The Sovereignty and Goodness of God

The Sovereignty and Goodness of God Summary and Analysis of Removes 10-13


The Tenth Remove

The group pitches camp three quarters of a mile away. Mrs. Rowlandson, in search for food, goes to the wigwam of the woman who bid her return. A Native American comes looking after her and "kicked [her] all along." At her own wigwam she is denied any of the venison being roasted. "Sometimes I met with favour, and sometimes with nothing but frowns."

The Eleventh Remove

Mrs. Rowlandson finds the day of travelling difficult. She feels weak and must carry her load across a river and up very steep hills. She affirms her faith in the Lord's judgements.

The Twelfth Remove

When the group prepares to travel, Mrs. Rowlandson's master agrees to sell her to her husband, at which she rejoices. Her mistress returns from a funeral and catches her reading her Bible and throws it out of the wigwam. She later slaps Rowlandson on the face for complaining about the weight of her load. Rowlandson comments, "Their insolency grew worse and worse."

After travelling for a little while, her mistress insists they go back. The master says he will rejoin them in three days, so Mrs. Rowlandson is left with her mistress and without "the best friend [she] had of an Indian, both in cold and hunger." 

Rowlandson gathers nuts and sticks to avoid hunger and cold. She is forbidden from sleeping in the wigwam because there are guests. When she resists, one of the guests draws his sword on her. She notes that the same fellow, and others like him, now walk in Boston "under the appearance of a Friend-Indian." She ultimately procures lodging and food for the next two nights from two different wigwams.

When traveling the next day, she complains the skin is off her back from her load, and they say, "It would be no matter if [her] head were off too."

The Thirteenth Remove

They spend almost two weeks in "a mighty Thicket of Brush." Rowlandson makes a shirt in exchange for food. She asks after her son, and a Native American responds that he and her son's master ate him. The Lord upholds her spirit, and she reflects that "there is not one of them that makes the least conscience of speaking the truth." While she lies by the fire, a woman throws ashes in her eyes, but she recovers her vision by morning.

Reflecting on all the failures for rescue, she begins to lose hope. She feels restless, and it takes her a while before the Lord allows her to find any comfort in scripture. 

An English captive, Thomas Read, is brought back from a recent attack on Hadly. Mrs. Rowlandson comforts him and asks after her husband. Contrary to her captors' stories of his murder or forced remarriage, Read says Mr. Rowlandson is well but very sad. 

King Philip's maid asks for a piece of Rowlandson's apron for Philip's child. When Mrs. Rowlandson refuses, the maid says she will tear off a piece, and Mrs. Rowlandson tells the maid she will tear a piece of her coat. At that, her Mistress throws a fatally large stick at her, which she avoids. Rowlandson gives the whole apron to the maid to avoid her Mistress's further wrath.

Mrs. Rowlandson meets with her son. She is impressed at his concern for his father, as she has not been thinking about the people safe from captivity. Her son also mentions that his group was going to the French for powder but was stopped by a Mohawk assault. She blesses the Lord that her son was not sold to the French. The footnote explains she fears the French's Catholicism.

Mrs. Rowlandson goes to see an English youth in this place, John Gilberd of Springfield. He lies in little clothing on the ground in the bitter cold, sick with dysentery beside a nearly dead Native American child whose parents had been killed. She persuades John to make a fire. Upon her return she is made to show her master's daughter what she did with John, and she faces interrogation and threats of violence because they suspect she is trying to run away with him. She is confined to the wigwam. She does not leave or eat for a day and a half, nor is she able to read her Bible, until she is commissioned to make some stockings in exchange for ground nuts. 

Mrs. Rowlandson visits with her son Joseph and combs the lice from his hair. He takes too long going back to his master, stopping at wigwams in search for food. His master beats him and sells him. Joseph runs to her to tell her he has a new master who has already given him ground nuts. She meets this master, who says he loves Joseph, and he shall not want. She does not see her son again until Pascataqua in Portsmouth. 

She is made to leave the wigwam for the night again, and her Mistress's sick child dies that night: "There was one benefit in it, that there was more room." Another wigwam gives Mrs. Rowlandson a skin to lie on and a choice meal of venison and ground nuts for dinner. Many wail with her Mistress over the death of the Mistress's child, but Mrs. Rowlandson doesn't find herself disposed to sympathy. She reflects on her earlier religious carelessness and feels sorrowful at her present conditions. She affirms her faith in her being saved by the Lord. 


While at the beginning of captivity, Rowlandson describes the Native Americans almost exclusively as a demonic monolith, and later in captivity she describes many acts of kindness in detail, she now presents a mix of the two: "Sometimes I met with favour, and sometimes with nothing but frowns." She no longer seems surprised at kindnesses like charitably housing and feeding her. She is not surprised at violence, either, such as that of her mistress. Instead, she seems to expect both kindness and violence, depending on the time and the person. Her issues with her captors continue to become more individualized - a particular woman throws ashes in her eyes, her son's master beats him, her mistress slaps her. 

On the other hand, Mrs. Rowlandson continues to monolithically and negatively portray Christian Native Americans by building up examples of ways in which they behave evilly, in her eyes only magnified by their hypocrisy as alleged Christians. When Mrs. Rowlandson resists leaving the wigwam, one of the guests draws his sword on her. She notes that the same fellow, as others like him, now walk in Boston "under the appearance of a Friend-Indian."

Mrs. Rowlandson has a very toxic relationship with her mistress. Her mistress is definitely mean to her, slapping her, sending her outside, throwing sticks at her, and throwing her Bible outside. While Mrs. Rowlandson doesn't present herself as having done anything to incite such behavior, as has already been shown, Rowlandson can be an unreliable narrator.

Even as Mrs. Rowlandson calls Wettimore her mistress, a term that would be used in an English hierarchy, she refers to Wettimore's "insolency," which would normally be a word a mistress or master uses to describe a servant. Mrs. Rowlandson's sense of superiority as an English woman and as a mistress in her own right probably contributes to the tense power and status dynamics between her and Wettimore, a powerful Native American woman of high status. One can also speculate that the master's kindness to Mrs. Rowlandson, especially given the power dynamics, may make Wettimore, his wife, jealous. 

Mrs. Rowlandson, moreover, feels no sympathy for her Mistress's sick and dying child. Her dying child is almost certainly why Wettimore insisted on going back to the previous camp, but Mrs. Rowlandson only thinks of being denied her chance to be sold back to her husband. It is ironic that Mrs. Rowlandson is so unable to empathize, given she just went through losing her own child, her daughter Sarah. On the other hand, she blames the Native Americans for Sarah's death, which may contribute to her lack of sympathy for Wettimore. Either way, she cannot mourn with them. She even says, "There was one benefit in it, that there was more room." Her cold lack of sympathy for the death of Wettimore's child serves in stark contrast to her reaction to the sight of the sick and dying English youth and Native American child as being "enought to melt a heart of flint."