Hannah Swarton – Wikipedia



Colonial Maine Puritan mom

Hannah Swarton


Hannah Hibbert or Hibbard

1651 (1651) (baptized on 9 March, 1651)

Died 12 October 1708(1708-10-12) (elderly 56–57)
Recognized for Captivity by way of Local American citizens and French Canadians
Partner(s) John Swarton (died 1690)
Mum or dad(s) John and Anne Hibbart
Relations Youngsters: John, Mary, Samuel, Jasper

Hannah Swarton (1651-1708), née Joana Hibbert, was once a New England colonial pioneer who was once captured by way of Abenaki Indians and held prisoner for five 1/2 years. She was once in the end freed and instructed her tale to Cotton Mather, who used it as an ethical lesson in numerous of his works.

Early existence[edit]

Hannah Hibbard (or Hibbert) was once the daughter of Robert and Joan Hibbard, baptized on 9 March, 1651 at Salem, Massachusetts.[1]: 316–17 [2]: 391 [3]: 15 [4]: 359–61 

She married John Swarton in Beverly, Massachusetts on 8 January 1670 or 1671.[5]: 722  They’d 5 kids in Beverly, Massachusetts:[6]: 318 

  • Mary, died on 14 September 1674[7]
  • Samuel, baptized 8 November 1674[6]: 318 
  • Mary, baptized 17 October 1675[6]: 318 
  • John, baptized 22 July 1677[6]: 318 
  • Jasper, baptized 14 June 1685[6]: 318  within the First Parish Church in Beverly.[8]: 100 

In 1687, John Swarton of Beverly won a 50-acre land grant in North Yarmouth. In his petition he stated he was once from the channel island of Jersey and had fought with Charles II in Flanders within the Anglo-Spanish Battle (1654–1660). The circle of relatives moved from Beverly to Casco Bay in 1689.[9]: 204 

Captivity, 1690-1695[edit]


Throughout King William’s Battle, Louis de Buade de Frontenac, the Governor Common of New France, introduced a marketing campaign to power the English from the settlements east of Falmouth, Maine.[10] On 16 Might, 1690, the fortified agreement on Casco Bay was once attacked by way of a warfare birthday celebration of fifty French-Canadian squaddies led by way of Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie de Saint-Castin, about 50 Abenaki warriors from Canada, a contingent of French defense force led by way of Joseph-François Hertel de l. a. Fresnière, and 300-400 further natives from Maine, together with some Penobscots below the management of Madockawando. Fortress Dependable was once attacked on the identical time. About 75 males within the Casco agreement fought for 4 days ahead of surrendering on 20 Might, on situation of secure passage. As a substitute, lots of the males, together with John Swarton, had been killed, and the surviving settlers had been taken captive, together with Hannah Swarton and her kids Samuel, Mary, John, and Jasper Swarton.[9]: 196–99 

Existence with the Indians[edit]

Hannah Swarton’s narrative describes the hardships she skilled as a prisoner a few of the Abenaki.[11] She was once separated from her kids at Norridgewock, Maine and later realized that her oldest son Samuel have been killed about two months after being taken prisoner. She by no means noticed or heard of her son John once more when they had been separated, and she or he had simplest sporadic touch together with her daughter Mary for the primary 3 years of her captivity.[12]: 147–158  From Might, 1690, till February, 1691, she travelled on “many weary trips” with the Indians throughout the barren region of northern Maine. She describes being starved and compelled to paintings within the snow with out ok clothes. Hannah’s local mistress was once a Catholic who have been raised in an English group at Black Level (present-day Scarborough, Maine). She instructed Hannah that her captivity was once punishment for her rejection of Catholicism.[9] Some other English captive, John York, lived with Hannah till he become too vulnerable to paintings and the Abenakis killed him.[11]

Hannah believed that her captivity and struggling had been divine punishment inflicted on her for her sins, a not unusual theme in Puritan literature of the time. Particularly, Hannah identifies leaving “public worship and the Ordinances of God” by way of transferring from Beverly, Massachusetts, to Casco Bay, a rural group “the place there was once no Church, or Minister of the Gospel,” as a transgression, although she almost certainly had little selection within the subject.[12] She additionally remained positive that she would in the end be delivered and would afterwards be impressed to “claim the Works of the Lord,” as fee for her freedom.[9]

Existence in Quebec[edit]

