Narrative of the captivity and providential escape of Mrs. Jane Lewis, 1834

Captivity Narratives

Local popular memory made sense of the undeniable “human distress” of 1832 through typical, almost formulaic frontier stories of white women as heroic victims. Black Hawk was not directly involved in the incidents described in these narratives. Yet he closed his autobiography with a rebuttal to publications such as these, assuring readers who met him that, when they shook his hand, “they did not shake the hand that had ever been raised against any but warriors.”

Captain Lincoln, as it happens, marched in mid-May through the area north of Ottawa, Illinois, not far from where these narratives took place.