The Amazing Story of Frances Slocum: The White Rose of Miamis

Young Frances Slocum was just 5-years-old when she was kidnapped from her home by Native Americans in 1778. She was living near modern-day Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in a valley primarily inhabited by the Shawnee and Delaware tribes.

Her father and brothers were working outside when Delaware warriors entered the family home in broad daylight and carried her away.

Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
July 19, 1941

Her heartbroken family searched for her relentlessly, even offering substantial rewards for her return, but she was gone. Nearly six decades passed without word of Frances. Her heartbroken parents died never knowing her fate. Meanwhile, Frances was adopted into the Delaware Tribe and raised as one of their own. She later joined the Miami Tribe after marrying She-Po-Con-Ah, who would later become a Miami chief. 

Frances Slocum

In January 1835, Col. George W. Ewing was conducting business at an Indian Trading Post in Indiana. Darkness forced him to lodge for the night at the home of Maconaquah, a white woman living among Native Americans. After dinner, Maconaquah shared an interesting story. She remembered being taken when she was young and knew her father’s name was Slocum.

Her story intrigued Col. Ewing and he became determined to reunite Maconaquah with her family. He had the story published in a newspaper, a copy of which made its way to the Slocum family. Frances’s siblings immediately set out for Indiana to determine if their sister was alive. Isaac Slocum, the younger brother of Frances, remembered a scar his sister received when they were playing as children. He wanted to see if Maconaquah shared the same scar.

Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
November 1, 1971

Tentatively, they reunited. They determined that Maconaquah was really Frances, their long, lost sister! They urged her to return with them, but she didn’t want to. Frances’s desire was to remain with her people. By an Act of Congress, Frances was granted a square mile of land in Miami County, Indiana, where she remained until her death on March 9, 1847.

Her family honored her by erecting a monument and sharing her story. If you would like to learn more about Frances Slocum, the White Rose of Miamis, search our archives!

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91 thoughts on “The Amazing Story of Frances Slocum: The White Rose of Miamis

  1. Many people who were taken by Native Americans decided they’d rather remain with them than go “home.” Says something about the cultures, I think.

    • Would like to add that your statement implies that kidnapping is o.k. in some instances, and that her decision to stay with her captors was an informed choice. She was merely 5 years old at the time of the abduction, had little memory of her first few years and knew nothing else. Also, you’re not acknowledging the suffering her family went through.

      • Life was different then. After 55 years the adoptive family became her family. Why would she at her age want to go live in a strange world with strangers

      • Her fpatenys should be very grateful if they knew she was alive and treated as a member of the tribe. Unconconditional love. Through slow familial integration, and understanding she would not be torn away again from her “family” would be a blessing if her biological siblings understand the complexities if “family”.

      • No one is condoning kidnapping, but after 55 years that had become “water under the bridge”, and any attempt to compel her return would have been just as traumatic as the original kidnap..

        As my later father would have said “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

    • nah, you could kidnap a child from any culture at that age and brainwash them to adopt their kidnapper’s culture.
      Assuming that the kidnapper’s culture must somehow be superior is idiocy.

    • The Comanches also kidnapped the children of many German settlers in the hill country of Texas, and placed them with Comanche families who raised them as tribal members. Cynthia Parker was one of the most famous. She married a Comanche man and her son, Quanah Parker later became Comanche chief.

    • Has more to say about the fact that a five year old who is raised, cared for, married to a chief and has children and grandchildren of her own hasn’t learned to believe that that only whites are “civilized”. They stole children because they lost so many to us; starvation and disease being the big killers. Smallpox alone decimated the tribes before 1840. Get your head around the idea that kids love those who love them. There is no inherently correct way to live!

    • We did something more civilized. We marched these people along “The Trail of Tears.” Many died through the forced march an then we forced the children into white schools so the heathens could be educated enough to become “Christians.” This says everything about the American culture.

