The white kids who chose to run back to their Native American kidnappers


On February 10, 1756, John and his oldest son, William, set off for Stewart's in search of a web of fabric. Nancy Urie Boyd required a lot of fabric to make into garments for her five busy children and a fifth one on the way. David Boyd, a responsible 13-year-old, was sent out to chop wood after his father went for Stewart's. He took his hatchet, and his six-year-old brother John accompanied him to pick up chips.

Sallie and Rhoda, 10 and seven years old, stayed home with their mother and younger brother. David set to work on the wood, and the sound of his hatchet echoed across the forest. He focused his entire attention on inserting the hatchet absolutely straight into the log, splitting it down the middle.
Image for representational purposes OnlyPhoto byBoston Public LibraryonUnsplash

He was focused so hard that he didn't see the Iroquois Indian who had approached him. Little John, on the other hand, screamed. David tried to turn around, but it was too late. The Iroquois snatched David by the belt, slung him over his shoulder, and dashed into the forest. 

The similar thing happened to John, and the two youngsters vanished into the trees in an instant. Sally and Rhoda, as well as their younger brother, were abducted within seconds, and the five of them were brought together a short distance away.

The Natives told the children to flee. As he hurried, David glanced back to see his mother in agony, her hands stretched to the sky, imploring, "O God, be merciful to my children going among these savages". The Natives who kidnapped the Boyd children also kidnapped their mother after torching the home. They pushed the party until the expectant mother and smallest kid couldn't go any farther, and they were slain along the way.

The children had been traumatized. But they followed their kidnappers' orders, running down the route, constantly moving, and remaining silent. As a result, they survived and were transported hundreds of miles into Ohio Territory, where they were split and sent to different tribes. However, they were not designed to be captives in the traditional sense.

You'd think a captor who would massacre a baby before his mother and a woman before her children couldn't be human. The Boyd children, on the other hand, were adopted by the community and given new parents who taught them this new way of life.

They ate and slept next to the Iroquois and Delaware. They assisted with the hunting or preparation of food, the care of newborns and the elderly, the sewing of shirts, the hauling of firewood, and the preparation of herbal medicine. They learnt about the forest, the stars, and the animals. They were dubbed "white Indians" at the time.

After four years of living in the tribe, David Boyd's adoptive Delaware father felt it was time to return him to his white family. David paused. This had become his new family, and he was content with his new existence. He unwillingly traveled, only to be reunited with his father, John Boyd. He attempted to run back to his Delaware family twice more, but was apprehended each time, and finally married a white lady, settled down, and had 10 children.

Colonel Bouquet, the famed hostage hunter, rescued Rhoda Boyd. However, on the way to Fort Pitt to be reunited with relatives, she escaped to her Native kin and never returned to white civilization. On February 10, 1764, Sallie was restored to her father. On November 15, that same year, John and his brother, Thomas, were repatriated.

That occurred precisely 250 years ago. I'm not aware of any Boyd tragedies of the magnitude that made history since then. With my great-grandmother, Sarah Columbia Boyd, my family left the Boyd line behind. Perhaps the Boyds can finally rest.

Source: We're All Relative

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Saurabh is a Computer Science Engineer pursuing his writing interests. He enjoys researching current events/news as well as Evergreen Topics and has also been writing on Medium, Quora and Vocal.


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