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Christmas in Gonzales, Texas, 1835

Friday, December 25

“I awakened before the sun was up and saw that Mama was still by the hearth. I think she stayed up all night. The turkey was roasting on a spit over a low fire. It must have been the wonderful smell that woke me up. I hugged Mama’s waist and said Merry Christmas. She reached into her apron pocket and gave me a little gift wrapped in a scrap of blue velvet and told me to go ahead and open it before the menfolk got up. It was a beautiful ivory button, carved to look like a rose. It came from her mother’s wedding gown and I knew that it was precious to her and worth much because over the years in emergincies, Mama had sold all the other buttons like it. I threw my arms around Mama’s neck and kissed her face, still warm from the heat of the fire. It didn’t matter what else I got; this was the most precious gift I could receive.” ~A Line in the Sand: The Alamo Diary of Lucinda Lawrence by Sherry Garland.

Z-baby (age 11) and I have been reading this Dear America book together as an assignment for her Texas history class at co-op. I thought it showed quite well the hardship and indecision of individual families in the face of the war for Texas independence. Lucinda’s father is against fighting, against the Mexican army, partly because he knows the cost of war. Lucinda’s brother, Willis, goes off to San Antonio to help defend the Alamo. Lucinda herself is conflicted, proud of her brother and her new nation of Texas, but also unsure whether Texas independence is worth the deaths of brave men and the loss of homes and friendships and families.

Bravely stepping over that “line in the sand” to fight against tyranny isn’t an easy decision, and there’s always a cost.

Texas Tuesday: The Blood of Heroes by James Donovan

The Blood of Heroes The 13-Day Struggle for the Alamo–and the Sacrifice That Forged a Nation by James Donovan.

General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna: “If I were God, I would wish to be more.”
“In this war you know that are no prisoners.”

Oath Davy Crockett and his men signed on February 12, 1836: “I do solemnly swear that I will bear true allegiance to the provisional government of Texas or any other future republican government that may be hereafter declared, and that I will serve her honestly and faithfully against all her enemies and oppressors whatsoever.”
Crockett inserted the word “republican”, stating that he was only willing to support a republican government, and after signing Crockett and his men became part of the new Texian army and proceeded to the Alamo.

Travis’s message to the alcalde (mayor) of Gonzales, February 23, 1836: “The enemy in large force are in sight. We want men and provisions. Send them to us. We have 150 men and are determined to defend the Alamo to the last. Give us assistance. P.S. Send an express to San Felipe with news night and day.

Colonel Travis to the People of Texas and all Americans in the world, February 24, 1836:

Fellow citizens and compatriots–
I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna—I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man—The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken— I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls— I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch— The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country—

    VICTORY OR DEATH

William Barret Travis,
Lt. Col. comdt.
P.S. The Lord is on our side. When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn. We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves. Travis

Portion of Travis’s last letter from the Alamo, March 3, 1836:

Col. Fannin is said to be on the march to this place with reinforcements, but I fear it is not true, as I have repeatedly sent to him for aid without receiving any. Colonel Bonham, my special messenger, arrived at La Bahia fourteen days ago, with a request for aide and on the arrival of the enemy in Bexar, ten days ago, I sent an express to Colonel F. which arrived at Goliad on the next day, urging him to send us reinforcements; none have yet arrived. I look to the colonies alone for aid; unless it arrives soon, I shall have to fight the enemy on his own terms. I will, however, do the best I can under the circumstances; and I feel confident that the determined valor and desperate courage heretofore exhibited by my men will not fail them in the last struggle; and although they may be sacrificed to the vengeance of a Gothic enemy, the victory will cost the enemy so dear, that it will be worse to him than a defeat. I hope your honorable body will hasten on reinforcements ammunition, and provisions to our aid as soon as possible. We have provisions for twenty days for the men we have. Our supply of ammunition is limited. At least five hundred pounds of cannon powder, and two hundred rounds of six., nine, twelve and eighteen pound balls, ten kegs of rifle powder and a supply of lead, should be sent to the place without delay under a sufficient guard. If these things are promptly sent, and large reinforcements are hastened to this frontier, this neighborhood will be the great and decisive ground. The power of Santa Anna is to be met here, or in the colonies; we had better meet them here than to suffer a war of devastation to rage in our settlements. A blood red banner waves from the church of Bexar, and in the camp above us, in token that the war is one of vengeance against rebels; they have declared us as such; demanded, that we should surrender at discretion, or that this garrison should be put to the sword. Their threats have had no influence on me or my men, but to make all fight with desperation, and that high souled courage which characterizes the patriot, who is willing to die in defense of his country’s liberty and his own honor.