      • I’m getting really tired of all the bashing of the American culture. This happened everywhere on earth. Look to Canada and the First Nation people, Australia and the Aborigines, New Zealand, and anywhere else that was conquered by others.

        • The treatment of the native Americans began long before the US was formed. It began in Mexico and other place European and other countries who could travel across the waters. The Spaniards we more ruthless than much of what others did to the natives of countries the “discovered”.

          Look at any civilization at any time and you will see the hierarchy of people over others. The Class system was brutal in some countries. Although the official system is gone in most places, it still exists in social norms.

          I say this to point out that without education and social understanding, it will continue. Look back to stop it from happening again or to stop it now.

    • It says nothing about the cultures. It’s more about familiarity. She had been with them since the age of five, she didn’t remember anything else.

      • Even those “native” to where they lived, on all continents, there were always some that felt superior, stronger and would conquer the tribe, or group, nearby. Look at the African blacks from different tribes. White men didn’t go capture them. One dominant black group enslaved another, and then sold them to the white ship captains. It is amazing how many people don’t know this and make the wrong assumption that whites went out and captured blacks… Same with i.e., Ireland v English. English decided to move Scottish families to Northern Ireland, and integrate them there and ultimately push out Irish. There are always Trouble Makers every where. Greed, and mean.

    • I think it is brainwashing and unfounded guilt and shame having lived in an advanced culture and then forced to live in a subculture. The difficult life she lived is clearly evident in the picture of her.

  2. It says more about habit and not wanting to disturb a lifelong pattern. She had a lot of years to be brainwashed by her captors.

  3. My GGGGrandfather Daniel Eades was taken captive by a party of Creek Indians in 1779. He was born in Virginia or Georgia in 1770 and his father fought in the American Revolution as a Captain from the State of Georgia. Daniel was captured during a raid in Wilkes County Georgia. After his capture he was carried into the Creek Indian Nation. and adopted into the family of a Medicine Man whose son had died. He was raised from that time in an honored clan of the Medicine Man who was the spiritual leader of the town. HI had been born Daniel Eades, the son of Captain John Eades who was born in Dublin, Ireland. He was given a new name, Saucey Jack. In 1792 or 1793 He was in Hillabee town in the area which would later become the State of Alabama.
    John Eades filed an affidavit in a Georgia court on October 30, 1793 saying that he had information from traders that Daniel was being held captive at the Creek town of Hillabee.

    This is the wording of the Affidavid signed the 18th of November, 1793 in Columbia County, Georgia by John Eades.

    I am John Eades Senr now of the State and County aforesaid (Columbia County, Georgia) but formerly of the County of Wilkes. Daniel Eades, my son now about the age of Twenty three years, was taken and carried away by a number of Indians, from and out of the County last aforesaid and is now a Captive in the Creek Nation at a place know or called by the name of THE HILLOBY’s and from the information made to me by Sundry traders, and at different times my said son Daniel Eades, is known and answers to the name of Sausey Jack. He has a remarkable scar on the inside of his left thigh above his knee, he has been in Captivity about fourteen years.

    Daniel returned to my family in Georgia sometime between 1793 and 1800. More of the story is here. http://mynamewassaucyjack.blogspot.com/2013/06/reflections-on-daniels-life-among.html

  4. Native American tribes were not the only ones taking individuals during this time in history. My 5th Great Grandmother Amasvyi or Ama’itseyi was born around 1782 in Chilhowee, TN. After many years of hearing handed down stories that never added up, I was contacted by a distant cousin who told me the history handed down to him about our shared 5th Great Grandmother. She was about six years old when she and her mother were taken in 1788 when John Sevier and his militia attacked Chilhowee. They were used by the US government as a means to force her father Tsiyu’gansini (Dragging Canoe) to end his war against the American settlers taking over Cherokee lands. Dragging Canoe agreed to make peace signing a letter to President George Washington in 1789 if his wife and daughter were returned. His wife was returned but his daughter was sent with a minister and his wife to Surrey County, NC. Because the government broke their word, he led the Western Confederacy against the army led by General Arthur St.Clair in 1791. She ended up marrying Thomas Chandler in 1798 in Surrey County, NC. She died in 1725 in Kanawha, VA.

