Narrative of My Captivity Among the Sioux Indians
“I was a member of a small company of emigrants, who were attacked by an overwhelming force of hostile Sioux, which resulted in the death of a large proportion of the party, in my own capture, and a horrible captivity of five months' duration.”
In May, 1864, Fanny Kelly and her family joined an emigrant train heading westwards.
Many of the men and women who had set out from Kansas would never reach their destination.
Fanny Kelly’s Narrative of My Captivity Among the Sioux Indians provides personal insight into the dangers that faced migrants as they made lengthy journeys across the great wilderness of America.
The 19th century frequently saw tension and violence erupt between eastern pioneers and the Native Americans that they were displacing. Kelly’s account is an inside look at what at what captivity among the Native Americans of the Great Plains was like, by someone who experienced it at first hand.
Kelly begins her book by detailing how she and her new husband decided that they wished to begin a new life in the west and planned for the journey, before discussing the details of the attack and her capture.
The most interesting aspect of the book is the observations that Kelly made whilst living amongst the Sioux in captivity. Although obviously biased, it remains a brilliant insight into the way of life of this famous Great Plains tribe.
After Kelly became free she recorded all the events that she could remember of those traumatic months in her book Narrative of My Captivity Among the Sioux Indians which was published in 1871. Kelly passed away in 1904.