Juan Seguin, April 25, 1837: “They preferred to die a thousand times rather than submit to the tyrant’s yoke.”

Cry of the men at the Battle of San Jacinto which won Texas’ independence:

Remember Goliad! Remember the Alamo!

Texas Tuesday: A Personal Country by A.C. Greene

I didn’t quite finish this travel homecoming memoir by a Texas author who hails from my neck of the woods, Abilene, Texas, where I went to college. However, I did find some gems in the book before I had to return it to the library, and I’ll probably come back to it and finish the journey someday.


“Rainfall or the lack of it, the thing that may have killed my great-grandfather, puts its mark on all West Texas life. . . Uninitiated radio and television weather experts will get called down by the natives (assumed or born) when they speak of ‘it’s a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky, the forecast calling for fair weather . . .’ This may be pretty in one sense, but not nearly so beautiful as a black overcast day with the clouds threatening to shed tears at any minute, or a strong, wet wind scudding the dark masses overhead.”

Oh, yes, a lesson I learned early in life: never complain about a rainy day.

And windy days: “Then the girls clutch their skirts, not just for modesty but for survival, feeling the wind to be altogether capable of lifting them up bodily and dumping them, at best, in an undignified sprawl.”

I absolutely remember a day when I was walking down the sidewalk at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, and the wind picked me up and I flew for about 10 feet down the sidewalk. I felt like The Flying Nun.

“West Texans are not adventuresome food eaters. Until enough servicemen from other parts had been stationed there in World War II, steaks were customarily cooked until dark gray throughout, and roast beef with a tinge of pink was regarded as raw. My grandmother Cole sent back more than one hamburger for recooking because the meat ‘wasn’t done’—a term that implied a uniform brown quality. Even now most cattle ranchers will have their steaks no way but well done.”

Yep, me too. I don’t want to eat any pink meat, except for ham. If that makes me unadventurous, so be it.

Happy Tuesday, everyone, especially those of you who live in West Texas. I hope it’s raining or threatening rain for you today.

Texas Tuesday: Goodbye to a River by John Graves

Published in 1959, this nonfiction narrative tells the story of a November 1957 trip down a piece of the Brazos River in central Texas, just before several dams were built along the river to change its course and character forever. Hence, the title: Goodbye to a River.

Mr. Graves grew up along the Brazos, in Granbury, Texas or nearby as best I can tell, and his writing reflects his love for Texas, the Brazos, country living, and history. It’s also a nature-lover’s book and a chronicle of a lost way of life, the Texas of the 1800′s and early twentieth century. I enjoyed the book immensely, even though it wasn’t exactly about MY part of Texas, too far east for that. It was, nevertheless, about the kind of people that I knew when I was a kid of a girl growing up in West Texas among the fishermen and ranchers and hunters and wannabes. My daddy hunted deer during deer season and fed them out of season (I never really understood that). He also went fishin’, but he never paddled a canoe down the river.

The book and the journey it tells of are a taste of Texas and solitude and reminiscence and homely encounters with classic Texan characters, alive and dead.

“We don’t know much about solitude these days, nor do we want to. A crowded world thinks that aloneness is always loneliness, and that to seek it is perversion. Maybe so. Man is a colonial creature and owes most of his good fortune to his ability to stand his fellows’ feet on his corns and the musk of their armpits in his nostrils. Company comforts him; those around him share his dreams and bear the slings and arrows with him.” (p.83-84)

“Mankind is one thing; a man’s self is another. What that self is tangles itself knottily with what his people were, and what they came out of. Mine came out of Texas, as did I. If those were louts they were my own louts.” (p.144)

'Texas sunset' photo (c) 2004, Mike Oliver - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/“I used to be suspicious of the kind of writing where characters are smitten by correct quotations at appropriate moments. I still am, but not as much. Things do pop out clearly in your head, alone, when the upper layers of your mind are unmisted by talk with other men. Odd bits and scraps and thoughts and phrases from all your life and all your reading keep boiling up to view like grains of rice in a pot on the fire. Sometimes they even make sense . . .” (p.151)