    Neither side was blameless of abductions and killings during this volatile time of American history.

    • I appreciate your statement that “neither side was blameless”… as this is true of most conflicts of varying sorts throughout time.

      • It is wise to remember that written history is rarely from the perspective of the defeated. As a child in school, I always asked questions about the “other” perspective and was once or twice reprimanded by my teacher. That act of left an impression about what our public education is actually meant to accomplish.

        • I teach history and fight all the time to say we have to see history through the eyes of the people then. Social norms were very different. The fact that native Americans were seen a savage has to be seen through there eyes. Science was archaic and the way people lived was a sign of refinement and intellect. They lived in a way that was seen as uncivilized, therefore they were sub human intellect. It was used on the people who were poor as well. We treated whites who lived with less than basics as sub human without the intellect to be anymore.

          African Americans also fell under this guise. They were even given a value of 1/6 a human being when counted in censuses.

          It is horrible to us because we have the science and education to know better and we learn from our history to not make the same mistakes.

          History should not be judged by our standards. It needs to be understood from its time and all sides have to be told when we study it.

          I don’t condone the actions, but I don’t judge, I understand it.

          • Treaties made then broken repeatedly then the theft of land … standards of the time ? It seems nothing much has changed since the genocide of almost 6 million native americans…

    • So very true! Even though when it was our Native Americans doing the abducting, they were made out to be “terrible savages”, but the white abductors were praised for finding a way to make the natives comply. Not fair because either side loved their families as much as the other!!!

  5. She got one square mile of land? As far as I’m concerned the way they kidnapped her is no different than the way CPS took my 3 children from me for no reason other than I was homeless and adopted them out to white families, two of them being enrolled members of the Choctaw nation of Oklahoma and I guarantee that if given the choice my children would choose me! If I had land I could build a house and raise my children. Everything is so ass backwards today!

    • Well In certain states sweetie if your kids have a certain percentage of native blood in them dpss will be fought for by the natives and you will be given your children back if they are enrolled in native tribes that is something you should look into in case they do that in the state you are living in

  6. Fairness is a luxury. There are no “rights” and never were. Those things we regard as rights only exist so long as there is a rule of law establishing and enforcing them. If we lenjoy a “right” then we need to stand up for the authority that we gave hired or elected to enforce it. If we don’t like the job they are doing we need to hire new enforcement, but it is at least naive to think that for the first time in thousands of years of recorded history we have some sort of god given rights.

    • You seem to be confusing having rights with being able to enjoy them. I still have rights, whether or not they are respected by others. But you are correct it is up to us to defend our rights, and unfortunately the only way to do that is through government.

  7. Having a ancestory of Cherokee, German and Irish and having family members who have researched back to the beginning of each origin, I feel comfortable in declaring that the Germans and Irish were much crueler than the Cherokee. The Cherokee were Peace loving farmers who tried welcoming, and conforming to the Immigrants ways. Nothing worked. It was not against the law to slaughter Indians on sight. The Irish and Germans were nasty, stinky people who Bathed a couple of times a year. For the most part they were the poorest people in their homeland and came to America either indentured or with little assets. My Husbands Ancestors moved to Alabama from Georgia because they had a little Indian girl bequeathed to them by an Indian woman who died in Childbirth. They had no other Children and it was Illegal in Georgia to have an Indian child, America is truly a melting pot

  8. Ben Franklin wrote about the fact that many whites that were kidnapped by native Americans refused to return to “civilization” when given the chance. This he found perplexing but he ultimately deduced that their refusal to return, (indeed he spoke about many who returned only to escape back into “captivity”), was related to the difficulties of surviving in the new world without a station or assets.

