The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright by Ann M. Little
(The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History)

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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.

About Ann M. Little

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Born on the Great Lakes near the U.S.-Canadian border, Ann Little is associate 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.
Published September 27, 2016 by Yale University Press. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality.

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright

In August 1703, seven-year-old Esther Wheelwright (1696–1780) was captured by Wabanaki warriors during their attack on the New England frontier town of Wells. Adopted into a native family, the author became known as Mali and converted to Catholicism. At age 12, she moved to Quebec where she was e...

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