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Published: Lyons Press - October 2015
A strong sense of place and vivid narration underscore journalist Atkinson’s tale of war, survival, and murder in colonial Massachusetts. . . .Atkinson’s storytelling skills are superb; he crisply moves from events in Haverhill across the panorama of colonial rivalries in North America to Hannah’s captivity experiences.
-- Publishers Weekly
Cotton Mather, Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Henry David Thoreau all wrote about Hannah’s story, but only in passing. This is the first full-length investigation of her incredible story, its context, and its implications.
Massacre on the Merrimack is a riveting true story of murder, captivity, revenge, and escape, set against the fiery backdrop of the French and Indian war. Told with narrative skill and exquisite historical detail, this nearly incredible tale examines the period in American history when French Catholicism vied for control of the frontier with English Protestantism, and the bloody deeds of Hannah Duston -- who escaped her Native American captors and returned to her settlement of Haverhill, Massachusetts, with a collection of scalps -- passed into legend.
Early on March 15, 1697, a band of Abenaki warriors in service to the French raided the English frontier village of Haverhill, Massachusetts. Striking swiftly, the Abenaki killed twenty-seven men, women, and children, and took thirteen captives, including thirty-nine-year-old Hannah Duston and her week-old daughter, Martha.
Was Hannah Duston the prototypical feminist avenger, or the harbinger of the Native American genocide? In this meticulously researched and riveting narrative, bestselling author Jay Atkinson sheds new light on the early struggle for North America.