John Williams, excerpt from The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion (Boston, 1707)
On February 29, 1704, Indians massacred many of the people of Deerfield, Massachusetts, where John Williams (1664–1729) was a minister. They held Williams and several others captive in Canada until October 1706, when Williams and most of his family were rescued. Williams chronicled what happened in The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion. This excerpt describes some of his exchanges with his Indian master about religion in Quebec.
Excerpt from The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion
One day a certain Salvage, taken Prisoner in Philips War, who had lived at Mr. Buckleys at Wethersfield, called Ruth, who could speak English very well; who had been often at my House but was now proselyted to the Romish Faith, came into the Wigwam, and with her an English Maid who was taken the last War, who was dressd up in Indian Apparel, could not speak one word of English, who said she could neither tell her own name, or the name of the place from whence she was taken. These two talked in the Indian Dialect with my Master a long time; after which my Master bad me Cross my self; I told him I would not he commanded me several times, and I as often refused. Ruth said, Mr. Williams you know the Scripture, and therefore act against your own light, for you know the Scripture saith, Servants obey your Masters; he is your Master, and you his Servant. I told her she was ignorant, and knew not the meaning of the Scripture, telling her, I was not to disobey the Great God to obey any Master, and that I was ready to suffer for God if called thereto: On which she talked to my Master, I suppose she interpreted what I said. My Master took hold of my hand to force me to Cross my self, but I struggled with him, and would not suffer him to guide my hand; upon this he pulled off a Crucifix from his own neck, and bad me Kiss it; but I refused once and again; he told me he would dash out my brains with his Hatchet if I refused. I told him I should sooner choose death than to Sin against God; then he ran and catched up his Hatchet, and acted as tho he would have dashed out my Brains; seeing I was not moved, he threw down his Hatchet, saying he would first bite off all my nails if I still refused; I gave him my hand and told him, I was ready to suffer, he set his teeth in my thumbnails and gave a gripe with his teeth, and then said, no good Minister, no love God, as bad as the Devil; and so left off. I have reason to bless God who strengthened me to withstand; by this he was so discouraged as never more to meddle with me about my Religion.
Responding to John Williams, excerpt from The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion
Answer the following questions in your notebook—this will be collated so that you can print or e–mail your work when you are finished.
2. How is the tone of this account different from the tone of Hawthornes story? Why is it hard to think of Goodman Brown as being like Williams and ready to suffer for God if called thereto?