“If it hadn’t been for Mexicans, the South Texas Anglos would never have learned how to cope right with longhorn cattle. If it hadn’t been for Texans, nobody else on the Great Plains would have learned how either.” (p.199)

“Neither a land nor a people ever starts over clean. Country is compact of all its past disasters and strokes of luck–of flood and drouth, of the caprices of glaciers and sea winds, of misuse and disuse and greed and ignorance and wisdom–and though you may doze away at the cedar and coax back the bluestem and mesquite grass and side-oats grama you’re not going to manhandle into anything entirely new. It’s limited by what it has been, by what’s happened to it. And a people . . is much the same in this as land. It inherits. Its progenitors stand behind its elbow.” (p.237)

The moral of the story, and I think it’s true, is that I carry Texas and Texans and the Texas landscape in my bones. Even though I’ve never once paddled a canoe down a Texas river or lived rough in a campsite beside the river or caught or shot my own dinner and cooked it up, I am still somehow the inheritor of something that my ancestors, many of whom did all those things and more besides, passed down to me. I’m a city girl, but the Texas wildness and independence and what sometimes turns into a lack of respect for authority and a heedless devil-may-care attitude–all that lives in me, and more besides. I am a daughter of Texas, and Goodbye to a River was a wonderful tribute to some of the places and stories that make Texas great.

For more books about rivers, see last week’s edition of Book Tag with the theme of rivers.

For more books about Texas, see my list of 55 Texas Tales or past editions of Texas Tuesday.

If you love the essays and the localism of Wendell Berry, and especially if you have some connection to Texas, I think you would enjoy Goodbye to a River.

Texas Tuesday: The Buckskin Line by Elmer Kelton

Elmer Kelton is from my hometown, San Angelo, Texas. I’m not much of a reader of westerns, but I thought I should at least sample the work of Mr. Kelton, seeing as he’s a hometown boy and was the farm-and-ranch editor for the San Angelo Standard-Times. Also, for five years he was editor of Sheep and Goat Raiser Magazine, and for another twenty-two years he was editor of Livestock Weekly. He wrote more than thirty western novels, set mostly in Texas, and he was awarded several Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America. In 1977, Kelton received an Owen Wister Award for lifetime achievement, and in 1998, he received the first Lone Star Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Larry McMurtry Center for Arts and Humanities at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. Now that’s a resume to be found only in West Texas.

The Buckskin Line introduces us to Rusty Shannon, a red-headed orphan who is nearly captured by the Comanches in the first chapter. The Comanches do kill Rusty’s parents as the story opens in August, 1840 during the Comanche raid into south central Texas during which the small town of Linnville in Victoria COunty was sacked and burned. “The surprised people of Linnville fled to the water and were saved by remaining aboard small boats and a schooner . .. at anchor in the bay.”

In the story three year old Rusty is carried off by the Comanche raiders, but rescued by a ragtag group of pursuers, including Mike Shannon, an Irish-Texan wanderer who farms the land he finds until it wears out and then moves on. Mike has a wife, but the two have been unable to have childen. So they adopt the orphan boy and keep his first name, Davy, the only thing the young boy can tell them about himself. Davy grows up to be called “Rusty” in reference to his red hair.

Most of the book is about the adventures of the young adult Rusty Shannon, as he joins the Texas Rangers on the Red River border with Indian Territory just before and after the outbreak of the Civil War. Rusty is a brave and honest young man, but somewhat rash in judgement and too ready for revenge when someone hurts the people he loves. The Buckskin Line shows how Rusty Shannon matures and learns to temper his judgement with faith and patience.

I liked it enough to want to read the other two books in Kelton’s Texas Rangers Trilogy, Badger Boy and The Way of the Coyote.

Kylie Jean, Blueberry Queen by Marci Peschke

Cybils nominee: Early Chapter Books. Nominated by Jennifer Glidden, Capstone Press.

Kylie Jean, who lives with her family in Jacksonville, Texas, has a lifelong dream: she wants to be a beauty queen. I’ve never heard of Jacksonville, but it’s a real town in East Texas, Cherokee County, and it has a population of 13,868 (2000 census). Jacksonville is “the Tomato Capital of the World”, but it’s blueberries that play the starring role in Kylie Jean’s journey to becoming a beauty queen.

In the story the big festival in Jacksonville every year is not Tomato Fest, but rather the Blueberry Festival. Kylie Jean wants to be Blueberry Festival Queen, and since Kylie Jean is not only pretty, inside and out, but also determined, she enlists some help and sets out to realize her dream.

