The entry begins:
Early on March 15, 1697, a band of Abenaki raided the English frontier village of Haverhill, Massachusetts. Striking swiftly, the Abenaki killed twenty-seven men, women, and children, and took thirteen captives, including 39-year old Hannah Duston and her week-old daughter, Martha. A short distance from the village, one of the warriors murdered the squalling infant by dashing her head against a tree. After a forced march of nearly one hundred miles, Duston and two companions were transferred to a smaller band of Abenaki, who camped on a tiny island located at the junction of the Merrimack and Contoocook Rivers, several miles north of present day Concord, New Hampshire. Later that first night, Duston and her two companions killed two warriors, two women, and six children. After stealing a canoe and departing the island, Duston returned briefly to scalp her victims.Visit Jay Atkinson's website.
In casting a movie made from this story, I would be interested, as I always am, in a strong woman. A Howard Hawks-style woman. As Hannah Duston, perhaps Jennifer Lawrence or Hilary Swank. As her fifty-one year-old nurse and companion, the widow Mary Neff, you’d have to go with Meryl Streep or perhaps...[read on]
My Book, The Movie: Massacre on the Merrimack.