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Lesson 7
Should We Keep Him?

Subject Areas
• U.S. History - Colonial America and the New Nation
• U.S. History - Native Americans

Middle & high school

Learning Objectives
After completing these activities, students will be able to:
• Describe Stephen's work, plans, education and religious beliefs while in Deerfield
• Describe a Wobanaki boy's work, education, values and skills
• Describe Stephen's captive experience from his point of view
• Explain why Stephen was captured
• Express opinions as to whether Wattanummon should have kept Stephen and whether stephen would have adapted well to the Wobanaki way of life

• Observing and describing
• Interpreting written information
• Comparing and contrasting
• Making inferences
• Thinking critically

Time Required
Two class periods

In this lesson, students examine Stephen Williams's captive experience both from his perspective and that of his captors, to see if he adapted well to the Wôbanaki way of life. Students learn that the English and Wôbanaki peoples held different values and had different lifestyles, and that both cultures did not always agree.

Guiding Question
Should Stephen have stayed with the Wobanaki peoples?

illustration showing Stephen Williams, John Williams and Wattanummon

Stephen says goodbye to his father, John Williams, while Wattanummon looks on. Illustration by Francis Back.


Preparing to Teach

  1. Go to the People Menu on the 1704 website, click Stephen Williams and read about him.
  2. Go to Meet the Five Cultures and read about the Wôbanakiak. Then click Learn More About the Wôbanakiak. Start reading at the Ancient Oral Traditions section and read to the end of the section.
  3. Go to the People Menu, click Wattanummon, and read about him.

Teaching the Lesson

  1. If students are using computers in class, instruct them to complete the Student Activity Sheet for this lesson. If they will be using computers elsewhere, either give them the Student Activity Sheet URL (http://1704.deerfield.history.museum/teachers/lesson7_student.jsp), or print the Student Activity Sheet and distribute copies to students.
  2. Once students have completed the Student Activity Sheet, discuss student answers in class.

Suggested answers to the Student Activity Sheet.

From Meet the Five Cultures on the 1704 website:

  • Learn More About the English

From the Artifacts Menu on the 1704 website:

  • Historic Documents Stephen Williams's Account
  • Portraits and Pictures Reverend Stephen Williams's Portrait

Captors and Captives, by Evan Haefeli and Kevin Sweeney
The Boy Captive of Old Deerfield, by Mary P. Wells Smith
The Boy Captive in Canada, by Mary P. Wells Smith
The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion, by John Williams (1706)


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