I’m not much on beauty pageants, but I liked Kylie Jean. She talks and acts “Texas” through and through with her “right pretty” and her “hollering” and her “yes, m’am” and “no, m’am.” I liked the way Kylie Jean makes a list of the things she needs to do to enter the beauty pageant, and she goes right down the list, checking each thing off as she gets it done. And I learned a few things you might not know (I didn’t):

“Shouting is not ladylike.” Beauty queens don’t shout.

“Beauty queens always wear a slip because it is classy.”

“Pretty is as pretty does . . . means being nice to the old folks, taking care of little animals, and respecting [my] momma and daddy.”

I’ll just bet at least one of those pieces of information is new to you, too. Consider it a part of your free education in Texas culture.

Z-Baby: “I think all of the books about Kylie Jean look good: Rodeo Queen, Hoop Queen, and Drama Queen.”

*This book is nominated for a Cybils Award, and I am a judge for the first round thereof. However, no one paid me any money, and nobody knows which books will get to be finalists or which ones will get the awards. In other words, this review reflects my opinion and Z-baby’s and nothing else.

Texas Tuesday: Oh, Those Harper Girls! by Kathleen Karr

A few years ago I read Kathleen Karr’s The Great Turkey Walk out loud to some of the urchins, and I remember us deriving immense enjoyment from the humorous story of a simple boy named Simon and his turkey drive across the Midwest. Well, I would love to read this book, Oh, Those Harper Girls!, to my younger children sometime when we’re studying Texas history. I’m sure they would love getting to know the six Harper sisters: March, April, May, June, Julie, and Lily. (Lily, the youngest was born in April, but that month had already been taken. Hence, Lily.)

The Harper girls live in Texas, in 1869, just after the Civil War, with their refined mother and their ne’er-do-well daddy on the Double H Ranch. Unfortunately, the bank is going to foreclose on the Double H if the Harpers can’t come up with enough money to pay off daddy’s bank loan. Fortunately, Daddy H has a plan. Unfortunately, the plan involves rustling some of the neighbor’s cattle and re-branding them with the Double H brand. Fortunately, the girls fail at cattle rustling. Unfortunately, Daddy has another plan . . . etc, etc, etc.

Oh, Those Harper Girls! is a wonderful comedic farce set in frontier Texas. I think kids and adults together could read this one and enjoy the broad humor as well as the subtle touches or irony and understated absurdity. For instance, the Double H, which is falling apart and mortgaged to the hilt, has a backyard full of “black ooze that kept creeping up around the plants no matter what Mama did to get rid of it. Disgusting, thick, sticky stuff. . . Wouldn’t you know her daddy would pick just such a site to build his ranch on. Poor Daddy never did do the right thing.” Only thirty years too soon.

For some Texan hijinks with a little comedic romance and jail-breaking and a stage tour and stagecoach robbery and even a foiled bank robbery all thrown in for free to keep the story moving along, you can’t go wrong with Ms. Karr’s portrait of six sisters trying to survive and thrive in heat- and poverty-stricken Central Texas. Near Fredericksburg. But the sisters eventually get to go to New York and go on stage at Tony Pastor’s Opera House. (We’ll join the Astors at Tony Pastor’s/And this I’m positive of/That we won’t come home/That we won’t come home/No, we won’t come home until we fall in love!)

Projects, New and Old: January 2011

My Bible Reading Project is going pretty well. I’ve read through Genesis, on track to finish Mark this weekend, and several of the Psalms. I also read Galatians, mostly aloud to the urchins, but I can’t say I was very successful in explaining the distinction between keeping the Law for the law’s sake and keeping it out of gratitude for what Christ has done. The urchins stared at me blankly for the most part as I engaged in this lesson in theology for their benefit. Ah, well, push on.

I want to take my old Bible and do this project with it: Blank Bible Project. I can see how this would be really useful—and a way of passing down a legacy to at least one of my children. More detailed instructions on making a blank Bible.

I read Certain Women by Madeleine L’Engle for the Faith N Fiction Roundtable, and I found Ms. L’Engle’s work as satisfying and thoughtful as ever. Come here, or to one of the other participants’ blogs, in February for more discussion of the book and its implications.

Poetry Project: The poems are posting on Fridays for Poetry Friday, and I’m enjoying them, even though we are in the Romantic period right now. I think I’m becoming an anti-Romantic poetry reader.

