INTRODUCTION: The narrative of Oliver C. Beers who taken captive by Indians in the Pacific Northwest on June 26, 1793 while sailing aboard the Jefferson.

Dates: 1796

Biographical Note: There are few narratives of Northwest Coast Indian captivities.  The manuscript narrative of Oliver C. Beers is one of the earliest and first known records of Indian captivity along the Northwest Coast.  Oliver C. Beers was taken captive on June 25, 1791, somewhere between Queen Charlotte’s Island and Sitka, while sailing aboard the Jefferson.  Beers’ narrative provides evidence of early Northwest Indian attacks on ships and the captivity of survivors.  

Collection Scope:

This collection consists of a Northwest Coast Indian captivity narrative written on July 13, 1796, on the verso of a map, probably from a Dutch Bible. 

Access and Use:

A digital copy of this collection is available:

M-338: Beers Indian Captivity Narrative

Use Restrictions: Portions of the collection may be photocopied, digitally scanned, or photographed, depending on condition and restrictions.

Access Restrictions: Access to portions of this collection may be restricted depending on condition.

Please direct any questions regarding this collection to the Reading Room at the St. Louis Mercantile Library by contacting 314.516.7247.

Citation: When citing material from this collection, the preferred citation is: From the Special Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.