"The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright" by Ann M. Little

The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright Ann M. Little

Series:
The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History
Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
24 Apr 2018
ISBN:
9780300234572
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
304 pages: 235 x 156mm
Illustrations:
20 b-w illus.

An eye-opening biography of a woman at the intersection of three distinct cultures in colonial America

Born and raised in a New England garrison town, Esther Wheelwright (1696–1780) was captured by Wabanaki Indians at age seven. Among them, she became a Catholic and lived like any other young girl in the tribe. At age twelve, she was enrolled at a French-Canadian Ursuline convent, where she would spend the rest of her life, eventually becoming the order’s only foreign-born mother superior. Among these three major cultures of colonial North America, Wheelwright’s life was exceptional: border-crossing, multilingual, and multicultural. This meticulously researched book discovers her life through the communities of girls and women around her: the free and enslaved women who raised her in Wells, Maine; the Wabanaki women who cared for her, catechized her, and taught her to work as an Indian girl; the French-Canadian and Native girls who were her classmates in the Ursuline school; and the Ursuline nuns who led her to a religious life.

Ann Little is professor of history at Colorado State University and the author of Abraham in Arms: War and Gender in Colonial New England. She lives in Greeley, CO.