Newbery Project: I read and reviewed the Newbery Award winner, Moon Over Manifest, this month. I liked it a lot.

Operation Clean House is going nowhere. I haven’t even attempted to put together an Exercise and Diet Project. If anyone know of a way to exercise without actual physical labor being involved, please let me know.

In February, I really want to do more posts for Texas Tuesday and Read Aloud Thursday (to link to Amy’s blog, Hope Is the Word). I also would like to continue my Africa Reading Project, which has gotten off to a good start this year with several posts in January.

Texas Tuesday: Apparent Danger by David R. Stokes

Apparent Danger: The Pastor of America’s First Megachurch and the Texas Murder Trial of the Decade in the 1920′s by David R. Stokes.

I get a lot of emails from publicists pitching books that I might want to review here on the blog. Mostly, I don’t respond because a) most of the books just don’t sound that interesting to me, and b) I don’t like being pressured to read a book and write a review on someone else’s time schedule. However, when I received an email about Apparent Danger, I took the bait because I am interested in Texas history, particularly Southern Baptist history in Texas, and the book was about the notorious J. Frank Norris, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Fort Worth from 1909 until Norris’s death in 1952.

What I knew about Norris before I read the book: He was the pastor of FBC, Fort Worth. He got thrown out of or left the Southern Baptist Convention with his church. He was a real, live “fundamentalist.” He was involved in some kind of scandal or something?

What I learned from the book: J. Frank Norris was much more than just a run-of-the-mill pastor of a large church. He was a celebrity with aspirations to become the religious and political leader of the fundamentalist movement after the death of orator and politician William Jennings Bryan. The “scandal” I vaguely associated with Norris was really more than one scandal, but the biggest one was that he shot and killed an unarmed man in his church office —and was subsequently indicted and tried for first-degree murder. (And we think we have outrageous behavior among the clergy nowadays!) Of course, the book goes into much more detail about Norris, the murder, the trial, Norris’s relationships with Fort Worth’s finest, almost everything you’d ever want to know about Fort Worth and its politics and culture in 1926.

And I ate up every word. The picture that Mr. Stokes paints of this larger-than-life preacher and his strange reaction to criticism and controversy is fascinating. I kept trying to figure out what made J. Frank Norris tick and why so many people were so devoted to him and to his church for so long. That I never completely understood or got answers to those questions was not the fault of the author so much as the subject. Pastor J. Frank Norris didn’t seem to want to be understood so much as feared and followed and obeyed and admired. He was virulently anti-Catholic, associated with the Ku Klux Klan if not a member, and yet he spent a lot of time visiting in the homes of his six thousand church members and and seemed to see himself as a crusader against the evils of alcohol, gambling, and immorality in general. But he didn’t see anything immoral or even questionable about his shooting of Mr. D.E. Chipps in cold blood in the church building on July 17, 1926.

I thought the book, again, was wonderful in its detailed and comprehensive view of the time period and of the particular circumstances of Chipp’s death and the subsequent trial of J. Frank Norris. At the same time I very much wanted to know who Norris was and why he did what he did. Did he really believe what he preached? Was he a charlatan out to make a buck and enjoy his power over the masses? Was he ever sorry for the events of July 17th? What did his children think of him? Or his grandchildren? If he didn’t really believe the Bible, how did he sustain such a ministry for a lifetime? If he did, how did he square his actions with Jesus’s commands to practice peace and humility and lovingkindness? How could a Christian man ever feel justified in killing another human being, even in self-defense? (Oddly enough, George W. Truett, pastor of FBC, Dallas, during the same time that Norris was in Fort Worth, accidentally shot and killed a friend in a hunting accident, and it nearly ended his ministry. Truett was deeply depressed by the accident and only recovered after much prayer and encouragement from his congregation and family.)

I found this article, A Tale of Two Preachers, by author David Stokes linked at his website, and it added some to the story. But still I came away from the book wishing I knew more about this man, Doctor J. Frank Norris. (He received an honorary doctorate from Simmons College, as my alma mater, Hardin-Simmons University, was called back in those days.) How could he continue on for twenty-five more years in the ministry at the same church without ever revealing his heart? Did he have a heart? Did he preach the gospel, or just so much legalistic, racist, anti-Catholic nonsense? Was it all so mixed-up that you couldn’t sort it out? What really sustained Norris, besides Kipling’s poem If, a poem he had posted on his study wall and could quote by heart?