In February, 1691, the Indians she was once residing with camped in Canada close to the house of a French circle of relatives, and Hannah was once despatched to beg meals from them. They gave her meals and handled her kindly, and Hannah requested her Abenaki grasp if she could be allowed to spend the evening in a French house, which he agreed to. The woman of the family allowed Hannah to sleep in entrance of the fireside, and tomorrow she introduced a neighborhood innkeeper and an Englishman, who instructed Hannah that he, too, have been a prisoner. The 2 males invited Hannah to come back with them to Quebec, the place they stated they might organize for her to be ransomed from the Indians. Hannah agreed and was once taken to the house of the native Intendant, who had her handled at a neighborhood clinic and paid a ransom to her Indian grasp. He then hired Hannah as a housekeeper. She was once fed and clothed neatly, however was once subjected to power to transform to Catholicism, which she resisted. Hannah states in her narrative that her French circle of relatives threatened to have her despatched to France, the place she could be burned as a heretic, however Hannah endured to refuse to transform, arguing with the “Nuns, Clergymen, and Friars” whom she met at church, the usage of quotations from scripture. Hannah was once pressured to wait mass incessantly till her mistress made up our minds that she was once now not going to transform, and thereafter didn’t require her to visit church.[12]: 155 [11]

Throughout her keep in Quebec, Hannah encountered different English prisoners together with Edward Tyng and John Alden III (son of John Alden, Jr.). Some other English captive, Margaret Gould Stilson, was once additionally a servant in the similar family. In the end she was once forbidden touch with different English captives with the exception of for Margaret Stilson.[12]: 156 [11] Even if it was once not unusual on the time for the French to “purchase” English prisoners from the Indians (as relating to Catherine Gougar (1732–1801), who was once abducted by way of the Shawnee in Pennsylvania in 1744 and bought to French-Canadian buyers[13]), the French later discouraged this tradition.[14]

Go back to New England[edit]

In November, 1695, Matthew Cary went to Quebec below the auspices of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, with “Permission and Passport” from Rely Frontenac, Governor of New France, to carry again English folks held there as prisoners by way of boat to Boston and New York. In alternate, some prisoners held by way of English government had been being returned to Canada. The listing of twenty-two English captives redeemed from “Qubek” by way of Matthew Cary in October 1695 comprises “Johana Swarton of York” and her son “Jesp’r Swarton, boy of Cascow,” in addition to Margaret Stilson. Her daughter, “Mary Swarton, gerl of Cascow,” is at the listing of “thos closing Nonetheless within the fingers of the french at Canada.”[15]: 286–291 [16][17] “Hannah Swarton widdow” is recorded as being “admitted to our communion” on the First Church in Beverly, Massachusetts[18] on 15 November, 1695.”[8]: 33 

Hannah’s daughter Mary Swarton selected to stay in Canada, the place she had already transformed to Catholicism, have been re-baptized on 20 February 1695, and was once renamed “Marie Souart, daughter of the past due Jean Souart and Anne Souart.” In 1697 she married Jean Lahey, an Irish Canadian, and become a French citizen in Might, 1710.[9]: 206  Mary lived for the remainder of her existence in Montreal.[9]: 157 


After she and her son Jasper returned to New England in November 1695, Hannah Swarton gave an account of her captivity (in all probability dictated), within the type of a story that was once revealed in 1697 by way of Cotton Mather. Swarton’s tale was once closely adorned by way of Mather, who added a lot of biblical references, however lots of the main points of her reports seem original.[12]

Cotton Mather’s sermon of 6 Might, 1697, was once revealed as an appendix to his Humiliations Practice’d With Deliverances and comprises the tales of Hannah Swarton and Hannah Duston. It was once republished in expanded shape in Magnalia Christi Americana, a 1702 e-book by way of Mather.[11] Mather’s appendix to the sermon, A Narrative of Hannah Swarton, Containing a Nice Many Glorious Passages, In relation to her Captivity and Deliverance, is obviously Mather’s paintings, during which he employs a girl’s voice to emphasise the significance of closing energetic within the church and conscious of Puritan values,[19]: 157  in imitation of his father Build up Mather, who in 1682 revealed A Narrative of the Captivity and Recovery of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, the captivity narrative of Mary Rowlandson.

