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The account of Stephen Williams’s captivity has been called a journal, but it is not a diary of events recorded day by day. It bears internal evidence of having been written by the captive boy after his return, and before 1709. The original manuscript was given to our Association by his lineal descendant, Miss Eunice Stebbins Doggett of Chicago. In her interesting letter, transmitting it through Miss. C. Alice Baker, she speaks of it as a "precious document, which, from my first glimpse of it, I felt should go to the P.V. M. Association for safe keeping."

The manuscript, in brown paper cover, on which is written by another hand, "Account of the Captivity of Revd. Doctor Williams, wrote by himself," covers sixteen closely written pages, nearly six by three and one-half inches in size. Through the liberality of Charles Deane, LL.D., of Cambridge, the contents are now put into a useful and permanent form.

Rev. Dr. Stephen Williams was a son of Rev. John Williams, the "Redeemed Captive." He was born at Deerfield, May 14, 1693; taken captive February 29, 1703-4; graduated at Harvard in 1713; was settled minister of Longmeadow, in 1716; was interpreter for Governor Belcher in the treaty made by him with the Indians, at Deerfield, August, 1735; was chaplain under Sir William Pepperell in the Louisburg expedition in 1746; and the Canada land campaigns of 1755, under Sir William Johnson, and 1756, under Gen. Winslow. He died at Longmeadow, June 10, 1782, aged eightynine.

The donor of this relic is descended from Stephen Williams, through his daughter Eunice, born September 1, 1733, who married, May 1, 1753, William Stebbins of Longmeadow. Their daughter, Eunice Stebbins, married Rev. Joseph Barker of Middleboro. Eunice Barker, their daughter, and Elkanah Doggett, married in 1816, were the parents of Eunice Stebbins Doggett.

A portion of the papers given in the Appendix have been printed in mutilated form. All are now given verbatim—save the substitution of capitals at the beginning of sentences—from the

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Stephen Williams (1693-1782) was just a young boy when a group of French and Native Americans raided the town of Deerfield, Massachusetts, in 1704. The attackers captured Stephen's entire family except for those killed in the initial attack and the one member of the family who was not in Deerfield at the time. Stephen endured a grueling ordeal over the next year and a half, including a forced winter march to northern Vermont and frequent deprivation. Unlike his sister, Eunice, who chose to stay with the Indian family that adopted her, Stephen Williams returned to New England. He wrote this account shortly after his return.


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"What Befell Stephen Williams in his Captivity"

publisher   Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
author   Stephen Williams (1693-1782)
date   1889
location   Deerfield, Massachusetts
height   9.25"
width   6.0"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Books/Booklet
accession #   #L98.030

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See Also...

Reverend Stephen Williams (1693-1782)

"The Boy Captive of Old Deerfield" excerpts

"Little Captives of 1704"

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