Apparent Danger is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of fundamentalist Christianity, of Fort Worth, of Texas Baptists, or of religion in the 1920′s. It reads like a fresh news story and seems to be well-researched and sourced without having the story itself get bogged down in footnotes and minutia. Recommended history.

Texas Tuesday: Wait for Me, Watch for Me, Eula Bee by Patricia Beatty

My Texas history class at homeschool co-op read this novel over the holidays. Patricia Beatty wrote over fifty books of historical fiction, and every one of them that I’ve read is a winner. Wait for Me, Watch for Me, Eula Bee is no exception.

Our hero is Lewallen, age thirteen, who’s been left to be the man of the house (and farm) when his older brother and father go off to fight for the Confederacy. Lewallen Collier has a younger brother and a little sister, Eula Bee. Because most of the men have gone to war, the Comanches have become more daring in their raids on farms and ranches, and Lewallen’s family is invited to shelter in the local fort and come back to their farm when the Indians have settled down or when the men have come back. Unfortunately for them, the Collier family make the wrong decision, and they fall victim to a band of Comanches who take Lewallen and Eula Bee captive and kill the rest of the family. (Warning: this scene in the book is fairly violent, not for squeamish readers.)

As a captive of the Comanche, Lewallen learns to work harder than he’s ever worked before, ride a horse like a Comanche, and hunt buffalo. He eventually escapes, but he spends the remainder of the book trying to rescue Eula Bee, for whom he feels a great sense of responsibility. In the course of his adventures, Lewallen saves the life of an Indian chief, becomes friends with the comancheros (Indian traders), and confronts the Kiowa brave who killed some of his family. The question throughout is whether or not Eula Bee will remember Lewallen if he ever finds her again.

The depictions of Comanche life and of Texas frontier life are vivid and memorable. Lewallen is a tough kid who has to grow up fast. And some of the minor characters are well-drawn, too, such as Grass Woman, a captive who has become one of The People (Comanche) and no longer wants to go back to the white man’s ways.

I was particularly struck by the family loyalty that Lewallen showed as he searched for his sister. I wonder if I would have that kind of stamina and faithfulness, or if my kids would.

If you’re teaching this book, here are a couple of links for materials:
Vocabulary quiz for Wait for Me, Watch for Me, Eula Bee

Other Indian captive books:
Trouble’s Daughter: The Story of Susanna Hutchinson, Indian Captive by Katherine Kirkpatrick. Susanna, daughter of the famous dissenter, Anne Hutchinson, is captured by the Lenape after the massacre of her entire family.She draws strength from the memory of her famous, strong-willed mother, but she finds herself becoming more and more admiring of the Lenape women she comes to know.
I am Regina by Sally M. Keehn. When Regina is captured by the Indians, she repeats her name to herself to remeind herself of her identity. However, after eight years of living with the Indians, all she knows is her Indian name. Based on the true story of Regina Leininger, Pennsylvania, 1755.
The Ransom of Mercy Carter by Caroline Cooney. 11 year old Mercy is taken captive by the Mohawks during the French and Indian War in 1704. Mercy also becomes accustomed to Indian life and may not want to go back when the opportunity arises. Study guide for this book.
Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison by Lois Lenski. 12 year old Mary is captured by the Seneca, based on a true story of a girl by the same name taken by the Indians in New York in 1758. Mary first becomes Corn Tassel, then later gets a new name, Woman of Great Courage. Discussion guide.
Standing in the Light: The Captive Diary of Catharine Carey Logan, Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania, 1763 by Mary Pope Osborne. Part of the Dear America series. Quaker children Caty Logan and her brother are also captured by the Lenape, and although they eventually return to their home, Caty feels estranged from her family and misses Indian life.
Where the Broken Heart Still Beats: The Story of Cynthia Ann Parker by Caroline Meyer. Cynthia Ann Parker was ckidnapped by the Comanche, married a Comanche leader, had three children, and was then kidnapped back by Texas Rangers in this story based on a true incident.
Captive Treasure by Milly Howard. In a sudden encounter on the trail with a Cheyenne raiding party, Carrie Talbot is taken off to a new life in the Cheyenne camp along the river.
The Raid by G. Clifton Wisler. When his little brother is carried off by raiding Comanches, fourteen-year-old Lige disguises himself as an Indian and joins a former slave in a bold rescue attempt.