Mather emphasizes the risks of residing in an “ungospelized plantation,” a connection with communities in rural Maine with out an ordained minister, and that have been susceptible to French (Catholic) affect. Swarton is due to this fact depicted as a sinner, however person who has atoned, and has been redeemed and returned to grace.[20] In his diary access for 15 November, 1695, Mather writes:

“A Discourse which I had uttered on the Lecture of Boston, the remaining Spring, Expressed the Use that All must make of the horrible Screw ups wherewith some are . Unto this I added a Number of horrible and barbarous Issues passed through by way of a few of our English Captives within the Fingers of the Jap Indians. And I annexed hereunto, a memorable Narrative of a just right Girl, who relates in an overly Instructive Approach, the Tale of her personal Captivity and Deliverance. I assumed that by way of exposing this stuff to the Public, I may very a lot advertise the overall Repentance.”[21]: 210 

Mather makes use of the scene during which Swarton, a poorly-educated frontier lady, engages in a full of life scriptural debate with the French making an attempt to to transform her to Catholicism, as an instance theological variations between English Protestantism and Catholicism, as a way of teaching Mather’s target audience.[22] Protestant and Catholic populations had been in shut touch throughout North The usa, and power to transform reflected political and financial influences affecting those in large part uneducated, agricultural communities.[23] For girls particularly, Mather felt it vital to stay them from being swayed by way of men who held some leverage over ladies, equivalent to monks, landlords, directors, or employers, and who may use threats to coerce ladies into conversion. Hannah Swarton’s resistance to the power from her French masters is exhibited as a main instance of loyalty to her Puritan religion,[24] what has been known as “passive forbearance within the face of adversity.”[25] However, Mather diminishes his personal narrator by way of brushing aside her mind and reminiscence: “However it is bootless for me, a deficient lady, to acquaint the arena with what arguments I used, if I may now bear in mind them; and plenty of of them are slipt out of my reminiscence.”[26]: 19 [27]: 85 [17]

Mather revealed Swarton’s narrative along with that of Hannah Duston, then again Duston’s account become better-known as a tale of revenge in opposition to Local American citizens, widespread at a time when westward growth of Ecu settlers introduced them into violent battle with Indians already residing in spaces the place new settlements had been being established.[28][29] Mather depicts Duston as actively finishing her captivity by way of killing her captors and escaping, even if he have shyed away from the ethical drawback raised by way of Duston’s homicide of six Indian kids. Swarton makes no try to get away, however presentations staying power in her religion and willingness to acknowledge and catch up on her sins.[17]

Hannah Swarton died on 12 October, 1708, in Beverly, Massachusetts on the age of 57.[8]

See additionally[edit]

Additional studying[edit]


