Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy 334th Birthday, Hannah Eastman (b. 1677)!

Gawain's sixth-great-grandmother, Hannah Tupper's great-grandmother

This Hannah is notable because of her experience as an Indian captive--novels such as Calico Captive and Indian Captive have recounted these sorts of trials, and here we have our own ancestor who lived it!

Hannah Peters Green was born on Dustin Hill in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and married Jonathan Eastman when she was 23. The town was involved in Queen Anne's war, and colonists were said to walk to church with a Bible in one hand and a loaded gun in the other, to protect from Indians. 

Hannah and Jonathan had a toddler named Thomas and she had just given birth to a daughter, Abigail, a week before, when a group of Indians attacked. One neighbor woman threw boiling soup at an Indian, which killed him. Other villagers were taken prisoners. Upon finding the new mother and child, the Indians grabbed baby Abigail and killed her. Hannah was horrified. The Indians forced her to come with them.

They had a long weary winter march up through Vermont and on to Canada. The tortures were extreme. Mosquito bites caused her face to swell and the Indians called her "Fat Hannah." Hannah lived as an Indian captive for three years in Canada, always hoping to be rescued and occasionally attempting escape.

At last, Jonathan found Hannah and rescued her. Both of them had hair turn white from the ordeal. They went on to have nine more children.

Wow. I'd give her SOS flares!


  1. Oh dear that's a terrible story! Sounds like a movie!

  2. I'd give her a GPS tracker so that they could find her sooner. And some mosquito repellent.

  3. Wow, what a story. Like Follow the River. Her hair turned white too.