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Age in AmericaThe Colonial Era to the Present$
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Corinne T. Field and Nicholas L. Syrett

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479870011

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479870011.001.0001

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“Keep Me with You, So That I Might Not Be Damned”

“Keep Me with You, So That I Might Not Be Damned”

Age and Captivity in Colonial Borderlands Warfare

(p.23) 1 “Keep Me with You, So That I Might Not Be Damned”
Age in America

Ann M. Little

NYU Press

By studying the fate of child captives taken during the colonial northeastern border wars fought by the French, English, and Wabanaki between 1675 and 1763, Ann M. Little demonstrates that these three cultures shared assumptions about how children should be treated at different ages. In particular, people agreed that toddlers from age one to four required the most intensive care, that children at ages six or seven were ready to begin formal education, and that early adolescents between ages twelve and fourteen should gain greater autonomy. Though the English and French were more likely to record numerical ages than the Wabanaki, members of all three cultures used exact or approximate ages to determine how children should be treated as captives, religious converts, and subjects of civil law. Age was a factor defining the experiences of individuals such as Eunice Williams and Esther Wheelwright.

Keywords:   Wabanaki, French, English, warfare, colonial, children, adolescents, captives, Eunice Williams, Esther Wheelwright

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