A Narrative of the Captivity of Mrs. Johnson, Together with A Narrative of James Johnson: Indian Captive of Charlestown, New Hampshire


Charlestown, originally known as No. 4, was first settled in 1740 by three families from Lunenburg by the name of Farnsworth. In 1744 a fort was begun for safety reasons; the Cape Breton war had commenced and the Indians had taken up their hatchets. The cessation of arms was called between Great Britain and France in 1749, and Susanna (Willard) Johnson, but two years the wife of James Johnson, moved with her husband to Charlestown. In 1754, news of another impending rift between France and England was again on everyone's tongue. The Indians were increasingly restless; on August 29, 1754, they descended upon the Johnson home, taking as captives James and Susanna Johnson (who was nine months pregnant and ready to deliver her next child), the three Johnson children, the Johnsons' neighbor Peter Labarree and their hired man Ebenezer Farnsworth, and Mrs. Johnson's sister, Miriam Willard. The following day, August 30, Mrs. Johnson gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth Captive Johnson, the third white child born in Vermont; she lived to womanhood and married Colonel George Kimball. Mrs. Johnson describes in detail her struggles to recover from childbirth, her walk to St. Francis (the Indians' home), the sale of all the captives to the French, the dispersal of her family, and her eventual return to Charlestown. Mrs. Johnson revised and edited the second and third editions of her book which was originally written by John C. Chamberlain and published in 1796. The facsimile was reprinted from the third edition, published at Windsor, Vermont, in 1814, with all corrections and additions.


Mrs. Susanna Willard Johnson


(1796, 1814), 2007, 5½x8½, paper, index, 232 pp.

ISBN: 9781556133374