Eschewing the protected garrisons of colonial Massachusetts, a family of settlers is braving the open land. As the winter snows melt, Hannah Duston gives birth to her eighth child, a baby girl. But tragedy strikes as she is kidnapped by members of the Abenaki tribe and her life rapidly becomes a brutal battle for survival.
Hannah was born on December 23, 1657, in Haverhill, a fledgling community of colonists in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. One of the first 13 territories to make up the United States, the region took its name from the indigenous Massachusetts Indians, who were of Algonquian heritage.
By the time that Hannah was born, colonists from England had been settling along the Massachusetts shoreline for almost 30 years. Although to begin with interactions with the natives had been friendly, relations gradually turned sour. It had been during the 1630s that tensions first escalated into all-out conflict with the Pequot War (1636–38) and later King Philip’s War (1675–78).