In 1758, when Mary Jemison is fifteen, a Shawnee raiding party captures her Irish family near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Mary spares death, unlike the others taken during the raid and is given to two Seneca sisters to replace their brother who was killed by whites. Emerging slowly from shock, Mary--now named Two-Falling-Voices--begins to make her home in Seneca culture and the wild landscape. She goes on to marry a Delaware, then a Seneca, and, though she contemplates it several times, never rejoins white society. Larsen alludes beautifully to the way Mary apprehends the brutality of both the white colonists and the native tribes; and how, open-eyed and independent, she thrives as a genuine American.
woman's story became the inspiration for Robert Griffing's painting
and later print of The
Taking of Mary Jemison and The
Adoption of Mary Jemison.
219 pages, paperback