"EXTREMELY VALUABLE FOR ITS ACCOUNT OF INDIAN LIFE": BENJAMIN GILBERT'S 18TH-CENTURY CAPTIVITY ACCOUNT, IN CONTEMPORARY CALF BOARDS
(GILBERT, Benjamin). [WALTON, William]. Narrative of the Captivity and Sufferings of Benjamin Gilbert and his Family, Who Were Surprised by the Indians, and Taken from Their Farms, on the Frontiers of Pennsylvania, in the Spring, 1780. London: James Phillip, 1790. Slim octavo, contemporary full brown calf rebacked, burgundy morocco spine label. $1500.
Early edition of this important and interesting captivity account, in contemporary calf boards.
Benjamin Gilbert was a Quaker farmer and miller seized with his entire family (along with a neighbor family, in all 15 persons) from their Pennsylvania homes April 25, 1780. They did not reach their homes again until September 28, 1782. "The Gilberts were a very well known family, especially among the Quakers of Eastern Pennsylvania, and their captivity attracted wide attention" (Church 1203). Although Gilbert died soon after being released from captivity, his brother-in-law William Walton was able to take down the present narrative, which includes accounts of the family's separation, the outfitting of the children in Indian clothes, and their general treatment during captivity. "Extremely valuable for its account of Indian life" (Vail 718). The first edition was published in 1784 in Philadelphia. Ayer 303. See Sabin 27348; Howes W80; Field 607.
Expert marginal repair to title page, closed marginal tear to page 23, light scattered foxing to interior, minor wear to boards. An extremely good copy.