Sawyer's Regret - Overview

Sawyer's Regret

Author: Raymond Tatten
Genre: Young Adult - General
Publisher: Independently published
Date Published: January 21, 2010
ISBN-10: 9798462263156


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About :   Sawyer's Regret

Sawyer's Regret by E. Raymond Tatten Is a fictionalized account of the real kidnapping of sixteen-year-old Elias Sawyer on October 15, 1705. The event the story is based on takes place in the dawn of the 18th century. The colonies in colonial America were constantly in conflict with the Indian population, who were forced off their land by deadly means. Entire Indian villages were burned to the ground, and the occupants slaughtered. Tatten includes some of the common savageries at that time, like beheading Indian chiefs and placing their severed head on a pole so others from the tribe would be frightened off. He talks of the $60 bounty given for Indian scalps. But the savagery was returned by the Indians, who would often strike small villages, burn them down and kill or kidnap the residents. Some Indian tribes were aligned with the French, who used them as proxy combatants against the English settlers. Many of the hostages resulting from the raids were held for ransom.

Tatten's narrative of this kidnapping skillfully reenacts an absorbing facet of American history. He describes the harrowing march north to Canada that Elias Sawyer and his father are forced to endure along with other captives. They weren't conversant in the language of their captors, so they couldn't easily communicate with them. They must force themselves to struggle through each day at a time and be grateful for each stopping place, their next small portion of food, and live to see the sunrise the next morning. What is waiting for them at the end of their march is unknown to them, but they do know it could be death, a life of hard work- even a life of slavery. The English and the French were in constant conflict. Most of the conflict was due to religious views and territorial desires.

The French were mostly Catholic, and the settlers in Massachusetts were mainly protestant. The French and the Indians got along much better than the Indians and the Massasschuets settlers.   The raids on the small communities were an ongoing concern for the settlers. As a result of these issues, the towns were usually close to military garrisons to help provide protection from marauding Indians.

The soldiers of that era were sometimes very young. Elias is courted by the military after his return to his village, but his father disapproves of him joining. Elias's parents need him to work on the family's farm. But Elias has a love interest in Canada. He had fallen in love with an Indian woman named  Owaissa, who was a Wabanaki princess — from the Missoulu tribe. He is torn with the desire to return to his love. Will he be able to rekindle the love he had once enjoyed with Owaissa?

Sawyer's Regret is a study of life in the early 1700s. It talks of the hardships and the struggle that the people shared to build their lives in the new land. The novel also offers an exceptionally vivid and personal portrait of Native American life and customs of that period. It is a poignant and compulsively readable novel that gives readers a story with grit, substance, and rich historical detail.

About Raymond Tatten

E. Raymond Tatten is a life-long Yankee living in the beautiful apple country of Central Massachusetts. His essays and articles have appeared in many local publications, and some selected works can be heard on his YouTube channel, Edward Tatten YouTube. Tatten shares a home on Rowley Hill, Sterling, Massachusetts with his wife Linda, daughter KT and a five-pound female Yorkie named Dani Dog.

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