before she dies. But to rewrite it would be as followed.

Momma said we must go with those strange men, they have big weapons and hurt me badly. We walked into the night with momma carrying me, till we stopped at an old house to rest. I laid next to my mom as the scary men sang and danced through the darkness of the night. Papa was gone and so were my siblings just momma and I remained, and I could tell momma knew I was going to die. The next morning a strong Indian man took me in his hands and carried me upon his horse. The pain was so intense I couldn’t stop crying out and screaming. Eventually momma carried me in her arms till she fell from the exhaustion. The Indian men picked my momma up and we sat on the horses back with momma cradling me in her arms. Soon it began to snow – oh how I love snow. The white flecks danced above my head as we stopped for the night by the fire. By now I was extremely thirsty and only wanted water. My body hurt and sweat rolled off my forehead and down my cheeks. Momma laid her palm against my temples and sighed with sadness. Deep down I knew I had a fever. The next morning, we woke, and momma carried me on her lap again upon the horse till we reached a town. There were so many people, and I was scared they weren’t there for good. Momma said the Lord’s Day was to follow and I quickly said a prayer in my head because the Lord still kept me alive, and I was thankful. Soon I became too weak to even open my eyes and momma held me close, eight days after the Indian men took us, I finally joined the Lord. Before I closed my eyes for good, I saw my momma crying over me. She held me close until the last breath.


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The Open Anthology of Earlier American Literature: A PSU-Based Project Copyright © 2016 by Jessica Esdale is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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