  1. ^
    Hebard, Harvey and Ralph D. Smyth, 1897 “Descendants of Robert Hebert of Salem and Beverley, Mass.” The New England Historic and Genealogical Check in, Vol 51. Boston, MA
  2. ^ Perley, Sidney, The Historical past of Salem, Massachusetts, Vol. 1: 1626-1637. Salem, MA: 1924
  3. ^
    Perley, Sidney. The Historical past of Salem, Massachusetts, vol 2: 1638-1670. Boston, MA: Perley, 1924
  4. ^ George Freeman Sanborn, Robert Charles Anderson, Melinde Lutz. Nice Migration 1634-1635, Vol IV, I-L New England Historical Genealogical Society, Madison, WI: 1999
  5. ^ Bentley, Elizabeth Petty, Torrey, Clarence Almon. New England marriages previous to 1700. Genealogical Publishing Corporate, 1985
  6. ^ a b c d e Essential Information of Beverly, Massachusetts to the Finish of the Yr 1849, Vol 1 – Births. Topsfield Historic Society; Topsfield, MA. Salem: Newcomb and Gauss: 1906.
  7. ^ Early Information of the The town of Beverly, Essex Co., Mass., Extracted from Quantity 1, Births, Marriages & Deaths. Copied by way of Augustus A. Galloupe, 1907
  8. ^ a b c William Phineas Upham, Information of the First Church in Beverly, Massachusetts, 1667-1772. Salem, Mass.: Essex Institute, 1905.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Coleman, Emma Lewis. New England captives carried to Canada between 1677 and 1760, all over the French and Indian wars. Portland, Maine: The Southworth Press, 1925.
  10. ^ Maine Historical past On-line: “1668-1774, Settle and Strife,” Maine Historic Society
  11. ^ a b c d e Mather, Cotton, and Swarton, Hannah. Humiliations practice’d with deliverances. A short lived discourse at the subject and means, of that humiliation which might be an hopeful symptom of our deliverance from calamity. : Accompanied and accomodated with a story, of a notable deliverance in recent times won by way of some English captives, from the fingers of merciless Indians. And a few development of that narrative. : Whereto is added a story of Hannah Swarton, containing a really perfect many glorious passages, in terms of her captivity and deliverance. Boston, 1697
  12. ^ a b c d e Alden T. Vaughan, Edward W Clark, Puritans Some of the Indians: Accounts of Captivity and Redemption, 1676-1724. Cambridge: Harvard College Press, 2009
  13. ^ Frank Warner, “Catherine Gougar,” Ohio Historical past, Quantity 31; Ohio Historic Society., 1922.
  14. ^ Bumstead, J. M. “‘Carried to Canada!’: Perceptions of the French in British Colonial Captivity Narratives, 1690-1760.” American Evaluate of Canadian Research, 13 (1983): 79-96.
  15. ^ Trask, William B. “Directions to Matthew Cary about Bringing Prisoners from Canada; Data Got by way of Him in Quebec, and Lists of Prisoners Redeemed and Left in Canada — 1695.” The New England Historic and Genealogical Check in, Boston, MA: New England Historical Genealogical Society, 1847-. Vol. 24, 1870
  16. ^ “Names of English Captives Ransomed from Quebeck by way of Matthew Cary, in October, 1695,” New England Historic and Genealogical Registers, New England Historical Genealogical Society, Boston, Samuel G. Drake, Writer, Š1847 Vol. 1-50, Jan 1852
  17. ^ a b c Carroll, Lorrayne. “‘My Outward Guy’: The Curious Case of Hannah Swarton.” Literature Complaint from 1400 to 1800, edited by way of Michael L. LaBlanc, vol. 82, Gale, 2002. Gale Literature Useful resource Middle. Accessed 6 July 2022. Initially revealed in Early American Literature, vol. 31, no. 1, Iciness 1996, pp. 45-73.
  18. ^ First Church in Beverly, based in 1667, Beverly, Mass. Beverly Public Library, Beverly, Mass., accessed July 9, 2022
  19. ^ Kevin J. Hayes, The Oxford Manual of Early American Literature. Oxford: Oxford College Press, 2008.
  20. ^ Tara Fitzpatrick, “The Determine of Captivity: The Cultural Paintings of the Puritan Captivity Narrative,” American Literary Historical past, Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring, 1991, pp. 1-26
  21. ^ Mather, Cotton. Diary of Cotton Mather: 1681-1708. Massachusetts Historic Society, 1708.
  22. ^ Derounian-Stodola, Kathryn Zabelle; Levernier, James, The Indian captivity narrative, 1550-1900, New York: Maxwell Macmillan Global, 1997
  23. ^ Toulouse, Teresa A. The Captive’s Place: Feminine Narrative, Male Id, and Royal Authority in Colonial New England. College of Pennsylvania Press, Included, 2013.
  24. ^ Veronica Hladišová, “I on my own have escaped to inform you: Ladies’s Captivity Revel in in Early Trendy New England,” Opera Historica, Vol 9(1):161-171. College of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic, 2001
  25. ^ Kolodny, Annette. The Land Sooner than Her: Delusion and Revel in of the American Frontiers, 1630-1860. College of North Carolina Press, 2014.
  26. ^ Stefani, Victoria Lee, “True statements: Ladies’s narratives of the American frontier enjoy,” doctoral dissertation, College of Arizona, Dept. of English, 2000
  27. ^ David Michael Corlett, “Steadfast of their techniques: New England colonists, Indian wars, and the patience of tradition, 1675-1715,” Doctoral dissertation, Faculty of William & Mary, Dept of Historical past, January 2011
  28. ^ Barbara Cutter, “The Feminine Indian Killer Memorialized: Hannah Duston and the 19th–Century Feminization of American Violence,” Magazine of Ladies’s Historical past, vol. 20, no. 2, 2008; pp 10–33
  29. ^ Lauren Lessing, “Theatrical Mayhem in Junius Brutus Stearns’s Hannah Duston Killing the Indians,” American Artwork, Quantity 28, Factor 3, pp. 76-103


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