A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison

A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison

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This copy of The Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison is missing its title page, but it was written by James E. Seaver and likely published around 1826. The Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison was the biographical tale of Mrs. Jemison, who was taken from her Pennsylvania home by a raiding party of Native Americans and French during the French and Indian War in 1755. While most of her family was killed, she was adopted as a Seneca, and lived the rest of her life in Northern New York with a husband and family among the Seneca. As white settlers began to push north and west they were surprised to encounter the “White Woman” living among the Native Americans. Seaver visited Jemison to record her story in 1824, and it was soon published, garnering much interest.
The Copp Collection contains about 150 books of early American imprint and shows a wide range of reading matter typical of a New England Puritan family living in a port town. Literacy was expected of many New Englanders, as Puritan doctrine required everyone to read the Bible. The abundance of multiple Bibles, psalms, hymnodies, sermons, and morality tales reflects the Copp’s religious beliefs. Other highlights of the library include the works of Shakespeare, almanacs, historical and political texts, and travel narratives.
The Copp Collection contains a variety of household objects that the Copp family of Connecticut used from around 1700 until the mid-1800s. Part of the Puritan Great Migration from England to Boston, the family eventually made their home in New London County, Connecticut, where their textiles, clothes, utensils, ceramics, books, bibles, and letters provide a vivid picture of daily life. More of the collection from the Division of Home and Community Life can be viewed by searching accession number 28810.
Currently not on view
Object Name
overall: 3 1/2 in x 5 3/4 in x 5/8 in; 8.89 cm x 14.605 cm x 1.5875 cm
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catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of John Brenton Copp
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Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Cultures & Communities
Copp Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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