  9. Kidnapping was very common especially by the Plains Indians especially the Comanches. They kidnapped from other tribes and from whites. Sometimes very young girls would be taken in and cared for and eventually marrying a warrior. Teenaged and older were repeatedly raped and tortured and used as slaves. A good book is “Empire of the Summer Moon” about the great Comanche warrior Quanauh Parker, a half-breed born to a kidnapped mother who iften tried to escape back and died unhappy. At times it’s hard to read because of the gruesome detail. ISIS has nothing on the Comanches. For example sometimes for entertainment they would burn alive (white and Indian) captives after first mutilating them.

    • I read a book many years ago… “Wilderness Messiah” I think it was, that detailed a lot of the torture customs of the Iroquois and other nearby tribes. As I recall, it was something vaguely similar to Japanese Samurai culture. It was sort of an honor to be tortured, and you were expected to act tough and sing death songs as your captors were breaking your bones and cutting and burning your flesh.

  10. It’s wonderful that a person young enough to bond with their captor, even though the captor looks different, has a different language, but by kindness and love can become one of that group, tribe,and live happily with them.
    It also would be great if Ancestry could find how my Great Grandfather (US Census) in Hempstead LI, got there from England. I guess if I keep buying all their options (At reduced prices) I might find out or go broke trying.

    • Ancestry does not find out anything for you, unless you are paying a Pro Genealogist to help in your search. It’s your job to find the records, that’s what makes genealogy fun! You act as a family detective. Start with all of the US censuses after your GGF arrived. Many list the year of immigration, and US citizenship. If you’re looking for “ship’s records from England”, use that as a search term on Google. Many free sites will be listed. Also search for emigration records. Many websites and Genealogical Societies, offer very good hints about how to find out more about any genealogical questions. Happy Hunting!

      • LOVE Google! and Google books! Have had more success with this method of research than all of the years I have paid for Ancestry. Until just a few years ago I had not put my GED on Ancestry but having cleaned it up to ONLY blood related family, I uploaded it hoping to break down some stubborn brick walls. However I have not had any success but gained FAR too many cousins. Planning to download it soon, clean it up again using RootsMagic, upload it and quit Ancestry for good! Proved that my 3rd great-grandfather was a captain in the Rev War (yes, I know it’s close but it’s all verified and proven now by using Google Books and records of the Library of Congress. Best ‘find’ ever!

    • If you send me details may be able to find for you, I live in Uk and currently researching family tree. I will see if can find from passenger lists….

  11. As a black man, my ancestors were kidnaped from Africa. I don’t want to go back but I also don’t feel being brainwashed by the white man is my reason for staying here! Haha It’s the life i know and I’m content with it.

  12. Will: good points. Scott Zesch, the author of the book The Captured, which chronicles the stories of many of the German children, postulates that the ones who were reunited with their German families were unhappy because their German parents were much more harsh to them than their adopting parents in the Comanche tribe. The same certainly cannot be said about the African slaves who lived in the South.

    • I found this while visiting Crazy Horse museum. I was fascinated it the accounts of the children. I read the book in less than a week. It is true that many did not want to return to their families even if they were with the tribe for a few years. Also, I after reading some of the brutal accounts of murder I understood why they were called savages. Native American culture is so interesting to me and I really enjoyed this book.

  13. My great-great grandmother was Choctaw and adopted by her family as a child. Never have gotten the full story or whether the white men killed out her family or they died of disease.
    She was raised white and went into marry a white man. We have copy of one picture of her and she is elderly. Story is that her legs swelled and she would beat them with brush to make swelling go down.
    My mother always called me her “wild indian” because I was headstrong and would only eat plain food. My palette has developed as an adult.

