- Aug 2018
- Southern Indiana
I honestly don't know if Native American ferocity to settlements has been exaggerated by Hollywood or glossed over by political correctness. I suspect that MOST Native Americans took captives in warfare ("Jumpin' Jehosophat! A WHITE woman was kidnapped by the red men!!!"), until their own experiences taught them to payback in kind. What's clear is that a good many white men treated them like animals.
My "specialty" if I can call it that, is the Ohio valley in the 1700's. All eastern woodland tribes had a long history of taking hostages for adoption, once adopted the former captives were treated as members of the tribe regardless of their past. Daniel Boone, Simon Kenton, Simon Girty and numerous others where adopted by tribes. Typically the prisoner was adopted by a woman who recently lost a son or daughter.
In regards to the ferocity, it has definitely been glossed over. The number of settlers killed by natives just in what is now called the Mid-west, numbered in the thousands. People really were burnt at the stake, infants were often killed in raids, but young children were often captured as they had a better chance of assimilating into the tribe. One notable thing is that rape of prisoners was a serious taboo by all the tribes.