  14. I dont think being kidnapped by Native Americans, while a child, then not wanting to return to the ‘white mans world’ when found decades later would be a case of Stockholm Syndrome or any other reason other than it being a case of not knowing or remembering any other life. The ‘captives’ life revolves around the life theyve led in the decades theyve been with the ‘People’. Theyve married and had children and lived the way of life and dont want to leave.
    Cynthia Ann Parker was taken as a 5 yr old, she was raised by a Comanche chief and his family. She later married his son and had 2 sons and a daughter. When she was ‘found’ and returned-BY FORCE, she was miserable. She was forced into a life she didnt remember and torn from the life she loved and never saw her sons again. Her infant daughter was returned with her, into the ‘white mans’ world and died not long after. Cynthia was now totally alone from all she had come to become accustomed to and loved.
    Also, many times, when a captive was returned to their family, they were ostracized or shunned and hated by all white people, especially is they were female. If a female was taken, many times she was deemed as soiled and unable to find a husband. If she was married when taken, many times her husband refused to take her back.
    So, returning white captives back to the white mans world was not always the right thing to do!

  15. Please read the well written story. The Story of “Ma-Con-a-Quah” aka Frances Slocum, daughter of Jonathan Slocum. 1882 Published Syracuse N.Y.
    The short version is that she was first married and then divorced Little Turtle the powerful peace prodigy who visited Presidents Washington, John Adams and twice Thomas Jefferson and is buried with sword and medal given him by Washington. Look up his life story.
    Frances second husband was also a Miami chief with whom she had children. She was considered very rich and Queen of the Miamis when her Slocum family found her. Why would she want to go back to the unknown white world after being so well established in her Native family for over 50 years.?

  16. I found out through Ancestry that I am part Indian, but I have no clue as to by whom. My brother is part German, but I do not have any German. My Father’s Mother’s is German and both of her parents are German. I have not located any Indian relatives on my father’s or mother’s side of the family. Can anyone help me? Thank you

    • Tina. If you have had your DNA tested already you may want to try subscribing to the fb group called DNA Detectives. They have people there referred to as search angels that may be able to help you get started in what to do next researching your genealogy.

      • Tina. if you did DNA with Ancestry your results should also list DNA matches with a percentage of match. You will then need to research those matches. I had several matches (1 100%) none of which I currently know.

  17. You are a teacher. Well today I’m considered an 1/8 of a human and my life is being destroyed as we speak. I am a slave to the legal system and healthcare system. The people who are not slaves dont even go to the hospital. Lady you better watch what u teach, peop,e are about to start paying.

  18. The “black mouth” Indians were known for kidnapping children and only killing the adults. I was involved by accident in saving two of these children while on a time travel mission to stop the spread of small pox from spreading to even more tribes. Ironically, i could not save the Black mouth tribes since one of the children they took had the virus.

  19. I don’t see anyone mentioning that, by returning to “civilization” after abduction, a person would have been surrounded by the hateful racism of White people…They would have been around people who constantly trashed the people who had raised them…….You gotta figure that had something to do with them remaining with the Natives…..

  20. My Family were early settlers in Potter County Pa. in early 1800’s. They wrote that the Native peoples help them learn to survive in the Wilderness. They settled near Wharton Pa. on a stream that still bears their name, Nelson Run. The Natives taught them how to jerk meat, make clothes from hides, Hunt ,fish etc. They would not of survived without the Native peoples help. Both sides should be heard. EDN

  21. My GGGGGGGG- Grandparents were taken captive by the Iroquois, along with 4 of their children, during the Lachine Massacre in 1689. Two of thei children were killed during the massacre also. 12 years later, they were released.

    Two of them left captivity – A woman who went on to be my 7th great grandmother, and her brother. They were adults when taken captive.

    Two of them stayed remained willingly – Two girls. One was 7 years old, and the other a baby when taken captive.

    Quite a story.

  22. Nearly two centuries later it is easy for an armchair historian/psychologist/speculator to interpret one’s actions. Bottom line here is that after all those (60) years, the girl known as Frances Slocum/Maconaquah, was much more comfortable with her adoptive tribe than her genetic family members. Let’s face it… 60 years later, who’d you identify with?

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